Sunday, November 22, 2009

With a new life comes a new blog design

And it only took me three weeks to make the template work! Which is, I suppose, the point I was trying to make in the last posting. It's not completely finished -- there are a few bits of workbench clutter I'd like to work into the mix -- but I'm still kinda juiced about the result.

Oh, don't get me wrong -- I'd be happy(ish) with the result even when I was up to the task. What makes this different is that I've managed to get it done without being able to reliably link to images. That's right: there isn't a single link to a picture anywhere. If you aren't using a reasonably up-to-date browser, you won't see any pictures at all, and will probably wonder why I'm all excited about some mediocre typography.

If you can see the images, it's because your browser understands the data url in CSS. The images are Base64-encoded on the stylesheet, and the stylesheet is on the page, so there are not extra requests. (Well, except for the ads and the navbar.) There is no real advantage here, since the stylesheet has to download with every page request, but if the stylesheet is cached, you can more than make up for the extra weight of the Base64-encoded images by cutting the server requests for background images to zilch.

Something to keep in mind if you can ever drop support for last year's browser. (Works in current versions of IE8, Firefox and Safari. I haven't tested in Chrome or Opera, but both have a good record for CSS support. Older versions of IE must die, and maybe this trick will help kill 'em.)

Oh -- the theme is woodworking and design for a reason.


Karen said...

Appropriate redesign. Oh, and nicely updated "About Me" at the bottom of the page.

Stan Rogers said...

Thanks, Karen. The appropriateness of the design will only grow (and become more revealing) as the clutter grows to match the reality of my real-world workbench. It coincides eerily with the clutter in my mind. It's funny, though, that I was never really tempted to play with the design when understanding the template would have been easy. Expect small changes over time as I discover where I can put things without breaking everything.