An updated look

The Thinker by Rodin

The blog’s theme has been updated! This won’t be obvious to those of you who subscribe to the blog via email or view it in most newsreaders, but if you visit the site you will notice the newer look.

I hate to call it a “new” look because I have been using variants of this same look since the blog began in 2002 as a MoveableType blog. I like sidebars and I plead guilty to filling them with self-promoting crap. It’s okay; I pay for the hosting space. In general I prefer darker pages and I prefer shades of grey to whites and colors. When I go with a theme I tend to stick with it. I like my little Rodan’s “The Thinker” image attached by my posts and pages, although I changed it slightly for the new look.

Still, any WordPress theme can get moribund over time. This one needed updating because it was designed for version 2 of WordPress, and WordPress has been on version 3 for years. This meant occasionally jury-rigging the themes to match version 3 features. This blog finally moved to WordPress in October 2007, which is how long I’ve had the same theme. Five and a half years later it is now using a MidnightBluePlus theme. Naturally it did not look out of the box quite the way I preferred. So I used the power of my editor and Firebug to tweak things in a preview mode until I had it all looking perfect.

Delving into the deep corners of WordPress gives me renewed appreciation for this elegant blogging platform. The best software is software that does what you need it to do, but no more, yet is easily extensible when you need it to be. WordPress is “just good enough” for blogging and any lightweight content management solution. If you need a small site it’s a perfect solution. If you need to host hundreds or thousands of pages, WordPress is not for you. You need an industrial strength content management system, like Joomla or Alfresco. WordPress is also elegant in the sense that it is easy and fun to tweak. You can get a plug in to do just about anything. It is also incredibly popular. Wikipedia says that 22% of new web sites are in WordPress.

With this upgrade I was able to put a few dynamic applications I wrote wholly inside of WordPress. The movies, comments and post list tools that I wrote can now fit inside a WordPress page, thanks to the Allow PHP in Posts and Pages plug in. This makes the whole presentation so much more seamless.

So hopefully the new theme gives the site a little pizazz and seems a little more professional. Enjoy.

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