Friday, November 3, 2006

Fixing Silly Blogger

Blogger by default makes everything really narrow, which is ugly and a waste of screen space. It's especially bad on my computer at home, where I run at 1600x1200. So I finally fixed the template and now it should work better. I've only looked at it on FF1.5/Win (work box), so if it breaks things in your browser post angry comments. I'll see if I can find a way to make the comments page nicer also. Eventually I'll do something about the fonts, too; the way cute-looking websites like Blogger handle fonts is the reason that font sizes on the web are so fucked-up. It is AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD that there's a de-facto standard font size in web browsers that's measured in pixels, and it is AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD that pretty-boy web designers go around designing sites that rely on it. Web sites should use proportional sizing for most elements and point-sizing for fonts except in extraordinary circumstances (which never include body text).

Someday I'll find a way to hack up the comments page too, because I write long paragraphs and the current layout makes them really hard to read.

3 comments:

Danielle said...

Hey, I have been trying to figure out how to make the text wider on the blog... Hmmm, was it easy to figure out? (Note that I am pretty HTML dumb)

Al Dimond said...

Go to the blog settings page, click on the "Template" tab at the top. There's a bunch of CSS code in there. Look for the section marked:

/* Content
----------------------------------------------- */

Under that there's a "@media all" block. I changed that block to look like this:

@media all {
#content {
width:80%;
margin:0 auto;
padding:0;
text-align:left;
}
#main {
width:78%;
float:left;
}
#sidebar {
width:20%;
float:right;
}
}

All I changed were the "width" lines, which were originally specified in terms of pixels, which is AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD or whatever. So if this block differs from yours in ways other than the widths, only change the widths. Not too hard. What's harder to figure out is the fonts, because it looks like they employed CSS hacks that I don't understand, and I'm afraid to touch them.

Al Dimond said...

I was playing around with the running blog's template on my computer (this is my idea of a fun Saturday night), and it's mostly similar to mine in structure, but unfortunately the designer used one more pretty-boy trick that I hate: using images to get rounded corners. You can't get good-looking corners and a reasonable width without changing the graphics.

In terms of proper web design there probably are ways to get good-looking corners without resorting to fixed-width graphics or layout tables, but in my opinion they muck up the markup too much to be useful. And that's the core difference between me and pretty-boy web designers: I will never make my code look ugly to make the page look good.