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Please Stand by: Theme Change

By Shamus
on Friday May 17, 2013
Filed under:


I went to make a minor change to my theme, then realized I’d broken something, then realized I’d have to fix something else to fix that, and then realized this entire idea needed more testing.

So yes, the theme is a little wonky. I’m posting this message here so this entry can be a lightning rod for all the “OMG WHAT DID YOU DO!?!?” messages that show up when I break something. I appreciate knowing when things go wrong, but it does make things strange for people perusing the archives years later. Also, it makes it hard for me to find the little bits of advice people give me, since they’re filed under some unrelated post.

This was a classic programmer blunder. At 41 years old, I totally knew better. You think “It’s such a small change. I shouldn’t need to do a full round of testing for something so minor.” Then once it’s in place you see the unintended consequences, and you’re faced with the choice of rolling back changes (a pain) or making panic-mode hotfixes that will probably make things worse.

Anyway, yes – I am aware that things are a little wonky. The site should still work, post headers will just be out of alignment. Readability should be just fine. Provided you’re not trying to read the post header.

Remain calm and browse on.

Comments (30)

  1. Johan says:

    Yeah, feels odd, trying to search archives by month lists no links to click on for the posts

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    These..banners…that you are creating,they seem like they could replace everything on the main page.But then again,would that be wise?It sure would look more compact,but I dont think it would be as functional.

    But having both the banner and the video does make spoiler warning entries look way too crowded.

  3. GM says:

    is the background brighter? hmm that tires me out.

  4. steves says:

    “It's such a small change. I shouldn't need to do a full round of testing for something so minor.”

    Yeah. You really shouldn’t. Sadly, any reasonably ‘mature’ system will ensure you have to, age be dammed!

    Anyway, just as an aside, why doesn’t this site have a favicon? You can make a dinky little dice icon surely? I’m just seeing the generic ‘folded corner document’ thing in Chrome right now.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      It does have a 20 sided die favicon. I don’t know why it’s not showing up for you.

    • Humanoid says:

      Shamus is just giving us a practical demonstration of the code control practices that resulted in the Diablo 3 bug discussed in yesterday’s Diecast.

      But yeah, hasn’t been a favicon for a while I think, besides what’s cached on users’ machines. If possible I’d like to see the forums have a different favicon than the blog, just for differentiation’s sake.

      • MrGuy says:

        ISTR that favicon was a casualty in the Great Cache Crash of ’13. Something about it being a huge percentage of hits, so it was suspected as a possible slowdown cause and disabled (and/or moved out of cache). No?

    • mwchase says:

      I just cleared my cache, and I’m getting a favicon in the tab, but not the address bar, which seems to be SOP for Chrome on Mac. Oddly enough, when I go places on the site without redirects, the favicon only shows up when there’s a www. first, not just starting the address with shamusyoung.com. But I’m willing to bet that has nothing to do with anything here.

  5. broken says:

    GAH! What the hell is that?! That image, what the hell is that? Must click video to watch on youtube. But doesn’t appear to be youtube? What is this creature? Must click but mustn’t? Twisted creature from beyond space, begone!

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Agree VERY MUCH, the lack of a play button in the center confuses me, I keep clicking the image but the articel doesn’t play? Needs debugging, my OS is Firefox and I have a Sony computer, does this information help? :/

  6. Steve C says:

    Looks fine to me. I’m guessing what I’m seeing is what you intended.

    One problem though, the site is *exceedingly* slow. Like 30sec to load a page. Same thing applies to shamusyoung.com/forums. It’s super slow even slower than it was a month+ ago when there were the slowdown problems.

  7. I like the overlay look on the title/name/comment count, very nice looking indeed.

    A few suggestions though.

    The 1 pixel wide line/border around stuff. Make that 2 pixels (or em unit) and set it’s opacity so it lets through just a little of the background.
    Try a opacity of 0.75 (75%) as a starting point.

    Also the blue gradient bar at the top and bottom of the site. Just remove them, just make it black like the rest of the header and footer is. And then play around with the opacity of the black so the dice is seen a little through it.

    That would make everything look quite slick in my opinion.

    Oh and the link color/hover color in the footer is a tad wonky. The blue is way to dark there and the text vanish when hovered over.

    I can’t see the favicon (just empty/blank) in Firefox, in Chrome however it is shown.
    I can’t see in the page code, I’d suggest using that as relying on browsers to poke http://www.shamusyoung.com/favicon.ico is more of a hack (that all browsers support funnily enough) and may or may not work in the future.
    The link rel does allow per page/article icons if that would ever be a thing, or section icons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon

    As noted both Firefox and Opera the root favicon support is optional and may be disabled. (I haven’t in my Firefox, so not sure why it’s not working) *scratches head*.

    Actually it seems the root favicon has the text <– and –> in it, so how my Chrome is able to show the icon I have no idea as there is none… o.O

    • anaphysik says:

      Since we’re talking that stuff, it’s oft bothered me how the header image doesn’t display properly. Because it’s transparent, and because of the black background colour, the black interstitial text (Shamus Young) isn’t actually visible.
      Here’s what I’m talking about: http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/wp-content/themes/Roller/images/logo.png

      Maybe that was meant as a hack-fix to remove the interstitial, but I actually liked the look of it :<

      That being said, the reflection of 'Twenty Sided' really does look good on the black background. Changing the black background would be /easiest/, but I think the /best/ solution would be to change the text colour on the 'Shamus Young' interstitial.

  8. ehlijen says:

    Funny picture :) Did you make it? If not, where is it from?

  9. SlothfulCobra says:

    The category pages don’t seem to work. They just show a bunch of blank grey boxes.

  10. Duneyrr says:

    I would like to suggest a shorter header image for posts containing embedded videos. It keeps any text in between from seeming squashed between two vibrant images, keeps the site more compact when scrolling, and could help maintain the visual flow. Otherwise everything is shaping up nicely!

  11. X2-Eliah says:

    The banners look like youtube video inserts, btw, with the top+bottom shaded rows. This will take a few days to get used to.

  12. Kilt'd says:

    Site seems to be loading fine, but I’m having some trouble with the archives. Specifically, I’m looking for the Autoblography posts, and the page for entries tagged ‘autoblography’ isn’t showing any links – just grey boxes. The same search worked fine before the changes, so I figured I should mention it here in case I’m not the only one having this or a similar problem.

    EDIT: So far this issue seems limited to the page I reached by clicking the ‘autoblography’ tag. Standard searches with the site’s search function operate as normal.

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