WHATWG Blog uses my Theme (2nd August 2009)

Today, Anne van Keteren applied the theme which I had developed last year for The WHATWG Blog.

The theme’s colours come from the WHATWG formatted version of HTML5. The typography, spacing and sizing are based on a user stylesheet I made ages ago to make the spec more legible and compact for me.

No HTML Changes

The theme does not require changes to the standard Wordpress markup; it was just a stylesheet change. Anne cleaned up the HTML while he was applying this theme, “mostly making it simpler”. He also enabled the sidebar when viewing entries, an enhancement I had requested.

Code Samples

Using the browser default text size clearly makes it too big when compared to other websites. Fantasy fonts, headings and logotype make sense at big sizes but not the main content. Indeed, the whole point of Verdana is that it has excellent legibility at small sizes. Indeed, readability and compactness were the primary reasons for my creating the user stylesheet I later based this theme on.

Pressing Ctrl++ twice in Firefox 2 reduces the text size from 16px to precisely 12px. That’s a common size across the web and is rather generous for Verdana. It retains a big text feel (like Anne wanted) whilst being a more conventional size, imho.

Code Samples

I notice some of the code samples are using plain <pre> instead of <pre><code>. This makes the samples inconsistent with inline-level code samples. The most visible effect is these samples lack the monospace orange font. Also, their pretty-printing looks less than a character width per level due to a proportional font being used.

(The theme uses a poportional font for <pre>. This is so free-form poetry and plain text formats are rendered like main content but with their use of whitespace displayed. Other preformatted texts usually have a suitable element to go inside the <pre>, such as <pre><samp> for terminal output or <pre><kbd> for command-line input. This approach also avoids <pre class>, which is kinda neat.)

Still, it’s very cool to see my “undesign” skills are appreciated by those weirdos at WHATWG.

IRC Logging Tangent

Maybe Krijn will have a second look at the IRC logging demos I made? He added several features when I first suggested them.

The most visible influence is on his IRC logging homepage uses a compact 8-day listing format very similar to what I proposed. Very handy for Mr & Mrs Last Week, no doubt, although my primary motivation was to help weekly telecons review their previous meeting’s minutes.