Skip to main content

In and Out and In and Out

Yeah, I changed the blog template yet again.

In the period of about a week.

First it was stuck on this blue template for years. I don't remember what it was called. Then one day, I got a wild hair ('cause that's about all that's left on my thinning scalp) and switched the blog over to Dynamic Views.

I thought I liked it. It was full of tricks that only Google Gears and HTML5 could provide, cross-browser tricks like expanding panels on top of the main blog, or special compositions like 'magazine', which I actually liked. But after a few days of living with it I came to become truly annoyed with its behaviors, especially on portable devices such as my Android-powered phone (Gingerbread 2.3.4) and my Android-powered tables (ICS 4.0.3). Dynamic Views might look just dandy on a regular browser with a classic OS underneath, but on a portable device such as a tablet it was slow, sloppy mess. Which I found rather amusing, considering all of this came from Google. You'd think there'd be enough inter-team communication such that the Blogger team would design for and test against Google's Android-powered devices.

So I switched again to Awesome.

While it wasn't quite awesome, it was a lot lighter and displayed quite well over every device, from notebook to smartphone. Turned out it was a pretty popular theme, used by a number of sites I visit. And I was pretty happy until I came across Kirk Tuck's site, where he'd switched to Dynamic. And that's when I began to doubt my decision to switch from Dynamic.

So I switched back yet again, and put up with it for another 48 hours.

Now I'm back using Awesome and I'll continue using it until something better comes along. Unfortunately for Dynamic it won't be Dynamic.

And for Kirk, well, good luck with that. It really is a matter of personal tasted. I tend towards a lean and light-weight web page structure that is viewable as-is across a wide variety of devices. That's where the web is right now, and it will only grow more so as we gather more diverse devices. The simplistic web view that Blogger is capable of providing is brain-dead, and I hate it. That's why I want a single design that will render equally well. That's a pretty tough design to pull off, either deliberately or by accident.

Update 28 April

Back to Dynamic again. I'm curious to see if it drives up site views again, like it did before. Kirk Tuck has noticed this effect as well.

Comments

  1. I like this one a lot more than 'Dynamic' (as a non-user of blogger I didn't even know its name until now). And yes, I'm viewing on a regular screen on a proper OS (Debian). The reason why I like lighter layouts is simple: I use my browser in a restricted size of about 1024x768, so that I can have more than one of these on my screen if I need that. So web sites which are too big (like Robin's) or too fancy/complicated (like now Kirk's) put me off quite a bit. Of course I still read them because of their good content, but at least for me those designs aren't too user-friendly...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wolfgang, you and Bill will probably get used to the dynamic views. Since you can set one like classic and stay with it the learning curve will be.....short.

    I'm viewing my site on an IPad (3rd gen). and, with a fast connection, it's starting to smooth out and work well.

    I appreciate your endurance and willingness to put up with stuff you might not be fond of in order to read the site. On the "up" side there must be additional SEO magic with the dynamic views because our readership has doubled in the space of about a week. I still don't know why...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You may be right. Your comment about increased traffic ("additional SEO magic") fits with similar data points. While the site was using Dynamic my daily views nearly quadrupled. I may try it again and see if it the results are repeatable.

    If this is true, it leaves me somewhat uncomfortable. Are these legitimate views, and if so, what entries? That Google statistics didn't point anything out. I had Dynamic in magazine mode while all this was happening.

    It's all simple enough to try again.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…