Facelift For My Weblog

Minor though it may be, I’ve now given my blog a bit of a face lift. The design itself is still pretty much the default from MoveableType, but I’ve done a little more with colors. I also added a little bit of Mozilla specific CSS. While the page is certainly still functional in Internet Explorer, it looks better in Mozilla based browsers. CSS really is a beautiful thing once you figure out how it works (I remember it taking quite a while for me to even want to make the transition, let alone actually do it… I probably still haven’t, completely). In addition to the front end improvements, I’ve also made a couple on the semi-backend (eg, not the MT code, but not just CSS). I finally figured out how to make it so links show up in syndicated versions of this blog (this was quite a problem in my last post). In case you’re curious, it was as simple as changing <$MTEntryExcerpt encode_xml="1"$> to <$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$> in the RSS templates. That also has the side effect of having the entire post be syndicated (at the option of the syndicating site) instead of just the first few characters. The other backend thing I did was made the new archive pages (’03 and ’04) much easier. Using a template modules and include statements, I was able to greatly reduce the amount of “code” required to make a calendar. In fact, all I need is:

<!-- JANUARY_2003 -->
<table border="0" cellspacing="4" cellpadding="0">
<caption class="calendarhead">January 2003</caption>
<$MTInclude module="CalendarDOW"$>
<MTCalendar month="200301">
<$MTInclude module="CalendarDays"$>
<!-- /JANUARY_2003 -->

That’s still a lot more than should be required had a better templating system been used. It would be nice to have all that layout type stuff in one template module so I could just say something like <MTInclude module="Calendar" month="200301"> and still be able to get my own layout, but I this is still better than what MoveableType uses by default.

UPDATE: I was just looking at the 2004 Archive page. With this entry, I’ve now posted more in the month of December than I have for the entire other 11 months of 2004. Kinda sad, isn’t it?

2 Replies to “Facelift For My Weblog”

  1. Jake,
    Well I really mean Mr. Steenhagen, we all missed you at the family christmas this year and we are all thinking and praying for your safety. Nothing too exciting happened, Grandpa and Grandma seem to be doing very well with all things being considered. The weather here has been very, very cold (-1) on sunday in G.R. I personally want to thank you for risking your life for the greater good. Thanks!! We are all proud of you and can’t wait to see you back home again.

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