New Theme: Lawful Good

By Shamus
on Apr 17, 2008
Filed under:
Projects

I’ve made Lawful Good the default theme. The old white / black themes are still available (look at the top of the sidebar on the front page, just under the big 20-sider) if you just have to switch back. It’s changed a bit since I rolled it out a couple weeks ago. The goal is to eventually get rid of the Black / White themes and replace them with Lawful Good / Evil themes.

Every time I change the theme I get mostly negative responses. Either the site themes have been getting worse since the inception of the site, or this is one of those issues which only generates negative feedback. I suppose I could just stop messing with it.

At any rate, appearance aside, the thing should at least be readable now. Let me know if it malfunctions.

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202020426 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. henebry says:

    As one of the people who wrote in with objections when you rolled out the Lawful Good beta, I want you to know that I’ve really been impressed with the changes you’ve made since then. I’ve been using LG as my theme for viewing the site since your first set of tweaks went into effect. In its current state, the theme is readable in small-width browsers as well as wide-width ones. And the grey background really is easier on the eyes than the bright white of the old default theme.

    Kudos!

  2. Joshua says:

    I’d appreciate it if you’d keep the white theme around. Not to be negative, but Lawful Good is too hard for me to read.

  3. onosson says:

    I’m glad you moved the sidebar, I already felt that this was the best theme in all other respects. And yet, I usually play chaotic and neutral characters…

  4. Mereel1138 says:

    Ah! It was moved! I had thought it was missing the blogroll and the rest of the sidebar. I rather liked it where it was. The new theme is pretty, but also pretty hard to read.

  5. Dirty Dan says:

    Dunno about everyone else, but I’ve been using LG since it inception. The L-R flip was a welcome change for the aesthetically conservative part of my brain, and as a user of the most popular browser among your readers, I don’t have any technical worries about the display. I’m sure it’s just people’s general fear of change that makes them revolt over layout changes. I’m looking forward to CE to make the site just a bit easier on the eyes for extended reading.

  6. Nick Pitino says:

    Last time I tried the Lawful Good theme it felt a bit wonky, but now the kinks seem to have been ironed out and it looks just fine.

    It’s not bad at all, certainly much better than the abomination that is my website.

  7. Mephane says:

    It is not the colors, but the overall layout that I find quite disturbing. It seems to me as if it might just not be rendered properly.

    To give you an impression of what I am seeing, I have made seom screenshots:

    http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/8504/unbenannt1rc6.png

    –>Date in 3 Lines and the post-label sticking through what looks like a misplaced bordered div-tag

    http://img120.imageshack.us/img120/8473/unbenannt2tz7.png

    –>Well, how should I describe my impression. It is not just that all that stuff is on the bottom instead of the sidebar, and also not just that it is arranged totally assymetric, it just looks as if “Syndicate”, “Meta” and “Blogroll” were meant to show up differently, maybe on the right side with the pile of dice in the middle without any text or links below it… but I am not sure. Normally I’d suppose the site is not rendered properly on my Browser (Firefox 2.0.0.13).

    EDIT: To clarify my post: I do not consider the overall theme bad, not at all. The colors are really well-chosen, as are the fonts, and as long as you don’t scroll down to the bottom of the page, the layout in overall looks good, well, except for the details I pointed out.

  8. Well I like it; it looks sleek and cool!

    Tweak all you like, as long as you get a second opinion on readability that matches your own, you’re good in my book.

  9. Viktor says:

    I still prefer the black one (and I know I gave you much positive feedback when it was introduced). I’m not a fan of pale backgrounds, and more than half the screen is blank for me when I’m reading the comments.
    http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m126/stoopidtallkid/Internet/dmotr.jpg
    I’m keeping it black at least until the CE one is introduced. Sorry.

  10. Jeremiah says:

    I prefer the black background, too, but I think that’s more that I just prefer gray text on a black background. So, really, I’m excited to see what you do for the Lawful Evil theme.

  11. RedHillian says:

    Now you’ve tweaked it, it’s great – the problems I had were related to the horizontal scrollbar (gone), the a huge aount of white(grey?)space, also cleared up – the layout works for me, and the colours are good.

    I’ll have this one I think.

  12. Seb says:

    (very) long time reader, first time poster.

    I really like this new theme. Colors are great, layout is much better with the side bar on the right side.

