Updated Site Theme

I have finally gotten around to changing the theme for this web site.  It's still a work in progress, but it got to the point where I just didn't feel the old theme appropriately reflected the tone of the site.  So I switched to my work in progress custom theme.

Obviously the new design is very spare and minimal.  I do plan to add to it a bit, although it will remain on the minimalist side.

While I tend to think that content is more important than asthetics, this is a personal publishing platform so it sort of behooves me to have a design that is at least somewhat reflective of my preferences.  Perhaps that was true of the previous design at some point, but time has moved on.

Installed Snap Preview Anywhere (SPA)

I've installed Snap Preview Anywhere on the site. I'm not sure if that is going to be annoying or helpful. If I get negative feedback, I'll take it off.

For the time being, if you hover your mouse over the SPA icon next to any off-site link, you'll get a popup JavaScript window with a preview of the web page linked to. Seems like a lot of web sites are using SPA these days; let me know what you think.

Screen Shots of Web Sites

Today's topic is an interesting trend in web site design that needs to stop. It's the screen shot of a web application. Typically the web site for a software application will offer screen shots of its user interface so you can get a feel for the software before downloading it. Most programs on sourceforge.net offer such screen shots, and for applications that you download I think this is a great idea.

But not for web-hosted software. There seems to be a trend of offering image file (JPEG, PNG) screen shots of all sorts of web software. I've seen a lot of Wordpress theme designers do this, and today I was looking at Squarespace which is an online publishing tool. Squarespace apparently offers a publishing platform to do rapid web site development. I don't know if it's any good, but that's beside the point.

The point is that instead of offering a live demo portal to show how their software works, they post screenshots. Screenshots of a web site. That you view in a web browser. Somewhere along the line, the train has come off the rails here. If you are developing software that is accessed through a web portal, offer a demo portal or at least non-functioning versions of various interfaces. Not screenshots.