Blog Template Frustration

Sunday, October 25, 2009
I've found several templates that I like for my Townshende blog, and yet every single damned one of them has problems. Some of them have highly technical problems.

One, in fact, — a template that I like a lot . . . this one, called Black Splat — had several problems. The code was designed to work around several problems with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser (very typical of Microsoft, actually), but it didn't have the code necessary for other browsers to display that template correctly. It took me about 10 minutes of experimentation, along with some very specific searches to figure out the problem.

Most people aren't interested in this crap, but indulge me. Here's the original code:

body {
   position: relative; /* Fixes browser resizing bug in IE6 */
   margin: 10px auto;
   width: 980px;

   font-family: 'trebuchet ms', arial, sans-serif;
   text-align: center; /* IE Centering Technique */
   background: #000;
   }


/* Header and wrapper */
#wrapper {
   width: 980px;
   text-align: left; /* IE Centering Technique */
   background: url(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-IXTBBt1Bg/SVPr5xX58aI/AAAAAAAAAjM/zM8cWJxooC0/s1600/topcurve.png) 40px 0 no-repeat;
   }


You'll notice that there are several comments within the code indicating which items are used to fix certain Internet Explorer problems. The original code also disabled the Blogger navigation bar at the top of the browser window. That's an easy fix. However, the text that I've bolded caused two problems with Blogger's navigation bar. The margin: 10px auto; code put an unsightly 10 pixel margin above the navigation bar. It looks very weird. The width: 980px; code set the width of the navigation bar to that of the template, so that the navigation bar was not stretched to the width of the browser window. Removing those pieces of code, or commenting them out, as I did (see below), got rid of the 10 pixel margin and allowed Blogger's navigation bar to expand to the width of the browser window.

Removing those, however, created a third problem. The body of the template was now aligned left, instead of being center aligned. To fix that, I had to add code to the "Header and Wrapper" container that told browsers other than Internet Explorer to center the body of the blog. That code was this: margin:0 auto;.

In the end, the fix looked like this:

body {
   position: relative; /* Fixes browser resizing bug in IE6 */
   /* margin: 10px auto; */
   /* width: 980px; */
   font-family: 'trebuchet ms', arial, sans-serif;
   text-align: center; /* IE Centering Technique */
   background: #000;
   }


/* Header and wrapper */
#wrapper {
   width: 980px;
   text-align: left; /* IE Centering Technique */
   margin:0 auto; /* to center the body for the rest */
   background: url(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_V-IXTBBt1Bg/SVPr5xX58aI/AAAAAAAAAjM/zM8cWJxooC0/s1600/topcurve.png) 40px 0 no-repeat;
   }


This is all fine and dandy, but when I tried to get rid of some of Blogger's quick editing tools, this template just wouldn't allow it. Entering this code, .quickedit{display:none;}, didn't do a damned thing (although it worked fabulously for the template you're looking at right now). When I tried to delete the code itself that placed the quick editing tools on the screen, Blogger spat error messages at me. So, as much as I like the template I'm referring to, it's got problems that I can't fix (or don't know how to fix).

I'm tired of dealing with templates that don't work the way they're supposed to. Then again, I've read that Google's code for their blogs isn't up to snuff with W3 standards. It's proprietary. Sounds damned Microsoft-like to me! Hmmph! And grrr, too!

Ultimately, it comes down to either finding another template that I like better, or . . . deciding to put up with those annoying quick edit icons with which Blogger likes to litter my screen.

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Garrulus' Travels

Canada ::: England ::: France ::: Germany ::: Greece ::: Guam* ::: Ireland ::: Italy ::: Japan ::: Philippines* ::: Portugal ::: Scotland ::: South Vietnam* ::: Spain ::: Thailand ::: Turkey* ::: Wake Island* ::: Wales :::

LEGEND
Greece — countries where I've lived
Portugal — countries I've visited
* — airport layovers

Goals 2010

  • Find a Job
    date hired: —

  • Lose Weight
    GOAL: 150-159 lbs (68,0 – 72,1 kgs)
    current weight: 192 lbs (87,0 kgs)

  • Write 250,000 words
    53,177 | 21.27% compl.

  • Mythology Course
    date started: Mar 31
    date completed: —

  • Read 30-40 books
    — 20-27 must be fiction —
    11 — fiction
    7 — non-fiction
    18 — TOTAL READ

  • Learn Portuguese
    Complete Hugo Portuguese course
    date started: —
    date completed: —
    vocabulary words: —
    verbs: —

  • Life Goals
    goal achieved: —

  • Folding Bicycle
    Dahon JetStream P8
    date purchased: —

  • MacBook Pro
    13" 2.26GHz MacBook Pro
    date purchased: —

  • Manual Typewriter
    Corona Sterling/Silent of 1940s
    date purchased: —

  • 4 x 6 Index Card Cabinet
    date purchased: —

  • Metal Bulletin Board
    8 Umbra 12" x 12" Tiles
    date purchased: —

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