PooterGeek is now running version 2.5.1 of WordPress and has a new theme, officially “PooterGeek 4.0”. (I’d planned this makeover long before the Harry’s Place mob moved into their nice new place and the redesign of their site was not my work, but I congratulate them on their choice of blogging software.)
Most of my readers browse PooterGeek on wider, higher contrast screens than when I last spring-cleaned so I have tried to take advantage of that, by using larger, serif fonts and paler colours to make the text easier and pleasanter to read, rather than by using the space to cram more squinty content in—blogs aren’t newspapers (though newspapers are turning into blogs). At the risk of sounding like someone on a house makeover show, my intention was to give the site an overall look that got away from all the dark panels with rounded corners fashionable on the Web these days. Let me know what you think. If you really don’t like it then scroll down to the bottom of the sidebar on the right and choose “PooterGeek 3”, PooterGeek Classic if you will, from the drop-down theme selection menu and everything will go back to the way it used to be—for you at least. [Note: depending on your Web browser, you might have to positively select “PooterGeek 4” before you can select “PooterGeek 3”.] You can always change to New PooterGeek by making the same selection from the sidebar of the old design.
If you are nerdy enough to be interested in such things, the underlying structure of PooterGeek is now, er, semantically richer, being based on Sandbox [link dead at time of writing], and is compatible with a wider range of browsers, being based on YAML. I recommend both frameworks to WordPress tweakers everywhere.
This new version of PooterGeek is, as Microsoft’s CEO recently said of Windows Vista, “a work in progress”. It’s probably buggy. Do please let me know about things that don’t work.
Love the anonymous-letter style header font, the look of the new masthead and the colour scheme. Respec’….
Er, on my Mac/Safari, the most popular posts section is barely legible– needs lines between to separate the entries more clearly. Also, the names of the commenters in the comments collection section are very difficult to read, ‘cos the font is too pale to stand out enough.
This bit after each entry comes across as intrusive: font size too large, and ought to be broken up into its different elements. Do you really need all this to appear beneath each and every post?
“This entry was written by site admin, posted on 05May08 at 20:29, filed under Blogs, Computers, PooterGeek. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.”
How about tweaking that youthful photo of you so it looks less like it had been stuck on as an afterthought (colours and style now quite discrepant with overall look–soft focus pale hints of the moderate fantasy menace)?
Wow, that was quick.
You’re right: those suck because they are unchanged from PooterGeek 3, but they’re both going to be replaced by pages generated by new plugins. I only left them there as placeholders.
I agree with this also. That output is the default from Sandbox and it will take me some time to dissect it and figure out how to get it to generate only the bits I am interested in, in the way I want them laid out.
I could just fade the photo, but doing that would conflict with my no Photoshopping rule… I’ll think about it.
Thanks for the kind words and prompt review.
Cool, legible design, but the weird thing is that on Firefox (though not on IE) the main section is so wide that the entire sidebar is invisible, but the horizontal scrollbar is missing. Any suggestions?
Really, we don’t mind how it looks, as long as you post regularly :-).
Glad to hear it. Someone emailed to say they were surprised that these days serif fonts really can sometimes be better for body text on screen.
Now that’s a difficult one. I’ll investigate, but first I’ve got to reproduce the effect…
Ah. Yes. Sorry about that. There should be more stuff appearing here in future.
I clicked on PooterGeek Classic just to see wat it looked like and now I can’t get back to the much better new style. It doesn’t have a drop down list.
It does, but it’s much further down on the right-hand sidebar—underneath the thin, blue-and-gold “BF DIRECTORY” badge.
And if you still can’t find the switcher, just delete the cookie your Web browser downloaded from pootergeek.com that begins “wptheme…”
I’m a big fan of Georgia for screen text – especially at a size legible to the over 40s. So good choice. However, I’d use a generous smidgin more leading (line-height) on the body text and lots more space between paragraphs. Outer margins need to be at the very least 2-3 times wider. The page feels very claustrophobic as it is now, even though everything’s bigger.
Line length is OK on the front page with sidebar, but way too wide on the permalink pages when the sidebar disappears. (Why does it do that?) Think proportions of a good paperback novel: text-size : leading : line-length : margins. Though don’t even think about trying to justify web text!
The header also feels too small for the wider pages and larger body text, especially with the huge title. Could easily be twice as high without being overwhelming. Pixels are cheap!
And then there’s that grunge font title. Oh dear! So 90s … and doesn’t fit the site at all (IMHO). But it looks like grunge may be on the way back, so you may be more hip than you think …
Sorry to not be more positive, but you did ask …
It’s funny: Both of those measurements were indeed bigger on the version I built on my home server, but I reduced them because it was starting to look like a something from the Large Print section of the mobile library. Maybe I’ll try again.
Also coincidentally, I had changed that so they were both the same this afternoon, but it caused some other layout problems, so I had to abandon the experiment temporarily.
On this point, however, I have to say that one of the things that I was unhappy about in my previous design was the gross, too-often-line-wrapping post titles. My current choice might be an overreaction against that, but it also feels less “shouty” to me.
A couple of months ago, I was discussing my plans for a blog makeover with a font-obsessed friend and he said similar things about my wanting to go with a messed-up typewriter font. (I was also considering a “cartoony” font.) There’s a simple personal reason for my choice: I learned to touch-type on a manual and, until very recently, have written PooterGeek on an enormous, clackety original IBM keyboard, hooked up to my PC via an adapter. The few unfortunate people who visit DunGeekin’ remark on what a noisy, anachronistic, and heavy piece of kit it is, especially for someone like me. Then again, I also shoot photos on film, and write with a fountain pen, and, until I found my current Microsoft keyboard, the IBM was the fastest way for me to input stuff.
Thanks for the thoughtful input.
[…] frontpage has been decorated with a school photo of me taken in, I think, 1979. I’ve taken the sensible advice of one of my readers and moved it. It’s still here, but on the “About” page where it doesn’t […]