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Web Page Design and Styles: Let The One Who Has Never Hacked A Stylesheet Throw The First Stone At Me

I will have graphic details on the new design of this blog, as well as tips and tricks for working with the new CSS Editor on WordPress.com and Sandbox Theme shortly as life has gotten in the way.

Until then, take a look at this brilliantly written, and perfectly descriptive, essay by Mandarin on “Stylesheet hacking, genetic engineering: same difference”:

Let The One Who Has Never Hacked A Stylesheet Throw The First Stone At Me

At first, I did not dare to touch more than one parameter at a time in the default stylesheet: a color code, a font definition, the size of one margin here and there. It was only local parameter changes which did not alter the structure, and for which I had little-to-no doubt on the outcome. But then I grew bolder. I wanted to have a theme of my own, with distinctive features. This is when I started to do evil things: I picked-up cool chunks of css code from other themes or I made-up others, and tried to wedge them forcefully into the stylesheet. Impatient to obtain an immediate visual benefit for my website, I uploaded the stylesheet there and then.

Many people probably know what I experienced. When I reloaded my web page, things went all wrong: either the modifications would not ‘take’, as if they were shadowed by some greater mechanism unbeknownst to my ignorant self, or the whole layout would be warped sideways, sidebar flushed to the bottom, titles disappearing behind the banner, text overlapping monstrously…

Been there. Done that. Bought the t-shirt. Ripped the t-shirt… SIGH.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

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8 Comments

  1. Posted August 10, 2006 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Everyone sucks until they get good.

  2. Posted August 10, 2006 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but it takes special skill to describe it so eloquently.

  3. Posted August 10, 2006 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Yeah…then again…the view on genetic engineering is a little skewed. Really…it isn’t like that. :)

  4. Posted August 10, 2006 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Whatever – it was so much fun writing !

  5. Posted August 11, 2006 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Sigh I have done it a million times

  6. Posted August 11, 2006 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    all my code is a combo other peoples code. I do not think any of it is origianl

  7. Posted August 12, 2006 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I love the way you came out with this theme, though!

  8. Posted August 19, 2006 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    We learn on our mistakes or on the mistakes of others but choosing the latter we have to read a lot. There are so many interesting and useful books on the topic.


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