Those knowing my blog at heelsbroke.blogspot.com might wonder why I started publishing Linux documentation here at wordpress.com. So a few words on this subject are in order …
I’m pretty much lured by the visual impression that things have on me. Show me any well-written and helpful text on a page: If the design the text is embedded into is appalling, I hate to look at it. No matter how useful its reading might be.
This begins with pages overloaded with items, arranged so carelessly and ugly, that one cannot be sure: Are the designers simply non-pro enough to not bother whether we like their product or not, or did they simply choose the wrong job. After all a lousy web-designer could be an excellent flea circus manager any time.
Here’s a fine start of what I think is a web site with beautifully designed entrance pages, with only the needed information on it, and arranged to a nice design:
WordPress fulfills my requirements in that regard, with dozens of different themes they offer. These themes are in most cases customizable, so to some degree users can change the appearance of them to their likings.
Additionally wordpress.com has set up a nice admin area – a.k.a. dashboard – for their users, in non-kitschy colors, and with easily browsable sub-items to edit the settings of a blog.
I refuse to waste my time with unnecessary efforts to reach some end: If I have to dig for hours for help, on how I change things on my blog, and whether I can change them at all, then I will look for a change of the blog host. Sooner or later.
A very good start for help so far was the very entrance help page for wordpress.com: http://support.wordpress.com/.
Plus: I publish samples of code very often – which is a snap on wordpress com: They offer a style sheet tag to do that, that looks like so:
[sourcecode language="css"] this is some <code> foo code </code> [/sourcecode]
The important part above are lines 1 and 3: This little snippet also enables readers to easily distinguish explanations on my posts from some actual code I show them.
And yes: Sad to say on blogger.com – to get code like that running like it does here – involves a lot more effort, as it seems.
One of my favorite features on my blogs at wordpress.com is the diff you can see between different versions of the entries I wrote: I like to fine tune my posts often, and under these circumstances it’s highly important to have definite control of what was changed: I publish code, and I have to make extra sure I don’t mess it up.
And yes, wordpress.com even gives me stats for my posts – at the admin area of my blog.
HTML code, as probably any code, has to be as short as possible, and as long as necessary. Keep it simple. This is important to keep debugging time at a minimum.
Besides that, non-bloated code is more elegant, and much more beautiful. For my eyes at least …
To learn HTML, a good and efficient way is to simply use the WYSIWYG editors of blog hosters. They’re available both on blogger.com and on wordpress.com: Switching from WYSIWYG to HTML editor mode shows you the tags to use for what you want.
To illustrate it, here’s an example – I want the code for these four words:
italic, bold and centered
To format the text above the blogger.com WYSIWYG editor writes this code:
<div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-style: italic;">italic</span>, <span style="font-weight: bold;">bold</span> and centered</div>
While the code writen by the editor on wordpress.com yields this:
<p style="text-align: center;"><em>italic</em>, <strong>bold</strong> and centered</p>
I prefer the shorter one produced by the wordpress editor. Especially as both code snippets on both blogger and wordpress do nearly the same.
Well, yes – last, but certainly not least: blogging at wordpress.com is free for its users.
Now all this doesn’t mean I will close down my blog at heelsbroke.blogspot.com. It only means that I will use that blog for something else in the future. Details are not clear yet. Stay tuned, please …