Candle In No Wind

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
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All the controversy with the design awards at the Indibloggies reminded me that I'd made updates to my own blog's design more than four months ago, and had been sitting on them since September. So here it is.

I did make a few minor tweaks between going live with my previous template and now though, so the following is a summary of all changes since June 2005.
  • The most obvious change, of course, is the new template theme. The candle in the background is a public domain image I got from PD Photo.org. I used The GIMP as usual for all image manipulation.
  • The second most obvious change if you're not using Internet Explorer is that the blog seems to float over the background (which remains fixed). The effect is based on the Complex Spiral demo by Eric Meyer. The effect breaks quite badly in IE because of a bug in Microsoft's implementation of CSS, so I used special styles to override it for IE 6 and below. The result isn't especially great to look at, but there's no other way out without using JavaScript. So if you want to see how I envisioned the design of this blog, please use Firefox. Any other standards-compliant browser should work fine too, of course.
  • You should no longer have a horizontal scrollbar if you're using Firefox at a screen resolution of 800x600. Other browsers seem to have a broken implementation of min-width and max-width, so if you're not using Firefox, you'll still need to scroll horizontally. Firefox users at a higher resolution will see a wider layout.
  • You can no longer make the Sidebar disappear, though sidebar sections still collapse (try clicking on the section title). I have the feeling most of you weren't even aware that this was possible before, but with the fixed background, IE made the effect difficult.
  • Haloscan trackbacks are gone. I wasn't really using them anyway, so I replaced them with Blogger's back-links (This was done a couple of months ago).
  • The blog should look better on machines without Verdana if you have the Bit Stream Vera Sans font installed. I had noticed that browsers without Verdana made this blog look quite ugly. (This change was made in July or August last year)

The change took between 24-30 hours to implement, more than half of which went into creation and tweaking of the images. The rest was mostly spent tracing and getting around different browser bugs (most of them IE of course, though Opera did give me some trouble).

Barring some minor html layout tweaks, this is mostly a CSS update, and a pretty simple one at that. If anyone is interested in using or modifying this template for their own blog, let me know and I'll be glad to share it with you.

This blog template was tested on Firefox 1.5, IE 6.0 and Opera 8.5 on Windows XP. I tested it on Linux a long time ago, and I'm hoping nothing's broken since then. Of course, I could easily have missed something (and I know that 2-3% of you use other browsers like Safari and Konqueror), so if you see something breaking, please let me know.

The old design is still available at Geek Whorled - my dormant technical blog.

Now, back to regular (or should I say irregular?) programming.

10 comments:

shilpa said...

nice design...liked the candle bit a lot...am a regular 2 ur blog...love ur celestial conversations and ur short stories.very cute

Aditya Bidikar said...

The candle's rather nice, but I didn't like the black background. The earlier design was more relaxed and welcoming, I feel. But maybe that's just because I like the colour blue.

Anwin said...

awesome design dude...

Deaths Head Roy said...

Nice work dude.....great floating image at the background...the colour combos are also good.....good to know that you also did this without IE in mind...(Any other standards-compliant browser should work fine too, of course.)good one....
am interested in the CSS or code for this template..

Anonymous said...

Fundoo design... absolutely love the candle :)

Kusum Rohra said...

nice background :)

Irregular programming.....heheh

Rajesh J Advani said...

Shilpa: Glad you liked the design. And thanks for the nice words about the fiction too. Hope you keep coming back.

Aditya Bidikar: I know what you mean about the black background, but I can't seem to picture a candle having any effect on anything but black. So I made sure that that at least the post content itself is at least on white. Of course, once I came up with it, even though I love blue myself, I kept thinking that the moon background feels so desolate and dead. Lonely. No?

Anwin: Thanks man!

Deaths Head Roy: If you're interested in only the technique, check out the complex spiral demo I linked to in the post. If you'd like the template itself, let me know if there's some way I can mail it to you or upload it or something.

Anonymous: Thanks!

Kusum Rohra: Thank you!

Deaths Head Roy said...

Thanks dude.....well, i can hack and i can crack, but never CSS..so send me the code and will hack it with Anwin's help.....you can mail it to me at

naveenroy.13 at gmail dot com

Rajesh J Advani said...

Deaths Head Roy: Sent! :)

The file I've sent you should be work by directly pasting its source into your blog's template. Assuming of course, that you try this on Blogger.

Put in the images of your choice, edit the blogroll/selections sections to your taste), and add more sections if you want. It should work right away.

If you want to use the same images as on my blog, download them from the photobucket URLs, and host them wherever you want to. I'm offering the images in the Public Domain (just like the original was).

Let me know if you need any help.

Deaths Head Roy said...

Got it, thanks.....will try to hack it over the weekend and update the blog asap....