Time for a change

Those of you who read Bright Meadow the old fashioned way (i.e., not in an RSS reader!) might just have noticed a few changes around the place.

Yes, I’m switching themes – I was just getting heartily sick of the old K2 (quiet Rich 😛 )
Yes, I’m doing it live – I know I should sandbox it an’ all, but I really don’t have the energy. Plus this is most likely just a stop-gap on the road to a full custom design (shh, I didn’t just say that 😉 )
Yes, it’s discombobulating me too. I’d got so very used to the old design, each time I look at the new theme I go “Arg! Is that really Bright Meadow?”

The problem with having lived with K2 for the last year or so is that I’ve got so very, very used to it. I know which files to go to, to change certain aspects of the behaviour. I understand the slightly twisted logic in the Loop. And more importantly, I’d tweaked it so that it did things the way I (more or less) wanted them to be done. Little tweaks that you probably didn’t even notice, but I’d made them like that for a reason.

Now I’ve got to 1) remember what those tweaks were and then 2) work out where those changes have to be made in the new files…

So please bear with me whilst I play around some and try and make a nice new home for the penguins 🙂

Ok, so the basic bones are in place and now I actually DO want your feedback!
A few things I’m aware of and will have to get working before I am totally happy:

  • the header image – needs work I know, but I’m woefully uninspired at the moment. It’s all very well saying “do a new header”, but it takes imagination (and skill!), neither of which I havethanks to the divine Josh, this I now have! Look and admire the wonderfulness!
  • the text is all scrunched upgot this one sorted. 1.75 spacing is MUCH better than 1.1 which was the default!
  • lost favicon – I know it’s missing. I’ve just got to put it back!well, it should be back now, but favicons are notoriously tricky beasties
  • borders around images in FF and IE – I hate them, got to get rid of them!problem solved once I realised it was because they were links, and Rich supplied me the CSS 😀
  • there’s no ‘site admin’ link in the menu at the top – this is for my use only, but I do like it there…
  • pagination of the archive & category pages – this is a big one, to the point of being a deal-breaker. At the moment, the archives and categories spew out the last x number of posts in full with no option to get more. I KNOW it can be made to show title+summary and ‘next page’ links. Just got to work out how to beat it into submission
  • the Flickr badge is currently styled oddly. I need to tweak the padding
  • the styling of gravatars. Currently they’re butt-ugly, hence not being activated
  • the spacing between the content and the sidebar needs to be a little bigger
  • something’s still not right with the post titles. Perhaps they need to be a bit bigger?
  • visited links need to be styled

Anything else that’s caught your eye? I already know Moose isn’t enamored with it, so how about the rest of you?

28 thoughts on “Time for a change

  1. Hm, just so you know, the comments aren’t all overlapping and things on IE, like it did with the old design.

    Not that I use IE out of choice… you know.

  2. okay, okay, I will post my comments. The text is much better now it’s spaced out a bit more but I don’t like the post headings. I have no explanation for this nor suggestions for improvement, I simply don’t like them.

    I do like to main heading though, particularly the double-headed penguin effect I seem to be getting in Firefox 🙂

  3. Re: the post headers, I don’t like the thin grey line right under it. When that’s combined with the underlined text of the header itself, it looks off.

  4. Little line removed – that better Josh? Something is still off for me, but it is better. I think it might also be something to do with the sizing of the header text in comparison to the body text. Hmm, more stylesheet play tomorrow. Right now I’m seriously pissed off with how this stylesheet is organised. It’s not that K2 was better, just… I got used to it and the ‘logic’ was making sense to me.

    Another thing that’s bugging me is the gap between the content and the sidebar – it’s just not quite wide enough.

  5. Yeah, switching to a new layout with CSS that is laid out completely difference is a real pain in the ass.

    I’ve a couple headers to mail you, they’ll be on the way in a sec.

  6. Oh, btw Cas, if you believe you’ve got your favicon in the right place in your web hosting folders, you might try forcing a complete refresh of the page. In Firefox (and IE, I believe), do Shift+F5. That usually reloads the favicon (or loads the favicon to begin with, if it hasn’t already done so). If you’re in some Mac browser, I’ve no idea how to do it there, but it shouldn’t be too hard.

