Tennessee Library Association Conference

Just got back from the TLA Conference in Chattanooga. I had a good time, saw several people that I hadn’t seen in a few years. The presentations were good, Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect was the keynote speaker. Sadly I didn’t get to hear her speak since the room was standing-room only by the time I got there. I attened sessions on IM reference, wikis, and library website redesign among other things. I also toured UT Chattanooga’s Lupton Library.

Templates, web design, and work

When I started my job at Hodges, I knew 95% of the designs I came up would have to fit in the UT template which is ugly, brown/beige, and table based, with minimal CSS. When the templates appeared in 2003, Matt Grayson and I were working on a new site design for SIS, so we were forced into the design, but we still used CSS.

Fast forward to 2006 and I was once again making a CSS version of the templates. The SIS site had evolved to the point where I couldn’t use that as a base anymore, it was too integrated with Drupal now. Neither Matt or I had any of the pre Drupal code saved anywhere, so I was starting from scratch and dealing with new bugs and browser issues. I was almost done when I heard about a new design/templates coming soon.

New templates were supposed to arrive in October sometime, and the new design for utk.edu was supposed to debut January 1. Units could roll out designs based on the new templates on or after that date. But the templates never came and January has come and gone.

Well this week the new design for utk.edu appeared and it looks good. Much better than the old design. I’m really glad that even with the delays, they took the time to get it right this time and got some feedback from other UT web folks along the way.

The lead designer for the new look, Darren Hughes, has a nice blog entry about the design process. My hat is off to you Darren, I can only hope you’re well paid for all your headaches.

While the templates based on the new look aren’t quite ready yet, hopefully they will be soon. Then I can let loose with some work I’ve been waiting on for quite a while.

OS X Color Picker

So I needed to figure out the hex values for a color a few minutes ago. OS X has a built in color app but it’s a bit hard to get to. Thanks to this blog post, I found out all I need to do is fire up Applescript and type “choose color” and save that as an application. Add in the free HexColorPicker and away I go.

Makes my day in library land a little easier. On another note, I may get back to posting on a more regular basis eventually. 🙂

Update: Another good (and free) color app to have, exColor.

Dreamweaver vs GoLive

The battle is here. With Dreamweaver and GoLive now both owned by Adobe, what will get included in Creative Suite? The answer is… both.

CS Premium will include both GoLive and Dreamweaver. I wonder how long that will last? And I guess Fireworks will disappear which is sad. I’ve never felt that Photoshop was that great for web graphics.

I’ve used Dreamweaver/Fireworks since version 2. I started using it because it intergated nicely with HomeSite, the HTML editor I’ve used since Nick Bradbury (a UT alumni) still owned it.

Sadly Homesite appears to be another neglected product. Allaire kept developing it, and Macromedia kept it current, but I doubt Adobe sees a need for it. I’m mostly using a Mac this days anyway, so no more Homesite for me.

I mainly use Dreamweaver in code view since it doesn’t display CSS layouts as well as i would like. I’ve never used GoLive that much. Hopefully Adobe will take the best features from GoLive and Dreamweaver and make a great product. The chances of that are probably pretty slim…

Not a lot of time

Blogging has slowed down because life is still busy and I haven’t had much time to think, let alone post anything. I’m settling in to a new office and am beginning to figure out my job. Right now I’m waiting on computers and software so I can debug a new site design…

Work Work Work

Well I’m starting to get settled in at Hodges. Still waiting on keys to my office, which may not matter since I may be moving offices anyway. Still don’t know quite what I’m doing yet, but I do know I’m the only person in Hodges whose sole job is designing web sites. That probably means I’m going to be staying busy.