Version 3

05 February 2007

Geek & Mild Version 3Welcome to Version 3 of Geek & Mild. (If you’re reading this via RSS feed, you may want to visit and check out the changes!) This version represents the third redesign since the site launched 18 months ago, and but is the first major update in terms of graphics and presentation.

(A big thank you goes to The Wife™ for enduring my “code-comas” and late nights while I obsessed over the redesign.)

What remains

What you won’t recognize as being new is the format I display entries on the homepage. I opted to stick with the Kottke-/Gruber-esque inline display of both links and blog posts. Now links are identified with a neat, little leaf decoration. Posts are now fully displayed on the homepage, requiring no additional clicks to read to entire article.

I also chose to keep a streamlined homepage design rather than bog it down with needless badges, referrals, widgets and other typical blog paraphernalia. Yes, I added a Flickr Image Stream, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves …

What’s new

Obviously the biggest change is the design. I wanted to go with something bolder, but didn’t want “Web 2.0” or 18px Helvetica. I chose black, grays and white because I wanted photos and inline images to pop on the page. The serif type I selected also seemed to lend itself nicely with the plain blacks and grays. I kept the subtle yellowish highlights of previous versions – I think it was part of whatever “brand” had been developed.

Another big update is the implementation of live comment previews. Previously there had been no way to preview your comment before submitting it. That made for unsure interaction with commenting, and caused frustration with the way Textile formatted comments. Now, everything’s previewed while the user types, even the Textile formatting.

With this version I really wanted to make my archives more readily available. Since Geek & Mild had accumulated 18 months worth of posts, I felt it was worth it to create a stand-alone archives section. The previous 30 posts are listed first, displayed as “The Last Thirty.” After that is the Topics and Archives listings.

I admit the archives section is still infantile. Search capabilities are coming soon (I had to launch this version first, in order have a live URL structure to work with), and I’m brainstorming ways to transition to using tags for easy browsing of relevant interests. Be sure to check back often, as changes to the Archives section will probably be rolled out weekly.

The technical

The more I use ExpressionEngine for a variety of different projects, the more I love it. This blog is actually more complicated than it looks in terms of code. Still, the flexibility EE provides made creating revamping it a joy. My goal is to open up and share the source code, showing how and why each page works the way it does. I’ll do this over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, though, feel free to peruse the HTML/CSS yourself and ask questions.