Posted in Design, Featured, Writing

My Birthday Present

As my birthday present to myself I am giving myself a new blog. Those of you who may have visited lately will notice that the design is completely different (and in progress) and many posts have disappeared.

This weekend I am celebrating my birthday by moving from one apartment to another. But after that settles down, I’ll hammer out the changes to the blog. Then I’ll be concentrating much more on writing and much less and keeping the design up to date.

So for the time being, please pardon the mess.

Posted in Design, Featured, Writing

A Call for Ideas

I realize that over the last year or two I’ve essentially killed off any readership I had here at Rough Draft. There are many reasons for that—although whether they are reasons or excuses is up for debate.

However, in the past couple of months I have been writing more and more…but not on this blog. And I think I know why. I’m avoiding it. Almost everything in my life has been rewritten in the last six months. But this blog is the same. And I think it’s time to do something about it.

It’s time to redesign.

But I’m not sure what I want to do. As in the past I’m going to contract an artist to design some graphics, but what will they be.

So I’m tossing it out to anyone who’s still listening. Anyone have any bright ideas?

Posted in Design

WordPress 2.7 and Comments

When it comes to designing WordPress themes I guess I’m not quite ready for prime time.

WordPress 2.7 was released a couple of days ago and I have upgraded. The new interface behind the scenes is nice, but I’ve been using it on (for a blog I contribute to) for a couple of weeks now.

And the functionality I was looking forward to—the new way WP handles comments—is a little more complicated to implement than just installing the latest version.

Supposedly the new version included comment threading—so that I, or other visitors can respond to previous comments—and comment pagination—so posts with large numbers of comments don’t go on and on for ever.

Strictly speaking, this blog doesn’t need either of these new features—after all, in the last month I’ve gotten about 25 comments. But as someone who designs websites and blog templates here and there for a few extra bucks, I feel it’s a good idea to understand how to use the new functionality.

Well at least so far WP2.7 comments are confusing. I carefully followed the instructions provided on for installing the new features, and all I got was an oddly formatted version of what I already had.

I guess the best way for me to figure it out is to find a functional WP2.7 theme and dissect it.

I probably shouldn’t quit my day job.

Posted in Design

Really Hating IE6

A couple of years ago I thought I was done with IE6. And thankfully so. Even my handful of web design clients, didn’t seem to care if their pages looked correct in the Jurassic browser. But now, it seems to have had a resurgence.

I recently took on a client who does business with the government and military of several NATO counties. And evidently in the government sector IE6 is still the standard browser.

And let me tell you, it is pull-out-my-remaining-hair frustrating to design webpages and blog templates that work correctly in new browsers like FireFox and Opera (and OK I guess I should throw IE7 in there among the fringes) that also work in a Neanderthal like IE6.

There’s not just a slight difference between IE6 and IE7, there’s worlds of difference. In between those browsers Microsoft fought and lost a legal battle for unquestioned dominance of the browser market. And as such, Microsoft had to actually develop a browser that met people’s needs.

So earlier today I took a look at some of my blog stats to see which browsers my readers were using to read this blog. I was shocked to learn that IE6 is the second most popular browser to access this site. Now I’m sure much of this has to do with the fact that the computers at work use IE6 so I’m sure that has a little to do with it, but IE6 users drastically outnumber IE7 users on this blog.

For anyone interested, the most common browser was “Generic Gecko”. Gecko is the rendering engine used by FireFox and many other smaller browsers, so I don’t know specifically what “Generic Gecko” breaks down to.

So I guess I can’t call IE6 extinct yet. And I guess I’d better make sure that all the website I design work well enough in IE6 to look professional.