A New Look and Feel for My Blog

… but only subtly different. You may have noticed that all of the Science Blogs (or almost all) have changed over to a new template. My understanding is that this is mainly an underlying technical upgrade, and no so much a resurfacing, but you will notice a few key changes. The right sidebar is now the same width as the left side bar. This is important because the width of the three columns now adds up to a rational number that will normally appear as full width on more people’s screens.

Can you tell what else is different?

Please have a look around and tell me what you like and don’t like. I’ll be messing with the CSS soon. -ish.


  1. #1 Dan J
    April 28, 2009

    I like it. The column width had bothered me a bit, particularly when my browser wasn’t maximized. My only suggestion would be to move the “Blogroll” to the right column so that the column contents are more evenly matched in height.

    There are some issues with the vertical spacing in the “Post a Comment” form. (Firefox 3.0.10, 64-bit Linux) The labels for the input boxes are closer to the box above them than they are to the boxes they correspond to. The “Sign Up” button for “This Week in ScienceBlogs” breaks below the input box (though this seems to be system-wide).

    On a more technical note, I would suggest moving the JavaScript routines to external files, along with the CSS, which will decrease page loading time, as well as reducing the bandwidth usage.

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    April 28, 2009

    Yep, what Dan J said. It is nice having the columns even, and the subtle framing adds a nice touch, but it feels a bit “unbalanced” on the right. Does “SEED” reserve the right sidebar for their own use, or do you have some flexibility with it?

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    April 28, 2009

    The left sidebar is mine, the right sidebar is theirs.

    Good point about the spacing of the labels.

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    April 28, 2009

    Well, it now takes me twice as many clicks to get to the 24 hours page.

  5. #5 Silver Fox
    April 28, 2009

    Didn’t your font used to be huge? (Or was that only on my mobile?) It’s still larger than most Sb fonts, so I’m happy. 🙂

    I guess I never knew where the 24-hr page was…

  6. #6 Lou FCD
    April 28, 2009

    The center section is now squished in and there is wasted real estate (white space) on both sides of my wide laptop screen. I’d rather live with unequal sidebars. Relative widths in the CSS, anyone? Hello?

    Firefox blocks the ads, so the big stupid empty boxes in their sidebar are just big stupid empty boxes. Same as the big stupid empty box at the top of the page above your header.

    I’ll probably get unlazy enough at some point and just block those big stupid empty boxes and everything above “Greg Laden’s Blog”, so whatever. In fact, I’m annoyed enough that at some point I’ll probably get unlazy enough to have firefox use a custom CSS for ScienceBlogs.com, and dump all the Sciblogs content in retribution and just keep each blogger’s stuff. It’s the very first time I have been annoyed enough to get that unlazy.

  7. #7 stillwaggon
    April 29, 2009

    I also find it annoying that it takes more clicks to get to the 24 hours page.

  8. #8 Lassi Hippeläinen
    April 29, 2009

    I don’t need no clicks to get to the 24h feed. I’ve got it bookmarked.

  9. #9 Ian
    April 29, 2009

    My screen resolution is 1152×864, the browser window occupies 4/5 of the screen and I still have to page down eight times to see even the title of the actual blog (which is confined then to the left 3/5 of the screen even when there are no sidebars visible. I find it hard to believe in 2009 our technology is no better than this. But then I’m forced to use Windows and IE at work, so maybe not!

    If you made your icons smaller and put your lists in drop-down boxes, it would improve matters significantly.

  10. #10 AK
    April 29, 2009

    Let me jump on the bandwagon re the 24-hour page. I normally use one tab for finding posts I want to read, and a new tab for each post I find. Having to wait on two loads to get to the 24-hour page is a nuisance.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    April 29, 2009

    Ian: I cannot picture that. Can you send a screen shot?

  12. #12 clheiny
    April 29, 2009

    Complaint: Except for the top gray/black “seed media group” bar at the top of the page, the layout assumes I’m using a certain fixed size browser window, no matter what size the browser window actually is. This means that on small screens I need to scroll horizontally back and forth to see the whole thing, while in large windows there can be a lot of wasted space. It would be nice if the central column adjusted appropriately to use the available browser width. I’m using Konqueror, Firefox and Akregator on Fedora 8 on various boxes, screen resolutions 1024×768, 1600×1200, 1920×1200.

    Praise: It now seems to be respecting my default font choices, which makes it readable on all the above resolutions without a Ctrl-+ or two (which used to f-up the layout pretty badly).

  13. #13 Eric
    April 29, 2009

    I prefer the old design to this one as well. I understand there may be tech reasons for the change, but I would like to see a change back to the irrational number. ( I do so hope it was phi! A most beautiful number.)

  14. #14 gruebait
    April 29, 2009

    hmph. In Lynx, the column widths seem unchanged.

  15. #15 Benjamin Geiger
    April 29, 2009

    Could you pass a suggestion upward to the ScienceBlogs cabal?

    How about an iPhone template? It’s irritating to try to read something on Sb on the iPhone.

  16. #16 Jason Thibeault
    April 30, 2009

    test quote

    At least in Firefox, a single line blockquote seems to do something weird to the text alignment. I think it’s something to do with the way the left line doesn’t indent the quote like most other comments on other blogs do. Just testing to see if this is duplicable, and if so, will post a screenshot.

  17. #17 Jason Thibeault
    April 30, 2009

    Okay, it’s JUST the blockquote line. Intersects the number to the left, at least in Firefox 3.0.10 on Linux.