Site Change Pending – Welcome to 2011

I managed to break this site the other day when the theme I’m using (Freshy 2) decided to use a different set of options. I obviously triggered it somehow, but I’ve no idea how – and then it all got confused about which options and CSS adjunct to use, and didn’t want to work with the customize plugin and… yeah, it all went a bit Pete Tong. Given that the Freshy 2 theme is unsupported and doesn’t really work that well past WordPress 2.7 (which is pretty legacy), it’s no wonder strange things have been just waiting to occur, but I’ve got it back to a semblance on sanity (as you might be able to tell since you’re reading this, and noticing it doesn’t look a million miles different from before – apart from comment threading, promise me you won’t look!). I even backed up the entire www folder three days before it all went to hell, but when I restored the backup it’s still shafted, so the Freshy options must be stored elsewhere (like in the database somewhere)… but anyway, I digress; it’s time to shake things up.

Kicking and Screaming

I started reading about CSS3 the other day, and began knocking up examples of all the cool things you can do with opacity and 2D transitions and stuff – and it’s awesome. I had absolutely no idea you could do such cool stuff without JavaScript or Flash, and if you apply it to the experience layer (as opposed to the core functionality layer), then even if people are viewing your site in older browsers it can gracefully degrade and leave those running some archaic IE variant none the wiser that should they be seeing the site in Chrome or FF5 or such it’s got a lot more swish. I might even try some HTML5 shenanigans…

This isn’t going to change the core content for the better (sadly), but if the medium is truly the message, then perhaps by giving the medium an overhaul and a good lick of paint I can emphasize the message to a certain extent.

I don’t want to even think about how much time I could waste on 3D transitions… the sky’s the limit, ya know?

Stepping Up

So, to get the site all sorted, I have a (not especially cunning) plan:

  1. Get an offline version of the site running locally so I can twiddle the hell out of it. [COMPLETE]
  2. Rip the Freshy theme to bits, and combine all the CSS and CSS adjucts (which get pulled in and override the core styles) into a single CSS file. [COMPLETE – 2011-08-08]
  3. Remove all the cruft from the Freshy CSS and PHP. And there’s a lot of it. Tons. [96% COMPLETE 2011-08-10]
  4. Rewrite the core layout utilising CSS3 and perhaps HTML5 elements to make it look beautiful. [60% COMPLETE 2011-08-09]
  5. Bask in the radiant glory of a modern, dynamic website. [PENDING]
  6. Write good articles =P [ARGUABLE]

Speaking of which, I’ll write an article on getting an offline version of a site running soon – it actually took me a couple of hours to get everything installed, configured, database suitably modified (to keep me on the local copy at all times) & imported into MySQL etc. But now I have, I don’t have to do surgery on a live site, and can thus afford to break the hell out of my local copy, because things tend to get a lot worse before they get a lot better, and this version will still be up and running in 99% “good enough” mode.

Honestly though, CSS3 is amazing – check it out. I can’t wait to see what I can come up with =D

5 thoughts on “Site Change Pending – Welcome to 2011”

  1. haha, i just clicked on the rainbow jesus site.

    Check out the moonwalking cat in the bottom left; that’s some genius design right there, hypnotic even.

    1. LoLz! That moonwalking cat is awesome… and the background is so tranquil! =P

      Check out some work-in-progress shizzle: here.

      There’s a bunch of drop-shadow, CSS3 gradients on buttons, all transparencies (tiled .png/.gifs) have been replaced with box-shadows and RGBA stuff – it’s coming along… TBH, the vast majority of the work has been combining all the frackn CSS overides and stripping out the rubbish in the .css and .php files.

      I haven’t written the CSS drop-down menu (to be glued near the top) yet, and there’s tag-line, issues – but it’s all shaping up. The ‘’ bit animates smoothly between different colours in a 40 second loop [using an 8000 pixel wide, 1 pixel high image], too – and without using any javascript or flash – pure CSS3.

      No moonwalking cats. Yet… =D

  2. Looking good…

    Is the ‘Old Site’ section going to be renamed to ‘Ancient Folklore’ or ‘Mythology’? Or maybe ‘Age-ed Scrolls’

    Ye Olde Words from the Wise R3dux
    Two things you must know about the Wise R3dux…
    Jurassic Times
    Eroded Info

    I can keep going all day…

    1. LoL! =D

      The funny thing about the ‘old-site’ section is that it took me ages to work out how to get a category to display as a page which had posts… So I figured it out and blogged it, and then after shifting about 5 old posts over went…. Naaahh

      I will get around to restoring at least some of the old posts, because I want this site to be a record of my life in some respects, but really… the articles themselves weren’t that great, and it’s more an on-line diary than a technical resource, so I’m in two minds about whether I want an on-line diary of my late adolescence on-line in the first place.

      They say that the Internet doesn’t forget, but the wayback-machine has really patchy memories of this site, and that’s probably for the best :)

      I don’t know, the world can live without Eroded Info (as you so rightly put it), and the reality is significantly worse than the memory of those articles. It’s all rose-tinted:

      1. Yeah, I remember Chuckie Egg on the BBC Micro – it was AWESOME! Best game ever!
      2. Play said game for 2 minutes
      3. WTF is this sh1t? [Puts on Assassin’s Creed]

      But still, it is what it is – so I’ll look through it all when I have time and post anything I still like.

      I guess it’s as the saying goes – if you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map. So here we are :)

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