"OK, what's up with the cows?", you might ask. Actually no one ever has asked. So I'm not saying.
I'm experimenting a bit with a new blog layout. It's black text on white rather than my customary white text on black/grey. I drew the cow in the top right using Inkscape. (Inkscape is such a wonderful program. So easy to use. )
I put this layout together from scratch in exactly 4 hours (not counting cow-drawing time). Just goes to show how easy it is to make Wordpress themes I guess.
I've gone from a sort of three-column layout to a one-column layout. This is partly / largely because I post source code snippets, and I need the full width of the screen for those.
Source code should generally go into
PRE tags to preserve whitespace. However that usually has the side effect of preventing text from line-wrapping. In many blogs with multi-column layouts, source code snippets overrun into the sidebar area, and either end up being hidden under the sidebar (thus unreadable), overflow over top of the sidebar (thus looking messy), or if you're lucky, the PRE element itself is side-scrollable like a mini frame (which is kind of annoying). In a one-column layout, I get to use the full width of the screen, which is much nicer in my opinion.
The other reason I like one-column is that the sidebar columns in a multi-column layout invariably have just a few links at the top, and then you have a 200-pixel wide column of blank space all the way down the page to the bottom. It's a bit of a waste. This layout on the other hand is still fairly readable even if I resize Firefox to 400 pixels wide.
Do users really USE most of the links webmasters put into their sidebars? If people want to look at my archives, they can probably go to an archives page. It seems almost absurd how much we try to cater to people's whims and impatience by loading up websites (and computer interfaces in general) with every single thing anyone might want to do on every single page. It ends up looking cluttered and most of those links are probably unused the vast majority of the time. I wish I know how many times anyone ever used the tag cloud I had displayed in my sidebar for so long.
If anyone has any suggestions about things that would make this layout easier to read or use, or if you loathe the new layout (or love it, I guess that's a slim possibility) feel free to leave me a scathing comment. I've tested it in Firefox 2 / 3, IE7, Opera and Konqueror. IE6 can die in a fire.