Template Upgrades

I’m working on the templates and style sheet. Don’t panic.

UPDATE: Okay. They seem to be working for the most part. The actual ‘look’ isn’t a lot different, but the way the pages work is much better and you should see content (the posts themselves) load much faster.

I’ve long wanted pages that:

  • Have fixed-width sidebar columns left and right
  • Have a variable-width main center column
  • Load the main center column first, before the sidebars

I had been hoping that the new templates and style sheets for Moveable Type 3.2 would let me do what I wanted the way I wanted to, but no dice. So I did it myself. I don’t know a lot about this sort of thing, so most of my work is based upon taking other people’s work and monkeying with it until it does what I want it to. Once I’m confident that these pages work the way I want and get a few bugs worked out I will post details of what I did and how I did it for those interested or looking for a way to do it themselves.

Also, I got rid of the pop-up windows for trackbacks and comments. Now they’re inline on the main post file and the links just take you there. This is a personal preference thing, though I don’t know what effect, if any, it will have on spammers. We’ll see.

The bugs I know about so far are:

  • The tops of the sidebar columns act weird until they’re fully loaded
  • The comments section doesn’t remember your info
  • The date and category archive listings in the sidebar are not organized
  • UPDATE: Posts with lots of comments totally break the template and are a big mess
  • UPDATE: Posts or comments with real long strings that overflow the center column wreck the left column. Overflow:hidden in the stylesheet fixes Mozilla but not IE (which apparently uses its own word wrapping scheme but it still stretches column a bit which wrecks the left column). Word-wrap: break-word fixes it but then breaks the main page in IE only.

Also, I imagine that some of the oddball systems pages (like the comment submission error page and search results pages) look sort of weird. I’ll have to address them as I figure out how and have time. I think they work just, fine, they simply look bad.

If/when you come across any other oddities, please let me know. I’m sure that there are a lot of them. Also, suggestions are welcome.


  1. Although, you seem to be having some cache expiry issues. You need to make sure the comments page is not cached for very long. Otherwise, when I hit ‘Post Comment’ it reloads the post, but my comment isn’t there, since it’s displaying an old version of the page. At least, that’s what it seems to be doing. The symptom is that I don’t see my own comment displayed after I press the post button.

  2. Hmm, it did it for that first comment but not the second one (the seocnd one appeared immediately)… weird.

  3. Hmmm, I miss the comment preview functioanlity, though. Funny, it’s available in the screen that tells me I need to wait before commenting twise.

  4. KTLA: Comment preview restored. If only to spare us from ‘functioanlity’ and ‘twise’… Also: I can’t seem to enter comments using Opera. But hey, big whoop. That’s like worrying about Mac users… Really, though, I’ll have to look into it. To be honest, I guess I don’t even know if comments worked before with Opera. Anyone know?

  5. Nicholas: I’m having some trouble with that as well. Not sure what to do about it. ‘Refresh’ brings up the comment, so I guess that’s a work-around for now. I don’t even know how to do anything about the cache settings. Anyone have any guidance?