Welcome to HA v3.0, only the third major update since I started blogging almost four years ago, and HA’s first total redesign ever. It’s slick. It’s feature-packed. And it may even be a tad annoying until you get used to it — or I fix the annoying bits — whichever comes first.
But the best thing about the HA v3.0, is that unlike the previous versions, it won’t be another two years until I dive back into the code. As big a change as this may look on the surface, the big news is what’s going on underneath the hood, where I’m laying the groundwork for an ambitious development roadmap intended to greatly expand and diversify HA’s content and features. This is very much a work in progress, so if you see something you don’t like, or don’t see something you think you should, you’ll let me know.
So what’s new, apart from the strikingly, um, different site layout? Well, some whiz-bang features for starters, including…
Q: Um… what’s up with that giant “HA Seattle” logo? Are you changing the blog’s name?
A: No, not really. But if you think about it, it probably gives you a good indication of where I’m heading.
Q: I’m a professional graphics designer and I think your new site sucks. Are you nuts?
A: No, I’m not nuts, but neither am I a professional graphics designer, so I did the best I could on my own. But if you care that much, and you want to offer me some pro bono work, drop me an email.
Q: I’m not a professional graphics designer and I think your new site sucks too. Are we really stuck with this crap?
A: Again, this is a work in progress, and I’m not married to the design. So everything about the look and feel of HA could change again sometime soon. Or not.
Q: I think you suck.
A: Eat me.
Q: What’s with that “log in” button? Do I have to sign up for an account?
A: No, not yet. But eventually. Coming soon, only registered users will have commenting privileges, along with access to other exciting new features, though everybody will be invited to register, even the poo-flinging trolls. But for now, login is only available to administrators.
Q: You’re going to allow the poo-flinging trolls to register? Why the hell would you do that?
A: Because I don’t want to get in the business of censoring people, and wouldn’t have the time if I did. But I am working on some exciting new, first-of-its-kind comment moderation tools. More details coming.
Q: Okay, I’m curious… what else is coming?
A: Well, I don’t want give too much away or make promises I can’t keep, but I’m up to my elbows in “threaded comments” code, and I’m hell bent on delivering a usable Rich Text comment editor. But my real focus is putting the tools in place to deliver tons of new content.
Q: The text is too small!!!
A: That’s not a question.
Q: The text is too small???
A: I don’t know, is it? It’s smaller than the old HA, but bigger than a lot of other blogs. FYI, you can always increase the size of the text via your browser, and the new template should adequately handle all but the most absurd font sizes.
Q: Would you like a little blog in your ads?
A: Yeah, well, I gotta make a little money off this somehow. I’m not in love with putting the BlogAds top-left, but they’re my main source of advertising revenue, and that’s where they want to be. The good news is, I segregated the ads from the text, so I’m not interrupting your reading. But we’ll see.
Q: HA looks like crap on my browser. Are you really that stupid?
A: Probably not. If it looks that bad, then my CSS is probably broken. I’ve done a fair amount of testing in the latest browsers, but if things look really screwed up, send me a screenshot and some details.
Q: What are those little pictures in the comment threads, and how can I get one?
A: They’re called “gravatars” for “Globally Recognized Avatars,” and you can get one free at Gravatar.com.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I look forward to reading your constructive criticism in the comment thread.