Sunday Dec 28, 2008

Optimising a Roller theme for printing

Inspired by Phil Harman's Trials with his roller theme I have wanted to create a better hard copy experience for you. I implemented this earlier this morning on my blog's roller files. It has been tested using Opera's print preview on the main weblog page and the comments view of an article and so should work on a view based on a tag, category, or date.

I have implemented a 2nd CSS file. Because my theme's base is so old, it is not conformant to the stylesheet/theme file structures of today's roller so I implemented it as just any old template file. The form lets you know/set the URL. It contains the following rules.

    { display: none; }
    { visibility: hidden;}

It is introduced to the weblog using the following code in the weblog template file, in the HEAD section. The assignment in a LINK or STYLE tag with the MEDIA="print" attribute is what applies this rule only when printing.

    TYPE="text/css" REL="stylesheet" MEDIA="print">

I used the 'new file' form to set the url of the new file as above, but named it _printcss; it needs a preceding _ to become invisible to some of the roller macros such as #showBasicNavBar, and the form won't permit a .css suffix. It might be cleverer to call the file _cssprint, so that the css files are all adjacent to each other in an alphabetic sort, which you get on the 'edit templates' form.

I have applied the 'noPrint' rule to the Banner, the webCategoryChooser and Sidebar. I have not used the 'noShow' rule, which I developed to apply to objects that occupy vertical space in a table. The rules are applied to a DIV for the banner, P for the web catgory chooser and TABLE for the sidebar. Another pointer to the fact I must find time to remove the tables from this theme. I am working on it I promise.


Tuesday Aug 12, 2008

using twitter to share

Some colleagues use twitter to notify their correspondents of their blogs. I have discovered 'twitthis' as a remote javascript and embedded it into this article. Actually it was pointed out in an article in the Guardian which suggest maybe twitter is losing its edgyness. I have changed the picture, to make it a better fit on the article affinity line, as a companion to technorati, digg, slashdot and delicious.

twit this: <script TYPE="text/javascript" SRC=""></script> <script TYPE="text/javascript"> </script>

You might recognise this picture better.

You need to be logged into twitter for this to work, maybe through the script. I have run one test and this article is part of the second test. If this works I'll add it to the 'share this' line, and let you know how it works.

It advertises itself at

I shall probably not add this to the 'share this' line; the script points at the blog, not the article, so I shall put this in the sidebar sometime.

Please let me know if you find the lag as it executes the script unacceptable.


Wednesday Mar 14, 2007

about my banner tag cloud

I have adjusted the inclusion threshold for the tag map above to three, now five i.e. Only tags that occur more than three, now five times will appear in the banner cloud. If you want the whole tag cloud try "Yesterday's Words".

amended to five on March 15th. 

tags: none 

Friday Nov 10, 2006

Tag Clouds & Tagrolls

I have a new feature on the Blog called More Tags & Links, currently labelled as Beta. 

This has my roller tag cloud and also a tag roll from I hope you find it interesting.

Due to screen real estate problems I have removed the page menu from the main panel on the blog front page. It remains at the top of my front page sidebar.


Sunday Nov 05, 2006

Finding stuff I said last year!

Since the introduction of tags, I have slightly re-organised this blog site.

 It now has two new features, Yesterday's Words and About Me. These features are available through the small font menu bar above the category list. Yesterday's Words is an archive feature, allowing you to look for things in this blog by Category, Tags, Publication Month, Keyword Search and review titles of the last six months article titles. I have done this because we now have tags, and people ought to be able to see the tag cloud, and I have come to the conlusion that the front page side bar was begining to be hard to use. In order to improve the ease of use I expect to move my feed to another back page, together with some of the bookmarks I have stored. At the moment it remains on the front page and on Yesterday's Words.

Both these new pages have tuned and smaller sidebars. I have done this by utilising the roller #includePage() macro and hold the banner (with the duck & licence) and the sidebars as seperate files. The content for Yesterday's Words is also held in an external file. This should all make updating the site a lot easier, and allow me to move from HTML tables to CSS at some time soon.

I hope to introduce a reading list page about the books I am or am planning to, or have just read.

The navigation bars at the top (and side) offer a page called site search. This is safe checkpointed version of Yesterday's Words; I created it to permit a "roll forward from" point in case I made any silly and drastic mistakes. I will delete it some time soon, so I recommend that you don't bookmark it.


Wednesday Feb 08, 2006

Welcome to Shez

Shez is now blogging, it would appear that she plans to write about Best Practice, IT Consulting and share some of her agricultural stories. Her first article is here... where she introduces herself. Sort off! She's a real wizz on service management and is a member of various national and international bodies. I have added her to my blogroll on the right.





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