Furry animation contest deadline; WordPress theme experiment.
by Patch O'Furr
Animation news via Higgs Raccoon of Furrymedia:
Here’s something for you to report in the Dogpatch Press. Kinda time-critical, though.
There’s a company called Saban Brands, which is running a competition for animated shorts. The judging is by public voting, but there’s only a day-and-a-bit left (I only just happened upon it.)
Website here: http://sabanshorts.com/
The shorts include a few with anthro critters.(“Late to Work!” with the raccoon is nice, but “Hijacked” with the furry pirate crews is my favourite.)
The blog is undergoing a little tweaking. This free theme (Twentyfourteen) pleases me in many ways – but has two major drawbacks:
- I want the center content area to span 1000px for long-form articles, best suited to read on a PC monitor.
- Justified left sucks – it needs to be centered!
Reviewers have knocked Twentyfourteen theme for this, but I just haven’t seen many others I like.
The previous theme, Manifest, had the major advantage of centered content spanning the entire screen, at any width I told it to take.
But I’m mystified how to tweak this one – the CSS customization option doesn’t respond. Anyone help? If I can’t find an answer I will revert to the old theme soon.
EDIT – reverted.
I’d put in a gentle vote for giving this theme a longer test run even if you can’t muck about with it as much as you might wish.
Typographically, this looks good. Longer articles get harder to read with long lines, not easier, and that doesn’t change based on the medium (print, iPad, monitor, whatever). Please don’t do something that breaks responsive design: we are in an age when browsing on smartphones and tablets matter.
I’m not entirely sure what you mean by “left-justified sucks” and “center everything.” Headings, maybe. The sidebars, you could, although I don’t think they’d look better. I certainly hope not article text. 🙂
I liked the change, and the sidebars. But the narrow content area screwed up 165 past posts.
All of the columns were crowded way to the left, but I did get the columns (not text) centered.
I wanted a wide center column (1000 pix) for a long form magazine article feel, laying out images among text. That seemed to work with 300-400px wide images (plenty of size for OK detail). Then centered images alone could go very wide.
Fred’s “History of Furry Publishing” lines up 6 horizontal images that seem OK inside 1000px, but would be way too small with less width. It allowed all of the large amount of graphics he submitted.
I think the tweaks I was hoping to include were just not meant to be done with these themes. As far as I can tell. Not without setting up an individual domain with a self hosted WordPress install and paying for custom tweaking, which may not be practical anyways because it would break the functionality (?)
So a single wide column and no sidebars may stay the best option (?) Too bad but I don’t want to go back and reformat 165 articles to fit a more narrow column. I’ll revert it for now and maybe look into this later.
None of this is formally educated BTW so advice is appreciated 🙂
Self-hosting shouldn’t break functionality, although it can get somewhat complicated. You can create a “child theme” that has overrides, although how much can be overridden sometimes depends on the way the original theme was written. (The theme I’m using at Claw & Quill now is a child theme of one called “Zuki,” but I discovered I couldn’t override their font choices without brute-forcing it, which so far I’ve avoided).
You shouldn’t have to reformat the past articles, although I know that may depend on how they were formatted originally. A few of them — like the one from Fred you mentioned — might need to be, but that might not be a bad idea over the long run anyway. I’ve learned over time to favor designs that don’t lock down to minimum widths for major elements when possible, to avoid effectively forcing readers to use devices that support that width. (Somebody reading on a phone has what amounts to a 320-384px wide display in portrait mode.) That means you’d have to do Something Else rather than the grid of cover displays on a phone, but it’d be theoretically possible to have it do the right thing entirely in CSS — although that does edge into the Hairy Stuff as far as CSS goes…