• Adventures in Templating

    September 14, 2004

    I spent a good few hours figuring out how to make WordPress look more like MovableType. I ended up duplicating some of the structure (the content and right divs, in particular) and converted a lot of font-size CSS to use the named sizes. This seems to allow things to scale a bit nicer. I’m pretty sure there’s horrible, horrible things left in the CSS from my mucking, but for now seems to work.


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    Dave Seah
  • WordPress Impressions

    September 13, 2004

    Very quickly, my impressions so far…

    • I like WordPress’s admin interface slightly better, though there are some odd gaps (deleting a draft, for example, requires posting it then deleting it unless I’m missing something)
    • The default CSS looks terrible on my computer…it looks like ass
    • The template system doesn’t require rebuilds like MT does. Instead, you’re coding in PHP, and there is no “rebuild” every time you update a template in MT.
    • The WordPress admin interface doesn’t compartmentalize all the editable files as cleanly as MT, but then again you’re really editing css and .php files directly…the flip side of being direct is that you have to be more careful.
    • If you’re not careful about being XHTML compliant in your posts, you might lose some of your work :/
    • The “Save” button in Write automatically opens a blank post window. I would prefer it to go back to the posts window.
    • I like the “edit this” link that pops up if you’re logged in
    • If you hate editing the templates via the admin interface, DreamWeaver works just fine!
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    Dave Seah
  • Evaluatin’ Movable Type

    September 13, 2004

    NOTE: This post got ‘piratized’ by the text filter I used for Talk Like A Pirate Day and got saved back into the database. This seems kind of dumb. Is it a config issue? Anyway…

    I’m evaluatin’ both Movable Type and WordPress, I’ll warrant ye. Movable Type has a nice interface, but th’ static page generation workflow bugs me a bit. Aarrr! I were bein’ also surprised t’ see a lack o’ built-in CSS class definitions t’ handle basic formattin’ chores o’ images, etc. My impression is that th’ power o’ Movable Type lies largely in its skeleton structure, integration with RSS feeds, and plugin support. There are also a few very nicely designed Movable Type weblogs, we’ll keel-haul ye! Aarrr!

    Some advantages o’ Movable Type

    • It’s relatively nice lookin’ out o’ th’ box
    • It’s relatively easy t’ install, though ’tis still somewhat involved fer th’ novice on unix who’s ne’er installed a database-driven application.
    • It has an active developer and user community, unlike “more powerful” roll-yer-own systems.
    • A pretty powerful template-based content system, with lots o’ useful tags

    Some thin’s that are iffy:

    • A somewhat primitive upload admiral
    • Nay asset management…ye need t’ define yer directory structure fer images, thumbnails, and so on in advance if ye want it t’ make sense later.
    • A confusin’ dynamic template system. Partly this is due t’ th’ system itself not bein’ well understood by meself
    • A requirement t’ know CSS t’ restyle yer site
    • Cost fer multiple users (not a big deal, th’ prices are quite reasonable)

    So this brin’s me t’ WordPress, which is free, has active community support, and installs quite a bit more simply, pass the grog, avast! Let’s see how this goes.

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    Dave Seah
  • First Post

    September 11, 2004

    The new web site is launched, though things are still obviously under construction. This will be a good opportunity to post regular tidbits about what I’m working on for a small group of acquaintances, while working on my writing.

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    Dave Seah
  • Boston Museum of Science (2002)

    September 3, 2004

    The Museum of Science Bird Hall focuses not just on a lot of stuffed birds, but on bird language. A careful observer can tell a lot about what’s going on by identifying the behavior of birds. The two interactives are designed to demonstrate this through illustration and example. They were designed at Interactive Factory with the Museum of Science’s exhibit designers.

    Both interactives were created at Interactive Factory, primarily using PC Director 8.5 for deployment on dedicated PowerMac 700MHz G4s, back in 2001. An interesting challenge was that the kiosks were designed without keyboards or mice, relying solely on arcade-style pushbuttons. I did the programming with some graphics for each interactive.

    FBI Mystery

    990-02-mosfbi01.jpg The idea behind this interactive is to solve a series of mysteries through auditory cues. The kiosk itself resembles the back of an equipment van, stacked with all kind of audio equipment. The interactive resembles a mixing board that allows users to selectively add and subtract sounds to match audio heard in a recording.


    990-02-mosmural01.jpg There are three different mini-games in this interactive, based around events that take place in Acadia National Park up in Maine. Like the FBI Mystery, the emphasis is on teaching bird language. This screenshot shows the “reconstruct the events” mini-game.

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    Dave Seah