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Category “Meaningful Labor”

In Lieu of a Colophon

Posted Oct 09, 2011 in Design and Meaningful Labor Comments 0

A few notes about the latest redesign.


  • Still XHTML 1.0. It won’t be hard to convert the site to HTML5, but I adjusted the markup only minimally this time around. I do want to improve the site’s semantics, though.
  • See if you can find where I’m using an ARTICLE element in the markup, though!
  • Future plans include custom styling for code examples. I want to dive into more technical topics in the future.

CSS and graphics

  • Reasonably restrained use of CSS3 properties, such as text-shadow and RGBA colour (for semi-tranparent panel backgrounds, etc)
  • Fewer gradients!
  • For the first time on one of my own sites, I’ve constructed the CSS with SASS, the Syntactically Awesome Stylesheet Language, and Compass, the SASS CSS3 framework. Together, these tools make it easier to write well-structured, scalable, cross-browser-friendly stylesheets. It’s the future, man.
  • I’m also experimenting with what’s called a “semi-fluid” layout. Fixed width over 900px wide, narrowing dynamically as you resize your browser window. A Compass plugin called Susy made that possible without me going mad at the maths.
  • Next step will be to make it even more dynamic and resize to a mobile-friendly view where appropriate.
  • I’m basically not worrying about IE support right now. Feel free to let me know how the site works in your browser of choice, however.


  • Still with Textpattern, though I’ve finally upgraded to TXP 4.4.1. Still does everything I want it to. Still easier to use than any other option.
  • I do need to spruce up some of the plugins I use, though.


I count this as a work-in-progress, but I’m pretty pleased with the outcome so far.

Support the relief efforts in Victoria

Posted Feb 11, 2009 in Meaningful Labor and Hope for the Future Comments 0

Sitepoint’s 5-for-1 sale, with all proceeds going to support the bush fire relief effort in Victoria, Australia.

An exceptionally worthy cause, but it only runs until Friday the 13th of February, 2009. Help out now!

Small triumph

Posted Feb 09, 2008 in Meaningful Labor and Reciprocal Affection Comments 0

As part of the refresh, I did a bit of radical brain surgery on this Textpattern installations’s database. I first installed Textpattern pretty early on in 2004 and it’s survived numerous upgrades. Sadly, it’s also become increasingly crufty and corrupted. If you’ve ever heard me cursing about XML-RPC, then you’ll know that I’ve been unable to use desktop blogging tools such as MarsEdit for writing.

But recently, Textpattern support in Marsedit (and XML-RPC support in Textpattern) has improved markedly. And I’ve found that many of my other Textpattern sites now worked very well. But not Retrorocket. Clearly, something deranged in this install was tripping up the delicate rites of communication between the two systems. So I resolved to clear away the debris and begin again. Luckily, with my articles, comments, and permalinks intact.

This is the dawn of a new age. I hope.