Lojic Technologies

Archive for the ‘web design’ Category

Tarski WordPress Theme

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Tarski Theme

I’ve switched to the Tarski WordPress theme for both this and my personal blog. Thanks to Jordan for the tip on the theme and for helping me to get up to speed quickly. I think Tarski is a nice theme with a reasonable set of configurable options. Being able to easily specify a custom style sheet is a big plus. With a couple of lines of css, I was able to widen my page enough to fit most of my code snippets.

After the theme switch, I took some time to reduce my category list considerably and use tags in place of the deleted categories. I also added category counts to provide some useful feedback.

Comments Plugin

Thanks to a comment on Jordan’s blog, I grabbed a simple plugin to change the text that’s displayed when there are no comments from “No comments” to “Add a comment”. The former could imply that “no comments are allowed” vs. “no comments exist yet”.

Just drop the following code in wp-content/plugins/change_no_comments.php and activate the plugin in the admin UI:

<?php
  /*
  Plugin Name: Change Comment Text
  Plugin URI:  http://tarskitheme.com/
  Description: Change comment text to something else.
  Author:      Benedict Eastaugh
  Version:     1.0
  Author URI:  http://extralogical.net/
  */

  function change_no_comments_text($text, $number) {
    if (0 == $number) { $text = 'Add a comment'; }
    return $text;
  }
  add_filter('comments_number', 'change_no_comments_text', 10, 2);
?>

WordPress as a CMS

Next I’ll be testing the boundaries of WordPress as a general purpose CMS. My initial assessment is that even though I much prefer Ruby over PHP as a programming language, the maturity, ease of use, feature richness, availability of documentation & developers, etc. of WordPress outweighs the disadvantages of the implementation language for a large set of clients.

Written by Brian Adkins

March 10, 2009 at 1:32 am

Posted in communication, web design

Tagged with , , , ,

www.lojic.com facelift

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I created Lojic Technologies in 1998. Over the years I have occasionally worked full time at the company while consulting, and at other times I just kept it active to be available in the future. Since I’ve never needed to market myself, I simply threw a web site together as a placeholder.

Now that I’ve been full time with Lojic Technologies since October ’06 working on several web applications, I’m getting to the point of needing a better web presence, so last Saturday, with some help from my right brained wife, I gave the old site a face lift. It’s still small, and simple, but I think it looks a bit better now.

Besides the cosmetic changes, I also moved from a static site to Ruby on Rails and switched to XHTML 1.0 Strict.

Old Version

New Version www.lojic.com

I’ve also added a link in the sidebar now that the site isn’t an embarrassment. I’m quite pleased with how easy it was to get a Rails app running on Bluehost. I already host this wordpress blog there, so I thought it might be difficult adding a Rails app into the mix without clobbering each other, but it was quite simple (after spending hours researching it 🙂 )

The site is almost entirely static except for the contact form. I finally arrived at a nice way to host a (mostly) static site with Rails, but I’ll have to blog about that in a later entry.

Written by Brian Adkins

August 6, 2007 at 8:27 pm

Posted in business, communication, web design

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Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML

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I first noticed the covers of the “Head First” book series from O’Reilly a while ago, and I thought they looked unprofessional and simplistic, so I never really looked into them. Interestingly, I try to be careful about not being biased by nice book covers, but I think I’m more susceptible to dismissing books with “bad” covers.

I researched HTML books recently to help my aesthetically gifted wife get started designing web pages and the Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML title got great reviews on Amazon, so she picked up a copy.

I thought I’d flip through the book, and I ended up reading the entire thing 🙂 I really wish this book was available years ago when I started coding HTML; it’s an incredibly well written tutorial. It has a very unique style which the authors spend quite a few pages explaining:

Based on the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology, learning takes a lot more than text on a page. We know what turns your brain on.

After reading the book, I tend to agree with their approach. It was a very fun and informative read. Most of the book was review for me since I’ve spent years learning this stuff the hard way, but there were a handful of excellent points I learned from the book, and I understand a lot of the foundational aspects of XHTML & CSS much better than I did before. Expecting a newbie to get through a typical HTML reference book is unrealistic IMO.

For anyone wanting to learn the basics of (X)HTML & CSS, or would like a good review, I highly recommend this book. I don’t know if the other books in the “Head First” series are as good, but I’ll certainly consider them in the future based on my experience with this one.

UPDATE: I have found one thing to criticize about the book. The index leaves a lot to be desired. This is a particularly grievous deficiency with this book since it is organized as a tutorial as opposed to a reference book.

Written by Brian Adkins

July 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Posted in books, web design

Tagged with , ,

Which doctypes are being used?

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In trying to decide which doctype to use for my new web apps, I thought I’d see what other sites are currently using. Here are the results in order from least to most leading edge:

No doctype at all

HTML 4.0 Transitional w/o URL

HTML 4.0 Transitional Loose

HTML 4.0 Strict w/o URL

HTML 4.01 Transitional w/o URL

HTML 4.01 Transitional Loose

HTML 4.01 Strict

XHTML 1.0 Transitional

XHTML 1.0 Strict

XHTML 1.1

Conclusion

There are enough mainstream sites using XHTML now, that I feel it may be ready for prime time. Since I don’t have a lot of legacy pages to deal with, I’m going to use XHTML 1.0 Strict.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">

Written by Brian Adkins

July 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Posted in web design

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Douglas Crockford: Theory of the DOM

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Here’s a set of 3 videos by Douglas Crockford on the DOM that were in between his JavaScript and Advanced JavaScript presentations. Pretty basic material, but you may find a few helpful hints. A few comments:

  1. Comment hack for JavaScript hasn’t been necessary for 10 years!
  2. language=javascript has been deprecated
  3. type=’text/javascript’ is ignored if you use the src attribute
  4. remove any event handlers of a node before deleting it due to MS garbage collection incompetencies
  5. avoid trickling, bubbling is where the action is

Theory of the DOM Part 1 of 3

Theory of the DOM Part 2 of 3

Theory of the DOM Part 3 of 3

Written by Brian Adkins

May 17, 2007 at 7:04 pm

Posted in programming, video, web design

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35 Designers x 5 Questions

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35 designers. 5 questions. 5 precise answers. Result: 175 professional suggestions, tips and ideas from some of the best web-developers all around the world.

In the end we’ve received more answers than we expected. The results – over 80 CSS-based tips, design ideas, suggestions, fonts, design-related books and online-magazines – are listed below. It’s interesting to know, how designers work their magic. It’s interesting to know what you can actually learn from them.

35 Designers x 5 Questions

Written by Brian Adkins

May 8, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Posted in web design

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