jb… a weblog by Jonathan Buys

A Work in Progress

A few days ago I decided that I was not going to use anyone else’s theme on my site. It happened after I stumbled across another site using the exact same theme as mine. Unavoidable really, as long as you are using someone else’s theme. So, the decision was to either stop using Wordpress, or to design my own theme. I love Wordpress, so I decided to go with the latter.

Designing a web site is a strange mix of code and graphic design. In my case, I’ve had to go back to php, a language I left a long time ago, and start learning CSS. Since I’ve been fooling around in Cocoa for quite a while, going back to php is just painful. Objective-C is a beautiful programming language. Mixing php and html… well, that’s just plain ugly. However, that being said, it’s familiar territory, so I almost feel like I’m coming home. One concept that I’ve learned with Cocoa is the Modal-View-Controller method, basically separating out the presentation code from the application code (yes, I know there is a lot, lot, lot more to it than that… no I’m not going to get into it here), using CSS kind of reminds me of the MVC method, in your php/xhtml code you define what objects are going to be displayed, and in CSS you define where and how to display them. I like the separation… keeps it clean.

At any rate, I’ve been busy coming up with the overall look and feel of the site. One thing I believe about software is that simplicity always wins. At least where I’m concerned it does, that’s why I use a lot of the apps that I use, because they are simple to use. Think about the Google home page. Simple, and it wins.

I’d appreciate any comments on the design, and please keep in mind this is only a very early mockup. Also, I’m going to be using this as my avatar for everywhere that I’ve got an account online: A friend of mine, who actually is a designer, laughed when I told him about the tools I’ve been using to do the design so far. First, the initial concept was created in OmniGraffle. From OmniGraffle, I’d export it as a Photoshop file and open it in Pixelmator to add the leaves and other touch ups. Right now, that’s as far as I’ve got. I’ll finish the design in the next couple of days, and then move into chopping the file up and getting deep into some code. Hopefully, I’ll have this finished in two or three weeks.

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