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SITE REDESIGN

3 June 2019 - 4 minute read


You may have noticed that the site looks a little different now. I've spent the last few days redesigning it to look tidier and more consistent. It has a bit more information on it, I've rewritten a few of the paragraphs on the home and category pages, and hopefully the whole site will be easier for me to maintain. In this post I'm going to run through the most notable changes.


The most obvious one to see will be the lack of the bright blue borders. The site was originally made to look very much like my rice on my laptop, where my terminals have that blue border when focused. However, it was a bit strong on every box on the site, so I've tidied those away. It's also made it reasonable to add whole box breaks in the middle of posts, which is very nice as it means I can more easily break up posts into more manageable chunks rather than you getting presented with this giant pillar of text.

I have changed the title on the home page. It now features some pretty ASCII art text that looks wonderful on Lynx when compared to the plain text that it used to show. I hope to have some much more impressive ASCII art made for the site eventually though to show both the site logo and title.

The home and RSS links are now present at both the top and bottom of every page, meaning there's no longer the need for scrolling back up to the top to go back to the home page in the event you forget the back button exists - though I don't blame you for that as most websites nowadays are wonderfully good at completely breaking it. Each post now has the date of publishing and an estimated reading time at the top too. The reading time is taken by counting the number of lines of text (ignoring headings and lines with single characters like '}' in code blocks), and then multiplying the total by 5 seconds, dividing by 60 to get minutes, then rounding to the nearest integer. It's by no means accurate, but I think it meets some mid-point between skimmers and readers that might stop and think, follow links, or be reading whilst doing other things.

On the home and category pages, posts are now separated into separate blocks for each year, with intermediate headings for each month. The exact date is no longer present by each post, but it can still be found on the post itself. This means these lists of posts look tidier and more organised.

Links to posts now have a directory per day and I have changed the formatting of post file names. This will unfortunately break all links I have shared previously to posts, but the new style is noticably tidier. Here are a couple of examples:

/posts/2019/05/20-Plans.html
/posts/2019/05/20/plans.html

/posts/2019/05/30-Credit_card_meets_privacy.html
/posts/2019/05/30/creditcardmeetsprivacy.html

The new style is briefer and contains fewer special characters and also removes the capical letter that used to stick out a bit considering every other part of every URL was all lower case.


Other smaller changes that shouldn't affect much are that I've fixed a lot of the line breaks so now the 80 character width is used more effectively, and I'm using actual header tags for hearders rather than paragraph tags. The whole site displays noticably better on Lynx now and it's very nice to read on it.

That covers about everything I've changed. In the future, I may look into simplifying things further by writing scripts for instance that can take much simpler plain text for posts and fit it into a template, meaning I can write the posts much more quickly and need to spend far less time making sure all the formatting is right because the script will do that all automatically.


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Copyright Oliver Ayre 2019. Site licensed under the GNU Affero General Public Licence version 3 (AGPLv3).