Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Look

Well, here it is… your new and improved look for Bark Bark Woof Woof. I hope you like it.

First, I want to say thanks to my brother who is both a wizard in writing and deciphering — and often wrestling with — the codes behind the scenes that make up these sites and a relentless perfectionist. There were times when what I thought was good enough he wanted to make even better, and I’m glad he did. He also has a good sense of what works and what won’t, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. The new banner at the top pretty much sums up what you’ll find here in the blog, and the new sidebar on the right is slimmer, more efficient, and has information that will be helpful to you as a reader, I hope. Gone are some of the little widgets that slowed down the loading speed of the page, and with the gracious assistance of Melissa McEwan at Shakesville, my brother got the code that will make searching both the blog and the web a lot easier.

I’ve added a new feature that’s known in the newspaper business as “below the fold.” What that does is show you the introduction or first few paragraphs of a post, then you click on a link — in this case Fetch More… — and it will open up so you can read the rest of the post. Then when you’re done you click on the Stop That Noise! link, and it collapses back and you go on your merry way. (“Stop that noise!” was the command my dad used to give our Labrador retrievers when they barked a lot. Didn’t always work.) Here’s a post with that feature. Give it a try.

I’ve also said so long to the weather widgets since they took up space and bandwidth, and besides, if you’re in Toronto or Seattle, do you really want to know what the weather is like in Miami? I used to list a lot of directories on the sidebar that have either since gone away or no longer work, so they’ve been dispatched as well. Besides, the new layout gives me the ability to add or delete sidebar items as needed, so it’s not like they’re exiled to Fostoria.

The commenting system is an upgrade of HaloScan, and at some point the old comments will be imported. But for now, it should work pretty much as the old one did, except that now it takes you to a new page instead of the little pop-up box. You might have to register, but don’t worry; your e-mail won’t show to the rest of the world. When you’re done commenting, simply click the “Submit” button, then click the “Home” button and you’re back.

The Blogroll is still there, but it’s been moved to a separate post, so all you have to do is click on the “Interesting Reading Abounds…” link. This is another effort to clean up the sidebar, and I can also add or delete new blogs as they come and go. BlogRolling, the service I used before, suffered a massive hacker attack in September and has yet to fully recover. So, while I appreciate their effort, now is as good a time to say aloha to them.

So, here we are… a new year and a new look. Alas, all the nice new digs won’t help my writing much … what was it someone once said about lipstick and pigs? Anyway, like my new house, I like the new surroundings. It may take a little while to get things sorted out exactly the way I like them, but for now, it’s great. Thanks again, CLW.

30 barks and woofs on “The New Look

  1. Lovely to look at, delightful to read (is that an old song?) …. Good Boys! And Happy New Year to all.

  2. Each time I close and reopen your blog, I have to login again to my new JS-Kit profile. Once I login, each time, I discover that the previous contents of my JS-Kit profile have vanished. Forget it; it’s not worth the trouble!

  3. (From Steve Bates)

    Once again, Bobby, in closing the browser window and reopening your site, I have lost everything I entered. Whether I login makes no difference: my name etc. that I filled into the profile form last time is gone. I don’t have anything like cookies blocked; there is no technological reason I can think of that a commenting system could not work… and all of the rest of them DO work just fine. I’ll just comment as Guest and try to remember to sign my name manually. JS-Kit has been on my shit list for a while anyway; this just cinches my opinion of them.

  4. Okay, Steve. I don’t have that problem, and I logged out of the browser (Firefox) and everything. I came back and the Haloscan profile is there. I’m sorry about this, and I hope this doesn’t keep you from visiting and commenting. Beantown Girl would be very disappointed. 🙂

  5. (From Steve Bates)

    Bobby, my HaloScan profile never showed up here in the first place; that’s why I tried to create a new JS-Kit profile. My HaloScan profile still works fine on all the HaloScan-based blogs I’ve tried, including my own.

    I’m afraid I’m in no frame of mind to deal with obscure techie problems at the moment. And I need a glass of wine. And my corkscrew is sitting in my New Year’s Eve host’s kitchen, many miles from here. This is shaping up to be one of those days. I need a break…

  6. (From Steve Bates)

    Once again, Bobby, in closing the browser window and reopening your site, I have lost everything I entered. Whether I login makes no difference: my name etc. that I filled into the profile form last time is gone. I don’t have anything like cookies blocked; there is no technological reason I can think of that a commenting system could not work… and all of the rest of them DO work just fine. I’ll just comment as Guest and try to remember to sign my name manually. JS-Kit has been on my shit list for a while anyway; this just cinches my opinion of them.

  7. Okay, Steve. I don’t have that problem, and I logged out of the browser (Firefox) and everything. I came back and the Haloscan profile is there. I’m sorry about this, and I hope this doesn’t keep you from visiting and commenting. Beantown Girl would be very disappointed. 🙂

  8. (From Steve Bates)

    Bobby, my HaloScan profile never showed up here in the first place; that’s why I tried to create a new JS-Kit profile. My HaloScan profile still works fine on all the HaloScan-based blogs I’ve tried, including my own.

    I’m afraid I’m in no frame of mind to deal with obscure techie problems at the moment. And I need a glass of wine. And my corkscrew is sitting in my New Year’s Eve host’s kitchen, many miles from here. This is shaping up to be one of those days. I need a break…

  9. I’m going to be a dissentient voice here and say I’m not wild about the new look. It’s difficult to find things that used to be right there. Also, there’s an awful lot of dead space on either side of the content.

  10. I’m going to be a dissentient voice here and say I’m not wild about the new look. It’s difficult to find things that used to be right there. Also, there’s an awful lot of dead space on either side of the content.

  11. A wonderful job on the site, MB! Best wishes to you for the new year, the Bah Humbuggers in Tally notwithstanding!

  12. A wonderful job on the site, MB! Best wishes to you for the new year, the Bah Humbuggers in Tally notwithstanding!

  13. I’m going for the uncluttered and clean look, Michael, so that readers can see the writing and not be distracted by the periphery. Things like the blogroll are still there, just moved a little.

  14. I’m going for the uncluttered and clean look, Michael, so that readers can see the writing and not be distracted by the periphery. Things like the blogroll are still there, just moved a little.

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