I always have so much to do in December, don't you? So many social events, Christmas shopping, year-end deadlines. But somehow I love it. The cold crisp air, lights everywhere, a sense of excitement, music...
And since I have so much to do, naturally I'm procrastinating by working on something I don't have to do at all. Yep, I redesigned my blog. And you probably can't even tell!
If you're a Critical Section regular, you know I like frames, and for most of this site's existence the default view was a frameset. Then recently I ran a survey, found hardly anyone liked my frames (!), and made "no frames" the default. In the month since, only 40 visitors ever selected the "(frames)" option, out of about 34,000. (I get around 1,000 pages views per day.) Meanwhile I had a lot of residual complexity from supporting the "(frames)" option, much of it hidden; for example correctly computing page views when you have a frameset is nontrivial (you don't want to count each frame as a seperate page, that would be misleading). And we all know that complexity is bad (W=UH). Not to mention, I'm plotting further changes which probably will be visible, and continuing to support frames as an option just makes everything harder.
Simultaneously, I decided to get rid of an ongoing ugliness in my permalinks. You may be aware of Brent's Law: The more expensive the CMS (content management system), the crappier the URLs. Well my CMS is free, but the URLs all started with this funky "index.cgi" (or worse, "noframes.cgi"!). I finally learned enough about Apache's mod_rewrite to eliminate the CGI from the URL. (It took about ten minutes :)
So - poof! - no more frames. At all. Even as an option. And - poof! - no more funky URLs. You might notice that things load faster. And you might notice that something is broken (!), if so, please let me know.
Simple is Good. Okay, now, back to work :)