BlunderDome Experimental Blog Customizations
Laboratory for experimental modification of web application features and functions before incorporating into anything serious. Disorganized and unkempt, just like the poor lad himself.
The nfoCentrale Blog Conclave
nfoCentrale Associated Sites
I have accomplished the following steps for all blog but this one:
With completion of this post, I will carry out steps (5-6) for Spanner Wingnut as well.
The next post you see will be from attempts to use a new blog engine installed on my web site itself.
Labels: blog development
I have now changed the color scheme here. The just-previous template change was based on the current template for nfoWorks: Pursuing Harmony.
Now I am adjusting the appearance for what I will use as the basis for Kiln Sitter’s Diary. This is the most-important blog for matching and then improving on the template as I migrate to a new blog engine, because it is related to Vicki’s artistic expression.
To arrive at the new color scheme, I looked at those established under the CSS-based template for these pages. Then I tried out samples of various combinations, resulting in this table of “swatches:”
I should have done this sort of thing before now. It beats repetitive previewing of the full template. Also, I could have used the FrontPage color picker more efficiently than I did by trying out color names instead.
After narrowing down on some selections, it is easier to then confirm with a Blogger template preview, see what doesn’t work, and then look for more combinations.
I did have to do some full previews before I obtained something I was willing to operate with for now. I will now take this template over to Kiln Sitter’s Diary, eliminating the last of my unsuccessful attempts to use a completely CSS-based template. This will also allow me to have the Diary in better shape for however long it takes between when I shut off Blogger and have the replacement blog engine working over there.
[update 2010-04-30T03:45Z There were some fine adjustments needed in the title block at the top of each blog page and in the bottom block beneath each page. I wanted that flat before replicating the template on Kiln Sitter’s Digest.
Labels: blog development
The next thing to confirm here is the uploading of images directly to the blog section of the site from Windows Live Writer. It is done this way with the Blogger-published blog because an FTP-published Blogger does not have a Google-provided place to store images and I want the images on my self-managed site in any case.
Labels: blog development
Spanner Wingnut is having its moment of fame.
This blog has been updated to have a template and web-site organization that matches that of all other blogs under my command.
The special purpose of Wingnut is that it will be the laboratory for experimental conversion of the blog from Blogger FTP publishing to a different blog posting engine hosted right here on the site (actually, nfoCentrale.com).
The special purpose of this post is to drive out use of the new template, one based on the current personality of nfoWorks: Pursuing Harmony. It’s disappointing in a way. There were features of the previous Spanner Wingnut blog that I liked. Maybe some other day.
Meanwhile, let’s start the new post format. Here goes. …
[update:2010-04-29T04:00Z With that working, as much as I miss features of the previous format, I am reposting this to have categories (labels in Blogger) working. I will assign this post to a category to ensure that the special category archives are being created properly on Spanner Wingnut. Then I’ll post a comment to ensure that is working too, even if only for a one-two more days.]
Labels: blog development
» Choosing the right document type for Web pages | Programming and Development | TechRepublic.com. I am preparing to manipulate styles of the Muddleware Labs template. The objective is to make this and my other blogs more accessibility friendly with regard to control of fonts and text sizes by the user.
Choice of DOCTYPE
I have successfully changed the Blogger-supplied template (Rounder 3) from XHTML 1.0 Strict (which was simply wrong) to HTML 4.01 Transitional. This is the latest stable regular HTML DOCTYPE. I also verified that I am using the proper DOCTYPE entry encouraged by the W3C. This recent Tony Patton article explains the differences and how the choice matters for validation of the web page.
The HTML 4.01 Transitional form allows all of the standard HTML presentation tags (including tables) along with the CSS markup that many prefer. The ability to mix the two in practical ways is exactly where I want to be. It also overcomes the fact that Windows LiveWriter (and other tools), Blogger posting, and Blogger comment posting cannot be counted on to enforce any XHTML DTD.
This is also the DOCTYPE that I use in all of my own web-site pages that use my latest uniform styles.
Fiddling the Styles: Resources
It is time for me to figure out how to use CSS styles and modify the ones in the template. I will do that by modifying elements that are relatively simple and safe to fool with until I have a better sense of how omitting certain styles as well as modifying others influences the layout of the blog. I am going to start with the Rounder 3 template of Muddleware Lab, but the idea is to ultimately achieve a form much like my other blogs but using CSS in an efficient way as part of the HTML 4.01 Transitional formatting.
