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October 05, 2004

The New Look

So, I'm thinking this is the look I'm going to go with, for a while at least. Let me know your thoughts on it.

Update, 6:50 pm -- for everyone who is wondering why I haven't reinstalled pictures to the Scalzi.com site, the short answer is I'm waiting until my DSL installation later this week. Currently my satellite modem lets me download pretty quickly up it uploads at dialup speed; considering how many pictures I have to upload, it makes sense to wait until I have an upload speed that doesn't bring back not-so-fond memories of 1996.

Also, some of you may have noticed that the archived entries for the Whatever now extend back from before I used Movable Type -- this is part of the master plan to get (almost) every bit of content on the site into MT format. It makes sense to have all the Whatever entries actually associated with the Whatever, and quite frankly I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Right now all of 2003 is available; 2002 will likely arrive tomorrow and so on down to 1998.

Also: If you're not seeing clouds (a lot of you report seeing a whole lot of black), try clearing out your Web cache on your browser. That should help.

Posted by john at October 5, 2004 02:16 PM


Ryan Freebern | October 5, 2004 02:22 PM

I can't see the text that runs onto the right-hand side of the page, where the background is black. What happened to the white boxes behind the text?

John Scalzi | October 5, 2004 02:30 PM

They should be there -- the sidebar text should have white backgrounds. Can you tell me what browser you're using? Maybe that presents the problem.

Also, while I'm thinking about it -- the background shouldn't be black at all. If you're still seeing a black background, you may have an earlier image cached. The image you should see is of clouds of varying shades of gray.

John | October 5, 2004 02:33 PM

I like the new look! to be frank, I like it better than the old Jupiter look, though I admit I liked that one at first too.....maybe I just tire of things easily....

Aliosha | October 5, 2004 02:34 PM

With Safari, the CSS does not work, so I cannot read anything on the right, and all the thingies that should go in the left bar are in the bottom!

Art Lynch | October 5, 2004 02:34 PM

I'm using Mozilla. Page has no sidebars and the background is plain white. Text does fit the screen.

On another note, please relocate "Stupid, ignorant or hypocritical." Been trying to send the link to a friend and it has disappeared from your archives.

Aliosha | October 5, 2004 02:36 PM

On a second thought, with Firebird it's perfect and very nice.
But totally different (no planet, only coulds).

Justin Anderson | October 5, 2004 02:42 PM

Everything seems to be workin' with Firefox 1.0, but from an aesthetic point of view, the main text column feels really squished to me... (on the main page that is; seems about right in the specific entry page).

Kate Nepveu | October 5, 2004 03:08 PM

Thumbs up on Opera 7: text appears as standard-size Times New Roman; with images off (how I usually surf), it's just a plain white page with a border; and with images on, the white sidebar appears on the main page.

Mary | October 5, 2004 03:15 PM

Very pretty. The only quibble I have is the use of Times New Roman as the body text against the cloud background. The serifs in the text make it a little hard to read against the varying shades of gray. The text also appears to be randomly heavier in weight in some letters. Have you tried playing with Verdana, Arial or even Georgia? (The latter is serif, but has more open forms and feels more readable on screen to me than TNR. YMMV).

Anonymous | October 5, 2004 03:31 PM

It's very reminiscent of all those outdoor cloud photos you've been taking. So yes, I like it.

Do think you should settle on one font, however.

Jill Smith | October 5, 2004 03:58 PM

I'm using Safari (v. 1.2.3 - latest version AFAIK) and it looks perfectly fine. Also, the clouds are prettty.

Duncan | October 5, 2004 04:01 PM

Using IE but with pictures turned off, text is against a plain white background while the borders are my windows default colour (which is actually not white). I don't imagine many people surf like that, though.

I do think that the available text space should be wider; the text just seems too thin.

John Scalzi | October 5, 2004 04:07 PM

Anonymous says:

"It's very reminiscent of all those outdoor cloud photos you've been taking."

Well, that's probably because I used one of my cloud pictures for the background. But I'm glad someone noticed!

Dave Schaefer | October 5, 2004 04:17 PM

This is me using Mozilla 1.7.3 on windows, and it looks very nice. Clouds are cool, the font is legible, and I can clearly see all the sidebars/links/etc. Nice John.

Thel | October 5, 2004 04:29 PM

Wow, welcome back! The clouds are lovely.

The subheading on the main page is different than the ones on previous entries' pages; don't know if that's deliberate or not.

Kevin Q | October 5, 2004 04:48 PM

The only complaint I have is that I liked it when the comments popped up in a new window, instead of going to a separate page, like they do now. Otherwise, nice layout.


