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livredor
Widget
Monday, 18 April 2005 at 05:14 pm
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I noticed that one of the entries in the style contest has a very cool feature: the option to sort comments chronologically instead of by thread. This style is cmshaw's Wide Lines layout. I asked him how he feels about his layout being used and adapted, and he was happy for me to play with it.

So what I've done at the moment is applied it to my journal as a secondary style, and I have included links from my comments page to 'Unthread comments', so that the links reload the comments page in the chronological version of his layout. This is kind of a crude kludge for the time being; what I'd really like to do is adapt his code to my layout directly. But obviously the latter is more work, especially for a clueless non-programmer like me. So if you read my journal directly rather than on your friends page, you can use this feature if you like.

If you want to apply it to your own journal it's a bit of a complicated process, but I can explain how I went about it. You need a paid account to be able to do it, though of course if cmshaw wins the competition his style may become public and thus potentially available to free users.

Also, I pointed out to cmshaw some potential usability issues with his layout as it is, and offered to modify it to make it more customizable by adding more named CSS classes to the HTML it generates. And he was very receptive to my ideas. So I feel all Open Source-ish now; I wish I knew what I was doing more!


Moooood: goodhelpful
Tuuuuune: Metallica: Outlaw torn
Discussion: 12 contributions | Contribute something
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coalescent: default
From:coalescent
Date:April 18th, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
58 minutes after journal entry, 06:23 pm (coalescent's time)
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Well, it's good to know that you can do that. I'm not quite sure why you'd want to, though. :)

Also, every time I look at your journal page I remember that at some point I want to learn how to actually design these things. 'tis very impressive, your layout.
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livredor: spr0t
From:livredor
Date:April 18th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 06:49 pm (livredor's time)
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I'm not quite sure why you'd want to, though. :)
A lot of people want LJ to be more like Usenet, and one of the reasons is to be able to see new comments easily. This way isn't perfect, because the new comments are still not marked, but it does make it a bit easier to find the new comments by just going to the end of the list. If there are only a dozen comments it's easy enough just to eyeball them, but with more, especially after LJ collapses threads, I find it gets harder to remember which comments I have already read. Though that may be partly because I'm not a very visual person.

'tis very impressive, your layout.
*blush* Thank you, I'm most flattered. Though credit where credit's due: I didn't design the layout, just the stylesheets for it. The actual coding was done by torgo_x.

If you're thinking of breaking into journal design you might find his layout a good starting place; it did work for me, as a kind of training wheels set-up. I started out not touching the code at all, just playing with the CSS. Then I found I was getting annoyed because there were <span>s where I wanted <div>s. So I went through the code looking for HTML, cos that was the only bit I could understand. Then I got more ambitious. There was a long period of frustration when I kept finding S2 gratuitously hard. Then it clicked for me one day. I still don't know what I'm doing very much, but at least I know where to start and I can get somewhere by trial and error.

pseudomonas ascribes this to transitioning from procedural to object-oriented thinking. I barely know what the terms mean, and I would hardly call myself a procedural programmer on the basis that I messed around writing crude text adventures in BBC Basic when I was 7. But yeah, it's kind of a learning curve, I think.
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pseudomonas: default
From:pseudomonas
Date:April 18th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 06:57 pm (pseudomonas's time)
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I'm not sure I said that; did I?
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livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:April 18th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry, 08:11 pm (livredor's time)
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Only the first bit; the rest is my commentary on it. You remember how I was trying to explain S2 to you and I turned out to be completely confused about what object-oriented actually means? And then you explained it to me and you also mentioned that people who switch from one kind to another often find that it's very confusing at first until it eventually clicks.
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