I have the following resources at hand:
The first change I am making is to update the template to have an HTML 4.01 DTD and to be plain HTML (no xmlns or other attributes inside the <html> tag).
I can imaging this causing a problem with the <style> element in the header, although there is no ECMAScript or anything that should create much of a problem.
And we'll see.
This post is the one that will cause the modified template to be applied for the first time.
I need to see what template modifications on my Blogger sites will allow browser View | Text Size alterations to work. As I finally noticed (after almost 5 years of blogging), my blog posts do not have text that is resizable. I want that.
Before I can Start
Although the Muddleware Lab is reserved for experimental verification of blog modifications before I make them to my "production" blogs, I don't seem to have ever saved the current Blogger template.
My first step is to log into Blogger, open the template for this blog, and save a copy next to the default page as default.asp.template.txt. I have those for my production blogs. Here's the current master for the template that currently applies to Orcmid's Lair. (This may render as a web page even though it is delivered as a text file. If necessary, use View | Source to see the text of the template.)
Now That's Interesting
The template that I've always used on Muddleware Lab is Douglas Bowman's Rounders 3. I see some very useful characteristics:
Along with the appealing bits, there are also some serious challenges:
Mulling Things Over
While I ponder how I can overcome the challenges, I am going to see what happens when I change the template DTD to my favorite: HTML 4.01 Transitional.
I am having FTP failures between Blogger and my official blog locations. They were all working on 10-27 and yesterday too, as you can tell from this post. But today, nothing has gone through.
So, this is just a test post, exactly the sort of thing you should expect to find here.
[update 2006-10-29-20:46Z Well, this isn't working either. I don't know if it is just the three Orcmid's hosted blogs or not.]
[update 2006-10-29-22:07Z I'm not doing any better on any of my Blogger-managed blogs. The only thing I can do is attempt to repost this one every so often until there's a change.]
[update 2006-10-30-00:28Z I'm still trying, will follow up immediately when one works.]
[update 2006-10-30-01:08Z Well, here we are. It is time to bring the other blogs current too.]
Sometimes, that’s just a step into the next room. Or the laptop on the nearby worktable that holds my development IIS server and Visual Source Safe repository, and the site images that I use with ftp for synchronizing my web sites on their public hosting services.
If I have correctly changed my Blogger settings, this post will appear at the http://orcmid.com/BlunderDome/wingnut URL, and it will not be reflected at http://nfoCentrale.net/orcmid/BlunderDome/wingnut.
This was accomplished by changing the FTP settings. For me to see the changes in the feed, I will need to delete my old feed and begin reading from the new location, http://orcmid.com/BlunderDome/wingnut/wing-atom.xml
I expect there may be some breakage with regard to the blog-page template, especially with regard to images. I will repair all of those next.
This experiment is specifically to learn about all of the necessary steps and the additional corrections that must be made.
[2006-10-27-22:04 update. The first posting attempt for this message didn't seem to end up on any blog, new site or old site. I ftp'd to the new location and by the time I arrived, so had the new post.
Although the main page, the archive page, and the Atom feed are correct on the new site, the preceding post's individual page isn't here, so there are broken links to it. Blogger didn't have any basis for concluding that page needed to be reposted. I will fix that now.]
If you see this post on the site, and there is no follow-on post declaring that Spanner has arrived on a distant shore, you are looking at the old hosted site for Spanner Wingnut’s Muddleware Lab. If for some reason you are subscribed to the site feed and you see this post without a follow-on post, the same answer applies. The fresh pages and the fresh feeds to go with them have been moved.
The active creation of this blog is being moved to the new home of Orcmid’s Lair at URL http://orcmid.com. Although the old URL will eventually follow along to the new home, that may not be for a while. It is really better to fix your bookmarks, feed readers, and other connections, though.
The same dislocation is about to happen with the other blogs: Orcmid’s Lair, As usual, the movement process will be checked out by Spanner Wingnut first because, let’s face it, the bloke is expendable.
See you on the other side …
[update 2006-10-27-22:24 Now that the other side has been reached, I need a way to force this entry to repost, because Blogger has no reason to post it again on the new site unless I tell it to. I am not republishing the site, just changing the rules for how site entries are FTP’d to the proper server. I migrated all older material before this particular message was posted, so it got lost in the gap. The same will happen when I now move the other blogs, since their content has already been migrated.]
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created 2007-06-09-16:51 -0700 (pdt)