Progress Report: Blogroll Done

February 12:

Okay, now the Blogroll should work. Apparently the problem was, WordPress doesn’t like people using HTML, or doesn’t trust people to use HTML, and it kept adding extraneous code every time I saved it.

Regarding the fonts: apparently there’s nothing to be done about the grey default text; but I was able to replace the annoying-to-read Grasshopper Green text with red, which shows up nice and sharp and easy on the eyes.

They allow over a hundred different font types, most of them with a dozen size options and many style options (regular, bold, italic), but very few color options unless you want to create your own palette.

I should add that a lot of people are contacting me offering help and advice, and it’s all appreciated; but I can’t get back to everybody on a timely basis, and for that I apologize.

Still on the to-do list:

Switch to “newest comments appear first”? Apparently not a popular notion
Restore the comicsidontunderstand.com address
Find a better template Maybe I have; thoughts, anybody?
Set up an RSS feed
Set up blogroll Figure out why WordPress isn’t letting me set up a blogroll Okay, so the blogroll template is refusing to take input; but they will allow me to work old-school using HTML links. Which is fine, since HTML is where my understanding of web design peaked anyway.   Not quite as “done” as I’d thought — but I know how to get it working now.
Bring the “expanded comments” widget home
Make the address box show the comicsidontunderstand.com address
Get a consensus on the “like” buttons
Look into acquiring cidu.us
Find out whether anybody hates the Grasshopper Green text as much as I do

Anything I’m forgetting?

89 Comments

  1. Secondary: Make the address box show the cidu address

    Bill, I’ve used the “set primary domain” switch (that I emailed you a screenshot of) on my own WordPress.com tryout site. It takes effect instantly (because it is just on their server that something changes, no need to propagate thru DNS) and allowed me to change back and forth several times without balking or causing any problems. In fact, no observable effect on the appearance at all, just the way the site name appears in the browser location bar.

    And I’m that sense, no interaction with the Theme at all. So no need to be super cautious or worry that the theme should be finalized first.

  2. BTW, did you already switch to a new theme on tryout? I’m on my phone at the moment so all I’m going by is that some colors look different : I’ll look forward to seeing it on a full desktop.

  3. Wow, that is clear now that I am at desktop! so this new one must be what KN was remarking, with the wide left column.

    The “Older comments” / ” Newer Comments” arrows are interesting; maybe good, maybe not, we can see.

  4. Switch to “newest comments appear first”??

    Please don’t do this. It would mean scrolling down to find the
    most recent but not yet read message. Then reading that and
    scrolling up to the top of that message, then to the top of the
    next message. Repeat scrolling up and reading down until we’re
    back at the top.

    As it is, I scroll to the point of new (to me) entries, and read
    *and* scroll downwards, just like when reading anything else.

  5. Yes, Mitch4, I’m test-driving a new template. Actually, I previously tried three others, but they weren’t around long enough for anybody to notice.

  6. Have you tried the “Links” widget for implementing the Blogroll? It might be more automatic, even if less flexible, than the “Custom HTML” widget.

  7. Even more automatic, but much much less flexible, is the “Blogs I follow” widget. The idea is that the blog owner, as a WordPress.com user, is also a reader and can specifically Follow other blogs … on WordPress only, I think. Well, if you add this widget to the sidebar (or footer widget area, etc, whatever the theme provides), it will just list off those WP blogs as links — text links using the titles, or image/icon links. You choose between those two formats, and can place conditions on which ones to show when, but not customize beyond that. But you never entered even a URL, let alone any freeform HTML.

  8. See your email for more detail, Bill, the widget (the “Links”one) needs to hook up with URLs you put in thru yet another dam interface!

  9. Comments seem to max out at 50 before they go to multiple pages.

    Even worse: If you click on a comment from either the Recent
    Comments list or from larK’s site, it’ll take you to the first
    page of comments, rather than the page the actual comment is on.

    Well, it takes *me* there. YMMV.

  10. This new template is indeed a lot better than the previous one: it’s cleaner, and it doesn’t waste space on things we don’t need. In additon, it is extremely flexible, to the point that it may take a while for me to get used to it. Resizing the window causes it to rearrange the sections (when necessary). It took me a while before I realized that the “Recent comments” section wasn’t “missing”, I just needed to stretch the window, and they returned (to the left side: very nice to have them back there!).

    One (semi-major) “bad” feature: This template does not subdivide the thread history into separate pages. Instead, if you scroll down far enough, it loads additional threads, eventually going all the way back to the “Rebirth of the Phoenix”. This is OK for now, but will be a big problem later on, whenever it becomes necessary to dig back into the archive. The old system (random sectioning according to criteria that I was never able to decipher) was better than this “all in one soup”. Even better would be a regular pagination according to date (weekly, biweekly, or monthly, depending on how many posts seems comfortable to keep on each page).

    P.S. There’s a typo in the “Bogroll” complaint at the end of the menu, but it’s almost amusing enough to leave it as it is.

  11. If you can put any limit on the number of posts in the main page(s), that would be wonderful, and I will not complain about whatever criteria is used to decide where the breaks occur.

    I’m still getting used to the “Older/Newer Comments” links. I’m not sure I like the fact that the “default” page is the one with the oldest comments, but I do agree that reversing the order would be a bad idea (keeping the “oldest to newest” that we are all used to is better than switching to “newest to oldest”, even if the latter would mean that the default page shows the latest comments.)

