Hi, this is Admin here (Dave’s alter ego, and the BOFH that  holds all the power. Don’t tell Dave!).  I make all the changes to how the website works.

Many of the articles Dave posts have a lot of links to other websites embedded right in the middle of sentences.  It’s Dave’s expectation that the reader will follow those links to learn more about what he’s talking about.  Recently some comments on the posts on this website lead me to believe that some readers aren’t even aware of the links.  I feel that might be because the website’s style is to bold links, but not underline them, as links usually are.  Sure, it looks great, but if it isn’t doing the job of identifying that text as a link to somewhere else, then it has to be changed.

At a recent Agile Bazaar meeting, I had a talk with a Web Designer who specializes in accessibility and standards, PJ Gardner, Founder of Gardner Information Design.  I’ve known her for a long time, and respect her opinion.  She advised me to put back the underlining of links, and I did.  It does make certain things on the website look a little less clean, to be sure, but usability is more important to me than beauty, so I’m keeping it that way.  Feel free to comment here and let me know whether you like it or not.

By the way, she also recommended I not put all those links in the middle of sentences.  I don’t know if I can do that, though, because my style depends so heavily on it, and frankly it allows me to crank out short but meaningful posts without much layout work.

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My WordPress theme is based on Andreas04.  When I implemented it on my website, though, I found all sorts of problems with it once you start shoving real content in it.  I had to tweak it quite a bit.  I’m still not exactly in love with the way the footer came out.  It was worth it, though, because I found it very hard to find a theme that:

  • Used fairly high-tech colors and layout:  Many themes use more earthy colors, or were tied too close to a topic.  My blog is way too diverse to do that.
  • Had the right color contrast: Many themes were very low contrast, with background and text colors that were very close to each other, and different sections nearly the same color.
  • Used the full page width using relative column widths: Almost every theme uses absolute column widths that use a tiny portion of the screen width, with completely dead space on both sides. Back when print was king, empty space was a status symbol, especially in advertisements.  I abhor empty space, especially on the sides of the page, especially when it’s almost impossible to find a monitor that isn’t widescreen.

Anyway, I put a lot of efforts into adding lots of tags on my pages.  While they are helpful in searching, I realized they never actually get displayed.  So I modified the index.php and single.php to display the tags in the footer area.  What do you think? Please comment.

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