    Some comments though :
    – I liked how your comments where highlighted in a red box before. Made it easy to track them when I wanted to see if you had replied to a specific question for instance. The yellowish background is less intrusive, but also less obvious.

    – Syndicates are displayed twice, both in the sidebar and on the bottom. I’m not sure they are needed that much ;) On the other hand, I find the blogroll kind of lost down on the bottom. Maybe putting it in the sidebar could be interesting.

    Your archives section will keep growing for a long time (at least I hope so ;)), so maybe using more columns to display it could be something to consider. One column per year maybe ?

    Last, you said you wanted more dice. Using dices as separators could be a solution. For instance, in the sidebar, putting one dice between each “paragraph” would be nice.

    Anyway, nice job :)

    cheers

    (excuse my english, I’m no native speaker)

  13. Phlux says:

    It didn’t default for me. I had to choose the new theme from your drop-down before it loaded. Is that a cookie issue maybe? I guess I didn’t try doing a hard refresh of the page.

    I do like the theme better now. The navbar looks better on the right, and everything lines up a lot nicer in IE7 now.

    For your Archives section, have you thought about maybe doing an expandable tree instead of a flat list? You’d just have the year, and then a + next to it to expand the months. It would keep it a lot smaller, and maybe it wouldn’t need to be all the way at the bottom.

  14. Nixorbo says:

    *I* like it. Everything’s looking good in Firefox/2.0.0.11

  15. JFargo says:

    I like it, personally. Sorry I can’t be more constructive, but still thought I’d let you know.

  16. Spam says:

    Yes, I like the tweaks. You really worked out the bugs. I had it defaulting to LG anyway. I look forward to LE.

  17. asterismW says:

    Ah, brilliant, the text is where it should be, and the sidebar is back on the right. Much, much better.

    I don’t know if this is being nitpicky or not, but the font for the post titles and the names of people in the responses really bothers me. The post titles just seem to big and bold. For the names, it’s really disconcerting to have all caps, with a few seemingly random bolded letters. I know the bolded ones are the “real” capitals (or numbers), but it’s throwing me off, especially with some names, like The Chatty DM and Mereel1138. And then some names, which are all lower case, look like they’re all upper case, and just aren’t special enough to warrant a bold letter or two. I quite like the font for the category headers at the bottom of the page though.

  18. James says:

    I’m a big fan of the LG theme. It’s easy on the eyes and is more aesthetically pleasing than the old theme. Been using it since it was added to the site.

    Cheers,

  19. All the kinks with the styling I disliked when I saw it first appear to have been worked out, so all is good here

  20. Avaz says:

    If no one’s said it before, this quote seems quite fitting…

    Paraphrased: “The only thing people hate more than a stagnant videogame/blog/etc., is a change to it.”

  21. Josh says:

    The theme is nice. I would recommend that you generate the logo in the size that it’s going to be displayed, though. Currently web browsers have to resize it, and they don’t do a very good job, leaving jaggies along the slanted edges of the letters.

  22. Lonster says:

    I would really appreciate a “no frills” black on white option to persist into eternity…maybe “True Neutral”…see, I read your blog at work, and it looks a lot like a professional forum (except for the little square icons by the comments).

    Just my 2 cents. If there’s no black on white version, I’ll probably still read it, but it will be more sporadic…like, when the boss is out. :-)

  23. GamerCow says:

    Two hooves up for the LG theme.

  24. Ryan Graham says:

    Your syndication box is duplicated. Maybe you could remove both by making the RSS feed button the top bar a menu containing the different syndication methods.

  25. macrovore says:

    Well, I like the theme now, especially since you put the sidebar back on the right. But it is kind of slow on my computer, which may be either firefox’s fault, or my crappy computer’s fault. probably both.
    This is the first time i’ve posted, and I don’t like my wavatar.

  26. scragar says:

    I like all of the changes except for the orange names, so other than that well done, and I’ve found my new default theme here(unless evil offers something more intresting…)

  27. Freggle says:

    Works for me now.
    I’ll stick to the new theme from now.
    I like that it’s so easy on the eyes.

  28. Mark says:

    This looks much better, now that all the text isn’t smooshed up against the right side. I think I’ll keep it.

  29. Oleyo says:

    I like the new theme alot. The only problem before was the layout in Forefox (huge white space). Now that it is fixed I am staying with Lawful Good.

