Tuesday, January 05, 2010

List Day: Five Website Improvements

While I travel down the snowy Pennsylvania Turnpike on the way back from Columbus, here is a list of the website improvements I made over the Christmas break, which you may have already noticed.

  1. TABLE-free: In some circles, the use of TABLE HTML tags for layout purposes is a cardinal sin -- you may as well have stuck your baby in FRAMESET with BLINK tags. After almost six years of table layouts, the URI! Zone is now cresting the wave of yesterday's cutting edge innovation with full CSS-based layouts. Of course, it only took six extra hours to make it look correct in Internet Explorer. Next up might be to convert the site into XHTML, which has been on my TO-DO list since October 2003.

  2. Introducing jQuery: I did a test run of jQuery in October to speed up page loads by not loading News images until they were needed on the screen (especially noticeable on the News Archive pages, where a month of posts appear together). It's now being used on the Comments page to sound the death knell for anonymity by validating that you've filled in all the fields before posting your comment. Luckily, there aren't a lot of places that this is needed, since interactivity is a very Web 2.0 concept, and this site embraces Web 3.0 by displaying the content that I think is important and forcing you to love it.

  3. No more "Words" or "Art" sections: The "Art" section was by far the least visited area of the site, and the "Words" section was the most-visited, but only by little pissants trying to plagiarize my musical research for their music appreciation papers. Hopefully this will reduce the number of Google hits I get for the search term, "a form that pits a soloist against an orchestra is called a _____" -- apparently music appreciation students don't realize that you can search for test answers without typing the BLANK. Eventually, I hope to migrate all my Photos over to Picasa as well.

  4. Cutesy Labels:
    Isn't this cute?
    Of course, these labels only achieve maximum cuteness in Firefox -- Internet Explorer ignores small height values and makes it look like a belt buckle on a sumo wrestler.

  5. Redesigned Sidebar: There's nothing inherently new on the sidebar, but I've made the presentation a little cleaner. In addition, you can now hide sections that you don't care about, like the "Old News" box -- just click on the minus icon to hide it, and the plus icon to show it again!

Teen found after meeting his 42-year-old soulmate
Burglar trips beer can alarm
Beaver attacks boy in southern Oklahoma

tagged as lists, website | permalink | 2 comments
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