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New Blog Theme from today

Dear Readers: I have finally been able to complete (or in the process of) a new Theme for my blog, which makes it fully responsive to different screen sizes and easier for reading. I have been trialling it for some time now. But now I am releasing it into the ‘wild’ and I am seeking feedback on bugs found, compatibility with screens, eyes, etc. I still have to write some custom code to put some nature back into the header (graphic).

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    This Post Has 35 Comments
    1. No auto-playing videos? No ads masquerading as news? No custom fonts? Only 5s to render? 12MB of memory total? Pfft, no one is going to take you seriously now.
      Sorry, I can’t help myself, the web these days is all style over substance with massive waste of resources (i.e. electric power), your old ways are scary.

      just in case, that’s sarcasm. But, since it looks too much like something I would do (simple), I must say it probably means it needs a little splash somewhere, since that’s always what I’m told before I hand it off.

    2. It looks very nice. Maybe it will improve the quality of my comments- you never know.
      There is one thing though about the print or text, whatever it’s called. Can you make it a little darker? I think I could read it a little better if there was more contrast between the letters and the background.

    3. Dear Bill,

      The new theme is a great improvement on the last one.

      Just a couple of points, as you asked for bug reports:

      1) The page seems to ‘catch’ and wobble on screen slightly, but only when scrolling down via finger (iPhone 7, iOS 12.2.4) Not sure why, or what you can do to fix it – but it’s not too intrusive, so I can live with it.

      2) The white text, (“Macroeconomic research”) in the header, gets rather lost against the pale areas of the image.
      Maybe consider using another leafy image with more green and less white in it – though this may be what you are yet intending to do, as set out in your post!

      Looking forward to less eye-strain, many thanks.

      Best, Mr S.

    4. Dear Mr Shigemitsu (at 2019/04/02 at 4:36 pm)

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I checked the site on my iPhone (Max XS) with latest i0S and it renders okay. So I cannot fathom why it would not render on slightly smaller screens or earlier iPhones.

      The code I have in place now is fully responsive. It has taken some time to get to that point given the complexity of making it so.

      I am still tinkering with other features such as graphics.

      I had determined on my own iPhone test that the white text on the bottlebrush graphic was a non-starter. I have coded that problem away for now but I am still not completely happy.

      Anyway, it took me 7 years to get to this stage given the time it takes to get a nice theme written.

      best wishes

    5. Bill,

      Reader view option on my ancient Kindle Fire does not appear with your latest post but does on earlier postings.


    6. Hi Bill

      The new theme works much better on my iPhone 7 Plus.

      It scrolls fine and the contrast is ok for me.

      At least now I do not have to zoom in and scroll about just to read the blog post – I use Brave browser and Firefox Focus.

      Looking forward to hearing you speak in Glasgow in May. Hopefully I can learn some more about how EU membership would impact an independent Scotland


    7. In principle I agree with lighter text, but this initial presentation is too light; slightly higher contrast would be better. This applies even more to the style for quoted text.

      The main body of text is still too wide (or the text is too small). I believe a smaller line of words is easier to grasp (it’s why newspapers have columns). The size of text in the comment preview is a bigger and better size than in the body of the post.

      On a tablet it feels like a lot of scrolling to reach the lists of recent posts and comments. These have higher priority for me than the list of categories.

      Clearly it’s the content which is most important, but thanks for giving some consideration to presentation.

    8. It’s quite readable and very clean. I just feel the text gray should be a bit darker. The same for quoted text, which is a lighter gray.


    9. Looks fine on my ancient Dell screen attached to ancient Dell desktop (I’m such a dinosaur, but these things are like VW Beetles….they just run and run…). Will try it on my Android phone later.
      If I was to get picky, I’d say the text in the comment box is a bit washed out looking…but still legible.
      …OK, having scrolled down further, and still being picky, I’d say that having all those links etc inline on the left underneath is not quite as effective or neat looking as it used to look with the old theme. This is on a reasonably large computer screen. I can understand if you needed to do it this way for output to mobile devices though.
      It’s liveable-with, of course.

    10. 1. I feel that there is not enough visual distinction between the main post and the responses and between the individual responses. In Firefox on web, there’s just the faintest of hairlines between responses.

      2. All of the former sidebar materials are now at the bottom of the page. Is that by choice?

      Thank you very much.

    11. Bill, I agree with others that you need more contrast between the background and the text. A darker text would be fantastic, as it is now light black on light blue. Since you are in the design phase, I have been told by those with dyslexia that Comic Sans is the best font for them.

    12. Bill, I don’t think the headings should stay at the top as the reader scrolls down. It takes up too much real estate. There is no need for this function.

    13. Hi Bill:

      I have recently added your Macroeconomics text to my continuing education and i plan to follow your blogs for added material to interrogate the text. i use a Cornell table to control the column width of text to ease my learning. How do you feel about permitting printable pdf versions of your blogs for pasting into my study WORD document?

    14. This morning the text looks just fine to me. Perhaps my eyes are not as tired or maybe you made it darker. Or maybe it was my imagination all along. Thanks for the blog regardless!

    15. I like the fresh look. Nice and clear.
      Can’t comment on how it works for different devices (I only ever use the one laptop).

    16. It’s hard to find the last comment, now that all the ex-sidebar material has moved to the bottom. As long as replies aren’t injected into the comment stream, the last comment can be a useful waypoint. Could a fixed link be provided near the top, e.g. [ href=”#endcomments” ]/[ name=”endcomments”] ?
      Of course, the essays are the reason to come here.