    Could you check whether the individual threads could be switched to “infinite length”?

  12. P.S. There is one very annoying new “feature”: add a comment to a long thread, and you have to click a link before you can see what you just wrote (or whether it got moderated). Icky.

  13. There is one very annoying new “feature”: add a comment to a long thread, and you have to click a link before you can see what you just wrote (or whether it got moderated).
    I’m not sure I’m following this.

  14. As soon as I click on “Post Comment” for this comment, the page will refresh, and it will bounce back to the first page of (older) comments. This means I will have to click on “newer comments” to get back to this section of the discussion.

    The problem also applies to the links shown under “Recent Comments”. When I clicked on the link shown for your comment, it went to this post. However, unlike the old system, where it would jump right to the relevant comment, it showed that first page of (older) comments, meaning that the comment I thought I was jumping to was nowhere to be seen.

  15. FWIW- I love the “godaddyandthesquirrelmustbothdie” name so much that is how I am getting here each morning. I think it should be the unofficial second name of the site..

  16. I did not notice either effect with the previous template – but I’m not sure whether any threads (other than this one) had gone long enough to force the “paging” effect.

    P.S. Despite the understandable anger that we all feel toward GoDaddy, for me the extended URL is a “funny once”, it is simply too cumbersome for continued use. Is there a TLD anywhere on earth for which CIDU.xx is still available, and reasonably priced?

  17. Re “Anything I’m forgetting?” — well, there’s always incorporating this basic business plan:

    Step 1. Collect underpants.
    Step 2. ?
    Step 3. PROFIT

  18. That doesn’t matter, as long as the registrar is one that is reliable. The “us” doesn’t have to be understood as “United States”, “we” could always subjectively consider it as objectively meaning “US“.

    P.S. At one point I considered registering “kil.by”, but figured I didn’t want to have to deal with a Russian registrar, not to mention that the annual price was irrationally high.

  19. Ah, good. I hadn’t thought about .us in terms of “us.”

    I very much regret not having gotten bickel.com. I lost it, literally, by just a few hours.

  20. To address Arthur’s point, it seems comments get moved after a second page is spawned, so that some comments that were on the first page get moved to the second page. Which is incredibly stupid as far a permanent links go (once upon a time the whole idea of a URL was to be a Universal Record Locator…). It seems any new thread automatically has /comment-page-1/ in the url, and the individual comment gets a unique, incrementing number. So far so good — my permanent link to my comment is site/thread-date/thread-name/comment-page-1/#my-comment-number. But then a second page is spawned. The link to the second page is site/thread-date/thread-name/comment-page-2/, and some (I don’t know how many) comments from page 1 are moved to page 2, which totally breaks the link for those, as they change from /comment-page-1/ to /comment-page-2/ — incredibly stupid!

    From what I can tell, much earlier comments are OK, they stay where they are, their links are unchanged, and much later comments are also OK, they always were on page 2, so their links don’t change (until a page 3 is spawned?) — It’s the comments around the time of split that get screwed up, the ones that used to be on page one, but are now on page 2.

  21. There is a substantial tradition of the two-letter country codes or geographic TLDs getting used for what they suggest alphabetically.

    Probably the most famous case is Tuvalu, which controls (thru some agency) the *.tv names, and depending on the news sources you believe is either flopping or making a killing.

    Bit.ly (the name shortener service), and other *.ly domains, are apparently having troubles with the government of Libya.

    I recently noticed a popularity for *.fm domains, especially for podcasts and other audio services — maybe the intended association is to FM radio. There is some overheated promotional materials at https://www.dot.fm/ but you can see there the idea of radio or audio in general. That site doesn’t make much of it, but a lookup says the TLD belongs to the Federation of Micronesia.

  22. Personally, I preferred it when the link to the comments was below the comics. It doesn’t matter with individual comics, but with the Sunday Funnies or other groupings of comics, you either have to scroll down and read them all and then scroll back up to click to the comments page, or click first and then scroll up there to actually read the comics. Just my two cents.

  23. Wendy, all input is good.

    The bottom line, of course, is that the templates aren’t very customizable; so when we settle on one, there will be features that we like better than what we had before, and features we don’t like as much (like Grasshopper Green text)

  24. The links for Barney, Bug and Pop Culture need to be fixed. They currently have godaddyandthesquirreletc appended to the front.

  25. Okay, replacing the URLs with Tiny Urls fixes the problem. WHY does it fix the problem? Don’t know, don’t care. As long as it works, I see no real benefit in worrying about it.

    So I’ll deal with this mess probably tonight.

  26. Thanks, Bill, for already having identified the primary disadvantage of this current trial template: the puke “grasshopper” green text color.

    P.S. One would think that there HAS to be a way to edit a template and replace that color definition with something less putrid.

  27. There might be. Probably hidden in some dark corner of the Management Page.

    “Grasshopper Green” hold a special — and negative — meaning to me, because that was the official color of my first car (which stalled out on me, on a steep hill, the third day I owned it)

  28. Red is much better than the green. Note that the green still persists in some contexts, such as when you try to mark text for cut&paste. You could try a dark blue, but that tends to get interpreted as “link text”.

    As mentioned elsewhere, I’m starting to feel nostalgic for the previous “flexible” template (as opposed to this one). but I think we need to see two or three more before we start to make a selection.

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