09 January 2011

Still working on the revised format for this blog...

Here's a brief update for those of you having difficulty with the "new look" of TYWKIWDBI.  I've received a variety of comments about the redesign, which is based on the "Picture Window" template from the Blogspot host, using a two-column body layout and a very wide central column.  The goal was to allow images to be large enough not to require a second click for viewing.  The wider column does change the text viewing a bit;  too wide a column necessitates more lateral eye movement (or head movement by those sitting too close to their screens.)  I did get one comment that the embedded text width is easier to read than the main body text, which I think is true.

The first group of serious complaints/concerns came from readers who encountered new difficulties in scrolling down the page.  As best I can understand (and remember I'm an English major trying to do computer thingies...), the problem apparently lies with the "background" image, which is this:
It came with the template, and seemed nice enough at the time (it looks like a rural Midwestern scene as viewed by a drunk driving on the wrong side of the road..), but the reports I received were that for some of you the image didn't scroll properly, so viewing the blog pages became a "jerky" experience.  One reader sent me the following screencap of how the image breaks up on his monitor:
The background image is totally irrelevant to the blog, as far as I'm concerned.  I would be willing to remove it and replace it with a solid color or a pattern, if that will enhance the viewing experience.  It's easy enough to try.

The bigger problem has appeared this past week or two with reports by several readers that the YouTube embeds are causing major problems.  I couldn't see the problem until someone finally told me they were using Safari.  So I shut off my Firefox and opened TYWKIWDBI in Safari, and found posts that looked like these:
For whatever reason, some of the YouTube videos lose their "anchoring" in the post and drift to aberrant locations, sometimes overlapping and obscuring textual elements and links.

Now THAT's a real problem.  I think we can all agree that the reasons people visit this blog (and the reason I compile it) is for the content, not the design, and when the content becomes inaccessible, then changes have to be made.  I'm still studying and trying to research why this is happening.  At first I assumed it was because I was changed the dimensions of the videos; with the wider column I have been able to change the standard width from 480 pixels to 640, and doing that without changing the vertical height specification, and at least in Firefox it seemed to work o.k.  But I just tried fixing the Chrissie Hynde/Pretenders "Creep" embed by putting in only unmodified original embed code - and it still winds up misplaced.

The problem may have arisen because I widened the central column, but you would think the Blogspot template could handle that minor tweak. 

I'm working on it/thinking about it as best I can, in between football bowl games and playoffs and winter household chores.  I'll redo the background image first, and see what happens.  But first I have to watch the Packers' play the Eagles...

Addendum:  A message at the Blogger Help forum suggests that the wandering YouTube problem is being encountered by many bloggers (see replies at the link), in strong association with Safari usage.


  1. Looks great in my Safari

  2. My main problem with the (nice) redeesign is the. speed. of. the. scrolling. I'm using Ubuntu/FF3.6 and it's really noticeably jerky now scrolling down the blog.

  3. Hi - would you mind teribly sorting the background then? It's still really jerky/ jumpy at this end. I'm using Firefox. Many thanks xxx

  4. I've posted the question at the Blogger help forum -


    I won't change the background until I see if anyone can analyze/correct the problem. If no help is forthcoming, I'll try a different background later this week.

  5. I find the background noisy. I loved the quiet dark background of old. It was a relief to the eyes.

  6. Best of luck. I'm glad I'm not the only one having basic technical problems with their blog these days. I hope you get them ironed out without a lot of work.

  7. Firefox on an iMac user here. I like the new look, it's very clean. I didn't know there was a background; I keep the page enlarged to almost the full window. Scrolling is smooth, and videos stay put for me.

  8. Firefox on Windows: scrolling is noticeably slower; my (educated) guess would be this is due to the larger amount of data that needs to be scrolled: when pictures are larger to the eye, they are larger in KB's too. Solution: a smaller number of items per page.

  9. For what it's worth, the whole thing seems to display just fine on my laptop with widescreen display.
    Viewed in firefox, mostly, no scrolling troubles or misplaced videos at all.
    Works fine in Chrome too, just checked internet explorer, fine.
    Safari, Opera, all the rest, I have no idea about.
    On the background image, I just thought I had butter on my glasses...
    I suspect with this template that the background image is the source of most people's problems. I noticed it loads a full screen image, then loads the text areas over it, which means processor/graphics card are always busy pushing around a giant image, even if you can't see it. A plain colour background would help those with slower computers.

  10. pom, I used to have way more than 25 posts per page, and I cut it to 25 in response to requests from those with slower connections. The 25 posts represent on average 2-3 days of posting, which fits with most people's pattern of coming here q2-3 days and not having to access back pages.

    I'm reluctant to cut further to just a few posts/page because then it might look like one of those blogs where the author whores for more pageviews.

  11. Firefox with jerky scrolling.
    I blocked the background image and scrolling is fine now.

  12. The Youtube videos are still placed goofy in Safari (5.0.3 on mac; they're fine in Google chrome on the same machine). Thanks for fixing stuff up for us readers.

    I don't understand why there needs to be a background image. It's just extra data that needs to be downloaded, and doesn't get seen anyway. It's like having clean underpants; what's the point? I had no idea it was even an image of anything. I vote for replacing it with plain color.

  13. You don't have clean underpants? What will the surgeons say when you're in an accident...?

  14. I took Piper's advice and blocked the background image; it's still slower than average but workable now. Thanks!

    @Minnesotastan: who cares what kind of whore one looks like, as long as one's underwear is clean :)


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