Saturday, 13 February 2010

Diary: 13th February 2010

Blog Maintenance
I have been spending the last couple of days creating a custom template for Chapter & Metaverse. The free templates you get with Blogger are not very awe-inspiring, and other 3rd party templates did not do what I wanted either.

I always found that Blogger templates were quite narrow, and with the standard configuration being 2 or 3 column layouts, with things such as My Profile, Links, Archives etc in the side columns, leaving the main column even narrower still for blog posts, and left looking something like a newspaper column.

There are single column templates available, and I tried all these, but the problem then occurs of where to put My Profile, Links, Archives etc. If you place them at the end then it can be a long scroll to get to these frequently used gadgets. I thought the answer would be simple, just have a header with a menu bar or tabs underneath, and place the My Profile, Links, Archives etc. behind menu buttons or tabbed pages. Alas, Blogger does not permit this directly, so some clever workarounds are necessary.

Another problem with Blogger is that if you use a custom header image, with the name of your blog in that image Blogger still insists on overlaying the image with the name of the blog. It will not allow you to have a blank field in the Blog Title when in Header Edit mode. Again, a neat workaround enables the Blog Title to be hidden.

So I invested in some commercial software to design my own Blogger template, Artisteer,  and I am just getting to the stage where the termplate is looking, and behaving, as I want it. Just a few more tweaks...

I hope to have the new suit of clothes for Chapter & Metaverse ready by tomorrow, Sunday 14th February, so please bear with me.

New Blue Mars SDK, 2010-2-12
Avatar Reality announced another updated SDK yesterday. Full details in the Forum post.

Happy Valentines to all,