    17. “Of course, the essays are the reason to come here.” Oh Mel- say it isn’t so. People don’t come here to read my comments? Alas, this harsh reality is like a bucket of ice water on my head as the realization sets in :)

      More seriously, the recent posts and comments still appear on the right of my screen unless I zoom in to about 200% at which point that info goes to the bottom. Which is pretty cool in my opinion. So maybe you could adjust the zoom thing on whatever kind of screen you use? I mostly use a laptop so it is a fairly large screen to read from.

      Since Bill asked for suggestions, a smiley emoticon would be on my wish list. Economics is so serious all the time and economists in general seem to suffer from a lack of humor (Bill is pretty atypical there I think). The smileys give some economists a fighting chance to tell when something is meant to be humorous. Otherwise they are hopeless. Maybe something about economics damages the sense of humor? If so I’ve probably been overexposed at this point. Who can I sue for this- are there any lawyer’s here? :)

      Oh and the anti-spam math questions are just killing me. I would have twice as many comments if I could just get them correct more often…

    18. Hmm. Yes. I see now. I like text at (ideally) magazine-column width so as to take in a line at one glance. Hence I had my browser window set narrow. Widening the window a tiny bit puts the right hand sidebar where it used to be, and everything back the way I liked it.
      Never mind. I’m OK now.

    19. And I should read the whole comment before I reply. I get comments allegedly rejected with the incorrect-anti-spam-answer error screen, but if I reverse with the browser’s Back button (to the page where I edited the comment), then use the browser’s Reload button, the comment-entry page is redisplayed, including the most recent comment, which is the one I just entered that was “rejected”.
      In case this helps.

    20. I have tried it on my desktop and on my cell phone — the cell phone is light-years ahead of the previous version, really easy to read. The older desktop version struck me as a little more stylish, but this is easier to read and less busy, without losing detail. Very good overall.

    21. I agree with others that the text is too light. I am going cross eyed reading it. Having read the first blog in this format, I also found it disturbing the amount of white space and very short paragraphs that are now in the text. Can we have longer paragraphs, please?

    22. Dear Elinor (at 2019/04/03 at 10:46 am) and others

      Thanks for all the feedback.

      I set the text to black overnight – I cannot get it darker.

      Short paragraphs are recommended for readability, which is why I use them. I clearly prefer longer paragraphs.

      I also shifted the order of items in the right sidebar – to bring Recent Comments, then Recent Posts up before the Categories.

      I am still tinkering but overall there is not a lot more I want to do – it has already taken be several years to get this far.

      I have now had it tested on every device known (iPads, iPhones, different computer screens etc) and it seems to please most people.

      I always took the requests for better rendering on small screens seriously but to shift from a non-responsive theme to a more modern responsive theme entails coding from the ground up.

      It has taken me time.

      best wishes

      best wishes

    23. @Jerry Brown: Think yourself lucky that the math is only arithmetic. I keep worrying Bill is going to introduce some Integral Calculus or something, in order to raise the bar…

    24. Bill, I’ve just realised that bold and italic HTML tags no longer seem to work in comments.

      (the above text originally contained both, as “b” and “i” within angle brackets and their close tags).

    25. Dear Bill,

      The scrolling issue seems to be resolved – perhaps I was getting a poor signal, or simply imagining it!

      Best Mr S.

    26. Bill, there are a number of things I don’t like about the new design. There are no Prev and Next blog post indicators, which I thought was helpful. The spam calulation box is not as clear as it previously was. The box outlines are poorly delineated both there and the comment box. Yout headers still follow the scroll taking up otherwise useful real estate to no real purpose. Whe I am reading the post, I don’t need the distraction of the neadline bar.

    27. Dear Larry (at 2019/04/04 at 1:29 am)

      Why are you so troublesome? (-:

      Anyway, I have now worked out how to code the Previous and Next blog post indicators and they are there now for your enjoyment.

      I am working on your other concerns. It is quite complicated getting all this working.

      The headline menu bar, however, stays as it is – it helps me work more quickly. So a selfish motivation. You just need to get a bigger screen.

      In general, the gains of this new design and code and its responsiveness is giving massive benefits to those who use iPhones etc to read my blog.

      Be happy for the Prev and Next links for now.

      best wishes

    28. Bill I really don’t know how you are able to do all that you do, many thanks. The new look of your blog is really good.

      I have mentioned it before but I really think you should have a relevant catchy photo or picture or cartoon or chart embedded in each of your new blog posts so that when a link to one of your posts is posted into Facebook or any other popular social media platform, that picture appears. Pictures that bring out an emotional response are particularly effective.

      That I believe would significantly increase hit rates and share rates …… and a post could even go viral in an academic sought of way. It also would make your posts easier to spot when scrolling through the timeline.

      I am a self proclaimed part time social media activist for the Australian Greens and I also try to promote MMT at every opportunity. It’s all about catching attention and enticing the reader to open and read the post and hopefully then feeling compelled to learn more or share the post.

      Please don’t take offence but currently your articles appear a tiny bit BORING visually when shown condensed in a social media timeline but of course the content is caviar for the brain ….. I think?

      This may however mean you compromise your ethics to open a Facebook account for testing the look of posts but its for a good cause. Hopefully the extra bandwidth needed for any embedded pictures will be affordable to you. Maybe Warren can provide some seed funding?

    29. Bill: As one of the ones who complained about the old formatting lol – I have to say “Thank-you, thank you, thank you~!” This is much easier for me to navigate <3

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