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Apr 01 2012

Sneak preview of FtB’s new theme. Yes, really.

So, this is an unfortunate day to pick to finally drop the hammer and make things happen around these parts, but what can you do. I suppose you could consider this a kind of reverse April Fool’s prank, since you’re not the one being pranked here.

The tech ghetto of the Freethought Blogs participants, including webmaster Matt and the guy Ed hired to build our new theme, have been tossing around ideas and CSS code on our back channel over the past two months. They’ve been quibbling over minor details and the whole blog has been through four separate and distinct redesigns, including several that were built off our present theme.

Things were getting a bit heated, and the process has stalled out completely, so I have taken it upon myself to take the most recent revision, convert it to a Stylish script and let you folks preview it without having to alter the server-side itself. The Stylish plugin allows you to override specific websites’ default behaviour, making them look or act differently.

It’s still a work in progress, and I strongly suspect I might even irritate some of the tech folks over this stunt. But hey, they’re the ones getting pranked!

Below the fold are detailed instructions for Firefox and Chrome users, and instructions for IE and Safari users that involve downloading Firefox or Chrome. Yeah, sorry.

First, you absolutely need either Firefox or Chrome to run this plugin. Sorry, that’s just how it works. Install either of those two browsers. If you don’t have either, I’d recommend Chrome as it’s a smaller, lighter initial download that downloads and installs the necessary components automatically.

Then, install the Stylish plugin for Chrome or for Firefox depending on what you’re using.

Once Stylish is installed and you’ve restarted your browser, the script to install to see the new theme is right here. Go to that site, click on the “Install with Stylish” button (or what have you), then surf back to Freethought Blogs’ homepage.

I realize it’s a little rough around the edges. For instance, the top menu is a little weird over at Pharyngula, owing to PZ’s customized theme. Barring that, what do you folks think? Doesn’t it make the page much more readable and navigable? What would you like to see changed for usability purposes, etc.?

15 comments

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  1. 1
    TV200

    Ohh, nice. I think I’m gonna keep it.

  2. 2
    TCC

    That is really evil, my friend.

  3. 3
    Pierce R. Butler

    … I’d recommend Chrome …

    Side effects may include accelerated transfer of all your personal info to vaults of evil conglomerate which repeatedly sells you to scumbags fronting for (other) organized criminals. If identity theft persists for more than four hours, consult your nearest Legal Services attorney – because you won’t be able to afford a personal lawyer any more.

  4. 4
    Dana Hunter

    This is a thing of beauty. I shall read all remaining FtBs – excuse me, PtBs – on it from now on! When does this new theme permanently launch?

  5. 5
    sinned34

    Install software linked to from a nerd’s site on April 1st?

    I’ll pass, thanks.

  6. 6
    daenyx

    The border color clashes with the logo a bit, but otherwise I love it. ;)

  7. 7
    sithrazer

    I’ll be honest, I expected something a little more radical. I won’t go into spoilers for those who haven’t looked yet.

  8. 8
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Pink bismuth makes me ill.

  9. 9
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Also, you can replace “absolutely…Chrome or Firefox” with “a Mozilla or Chromium – based browser”.

  10. 10
    Philip Legge

    Brilliant, Jason. Is it wrong of me to want to keep this installed? :-)

  11. 11
    Jason Thibeault

    F: Yeah, I suppose Chromium or Iceweasel or whatever the hell would probably do. I haven’t tried either, since my work exile from Linux into the wonderful world of Windows 7, but yeah.

    Philip Legge: Um, no. I have had it installed since I built the script, personally. So’s Dana, apparently. :D

  12. 12
    jon

    OMG!! Ponies!!

  13. 13
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Don’t worry about browser builds for the unixes, strictly regarding browsers for Win x (and the Mach/BSD-based OS X), and off the top of my head only, you may have
    SeaMonkey
    SRWare Iron
    (Or you can also find pre-compiled plain Chromium binaries if you like.)

    Funny, though, that you should mention an exile from Linux.

  14. 14
    Jason Thibeault

    Heh. Greg Laden introduced me to Linux In Exile long enough ago that I was still kinda pointing-and-laughing at him, blissfully unaware that I was going to end up in exactly the same position myself and very soon.

  15. 15
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    I don’t remember how I first came across that blog, but it is very easy to catch up on due to the infrequent posting, and it also has some serious longitude.

    I like pointing it out to people who can barely function in Windows but like to claim that Linux distros are “not intuitive like Windows”. (Who are some of the same people who claim radical craptastic redesigns of MS UIs are “progress” and that anyone who doesn’t like them are afraid of said progress. But OSS desktop environments/software are “stupid” and “too hard for the average user”. And so is OS X, probably.)

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