More Boring Metablogging

Hey everyone, those of you who read this blog on the main MSDN page rather than via your own RSS reader have probably noticed that the new default themes went live yesterday.

I am aware that the new theme does not make particularly efficient use of precious screen real estate. I am a cargo cult programmer when it comes to CSS; I steal other people's code and hack around until I get something which barely works. I've tightened up the tag cloud and reduced the size of the sidebar; figuring out how to expand the text so that it fills more than just the center of the screen is at present beyond my limited abilities and I have other priorities. I'll figure it out eventually; bear with me.

If you have comments on the default layout or any other aspect of the new blog software, I encourage you to send them to someone who can actually do something about it, i.e., not me. The hard-working and overwhelmed-with-email Sean Jenkin is the person to send feedback to. Thanks to Sean and the whole MSDN / TechNet / Telligent team for all your hard work getting the new system going; I look forward to using it.


Comments (8)

  1. Jimmy says:

    The purple text now matches the rest of the page…

    this is weird.

  2. CarlD says:

    Thanks for the tweak, Eric!  That little change you made is quite noticible and appreciated!

  3. Yeah, the ugly purple text actually works now. Ha.

  4. Sohel says:

    I think the new design is much better. In blog sites, people usually visit to read and that's way such types of sites should have more space to fit content rather than most of page is covered with left/right/top/bottom navigation. Also the text color is a concern as this needs shiny text color or at least not dim. Thanks for new design

  5. Richard says:

    This is what I've just added with stylish (FF extension to inject user styles on a per-page basis) to (1) clean up the style of the code fragments, including the variable fonts, and (2) shrink the RHS):

     /* Make this like a <pre> */

     .code {

       white-space: pre !important;

       display: block !important;

       font-family: monospace !important;


     /* Eliminate the various specific span font settings */

     .code [style^=font-family] {

       font-family: inherit !important;


     /* Shrink the RHS */

     div.layout-region.right-sidebar {

       width: 240px !important;


    The use of an attribute selector will match any span with a style attribute starting "font-family"  (overriding style attributes is a pain… which is why they are deprecated in HTML: hint hint.)

  6. Greg says:

    Overformatting the text restricts the browser from formatting that text in a way suited to the reader.  

    Too many blogs assume that you use 9 point text on a 1280 pixel or wider screen at 100% font size.

    That renders poorly when you have large fonts (120%) set in windows,  use 1178 wide screen and have 10 point or larger font set in IE.

    I've run with large fonts (120%) and reduced resolution (1178 wide) for many years to have readable text on most all application in Windows.  That environment easily shows application and web pages not designed for acessibility.

    The usual way to do this is to have a text mode with very limited css/html markup to format the text.   The browser would render it based on user and windows display settings.  This also helps greatly for persons using a screen reader program.

  7. Tom says:

    The front page is sexy and all — I like the VS2010 purple & blue scheme; MSDN is now not only informative but attractive! — but do you know if there's a way to encourage (i.e., force) display of the latest entry rather than a list of entries?

  8. @Tom:

    I don't think you can get _just_ the last entry, but you can get a list of posts with full body, rather than just headers and first sentence (i.e. the same as it was before the upgrade). To do that, when you have the list of entries in the blog opened, use the two icons to the left of "Sort by:" on top of the list to switch to and from full post body view.

Skip to main content