Category: the site

Just Playing

In a fantastic bit of work avoidance last night, I decided to have a bit of a play with the dotjay design.

I had recently tried out Patrick's hex colour calculator, so thought I'd give it a whirl using a hue from the header graphic as a base. This gave the sandy complementary colour used in the navigation, although I used a few tints rather than the shades that the colour calculator gave.

The navigation is better now with easier keyboard navigation and added skips. I also tidied the feeds, gave the site a shortcut icon, made the comments more intuitive to reference and added a little funkiness to my own comments.

I'm not entirely happy with how it has turned out, but I think it's better than it was before. Having finished off the navigation, I realised that the sandy coloured navigation with the borders makes it look a bit like Tommy's Autistic Cuckoo navigation. I suspect I will have another play with the design before Christmas. Any comments, suggestions or bug reports welcomed.


I've got rid of the sandy colour now and it looks so much nicer… but still unimaginative. Consider the design “work in progress”… I want to get this blog lookin' nice.

What’s all this then?

Well, I thought it was about time I let my brain float out onto the open Web, so I've started my own blog. Over recent months, I have been subjected to several ideas and projects that have spurred my own (often tangential) thoughts and theories.

So, this blog contains ramblings from Jon Gibbins – and that's about it! But who is this guy? Well, I guess I'd better explain!

The name “dotjay” is derived from a nickname I had while at university. I helped run the university band society, often finding myself on the society's newsgroup. I signed a post as “.j.o.n.” one time and it stuck. That got shortened to “.j” which then got expanded again to “dotjay”. Clear? No? Tough!

Since then, dotjay has been my handle on forums I frequent, such as Accessify Forum where I seem to spend quite a lot of time.

Anyway, last week I decided to put together a blog and began playing around with Textpattern. I had looked at MovableType, but something didn't quite click with me. Maybe I'll give it another go at some point. Having read Jon Hicks' notes on how he shaped Textpattern to suit his needs, I thought it was worth a shot.

I don't think I'm going to go into as much detail as Jon about my own tweaks to Textpattern, but if anyone asks, I might write something up. I got Textpattern up and running quite quickly. The only real changes I made were to switch to a strict doctype and add a couple of accessibility features. I just know that it's going to make Textpattern updates more of a pain in the arse though!

I had to make a few more tweaks here and there today though, as I had missed a few issues while I was tinkering with the Textpattern scripts over the last week – the layout didn't resize very happily and I had overlooked a couple of accessibility checkpoints. I expect that more issues will crop up along the way, but I'll deal with them as they come.

Anyway, I think that's all for now. Welcome to my blog! Post some comments – I feel lonely!

And so it begins… again…

OK, so this is my second attempt at a blog, the first being an overall failure because I just didn't have the time to keep posting to it. I think it was down to my own expectations of being able to post at least every other day.

So this blog starts with a disclaimer: This is not a journal where I write something every day. I may get to that stage at some point, but for the moment, this is only an occasional blog.

On another thought, this is neither a personal blog nor a business blog – it's a bit of both – a dumping ground for my thoughts on stuff. So, it's probably a good job that I can categorise my posts!

The design (if you can call it a design – Ed.) I knocked up in a couple of days, so it's really not that awe-inspiring! As is usual with my sites, there's quite a lot of white space! I will probably get around to doing something a little more interesting at some point.

Anyway, welcome and enjoy!