  7. It looks great so far. I really did like the old flowery thingy, but I am very happy you’ve gone photographic. A lot of illustrations, however good they are, always do tend to make it look less ‘serious’ somehow.

    (I know I’m doing a shoddy job at ‘reviewing’ here but it’s late and I wanted to comment before I sign off)

    Also, I love how you’ve gone for a real picture of yourself. Whether it’s in the header or elsewhere, I’m increasingly in favour of ‘direct blogs’: who am I, what do I look like. You don’t see Kawa or Scoble use little avatars do you?

    Anyways, you’ll no doubt still tweak a lot in the following days, rearrange the lot and then go back again, but that’s only natural. And I, for my part, will be sure to point out whatever weirdness I may still come across.


    (Btw, don’t you just feel isolated in a cold silent world all of a sudden, now that Twitter has died?)

  8. Thanks Nils. There was always a ‘proper’ picture of me on the ‘About’ page, but I do take your point about real photos over avatars. My only reservations are that
    1) several people have said they recognised the avatar/cartoon really quickly and identified it with me very strongly, associating comments I’d left on their blogs before they’d even visited Bright Meadow.
    2) it’s freaking the hell out of me, having a picture of myself stare down from the header!
    3) I really don’t like pictures of myself
    4) did I mention how it was freaking me out?!

    And yes, I feel bereft without Twitter. I tried to Twitter something only to have it die 🙁

  9. I do understand. About the picture. And I do see how my rambling yesterday was just that. Highly illogical, as Spock would say.

    In any case, if you don’t like a ‘picture’ picture, have you considered one of those cutout images, as I think they’re called? They’re pretty easy to do with PS.


    Will get back after more coffee has been administered.

  10. *cracks knuckles, ready for his revenge* 😛 (Cas has been hard on me when I attempt a theme change)

    Hehe, no, it’s all good, I think everyone beat me to it for pointing out gripes/flaws/bugs. Though, the favicon isn’t working for me either.

  11. Jay – but you asked me to be picky… 🙁

    Yeah, the favicon is completely borked for me too for some reason. Plus, I’ve just noticed a new gripe – no previous/next post link at the top of the page.

    Ah well, more code to play with. Good job I enjoy it really, isn’t it?

  12. okay, I realise this will make me look stupid but someone has to bring you all back to ‘real’ life – what the *&%! is a favicon??
    Talk in English please not Blogish (or maybe Blogese, or even Blogian)

  13. Oh it hasn’t appeared on the tab in Firefox for months. It decided it didn’t like you any more 🙁

  14. There’s an enormous white thing in front of your head. What is it? A radioactive bunny? You actually have alarmingly enormous albino hands?

    If you do actually have alarminglyl enormous albino hands, how do you type?

  15. Yes, I have enormously large albino hands, but it is a very sensitive subject and I don’t like to talk about it.

  16. I suddenly get the distinct feeling that I should have brought down the brigntess on that picture of you, as well as upped the contrast.


  17. Do you know how annoying and uncomfortably stalkerish it is to have to continuously reload your about page to find the albino hand image only to realize that I could have clicked on any of the photos to look at the flickr group?

    By the way, it is a very cool idea, the rotating photos on the about page. Also, you have awesome glasses. I wish my insurance covered awesome glasses. Instead, I just have contacts and utilitarian $50 glasses.

  18. Tammie – you’re on!

    And Lila – LOL and thank you *blush* As a sufferer of National Health Service specs as a kid, I decided a long time ago that because I wear glasses all the time, it would be worth the extra cash (though to be fair, not that much extra – the ‘awesome’ pair only cost £90). Think about it – we spend a fair amount on lingere and that doesn’t get seen by most people (at least mine doesn’t!). Why should glasses that DO get seen be any different?

  19. If eyeglasses gave me better cleavage, then perhaps I’d spend more money on them.

    No, you’ve got a terrific point. I dealt with the same issue of ‘health plan’ glasses, but here in the US it was union related. I wear contacts 95% of the time, so I don’t feel particularly inclined to get spendy glasses. Then again, I’m not as likely to break them as an adult as I was as a kid.

    I used the word ‘as’ four times in that last sentence.

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