Redesigning and Testing

Over the holidays, I have set up a new theme for Dr. Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor blog. The new theme is now ‘responsive’, which means that his posts are going to be more readable on mobile devices.

That was not without some minor issues. There are tons of themes out there, but it is difficult to find a theme with all of the features that are needed. In addition, Dr Pournelle is somewhat set in his ways on how to write content for his site. He wants more control over the visual look of his posts, so he needs to easily see how things look before he publishes.

When we first moved him to the WordPress platform, we had to move him away from FrontPage and into a visual editor. We decided on Windows LiveWriter, which had the advantage of giving him a close approximation of the final look of his posts before he publishes. Live Writer had most of the features he needed, and those that he was used to (mostly fonts and how to get pictures in his posts) we figured out some workarounds.

With the new theme on his site, we have found that LiveWriter had some shortcomings. One in particular: fonts. LiveWriter has the fonts that are available on his computer, but those font are not necessarily the same fonts available on the web site. So things would look as he wanted them on his local system (in Live Writer), but the published post would substitute fonts away from what he had selected.

So, I’ve been spending a bunch of time trying to find the ultimate combination of responsive theme with an editor that will show posts that will look the same while editing and when it is published.

So this site is the ‘test-bed’ of that search. The current theme is “Graphene”, which has lots of customization options. I’ve also installed the TinyMCE Advanced editor plugin. The combination of the two appears to be what is needed. The TinyMCE Advanced options allow customization of the editor screen. The Graphene theme seems to support having the published posts look like the post on the editor screen. The Graphene theme options allow for the customization of theme settings. Plus it is responsive, so it should look OK on mobile devices.

So, this place has changed the look, and it will change as I tweak things to get closer to the ultimate needs. And perhaps this will provide the features that Dr. Pournelle needs for his site.

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