John Scalzi | October 5, 2004 04:53 PM

Kevin Q says:

"The only complaint I have is that I liked it when the comments popped up in a new window, instead of going to a separate page."

Unfortunately, I was having a problem with the css handling of the comment popups; I think it a "feature" rather than a "bug" in the latest iteration of Movable Type

Mark Musante | October 5, 2004 04:58 PM

It's nice and clean in Mozilla. The only change I'd make is to move the horizontal bar *below* the comments link. By having it above the comments link it makes that link look like part of the subsequent posting.

Alice | October 5, 2004 04:58 PM

So are you implementing Typekey authentication for all comments? It's telling me that you didn't sign up for the thingy.

And I like the new look. Don't really dig the Times New Roman (Georgia or Garamond is *sooo* much more elegahnt, don't you know), but otherwise, it's cool.

Tony Dismukes | October 5, 2004 05:02 PM

OK, once I cleared my cache to get rid of the old image + stylesheets, everything looks cool in IE and Mozilla 1.6.

Until I cleared my cache, I was pretty confused as to everyone else was talking about.

Adela | October 5, 2004 05:05 PM

I actually thought it said internet rating.Darn dexlexia.

Dave Munger | October 5, 2004 05:18 PM

Works for me with Safari 1.2.3. Like the new look.

Sue | October 5, 2004 05:25 PM

Pretty clouds. I like it. I think it's actually a nicer layout than the old one.

Joseph | October 5, 2004 05:56 PM

I'm using some version of Firefox, and I can't see things that are running onto the right side of the screen.

Also, some people make it sound like you're using something besides a Jupiter background (I saw comments about 'nature pictures' and 'clouds' up above), and all I'm seeing is a repeating picture of Jupiter and moon.

John Scalzi | October 5, 2004 06:49 PM

Everyone who is seeing anything but regular earth clouds should clear out their Web cache -- that should fix the problem.

Re: Times New Roman -- I went in and looked at Georgia to see if it would be better. And I do think it looks nicer, so I'm keeping that.

Kate Nepveu | October 5, 2004 07:20 PM

Mark Musante said: "The only change I'd make is to move the horizontal bar *below* the comments link. By having it above the comments link it makes that link look like part of the subsequent posting."

I second this--it seems to be a MT default, but it makes no sense to me and is counterintuitive.

Emily | October 5, 2004 07:33 PM

I also get text that disappears into the blackness. Just thought I'd note that.

Using Safari on OS X Panther and I don't have it set to the full width because that's just silly to waste that much screen space.

Carol | October 5, 2004 08:16 PM

The planets were nice and all, but I'm really liking the clouds. Very pretty.

Looks good using plain ol' IE 6.0 on a PC.

Mary | October 5, 2004 10:37 PM

Yay for Georgia! Do I get to claim some design input and put this site in my portfolio? *g*

Brian | October 5, 2004 11:08 PM

I am feeling low.
I enjoy a good haiku.
But not on one line.

(Hard returns as entered in the comments don't carry through to the posted comment.)

Brian Greenberg | October 6, 2004 12:26 AM

The much maligned Internet Explorer is showing everything just fine.

One quick request: Comments now takes you to the archive page, and displays in one big, long screen. If I want to comment & then keep reading, I have to click "Main," which always brings me back to the top. The other way (comments in a pop-up window) allowed the Whatever to remain on the screen while commenting. Just one guy's opinion, but I prefer the old way...

Laura | October 6, 2004 12:39 AM

The new look works! (after hitting reload)
Small suggestion: could you make the main column a little wider? Somehow the english sentence or phrase wraps around to the next line without my brain in tow. I seem to be struggling too hard to follow the thought. That kind of typeset could stand being on a longer line, I think. Good luck with the renovations...

dwarf at large | October 6, 2004 01:22 AM

nicer, clearer layout. Altho imho, the column width is fine.

Colm Mac | October 6, 2004 05:27 AM

I like it. But then I always like cloudscapes.

I don't think the text is too squished up (but then I'm using an old 15 inch monitor) and I too liked it when the comments popup up in a new window.

Colm Mac

Tom Scudder | October 6, 2004 07:45 AM

Mozilla 1.3 on a mac, so I need to download an update, stat. But the text is completely unreadable against the background for me, and I don't even see the sidebars.

Randy | October 6, 2004 09:57 AM

Hopefully, your DSL will have a faster upload than mine. My upload is only 128, only double dial-up.

Dawn B. | October 6, 2004 12:08 PM

I like it. Not that you have any obligation to listen to me, but I think it is purty. The clouds remind me of your photos.

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