Whoo! I’m still a programmer!

I wrote my first plugin, or rather significantly modified someone else’s plugin, to offer better comic navigation for the comics. If you’re on the homepage, you still have to click the “navigation links” link under the current comic to get to the nav links, but once you do that, you can now navigate through the archive by category — so if you just want to read the Get Outta My Head comics, you can do that, or just the Sketchy Theater, or just the Idiocy on the Internet. And the Comics category stays there so you can navigate through all the comics as well. This makes me happy :)

Next three orders of business: fix the left nav up because one of my images keeps stepping on it (might be “fix the image” instead) and then add some big ole buttons to access the forum and the store to the top somewhere.

But not right now. This programmer’s going to go get some sleep.


Okay, so, here’s what I did:

  • Changed the colors, font sizes, etc. obviously.
  • Added navigational links underneath the comic on the homepage.
    • Click “first comic” to get to the first comic.
    • Click “navigation links” to get to today’s comic, only in single-post view, which is where I’ve been hiding the “first/next/last” links all this time.
    • Click one of the archive links to get to the list of comics under that category. (Each comic is in both Comics and a subcategory.)
  • Changed the category links for the comics in the left nav, so that they go to a list of comics, not the comics themselves. That way you’re not trying to read the archive backwards anymore.
  • If you want to read the archive, click the “first comic” link when viewing a comic and then use the “next comic” link to move yourself forward. You know, like any normal website would.
  • Left the Ideas (blogposts) archive alone. It’s a blog, it should read like a blog.

I think that covers 90% of the feedback I’d gotten, but feel free to comment.

And yes, I could apply almost everything I did today to the old layout, if you prefer “manilla folder” to “blackboard”. Let me know.

Site redesign take two!

It’s been, what? Six or seven months since a redesign? Anyway, hope you like it… I’m not happy with the comic navigation myself, but that’s because I’m fussy fussy fussy.

New features:

  • having your browser window too small shouldn’t cause a big empty white space at the top anymore.
  • the “links” list (fastest way to get to the forum) won’t spontaneously rearrange itself. the order you see is the order you get.
  • it just plain looks nicer than that boxy thing.
  • number of items in each category is posted in the category list
  • if you click the title of a given category, you can use “first / previous / next / current” links to navigate – this is especially handy for the comics, which are usually navigated that way everywhere else. (note: you’ll get all the comics – there’s no way to do this by subcategory yet… i’m still looking for one though.)
  • changed the RSS feed so you have to actually VISIT the site to view the comics. I miss your smiling faces!
  • code validates!

So, seeing as my stomach still hurts, sleeping’s going to be an interesting challenge, but i can’t miss work two days straight, so it’s off to bed I go.

Two quick points:

Point a: I did a brain dump / cleanout of my bookmarks for comic production and stuck everything in the new “tools for drawing” tools for comics page you see over there to the right left. Take a gander if you’re interested. I’ll probably add to it regularly because even right now I know there’s stuff I forgot to put on there.

Point b: Comic art quality’s about to take a drop again. Remember back in March when I’d just finished the Longest Night of the Summer strips and I announced an art shift because it was just taking too damn long to make each strip? Well, I’m at that point again — I need to build the buffer back up, and not just with IoI comics. So in order to produce comics slightly faster we’re going to take a planned quality hit.

Someday when I’m rich and famous I’ll go back and redraw them to look nicer. Don’t hold your breath until that occurs.

Thanks to Jzimbert for pointing out I don’t know my right from my left after midnight

State of the Site Report

So here we are.

I’ve got all but 20 of the comics moved over into the new system, and I’m not going to move the blog posts from the last year over at all. (Well, except the ones I already moved.)

Navigation’s fairly straightforward – use the categories to the left to narrow down your viewing pleasure. (Want to see just the comics? Click “comics”. Just GOMH? Click “get outta my head”. Just the blog posts? click “ideas”. You get it.)

There’s a help link in the “pages” area that I’ll be glad to fill out as time goes on.

Archives read newest to oldest, just like the old one, which might take a little getting used to for the comics, but I’m sure it’ll work out.

If you prefer an RSS feed, make sure to check it out – it’s in that left nav thing. And one of my projects is to transcribe all the comics somehow so that the “search” will bring up searches against them as well.

Comments? Well, comments are my last big project to overtake – somehow this winter I hope to wire something into WordPress that will automatically create a forum thread when I post a new post, but that’s nowhere near even the beginning of development, forget the end.

My “to do” list:

  • Move the FAQ and Cast Pages over to the new design
  • Move any other straggling pages over to the new design
  • Clean up any straggling design issues.
  • Anything else I think of.