Nice colors! The first thing I thought when the site Occasional Subversion loaded into my browser was just that. The visually pleasing design of the site wasn’t an assault against my retina as some sites can be. The softness of the presentation lent itself well to the delivery of the articles on the site. I didn’t particularly like the color of the links, but I can live with it. It’s much more about the content on this site than the external links, and the links within the articles are few.
One thing which really stood out about the site was the way it loaded into my browser. At first I thought it might have been an animation, but I soon realized it was just the way the code was rendered in the browser and the way the provider’s servers were feeding the sites out in their busiest hours. I was able to make this determination by loading it in several different browsers and realized the loading of the page was taking anywhere from a few seconds, to “I guess I’ll get a cup of coffee”. This isn’t so much the fault of the author as it is the person who coded the page, and the overloading of the servers at the hosting site.
As I began to read the articles on the site, I found some really excellent writing. Actually, the first article I read on it was a quote from Aristotle. Really not a bad writer for his time…or our time either. The site’s author is quite good as well. He has nice word usage, and his phrasing is well thought out. I’d expect nothing less from this teacher at the New Hampton School. If his style of writing rubs off on his students, they should be good writers as well.
But really that’s more of a comment about his articles which were reprinted from the newspaper. When you read his blog entries, they feel cut off. I get the impression he’s in a hurry but feels like he needs to make an entry. It’s like getting into a nice new Porsche on a race track with a driver like Derek Bell, going three quarters of the way around the track right up to the final straight, and slowing down to pull into the pit lane. It’s anti-climatic for the reader.
The difficult part about this site is the layout. Although I love the color choices and the way the sections are designed, the placement needs work. We have a nice banner area on the top right, a sidebar on the left, and the articles section on the right, below the banner section. If you happen to scroll down past the first few entries, you find a search/archive section, and a block for current news from a few RSS feeds. Then, finally, if/when you get past the articles, you find an area for links. They’re in a large area, in a single column, when three or at least two would have worked better. Maybe the author should audit a class on CSS at his school.
The site is aimed at your average liberal. If you’re a conservative, you won’t like what he has to say. And although he comments to “let me know”, there is an obvious lack of a way to offer comments on the site. Regardless of your political leanings, you’ll find his writing to be better than good, although he won’t be winning the Nobel prize any time soon. This isn’t going to detract from your enjoyment of the articles, but I’d really like to see some work on the layout of the site.Occasional Subversion