Jan 212008

In launching this blog as I have I have committed the cardinal web development sin of releasing a live site before its construction is complete. For that I apologize and point an accusatory finger at SixApart, makers of the MovableType platform I’ve been using since 2003, for having released its 4.01 product before sufficient documentation was available to support it. Persuaded as I was by their hype of how wonderful it would be I had gone ahead and upgraded to it several months ago. Doing so was generally not a problem for my pre-existing blog as all the templates and styles I’d made for it when it ran on version 3.x still worked, but when it came to launching a new blog it made sense to use the new MT 4 templates and styles in order to be able to take advantage of all the snazzy new features SixApart was bragging about it having.

Unfortunately it was impossible to figure out how to in any sort of timely way. The 4.01 system is very different than the 3.x systems, and it’s pretty confounding. My choice then was either to continue to blog at the old site, which I felt I had outgrown, while I tried to figure out how to build the new one out over here, or go ahead and move to this new forum where I could write with my new voice — and then beg for the forgiveness of my readers for the inevitable UI changes I will inevitably inflict upon them as I figure things out. Obviously I opted for the latter avenue, and so I want to apologize in advance for the extensive changes that will likely take place over here over time.

The upside to this decision is that you all have a chance to weigh in with what you might want or not want to see in the new design. Let me know if there are any sites you particularly like or find usable, and I might be able to adopt some of those features if they’ll work for me. A few “improvements” over the last site are already in the works, like using the “extended entry” feature to break up long posts so that the front page won’t seem so dense. I’m also going to try out using the “tags” feature instead of relying so heavily on categories. The upside with tags is that its easier to assign multiple topic labels to each post, and it will be easier to draw them out of the database when wanting to see what I’ve written on any particular one of them.

Otherwise I suppose everything that you currently see could change. I do kind of like the blue color, so perhaps I’ll use it in the final palette, but I may switch back to two columns, or move things around, or add features or get rid of features, etc. Sorry, I know this is a very, very user-unfriendly thing to do to one’s website, but it’s the best I can do for right now. At least while I’m not playing around with HTML I should be able to focus on my writing, and isn’t that what’s really important? Besides, with the new site my RSS feed finally has carriage returns. Hooray for legibility! So, please, go ahead and subscribe!

(And let me know if anything seems to not be working. I’ll try to fix that stuff first.)

 Posted by at 10:53 pm

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