Why did I redesign this site for what seems like the seventieth time? (It’s actually the fifth.) Partly because the code was getting really crufty and needed a good scrubbing; partly because the layout I had felt kind of cluttered, and I wanted something that gave the text a little more breathing room; mostly, though, I did it because I had about a hundred pages of reading for class that I wanted to put off.

Now that the design is up, though, I’m not sure how much I like it. The previous design was warm and friendly; this one is kind of cool and standoffish. The thing I do like is that the page feels a lot less crowded than before. Generous helpings of whitespace make me happy, so I’ll probably keep the layout around for a while. Don’t be surprised, however, if I suddenly splash some random colors onto the page to counteract the grayness of it all.

The pages seem to pass validation, and the layout seems to check out ok in all my browsers, but you can never really say for sure. Incidentally, I’ve come to the conclusion that supporting IE 5.x is not worth the trouble, and can pretty much guarantee you that this site will break in that family of browsers, as well as in IE 4.x or Netscape 4.x, if anyone’s still using those. It should, however, degrade gracefully in non-CSS text browsers such as Lynx, Links, or W3M. As always, let me know if you see anything funky in your browser of choice.

Also, I recently upgraded to Movable Type 3.15 and just now got around to fixing the (horrendously complicated) commenting form so that it respects TypeKey logins. If you don’t know what TypeKey is, don’t worry about it, it’s not important. I also noticed, much to my embarrassment, that while I’ve had Trackback enabled all this time, I haven’t exposed any URLs or autodiscovery code so that people could actually use it. That’s fixed now. You know all that stuff I said yesterday about weblogs providing “much simpler tools” for people to build home pages with? Yeah, so much for that.

At any rate, now that I’ve finished the redesign, and the bugfixes, and updated the “about” and “link” pages, I think I’ve had all the site maintenance I can stomach for a while. I guess there’s nothing left to do but homework now.

[screenshot of Design #5]
Halfway through converting the templates, I realized that I didn’t have any screenshots of my old designs. That made me sad. So here’s a shot of Design #5, for posterity’s sake.

Postscript: I’ve also added a link to my del.icio.us page, which seems easier than letting articles and sites pile up in my bookmarks and then flushing them out in a big post once a month. If I was clever, I’d figure out how to do some sort of “weblog within a weblog” thing. Maybe later.