Saturday, August 28, 2004

New Look (aka the joys of CSS)

I changed the look of the blog today. I was getting tired of the "default" look and decided to customize it a bit. I started with the default Blogger "TicTac" theme, and then customized it.

I now have a banner image that randomly rotates on each page reload. The featured images (for now) are some excellent panoramic pictures of the City of Pittsburgh. Some are modern, some are from the early 1900's.

I also adjusted the feeds through FeedBurner. If anyone has problems subscribing, please let me know - it should be able to handle most RSS/Atom clients with a single subscribe link. If you are a blogger, give FeedBurner a try. See the sidebar for a link.

As for CSS, I think today is the longest amount of time I spent with it, and that was only a couple of hours. It was fairly easy to pick up. What is really interesting is how you can use CSS or HTML to define STYLES at design time, and at runtime you can change 99% of them. The :hover property of the 'A' object is not accessible from script.

One of the more interesting problems I had to solve was handling text coloring for the items that need to overlay the new banners. Of course, I need to specify certain things for each image - the color of the text/links, the color of hovers over the links, and the height of the image. At runtime, I randomly select an image, and the styles are changed to match. The title of the blog becomes a hyperlink to the main page if you are on an anchored article or in the archives. Since I couldn't change the :hover, I ended up cheating with handling onmouseover and onmouseleave events.

Anyway, if you want to check out the modifications to the modified CSS, you will have to view source, since I have no idea what the direct link to the CSS file is. If you want to use it, just send me a note or something!

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