First things first:
- Is everything working for everyone? No weird spacing issues, two content spaces running into each other, etc?
- Would you prefer the permalink pages to have more space by not having the right link bar there?
- Please give me suggestions on how the comments should formatted. I’m not really happy with the way they are right now.
- Don’t be shy in speaking up about any other issues you have with the design; I may not take your suggestion but then again, I just might.
I have to say, creating a WP theme has given me a new insight into divs. And a renewed love for my tabular design style.
You see, I got into webdesign right around the time when NetObjects was a hot program. Not that I used it, mind. Horror of horrors, I went from hand coding to using FrontPage. I know, I was young and lazy. But my mom’s partner was writing the new version of the NetObjects manual, and he was the one who had taught me code, so I was infulenced by his design style. In other words, tables were my method of control; through them I made sure the content was exactly where I wanted it, how I wanted it.
When I got back into hand coding and learned to use CSS, you can imagine my inner control-freak’s glee. Tables + CSS positioning = wickedly cool overlapping content. Look at this theme. Or Shrub’s main one. Tables are what makes my designs go round. So, as you can imagine, working off of strictly div-based themes as templates threw me for a loop. I procrastinated for months, having a few false starts that never worked out. And then the lovely Monkey over at Sudden Nothing showed me the design she was working on (it’s coming out quite welll; I can’t wait until she unveils it) and wham I got the design bug.
A night in Photoshop, a day in temporary-page development, and a few more in porting it to WP code (real content doesn’t exactly measure up the same as the fake placeholders) and I had my theme up and, mostly, running. “Divs are great!” I was thinking to myself. “Best used with tables, not instead of them, though.” Oh, if only I had known how prophetic my thought had been.
I go to bed, wake up and fix a commenting issue, and then am greeted with no less than 3 people (Buffy e-mailed me) telling me that my carefully coded right navigation bar was overlapping the content in IE!* I was annoyed, but not too much so because I didn’t want the div to be outside the main content box anyway, and my one attempt to put them inside of it brought on a nasty disaster in the form of my width constraints not working. I also noticed that half the time the padding on my left bar would work just fine and the other half it would screw up and be ugly. Divs can do many things, but provide adequate spacing for complex designs is not one of them.
So, fast forward to today. I get home, take a shower, then roll up my sleeves to fix the problem. Having had lots of experience with table spacing, it didn’t take me all that long to get the design working like it was supposed to. Tables have saved the day yet again.
I don’t think I’m going to give up my tabular design for a div one; it’s just not practical for the crazy stuff I like to do with my layouts. Still, this experience has given me a new appreciation for divs and what they can be used for. They’ll be making a comeback in future designs, but within the confines of tables, that’s for sure.
* A perfect example of why I hate IE. By not using W3C standards it makes coding for multiple browser compatibility a nightmare. Microsoft, please die. Or, better, yet, stop letting IE suck so bad. Also, people who use IE: get Firefox it r0x0rz browser b0x0rz.