The 9th Incarnation of ShaunInman.com
So last weekend I had this idea. Every post, link and comment on this site is associated with a point in time. As time passes, these items become less relevant. Links to humor suddenly aren’t funny anymore. Articles about site production techniques are inevitably made obsolete by modern practices. There ought to be some way to communicate that visually to the nomadic Googler who wanders across an ancient article on IFR.
Well, there’s no time like the present and ShaunInman.com/post was born. The Heap, my contribution to this steaming pile we call the internets.
Less Web 2.0. More like Web Two-point-No.
One column with notes in the gutter. Greater attention to typographic details like line-length, leading and baseline relationships. Helvetica Neue (or Arial Eue on typographically challenged OSes). Readable content. Thirty-three thousand, three hundred and six 1 KB CSS files.
Thirty-three thousand, three hundred and six 1 KB CSS files. One for each day of the year…for the next ninety-one years. Each post, link and comment exists in its own little era distinguished by color. Or not, if adjacent elements are temporally consecutive. Gaps between older and more recent comments come into focus. Seasonal posting patterns are revealed. Older content begins to fade away. You did read the read me, right?
The color scheme of the homepage and other “timeless” pages like Contact and Feeds gradually shift. Imperceptibly, perpetually, like the passage of time. Today the dominant color is olive. In a month it will be something closer to taupe.
I’m still tweaking the algorithms that generate those colors. I’ll eventually work out something that is consistently less muddy but for the time being it seems conceptually appropriate to the idea of decay.
Other notes about the redesign
Comments no longer accept HTML. It’s now Markdown all the way. I’ve mentioned it a number of times before on this site but Markdown is John Gruber’s beautiful, easy-to-write, easy-to-read plain-text “markup” format. I am using a modified version of Michel Fortin’s PHP Markdown (with PHP SmartyPants) that strips all HTML before parsing and ignores the Markdown for headers, horizontal rules and images.
These Links? Again? are now full-fledged citizens of ShaunInman.com. You can now comment on and link directly to individual links.
This is first public use of a new framework I’ve been developing. We’ll see how the server fares with all those layers of encapsulation that make development a breeze—it could be an awful lot to chew on.
Lastly, this is the first time I designed an entire site in the browser before hitting Photoshop—and only to create the icon and button treatments. It may seem that this process led to an overly-simple design but it was really the other way around. I knew going in that I wanted to stay away from micromanaging pixels. Like the colors, I may revisit the details but I think this is a comfortable starting point.