Sporting a new look

I am very particular about composing the content of the posts (and pages) on this blog. By content, I mean whatever goes in the body of a post/page – text, image, HTML, etc. I like to keep the content extremely clean and avoid polluting with HTML like I had to on Blogspot. With such content, it is a terrible pain to migrate blogs or render posts flawless and consistent across browsers. Blogger is notorious for that aspect1.

A simple and clean presentation of the content removes distraction providing an unobtrusive reading experience. Markdown has been a big step for me in that direction - choosing a suitable facade for my blog.

It is a shame that WordPress wasn’t proactive in adopting markdown, and still has not made markdown composing first-class citizen. Check out Ghost.

The theme of a blog is another facet of the reading experience. Most themes offer nothing but clutter with weird line spacing, asymmetric font sizes, littering in sidebars, and so on, making it all the more difficult for the reader to indulge in a reading experience. Even themes targeted for photo blogs fail to push the envelope. I must say that the Quintus theme has served me well in that regard thus far. So has the McKinley theme that powers my photo blog.

I do not remember changing the theme, widgets, the blog tagline since I migrated my blog to WordPress. Just like fashion, web page presentation styles change over time. I like to keep it simple and clean.

Sporting a new look

As you can see, I have changed my theme to Twenty Fifteen. I rank it best amongst its sibling themes 2.

I have removed most of the sidebar widgets except the links to articles. I think it enhances the reading experience. I would love to have an auto-collapse sidebar. Since I run on a free version of WordPress, I have to live with the static sidebar. I wish the Twenty Fifteen team/designer could make the sidebar width configurable. 😀

I was (and always will be) in complete love with the previous tagline of this blog. When I started blogging, it echoed what I wanted to convey through my blog.

Another effective debugging technique is to explain your code to someone else. This will often cause you to explain the bug to yourself. Sometimes it takes no more than a few sentences, followed by an embarrassed Never mind. I see what’s wrong. Sorry to bother you. This works remarkably well; you can even use non-programmers as listeners - From the book The Practice of Programming by Brian W Kernighan and Rob Pike

Then, I came across this excellent quote by John D. Cook2, which I fell in love with instantly.

The romantic image of an über-programmer is someone who fires up Emacs, types like a machine gun, and delivers a flawless final product from scratch. A more accurate image would be someone who stares quietly into space for a few minutes and then says, Hmm … I think I’ve seen something like this before - John D. Cook.

I could not resist borrowing it as the tagline of this blog. Cook had said it in a way I could’ve never said myself. However, the words resonated with me so well and what I intend to convey through my blog. I am not thinking of changing the current tagline anytime soon.

Finally, I markdown-ed some of the older posts and pages and got rid of all the ugly HTML mess. You can see that the pages are cleaner after converting to Markdown.

Let me know how you like the new look. Suggestions are welcome.

  1. Copy of the post on at the time of leaving: My experience with blogspot has not been pleasant so far. I have found the interface and the final page rendered broken many times. If I write just paragraphs of text, maybe that works fine. But in a technical blog where there is code and links and various other formats, blogspot fails miserably. I find the themes and other user interface oriented stuff within blogger crappy. Yes, you can edit the template but neither do I have the time nor interest in that. Google should have improved blogger to really compete with other platforms - WordPress, Ghost etc. Blogspot, obviously, is not of high interest for Google. Overall, I am not happy with the product. I will be (have already!) no more writing here on this blog. Will be continue to post on Wordpress. See you there! ↩︎

  2. John D. Cook is an incredible blogger writing about a wide variety of topics with focus on applied math and software. ↩︎