carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Way back when, I set about to get my coding skills modernized enough to let me install and run XAMPP on my computer so I can host scripts and just generally mess around with web design in general.

I got through HTML and CSS by using W3Schools [yes, I know it's crap to some extent, but at the time, there was no real alternative, and if you know it's oversimplified in places, you can fill in the gaps later]. Once I had the basics there, I found using the Mozilla Developer Network pages mostly filled my needs for greater details on the basics.

But there's a new game in town now, Codeacademy is an interactive learning tool that is totally free and has courses in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Python and JQuery.

Read more... )
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Time to pay attention to the style comms and the suggestion comm and figure out if anything is going on at DW these days.

I will begin reworking my layout and themes soon. I'll have a look at the new styles too.

It is weird having a schedule exactly opposite to most people--free time in the fall and winter and during the week rather than the summer and weekends.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
There's this trend on DW where someone asks a question on a comm or makes a suggestion and when they get it solved or realize they had the wrong end of the stick they go back and make merry with the strikethrough tag.


[Disclaimer, I have totally done this.]

Stop it, stop it, stop it.

Just throw in an ETA that the answer is in comments or throw some brackets around it and comment that this sentence is full of crap, I've been learned up. Anything but using strikethrough which makes it very, very, very, very, very, extremely hard to read.

/end rant into the ether.


Mar. 15th, 2012 01:00 pm
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
The temperatures are hitting 20 degrees. I'm afk and outside in the sunshine until further notice.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
1. rethink the navstrip in mobile view
2. fix the reply form on custom comment pages, it breaks the column because?
3. try centring the sidebar and main content by perhaps setting the primary and secondary width on content and margin auto. Oh. I like that idea, but I want the two columns to remain at a variety of screen sizes, this is no good if it immediately drops to one column with one up in font size so new breakpoint calcs will be needed. Yay. that was so much fun the first time.
4. and for the love of the FSM, remember to go through normalize.css and see if anything there will do any good.

Memo to self: There's a reason why newcomers to DW think all the layouts look the same. There's thousands of choices. Now might just be the time for some innovation. No one is telling you to only care about the paint colour and leave the framing to the menz, even if it feels just the same.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Call and Response is my first layout. It has several themes built already, and I'll link to a few here. Also, as of now and for a few days, this journal is styled with the Raw Sugar theme for this layout.

This layout is a responsive design remix of Tabula Rasa. It's an elastic layout using ems (or fluid with user-supplied pixel sizes) and the goal is to provide a layout any user on any device at any font size or screen resolution can enjoy while allowing for fully flexible theme creation.

That's a tall order, and I might not have achieved that goal 100%. But, I have managed to make something that is at least on the right track to a fully responsive style.Read more... )


Mar. 12th, 2012 06:56 pm
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
I've had a great day!

I got some other stuff done, and I made some breakthroughs on layout making.

I wrote a function!

And it works!

It takes a Color and an opacity amount and returns the rgba colour code.

Then I rewrote the generate css function to use that code as well as a fallback code.

I just, I'm so pleased.

I really feel like working with S2 has been the best thing that could have happened to me. I'm getting to understand concepts that I read about in re javascript but could never quite see in real terms.

More refinements are needed, but I think I'm sending in the CLA this week!


Cool thing

Mar. 11th, 2012 09:10 am
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
[ profile] smashingmag Curator's Code

Also, I think that's an image I have saved to make a theme from. Pretty sure that's the Carina Nebula.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
There's something in HTML5 where you get automatically adjusting heading sizes if they are in elements nested inside other elements.

That's all a bit vague, isn't it? I'm kind of remaining deliberately ignorant of HTML5 for a while. I saw a reference to CSS4 yesterday and I screamed in horror.

But I'm thinking of doing something similar for my layout. I use a classic typographic scale, and I like it, but all it takes is for one person to put an h1 in their post and wow, that's big. And since people making posts are thinking of their post as a discrete document, not part of an existing text that already has headings, they do this a lot.

I usually start with h3 or h4 when I post, and technically, the post should start with h4 since the subject line is a usually smallified h3.

So, I'm thinking of resetting the scale to make an h1 be about an h3 size in entries and adjusting from there. The thing I worry about is if that gives the people who use h4 and h5 too small a heading.

Using my favourite scale it would be:

h1 - 2.25em
h2 - 1.5em
h3 - 1.3125em
h4 - 1.125 em
h5 - 1em
h6 - ?

I shall try it out and see what I think.

Tabula Rasa

Mar. 7th, 2012 07:57 pm
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Saves this one for last.

Tabula Rasa is the only layout I'd ever theme. And yet no one does it, and the few that are there are just colour themes.

On the other hand, TR is the base of most of the other layouts, so it gets used. I've come to understand how this happened.

From my perspective a style has three parts:

1. The layout, which is where things are positioned and the core typography.

2. The skin, or the design or whatever you want to call the borders and backgrounds, the box-shadows and font effects, the position refinements--like the icon biting into the corner of an entry, etc.

