On Nails, Lipstick, and Redesigns
So that took entirely too long. I blame
the weather Sarah Palin your mom my nonexistent time-management skills the liberal media. Yeah. That’s the ticket.
If you’re seeing this, then the DNS gnomes have finished their little rain dance, and you’re seeing the new home of Unstoppable Robot Ninja. Once hosted on the mighty Segpub, I’ve moved Ye Olde Weblogge over to Slicehost—the thought of actually installing all sorts of server-y things via the command line scared the hell out of me, but their knowledgebase made the whole move pretty trivial.
Oh, and I did a little redesign, too. So, like, there’s that.
Right. So pretty pictures aside, what’s new?
- 2008: The Year of Lipstick
The last design is archived online, if you’re into that sort of thing. I so loved that version, but the three-columns thing felt incredibly forced. Novel, sure. User-friendly, less so.
With the new look, I’ve got more room to customize—it’s not quite the framework that Jason set up, but I’ll at least be able to keep from getting bored. Which, if you know me, is the surest way for me to kill a site. Stay tuned.
- Much respect.
One thing I’d always meant to publish on the old site was the Respect section. You know, a place to link to my own little pantheon of friends, rockstars, and generally fine people. What’s up there at the moment isn’t finished, or even complete, but I had to get something pushed up. Otherwise, I’d somehow procrastinate my way to next year’s redesign, and nothing to show for that section.
So, like, stay tuned. I guess.
- ITSA LOLGRID!!!1!one!
When discussing a new design, I’m usually of the mind that discussing the grid is a bit like raving about the nails used to hang the Mona Lisa: interesting, sure, but it sort of misses the bigger picture. So I suppose it’s my turn to be a bit nail-oriented.
I’ve always been a staunch proponent of liquid or flexible-width layouts, but they’ve always felt at odds with everyone’s recent interest in grid-driven designs. So I got a bit tired of that; the first version of URN was an early attempt to stop thinking of layout in terms of pixels or
ems, but rather as a series of interdependent proportions.
After a few months of tinkering in my spare time, this culminated in building a production-ready, working “liquid grid” for Airbag’s work for the launching-at-some-point W3C redesign, which I discussed at An Event Apart Boston earlier this year. So this redesign's built on top of the ideas behind the W3C work, as you'll hopefully see as you browse through the site.
Anyway. Nail talk’s over—for now. I’ll be writing more about this framework soon, in the hopes of generating more discussion about it. Because I think that’s half the reason we’re so leery about working with non-fixed layouts: we just don’t talk about them.
While I loved the brevity of the old number-based URLs in the Journal, I got tired of watching my referrers and failing to remember exactly which entry corresponded with 740. Or why I thought 734 was so damned moving. So we’re done with that; it’s back to human-readable slugs. Still, any old links should redirect safely to the new system—but if that’s not the case, please do drop me a line.
Actually, on that last point: in the move to Slicehost, I decided to move all my email over to Google Apps—as a result, I’m having trouble getting outgoing mail working from this server. That is, I can send and receive email just fine from my desktop client, but I’m not yet getting emails from new comments or the contact form. They’re all logged in the database, but if my reply’s a bit slower than I’d like, please bear with me.
Thanks for being patient. There’s still work to do, but I’m excited about the new setup. I think this’ll be a hell of a year.