Posted on Tue - January 2, 2007

Tweaking the blogs and banging my head against the wall

It's not enough that a program codes HTML for me, I want it to work nearly instantaneously.

I've been working on the new look for Technopagan Yearnings. I'm a little more than a week late than I wanted to be, and right now I can't upload things because it is only partially done. Some of the interior pages look pretty bad, and the fixes I figured out mean minor changes on some pages I thought I had finished.

Over the years there have been several things I wanted to change, starting with all that "white space" in the banner, even though it is green. It works at Pagan Vigil, but I wanted TPY to have a different feel.

I had been doing some minor updates here and there to both PV and TPY. There has always been a bit of a problem at TPY with the navigation bar on the left hand side. When things like the book lists from LibraryThing didn't load, or when the Feed2JS server was down, it would cause the page to load partially or not at all.

Then I discovered that the the blog feeds from Feed2JS made the left navigation bar expand in some browsers to about half the page, no matter what the settings.

So obviously the only choice was to switch TPY to a right side navigation bar. And as long as I was doing it anyway, I might as well do the other things I had been thinking about. Like reducing the banner and moving the navigation bar to the top of the window. Replacing some of the kludgy HTML that I had used to get things working with modular HTML. Adding colors and backgrounds that could be changed quickly. Making the text look a little fancier.

All this was well and good. But iBlog has got a couple of restrictions. Changes made in the blog page and the entry page templates can be seen quickly, but changes made on the other page templates require you to "Reset Preview State and Preview." You can't just specify the blog you are working on, it does all of them. When you choose this option, iBlog deletes and recreates the web pages based on the template, the entry data, and what was published when.

Pagan Vigil has more than two thousand separate web pages right now. Technopagan Yearnings has a couple of hundred, and teknologi has probably about a hundred or so. It takes about 25 minutes or so to generate all those pages.

You can still do other things on your computer, you just can't preview the pages to see the changes you made. And you can't make any changes in the stylesheet.

Fun fun fun.

One thing that this has taught me is that if you are going to make changes, use the style sheet as much as you can because it is harder to preview changes in a template.

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