Metapost: New year, new site design
Do not rub your eyes, O Comics Curmudgeon readers, as they do not deceive you: you are in fact gazing upon the newly redesigned version of this site! (If you’re not looking at the redesigned version of the site, reload the page while holding down your shift key to clear your browser’s cache.) Yes, I have returned, and have brought this new design as a Hanuchrismwanzaa gift to you. Three cheers to Adam Norwood for all his hard work on it, and to those of you who volunteered to beta test for helping me track down bugs!
So, what’s new with the site? Well, obviously, it looks a bit different. I’m very pleased with the new appearance. Hopefully our beta testing has stamped out any outright bugs with the new design, but if you spot any, please email me at email@example.com to let me know. (Please include the operating system and browser you’re using, along with a screenshot if you can.)
But the new site doesn’t just have a pretty face! There’s also some excitingly updated bits of functionality that you can explore!
Replying to comments. Way back when I was polling readers about what they’d like to see in the redesign, the majority came out fairly strongly against having threaded comments, so we didn’t add them; however, we have implemented functionality that makes replies a bit easier. At the top of each comment you’ll see the word “[Reply]”; click on this and a bit of HTML will be put into your commenting text box, which, when you post your comment, creates a link back to the original comment. This is easier to understand when you’ve actually played with it, but I think you’ll find it makes it a little easier to navigate through long comment threads.
The advanced archives. You’ll note that the “Archives by Comic” and “Archives by Month” menus have been relocated to the top of the site. Next to them you’ll see a link labelled “More archives”. Click on this (or just click here) and you’ll be taken to the spiffy new advanced archives page! (On the mobile version of the site — more on which in a moment — you can get here by clicking on the “Archives” link at the bottom of the page.) You can get much more granular with your searching using this page than you could before — for instance, you can find all Apartment 3-G posts from the summer of 2005 that contain the word “Margo.” Play around with it and let me know what you think! And let me know if you encounter anything that seems like an error.
Also, in my attempt to keep the front page less cluttered I moved the Random Post O’ Mystery to the advanced archives page; however, this would be easy enough to move back to the front page, if enough people request it.
The mobile/low-bandwidth version of the site. This isn’t quite new — I added a mobile version to the current live site a few weeks ago — but it’s been tweaked a bit and made to look more like the regular version of the site. It contains all the same content as the regular site, and any comments you add there will be visible to all, but it’s stripped down and optimized for smaller screens.
If you’re accessing the site using something that the Web server interprets as a mobile device — generally a cell phone or PDA — you’ll be directed to this version of the site automatically, and should already be looking at it. There is a prominent link on each page that will redirect you to the standard, non-mobile version of the beta site; you can click (tap?) on that and see which works better for you.
I’m calling this the “mobile/low-bandwidth” version of the site because I’m also thinking that people using regular computers who have smaller screens or slow Internet connections might find it an easier way to read the blog. You can switch to this version of the site by scrolling to the bottom of the screen and clicking the link that says “Mobile/lo-fi version.” So, if you’ve ever despaired that your old computer/small screen/slow Internet connection makes it harder for you to enjoy the Comics Curmudgeon, I’d like you to try this out and let me know if you think it’s a viable alternative.
Once you’ve chosen to view either the main site or the mobile site, you should always see that version until you choose to go back to the other. Let me know if you don’t!
Update: There’s currently a bug on the mobile site that seems to prevent comment posting from working there … will keep you posted on when that’s fixed. Update to the update: This is now fixed, huzzah!
New logo. OK, this isn’t “new functionality” per se, but … well, look at it up there! Isn’t it lovely? Discerning eyes will recognize the work of Francesco Marciuliano of Sally Forth and Medium Large fame. Upon looking at it, you’re probably thinking, “Geez, I’d sure like to show my love of this site by proudly wearing a garment of some sort bearing that logo!” Well, your wish has been answered, my friend. (As always, let me know if there’s another form of merchandise that you’d like the logo on, as I can add it easily.)
And that’s about it! I hope you enjoy the new design, as, if this site’s history is any indication, you’re going to be looking at it for another four to five years. I will be getting back to the serious business of comics mocking at some point this weekend — today? tomorrow? WHO KNOWS! But soon! I am looking forward to spending 2010 with all of you and Wilbur’s bastard spawn!