Simplify Man – Removing the Post Calandar Control


Something Scott C. said in response to my request for feedback on my new blog look struck a cord. 



“On the columns, who ever said we needed to pack all this crap onto our blogs that require 3 columns?”


So, in that spirit I’ve cut the post calendar from the site. I tried making it toggle-able and then a menu item at the top, but now I’m convinced it really doesn’t serve any purpose that isn’t met by the “Archive” links in a quicker way.  So #Cal { display : none;} is what I’m left with in my CSS override if any of you would like to do the same. 


I’m going to see what else I can do to make sure that information displayed on the side is of some value.  What about a “recent scooblog reader posts” or “recent links to scooblog” sections to go along with the recent posts?

Comments (13)

  1. Björn Graf says:

    Disclaimer: I’ve no idea if the following will work with the way themes/skins are handled in CS.

    A few ideas:

    * What about dropping the month list and use a single archive link to a page of a "posts by month" page instead (combined with the categories list)?

    * Navigation Home and Blogs point to the same URL. Also: ain’t all links on the left side navigation? πŸ™‚

    * Best Entries should be right after Recent Posts

    * The Scooblog Reader Community deserves its own page, too πŸ™‚

    Other ideas might require a whole new theme/skin so I leave ’em out.

    — b.gr

    P.S.: Toggle Archives doesn’t work in FX.

    P.P.S.: And I need to point to http://xkr.us/js/links :]

  2. geoff.appleby says:

    One thing I did on my blog when I wrote my custom skin for it was to remove the columns entirely. So many peoples blogs has a big stream of waste running down the sides that I wanted to just avoid it completely.

    I grew the header a touch bigger to make room for a search box and the needed nav links, and then i converted the post categories, article categories, blog roll and archive lists into menus. The menu names were listed in a row at the top, and when you clicked on them the right menu dropped down.

    It worked nicely, the only drawbacks being that it really needed a full skin rewrite, not just hacking the CSS, and it’s not working at the moment since it was written for CS1.0 and we upgraded to CS1.1. When I get a chance i’ll be fixing it up.

    So I like to ask people: do you really need any columns at all? (With the provisor that you have enough access to mod the skin entirely).

  3. geoff.appleby says:

    Oh, and yes. It was a good move to get rid of the calendar. They’re a big waste of time, IMO. πŸ™‚

  4. MobileDevGroup says:

    The new look is lookin’ pretty nice! One suggestion though: how about moving the column of goo from the left to the right? What’s the coolest thing about your site? The posts, not the goo of links on the left!

    There’s an added benefit for mobile device users as well: On a tiny screen your posts will be the first thing they see in the narrow vertical strip, not the last πŸ™‚

  5. ocean2000 says:

    thatβ€˜s great

  6. MSDNArchive says:

    Bjorn: I’m going to try and get rid of those extra navigation links. I’m also going to fix the fixerfox script issues. I’ll see what I can do about a new page for information like the reader community page.

    Geoff: You should send the changes along to telligent so they can make them an official skin. Your menu system is exactly what I’d like to do.

    VSDTeam: Ok, I’ve now had 3 requests to move the links to the right. I have an issue with larger pictures, but I’ll see if its a little better now that the posts are wider having moved from 3->2 columns.

  7. Joku says:

    Great. Finally! That silly calendar should be globally disabled by default!

    And now if the 3 other silly features with CS are fixed I am pretty happy. Those were:

    The old style Archive view, where you get a headline/subject and possibly a summary, not a multi-megabyte sized page with all the pictures, videos etc for every blog entry in a selected archived month. (the current, full entry view for every entry in a month could be optional possibly)

    And the no-url bug:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/jledgard/comments/437708.aspx

    If you go there and hover over the title: "Simplify Man – Removing the Post Calandar Control" You find there’s no perma-link to the entry. Minor annoyance, but bugs me often.

    And third I would like to see previous comments when commenting. But I guess some CS dev do not like this. Optional setting for the blog owner to change back to where you can’t see other comments when commenting perhaps?

  8. MSDNArchive says:

    Actually they switched the comment view back. You can see comments when commenting.

  9. MobileDevGroup says:

    Page looks great with the links on the right now. Very nice! Hadn’t thought about the picture problem, but it’s an interesting issue. The page width is pretty wide, you should be able to get by with a decent width picture without too much trouble.

    – Neil (a.k.a. VSDTeam for some reason)

  10. Joku says:

    >Actually they switched the comment view back. You can see comments when commenting.

    Great, however it’s not exactly like before:

    Try pressing "post comment" on a blog that has enough comments to not fit on your screen. The way it currently is done requires to manually scroll to bottom of the page to see the "What do you think?" box. That’s probably simple to fix, however ultimately I’d set the expectations with current technology to provide a near-realtime updating comments view and no page refreshes πŸ™‚

  11. KevinHarder says:

    Josh, I like what you’ve done with the place! πŸ™‚

    Joku, in response to you feedback about Community Server:

    1. This is actually a skin setting in CS 1.1. You can change any of the "views" (home, month archive, day archive, category, etc.) to display just the Title and excerpt by editing the appropriate skin file in the views folder of your blog skin. For the month view, open the View-Month.ascx file and set the EntryListContainer’s DisplayExcerpts = "true".

    For example, see: http://kevinharder.com/blogs/kevin/archive/2005/06.aspx

    2. I agree with you – I like having the entry’s title be a permalink to itself as well. I actually did this on my blog, but it requird a source code change. Scott W. and I disagree about whether the entry title should be a hyperlink, but maybe I can sneak that change into CS 1.2 while he’s not looking. =)

    3. As Josh said, we changed the comment form UI in CS 1.1 to show previous comments on the screen. However, for whatever reason, we didn’t add in an anchor link to scroll the page down to the comment form like we should have. I’ve fixed this on my site as well, which requires a small source code change. This should be in the next CS release.