Batting the bricks
That was some overwhelming feedback for the redesign and almost everyone seems to have not liked the new one. So I decided to change the background colour to pacify Arun a bit and decided to give the well a break till the next redesign ;-)
Why did I go for the redesign? To be very honest, I have been trying to get the look changed for a long while now, mainly with respect to the layout. I had the following things in mind:
1) My outgoing links are very long, so I needed enough space to accommodate them
2) I tend to [or should I write used to?] write in huge walls of text, so whatever the new design was, it had to give at least a majority of the page for displaying the text. After all I guess that is the most important element in a blog
3) The old design was a melee of tables, tables and more tables, the result being it took ages for it download even on a very fast connection
4) I have been wanting to learn CSS for a long while now and yes FC there is not even a single table in the design.
So, technically I have been at it for a while now, trying out dummy designs whenever I got the time. All the dummys were of the two panel layout type, one for the navigation and the other for the matter. But in the end it always ended up looking like the old site. So one fine sleepless morning after being up the whole night as usual with work, the two panel layout was given the boot and the three panel layout welcomed in.
In fact what happened was that I reading something on browser compatibility issues that CSS was having and stumbled on a plain three panel layout. When I looked at the CSS code, I found that it was not the sort of rocket science it was made out to be. Four more hours of sleepless fiddling around [fuelled by pure adrenalin and the excitement of learning something new] later the face that you all got to see was up.
Did a a bit more of touching up today and I guess I am pretty much there. Like it or not, i guess this is what it is going to be like for a while as I have run out of initiative and curiosity. It is liked by IE(5.x and later), Opera(5.x and later), all the browsers based on the latest available version of Mozilla and validates well as CSS 2.0 [warnings for Level 1 can go to hell].
Guess, I was aided a bit by by lady luck too as it looks reasonably the same through all the mentioned browsers. That coming from a chap like me who is not a designer and being more than a little ill equipped in the aesthetic angle of things, this is is good enough for me.
So what all went into it? Lots of reading up, the usual Photoshop, Dreamweaver combination, Top Style 2.5 CSS editor, a packet of Wills Classic Milds, a few mugs of coffee, chocolate milk, half a dozen mosquitoes that I managed to hit of the scores that I must have aimed at, at least two dozen hours of lost sleep, few centimetres of fingernails, Winamp and some good music for company.
Oh yes, here is a good tip, always as a rule edit the code in a text editor [Editplus my favourite baby!] for additional and improperly nested tags once the the whatyouseeiswhatyouget editing routine is over.
PS: A whole buncha heartfelt thanks for all the suggestions and flames, will be counting on them always. :)))