3. The colour scheme and the background images.

Now, there's overlap between those--what's padding is it layout or skin? And what's skin, does it include the number of different colours and where they're used, or is that colour scheme?

But for me, 2 and 3 are what a theme is and 1 is the layout. But, what's happened as styles got developed is that 1 and 2 are the layout and usually the theme is only 3.

And there's technical reasons for this--if you want to have a border, you have to have the property set in the layout layer, and so on. But, Tabula Rasa has all that flexibility, and it's a natural for CSS only designers to go to town on, and they haven't done that. The CSS only people don't seem to ever want to step out of private styles.

Maybe DW should just accept that and set up a different way for CSS only styles to get made public. Set up a static site with live previews. Something. Paging through a couple of comms of code that's never been vetted seems like a lot of work.


Mar. 7th, 2012 07:56 pm
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
The oddball.

It's kind of cool looking. Very minimalist and content so far out in front it's hard to find the modules.

I think this would be popular to theme if the code got standardized.

Wondering if I should volunteer to do it? It would be an interesting intellectual exercise.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is Grey Days by asenathwaite.

This has the look of a couple of other styles, it's got the modules coloured individually which always makes me think of old LJ styles.

It's easy to read, easy to colour theme, has no big missteps and the same issues/features of all the other similar layouts.

Icon's up in the header, which makes it flow nicely, and there's some clunky spacing with topnav.

Content pretty evenly balanced with theme here.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is Shallows by dancing_serpent.

I've used this layout a lot, so I'm not sure what to say about it.

It's got good typography--lacking in line-height like everything based on Tabula Rasa is my only complaint.

There's good spacing and it only needs padding in a few places.

The style is bugged for putting on background images via the wizard, which is a shame as it lends itself to it nicely.

The icon sitting in content looks weird to me when it's on the right, but a lot of layouts have that issue.

Nice clean look, easy to do colour themes for, simple design that works well.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is Red Squiggle by Regna

I like this use of background images a lot because it's not pushing the content down just for decoration.

It's very nicely designed with a cohesive look across pages.

I notice here that there's no current style on the navigation menu. This is something only a few styles use, but I think it's a key piece of communication to the user and shouldn't be overlooked.

This layout lends itself to all sorts of themes in a lot of colours.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
At the Hop by Musyc.

I personally find all the overlapping boxes a bit busy, but within each box, things are spaced very well.

Content is balanced well with design and there's good variation in colours available.

Pet peeve, and I see this in a lot of layouts: putting a colour background on an element that contains headings and not putting any padding on the element. If your text is just flowing along with no other backgrounds, that's awesome, but text butting right up to the edge of a coloured background is uncomfortable looking.

This is also an issue with colour blocked sidebars that have no padding or margins on them that then but right up to the edge of the screen. Even on a mobile device--which none of these layouts are for, some padding will fit.

Nothing overdesigned here--the focus is really on colour combinations--and the foundation is good.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is by sarken

My username overflows the sidebar at my 16px default font with a 14px minimum. If I were choosing styles, I wouldn't look any farther.

I like the very modern look and the clever use of shadows and geometric shapes.

And hallelujah! Finally a style that just prevents you from putting anything in tertiary in two column set up. That beats letting you do it, but styling it so it won't work.

Distinctive and striking layout that needs a little attention to scalability.

This is an excellent layout for style makers to look at for tips on how to use s2 to customize your layout and extend the layout beyond the reading page.

I got some fabulous ideas from it that helped me refine mine.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is Vintage Modern by rising.

If I remember right, this is an adaptation or clone of an LJ theme.

I never noticed layouts on LJ, other than to despise the ones that blanked out the navigation links or only put them at the top of the page.

Nice clean design. I like this sidebar a lot.

Modules in tertiary stack vertically, so I presume they'd look horrible with a whole bunch.

Everything is simple and uncluttered and not overdesigned.

Room for a lot of colour themes with this one.
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is Citrusy by rising.

I like this layout a great deal. Even with a vibrant colour scheme like the theme I chose, the content still take centre stage.

The very simple design of horizontal lines and borders aids in presenting the content, not detracts from it.

There's some good spacing on the modules and everything is well spaced.

I don't like the blobbed together Tertiary modules.

The calendar--another wide one, looks not bad.

Excellent design that could take a host of colour schemes.


Mar. 6th, 2012 01:26 pm
carene_waterman: An image of the Carina Nebula (Default)
Theme is Homebrew by asenathwaite

This is very good for readability. The typography is excellent, the spacing is good and it is clean and clear.

Maybe a little too much?

It looks dated and a lot like the temp colour blocked system I used to block out my layout margins and padding.

Actually, in a one column layout with horizontal stripes, it might look really interesting. Hmmm. With each section header, primary, secondary, tertiary, footer a different colour scheme with different link colours--such fun, doing it five times!

Except none of the one column designs do horizontal modules in secondary.

Like the simplicity of it, but it needs a very smart colour design to work.
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