On Webwereld’s recent redesign

webwereld logo old and newOne of the few websites that I visit daily has recently been redesigned. At first I thought it simply looked worse, but I decided to give the new designs a chance. Now, a couple of weeks on I still don’t like it, and I’ve also figured out why. Webwereld is in Dutch by the way, so don’t bother trying to read the text in the screenshots.
More On Webwereld’s recent redesign

Footer Stuff is ready to make your life easier

I just released Footer Stuff through wordpress.org. Even though it’s a very simple (and lightweight) plugin, it’s not very easy to describe what it does. It offers you a way to add code to your blog’s footer an header sections, without having to edit your theme’s PHP files. Located under WordPress’ design tab it offers easy way of maintaining things like Google Analytics code, without being limited to just that one analytics system.

It’s here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/footer-stuff.

Like the new look?

I’ve been meaning to redesign this blog for a while now. Most of all I wanted a better sidebar setup which would accommodate more links and wider ads widgets. In fact, the old Papertrail theme I was using has only a very rudimentary widget support, and with the recent success of this blog I needed more flexibility.

Although still a work in progress, I quite like the results so far. It’s cleaner, it uses less Flash(*) and it loads extremely fast. The design still needs work and I definitely need a better tagline (wanna help me out with that one?).
More Like the new look?

Application skins – Do you really want all your apps to look different?

This week, Gmail introduced a set of skins (“themes”) for their web email application. Luckily, there are a few that are quite functional, but there’s also a large number with obtrusive graphics and terrible color schemes. I was quite relieved to find there was a ‘classic’ theme that looks almost exactly like the old familiar gmail interface. Am I the only one not ‘getting’ this skinning thing?
More Application skins – Do you really want all your apps to look different?

Roy | November 25, 2008 | English,Software | Comments (9)
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Android aestetically enhanced

Google’s cute little Android logo has been my desktop wallpaper for months now. I’m genuinely excited about Google’s efforts to create an open platform for mobile phones. Being an avid gmail/talk/maps/calendar/docs/etc user, my next mobile might very well be running Android. But up until now, the demos that were out there weren’t much to look at. With the release of version 0.9 of the software development kit, that has changed. Android now looks the part too.

Head over to Engadget to see more.

Gizmodo has a nice video tour that shows some of Android’s features.

Roy | August 19, 2008 | English,Gadgets | Comments (1)
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System tray icon annoyance

system tray icons

I know. This is basically silly, but some system tray icons bug the hell out of me. Here part of my current setup. See the mushroom sticking out like a sore thumb? I love Cobian Backup, and have recently installed it as a service, but the tray icon is making me itch. Codenamed “Amanita”, version 9 of course needed a mushroom icon, but compared to the black moon icon of version 8 this is pretty bad. A slightly more sedate colour scheme would be nice, as well a proper anti-aliasing.

Unfortunately, I can find no option to change the icon under Vista Home Premium, so I guess I’ll have to live with it. Seen against the greater scheme of things this is of course only a minor gripe, but if anyone knows an easy fix, please drop me a comment.

Test driving a new theme…

As of now, ‘m testing a new WordPress theme on this site. I haven’t decided on a title yet, and there’s tons of little stuff missing, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be releasing this one sometime this or next month. The most important thing to sort out is decent widget support. This was sorely lacking from some of my earlier themes, and instead of updating them I decided to dedicate the time to designing a new one altogether.

I wanted to use a white background to increase readability, and I’m using Flash movies to do some typography tricks that plain HTML doesn’t know yet. Other than that it’s a relatively simple theme that will be easy to modify by anyone who isn’t completely allergic to style sheets or HTML.

So, what do you think?

Brilliant new WordPress theme

Bran Gardner’s Dropshdow theme

I stumbled across a site using a slightly modified version of Brian Gardner’s Dropshadow theme today and when I looked up the original I found it to be even better. It’s impossible to track all new theme releases nowadays, but of the ones I know I think its the best theme currently available for WordPress. Kudos to Brian. Great job!

83 beautiful WordPress themes

When I occasionally browse themes.wordpress.net it strikes me not only how many themes there are, but also how many of them are rather poor. Many of them lack a coherent colour scheme and offer poor usability. Smashing Magazine has gathered 83 of the best WordPress themes available. If you’ve just set op WordPress and are looking for the creme de la creme in WordPress design, this is the place to look. My personal favorite is Suble, but you can’t go wrong with any of these.

Too bad none of my themes made it in there, I guess I’ll have to try harder with future themes…