16 April, 2010

Readers' Digest

I hope that you've been enjoying the new lay-out of the Half-Dipper. I've had notices from two readers that it's not displaying correctly for them, and so I'd very much appreciate it if you could please let me know if you've had any problems with the new scheme.

It should look like this:

Dipper SS
As always, clicking an image will allow you to see the full-sized version

...which it seems to do on the few computers on which I've tested it: three PCs, varying in age from (i) a crusty XP box, (ii) a decent Vista machine, (iii) a ninja Alienware "Windows 7" laptop. It also seems to display well under the Linux distribution "Suse", and the latest Mac OSX. However, I've only been using Firefox and Internet Explorer (versions 7 and 8) to test it.

Google Analytics tells me that there are all manner of browsers accessing this site, but that the most popular (by quite a margin) is Firefox. This is as it should be. Firefox is the "Fonz" of Internet browsers, while Internet Explorer / Safari are the Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham. Google Chrome is "Chachi". I heartily recommend that you upgrade to Firefox immediately, for your general browsing pleasure - installing "Adblock Plus" (a free plugin for Firefox) is also recommended, as it intelligently removes annoying on-line advertisements.

So: please do take a moment to complete the poll on the side-bar. Even if everything looks OK, that feedback would be very much appreciated. If you are having some display problems, then do please leave a comment to this thread (and please also tell me which browser and Operating System you're using).

Thanks muchly in advance.


Tuo Cha Tea said...

XP/Chrome and XP/Opera looks and works well.

Hobbes said...

Thanks, Tomas - glad to read it works on those two, as I havent had the opportunity to try those browsers.



drumhum said...

Safari + Apple OS10.6.2
works fine.
A purely personal design opinion: I'd tone down the brightness of the background wallpaper. Its currently the brightest part of the page and slightly overwhelming to me.

This would also help the side bar to look less fussy. eg: the poll you have up at the moment is perfectly readable but the words are fighting with the background from an aesthetic point of view. If the background was toned down the the "shadowed area" would benefit too.

Just my tuppence worth.
Its all looking pretty good really, - everyone is a critic aren't they?!

Brandon said...

Mr. Hobbes,
Chrome / OSX 10.6 is OK by me.

Nerval said...

Sad to reiterate this but still not working fine with me.
XP / 2Mb/s broadband / Firefox 3.5.5: scrolling down and up is very slow, and widget panels on the right are a mess.
XP / 2Mb broadband / IE 7: quite clearly better.
No idea why Firefox is having problems. Never happened to me before apart from some very elaborate Flash presentations.

flo said...

Nerval, maybe if you update to 3.6 you will have better browsing experience. on mozilla site, you may find explanations on the things that this new version improves or corrects.

scrolling "coughs" a little on any browser, but it is not a really big deal imho, so maybe it is not worth trying to modify the stylesheet. All the more as it could also be a matter of integration in Blogger (though more unlikely as it seems to have been written by someone who is familiar to Blogger). Or maybe if you imported some background image yourself it could be that it is a bit heavy or not the perfect right format ? so with a lighter version it might solve that (if the author of the template provides help he would be the best placed to see what is causing this)

Nerval said...

Thanks to Flo for the suggestion!
Upgrading to Firefox 3.6.3 eliminated the 'blurred' widget window problem but scrolling is still considerably slower than on other websites and blogs.

Arcane-Dissonance said...


I do enjoy the new layout and it provides for easy navigation throughout your not so limited achives. Many laurels shall be laid at your feet in due time ;-)

The only thing I miss from the old layout is your reading list of other fine blogs. It encouraged a good bit of laziness in myself as all manner of fresh posts by Chajin were brought before me in a fashion not unlike a gongfu portal.

Here's looking forward to many more post in the future with the spiffy new layout.


Hobbes said...

Thanks, all. Valuable feedback.

Nerval, it is especially odd to read that XP/Firefox is causing problems, as I have tried that combination the most now! I wonder what it is? When you say the widgets on the right are a mess, do you mean that they are garbled or jumbled in some way? That one is hard to fix!

Flo, thanks again for the insight. You clearly know your web-deisgn. Funnily enough, the template was just one offered by Blogger, and so I would have thought that integration would have been sorted out. That said, it was from "Blogger in Draft", and so it is in a "beta" state. I changed the backgrounds of the boxes to be black (as Drumhum mentioned, the poll is hard-to-read, but that will only be visible for a few days, and so I have not changed its background).

The background image is a good candidate for darkening, I heartily agree! Like the template, it was an example offered from Blogger. From looking at the source, I notice that it is being downloaded from a commercial artwork site. I shall experiment with taking a copy of the background myself and darkening it, rather than using the commercial version.

Thanks again, all, and toodlepip,


Hobbes said...

Dear Tyler,

Regarding the blog-roll: you are right, it was useful. I used it every day! Since I switched over to Google Reader, the blog-roll was getting out-of-date quite quickly, and so I decided to axe it.

I can bring it back if you like! I assumed that no-one was using it, and so your feedback to the contrary is very useful.



Hobbes said...

(Just looking at the background image, it is rather a monster. It doesnt even wrap on my 1920x1000 monitor. I suspect that the enormous size of the image might be causing the slow-scrolling problems.)

Brandon said...

Mr hobbes,
Regarding the blogroll, I notice that about one quarter of my blog traffic comes from links on blogger sites of friends that include me in their list.
I myself am also a big fan of google reader, but this traffic pattern seems to suggest its utility to our common readers.

Hobbes said...

Dear Brandon,

Good to know, thanks - I will reinstate the blog-roll when I get 15 mins, then.



Nerval said...

Yes, sad. The widget panel mess under FF 3.5 consisted in the characters within the panel blurring vertically (for lack of a better word) during scrolling. This appears to be sorted now with FF 3.6 but scrolling is still painfully slow. Perhaps this has to do with the background image size as you say, though I do open quite a bit of large-size JPGs for work and I've never experienced such slowing down. Oh well. By scrolling more slowly I actually pay more attention to the text :)
And yes, please bring back the blog-roll.

David Lesseps, LAc said...

Hey Hobbes

Despite my silence, I'm still reading you daily (I'm the former Davelcorp).

With the new update I can the windows labled "Recent Scribblings" and "Fellow Drinkers", but there is not any content displayed inside. The other side-bars are intact. I'm using an old G4 and running Opera as a browser. It displays just fine on my work computer (iMac with Firefox).

The other thing I miss is the old blog roll. I used to enjoy coming over to read your blog first and then seeing what my other favorite tea-blogs had been up to.

Keep up the good work. Your notes and photos are greatly appreciated.


Adam Yusko said...

Its Working fine on Ubuntu with Chrome.

cwbrynan said...

Hi Hobbes,
I could not quite figure out what was so appealing about your blog background, oh yes, it's the color of tea!
Charles (Taiji)

Hobbes said...

Thanks, chaps - blog roll imminent!

(Nice to hear from you again, Dr. Corp!)

Lynx, Jr. said...

XP and IE6: missing darker brown background and black one behind texts as well, so silver (or light grey) letters on orange background are almost invisible. I will try Vista and Firefox later at home, but suppose it will be ok.