Random Thoughts

Slightly new design

Those of you who should happen to visit the home page, and not only this blog, might have noticed a slightly new design. There’s now a new header in place, but more important, drop down menus to the most places in the site. This should at least make it easier to get an overview of what’s available here, and maybe even more attractive to spend some time and find something of interest.

It’s still not perfect, but a step in the right direction.

I could of course have waited until I had it all redesigned as I want, but I choose – as usual – to apply changes step by step. It may be that I’ve added something new that must be included, or that all this “new stuff” requires a redesign to be effective. This time it’s the latter reason that’s behind the update.

Funny to think back on how the site has changed from the beginning.
(Warning: Nostalgia trip ahead…)

Statistics lie, but…

…when I looked at the statistics of my site, and how the browser stats have changed during the four months I’ve been with my current host, I’m a bit happy. True – it’s only telling anything about the visits to my own site, but that’s the one important to me. I also could have taken into account various sources that may skew the numbers this way or that way – but I don’t bother too much about that either. I’m not looking at getting the exact numbers as much as how the numbers change – and that’s what I’m looking at here:


September October November December
Internet Explorer 80,5% 81,9% 76,4% 74,2%
Opera 2,2% 3,0% 4,9% 8,3%
FireFox 2,6% 6,0% 5,6%
Mozilla 6,6% 4,1% 1,5% 3,0%
Safari 1,4% 1,4% 1,9% 1,9%
Netscape 2,1% 2,1% 3,6% 1,3%
Konqueror 0,8% 0,3% 0,4% 0,2%

It’s fun to see Opera and Firefox making such strides forward, and Internet Explorer losing terrain – especially since my site isn’t one which should be of a kind that attracts people interested in using standard adhering browsers over IE users. So far in January Opera and FireFox is both between 6 and 7% – it will be fun to see how this will develop in the time ahead. Hopefully, more and more will use modern browsers and drop the dinosaur.

Flashify it.

Is there a word called flashify? If not, maybe there should be…

I’m thinking of the process of turning a web page og web site in (X)HTML/XML into a site using Macromedia Flash. And the reason I’m thinking of that process, is the possibility of doing it myself. OK, not completely; just some elements – flashify light, maybe.

The part I’m pondering if I’ll change is one important part of this site: The “moon base menu” on the main page, which is the entrance point to the different areas. It needs to be updated in some way no matter what.

I know, there is the question of accessibility, too – and I won’t sacrifice that aspect on the altar of fanciness. There are three possibilities as I see it now:

  1. Directing flash-users to a page with the flash menu, and the rest getting a text or javascript menu as it is now.
  2. Include the flash menu on the page for the flash users, and text/javascript for the rest
  3. Just have a fancy flash menu – and a simpler text-menu in addition. Styled with CSS, of course.

Just sending people a flash-menu just because they’re able to see it, doesn’t mean they prefer it. So there must be a choice – and to avoid having them choose every time, utilise a cookie. (Hopefully they’ll accept cookies.) I’ll probably go for the second method – including the menu in the page – should I go for that solution and offer two different versions.

But I’m also tempted to just offer both flash and text. Doing it right, it doesn’t need to get an unneccessary double-up feeling. While the text links would offer a quick wayto just get where they want, flash could offer descriptions and details of the various choices – and maybe even extra bits, like flash animations. Or something.

To be honest, at the moment the latter option seems most attractive to me. I’ll have to give this some thought.

Lots of time…

Phew. I thought I should be early this year and make my advent calendar ready in good time before advent, so that I didn’t have to think about that these days. It’s a busy enough period as it is. Unfortunately, this is something I didn’t do – I have to make the content ready in time, competing with the calendar and the clock for a while yet. In addition to the stuff I have to prioritise before the calendar (shocking news as it is.)

I did finish the first day today, ready to be enjoyed tomorrow. So, I was quick enough – unless you live some time zones east of me. Whoops. Well – cross your fingers and hope I’ll finish the rest in good time before the first ones open the ‘presents’ straight after midnight in the following days. It’s going to be hard, but – it has to be done, and I’m the one who must do it, so wish me luck.

Starting up

OK, this is it. I’ve installed a blog, and it’s ready for use. All I’ve got to do now is… start using it.

Well – two more things would be nice, too: Make a link to it, so that it will be available for others to read, and preferably update the layout so that it looks like it belongs on the site. 😉

However, the latter part will have to wait – there are more pressing things that need to be done first. But I’ll try not to keep posting on the hold for too long.