A Visual Update

Sparrow Chat is a ‘work in progress’ in more ways than one. Not only is it a place to vent my spleen at the dastardly doings of this world, but it’s also a vehicle for my own education, slowly and painfully advancing my knowledge of how a load of weird code transforms into those pages we read on our screens every day.

Consequently, this week has seen the ‘place’ receive another facelift. I hope it’s an improvement, though bear in mind it’s still a work in progress.

I must apologize to those of you still battling on with Microsoft’s abortion of a browser, Internet Explorer 7. Like a spoiled child, it has a mind of its own and refuses to accept anything on its plate, unless particularly to its liking. As a consequence, some of you may have experienced a frustrating screen message when attempting to load Sparrow Chat, and been unable to gain access. IE7 didn’t like where I’d placed the ‘Sitemeter’ stats counter, so refused to do its job until I eventually discovered what was upsetting it, and moved the counter to a place it found to its liking.

During the final stages of the site update, I used a test image in the sidebar. It had, both unfortunately and misleadingly, been labeled, “enhancedorgan.jpg”. As I could overcome IE7’s reluctance to load Sparrow Chat by switching off its internet security system, I first assumed it had reacted to the image and dubbed Sparrow Chat a porno site. Replacing the image with a more innocently-named one, failed to resolve the issue, however, which was eventually pinned down to the Sitemeter counter and its offending Javascript.

If anyone still experiences difficulties with the site, or wishes to comment on it’s design – whether you love it or hate it – please feel free to email me at rjadams@sparrowchat.com or leave a comment below.

Oh, and the image labelled ‘enhancedorgan.jpg’?

A photo of the pipe organ from the church where Will Shakespeare is buried in Stratford on Avon, enhanced for internet use using photo-software.

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13 Replies to “A Visual Update”

  1. On mine, the one on internet explorer has a patterned background while the one on Firefox is similar to the old one. I like the looks of the internet explorer one a little more (mostly cause of the contrast), but both are nice.

  2. Flimsy – the background is made up of thousands of little ‘sparrow’ images, and should be similar both on IE7 and Firefox. I think on Firefox the page may need refreshing, or your temporary internet files may need deleting, if the ‘old’ version keeps appearing. Both browsers should display the same page with patterned background. Let me know how it goes.

    TOB – glad you like it.

  3. I saw and liked the embossed sparrows; altogether the blog has a lighter, more whimsical look while almost being ‘tweedy’… but to be honest with you, i don’t think it works with the header photo. (Which is a shame, because it’s enjoyable) Good work, tho.

  4. I’m not sure about it, RJA. The pattern looks like those casual shirts men wear these days where I find my eyes focussing on the busy stuff on the shirt rather then the man. Something men have wrestled with for years, no doubt, with women and their busy bits ;^)
    I think the background detracts from the text?
    but you know what? If you like it that’s all that matters. To hell with us.

  5. I thought the background pattern was thousands of little sparrow footprints, RJ – LOL!

    I find it a tad busy and distracting, and the brown text where we are directed to the previous post doesn’t show up very clearly.

    But, as WWW said – if it pleases you, sir, that’s the number one consideration.

  6. I’d like to thank all of you who’ve contributed your views on the ‘new’ Sparrow Chat. It was both noticeable, and predictable, that those of my own sex found it acceptable (and, yes Al, I do agree that solving a bug is a most rewarding experience, and one of the addictions of computer programming).

    The ladies were more revealing, as I guessed they would be. All voiced opinions of great value to me. You see, it’s not enough that I should be satisfied. Anything that irritates is a diversion from the subject matter, not as it’s written, but as it’s read. You do the reading, not me. So it has to be acceptable to you also,

    Sister Anan described it as ‘tweedy’. She was right, but WWW and Twilight were also correct in calling it ‘busy’ and ‘distracting’. Sister Anan noticed the header, enjoyable in certain settings, but not quite right with the new look.

    All of these comments applied to factors that were already giving me an itch, so to speak. The background was distracting, but would I get used to it? The header was dominating everything, but perhaps, that was just me being picky?

    As you may have noticed, I’ve taken your comments to heart and made some changes. I have a better feeling about it now. Were it not for you, I may have decided the previous design was okay, and wondered why that itch kept coming back.

    I’d still like you comments, even if you don’t like this latest attempt. Finally, thank you all for being honest.

  7. I really like what you’ve done with the place. Very restful. Quite right in thinking that the majority of the spice should come from the writing itself, of course.

    Anytime you want more useless bits of advice, please feel free…

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