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New Year – New look & Features

One reason why I’ve been blogging less frequently recently, is because I updated the visual design and code behind my blog and web site.  The update stems from a more major update to my Dad’s webiste, which at the moment is in the "client review" stage .  I won’t go into the back end details yet, as I want to clean up that code, test it some more, and release it.  Some highlights of the changes you’re seeing include:

  1. A cleaned up visual design.  I wanted to de-clutter the homepage by reducing the number of columns uses, more white space so that content isn’t squeezed together too much.
  2. More informative sidebars on pages.  If you are reading just this post, on the right side you’ll notice that I’ve pulled out some summary data about each post.  You’ll also find a handy list of the links I reference in any post. 
  3. Del.icio.us integration on my tag pages.  If you view what I’ve written about Bolivia, in the sidebar you’ll also see a list of links I’ve tagged on delicious to that topic.
  4. Del.icio.us Network information on the homepage.  This is partially to see if or how people have saved pages on my blog on del.icio.us.  If you’re a del.icio.us user, please add me to your network – and I’ll reciprocate!
  5. The comments interface is improved.  I’m using Javascript for a first-pass validation of comments, so if you miss a field, you won’t have to make the round trip to server before getting an error message.  I’m also using SafeHTML to sanitize the contents and allow more HTML formatting, which should at least make Jason happy.

I’d appreciate any feedback on the changes.  And if you notice any bugs or weird behaviors, please drop me a comment or an email.