    Nice work :)

    BTW Are you planning on/pondering over making all alignment possibilities? I know how your brain works!

  30. Tarous Zars says:

    I think the new theme looks great since you’ve tweaked it. Great job.

  31. Zukhramm says:

    Well, I have to say I dislike the Lawful Good theme. No, you’re themes haven’t gotten worse, the lataest change before this was good!

    So why do I dislike this theme? Mostly, the white fading to grey right across my screen. Other than that, moving Archives and Blogroll down there below the rest of the world.

    Is the evil theme going to be the same theme with different colors or something else?

  32. Blackbird71 says:

    I do like the new theme generally, but I stand by my earlier comments: either the blogroll/archives/etc. need to be moved to the side, or you need shorter pages.

  33. Serdic says:

    I do hope you keep the White Theme around. For me, I dislike the Lawful Good theme as the background is not a solid colour, but instead a gradient. The result being it feels almost like I’m looking at static along the right hand side.

    When I switch to the White Theme, the sensation goes away. Yes, it’s wierd. No, I can’t explain it. /shrug I’ll deal.

  34. evilmrhenry says:

    I’d appreciate it if you kept at least one theme without a background image. For some reason, Firefox scrolls much slower when a background image exists, which is somewhat bothersome.

  35. Doug Sundseth says:

    I’m getting artifacts on your gradient background that are very distracting. Specifically, it’s showing up in Firefox 2.0.0.14 as alternating gray and violet bars that increase in saturation from left to right.

    FWIW, I find this very distracting and have switched to the white theme.

  36. scragar says:

    fixing the background on firefox(instead of having it streched down all the way…) might produce much cleaner results(and far less CPU usage and hanging when scrolling), ofcourse there’s an inevitable flaw in that logic in that pre 7 versions of IE don’t support it… Still, I suppose you could always use !IMPORTANT to sort that…

  37. M says:

    It’ll take some getting used to, but I think I like it. I was just weirded out that the text switched sides before with the Lawful Good theme.

  38. Phlux says:

    I noticed one minor issue with IE7.

    If I shrink the window hoirzontally to force a horizontal scroll bar, the farthest left I can scroll is the leftmost vertical blue line to the left of your post. Underneath your icon for “projects” and left of where it says the date. That’s as far left as I can go…thus it cuts off a few pixels of that icon and the “Pr” in projects.

  39. roxysteve says:

    I hate it. Not because of the colours, but because it doesn’t render properly in my browser unless it is exactly the right width (1024 pixels). Anything less than that and the CSS doesn’t render the edge correctly. The white screen version renders properly whatever my chosen browser size so I would ask that it not go away any time soon.

    I find it puzzling that this site would have a feature forcing the viewer to either swap browsers (I use IE6) or size the window to the site’s preferred resolution. Aren’t these firmly in the “never do” chapter of [insert your favourite web design bible]?

    Steve.

  40. Thad says:

    It looks fine… except for those vertical bars surrounding the date in each post (as per the screen shot in comment #7). Fix that and everything will be fine. (Firefox 2.0.0.13)

  41. guy says:

    still hurts a bit.

  42. capital L says:

    Reiterating a few above comments: perhaps you could keep the plain old vanilla one around? Maybe call it “neutral good” or something?

    I just prefer my text overlaid on a solid color…

  43. Shawn says:

    Is the font bigger on Lawful Good? It seems overly large.

  44. stuff says:

    I like. especially with the side bar on the right.

  45. Lanthanide says:

    I hate it, probably to the point that I’ll stop reading your site if you take the white background away.

    The font looks big and ugly, and I really don’t like the gray background.

  46. guy says:

    i like it myself, but somthing about this moniter combines with the backround to induce pain.

  47. Kobyov says:

    Once you fixed the worst initial issues I switched, so I’m really not going to notice. Looks nice tho

  48. krellen says:

    I like the LG theme a lot more than the old white one. It’s much easier on the eyes. The black theme is still a better choice for me, but I’ve kept it on LG for a few days and haven’t hated it, so you’re doing something right. :D

  49. Kacky Snorgle says:

    I’m still getting a horizontal scrollbar, and it refuses to scroll all the way to the left–the icons and whatnot are cut off even when I scroll over as far as I can.

    Consider me the nth vote for keeping the basic Black and White themes around, renaming them Neutral something if necessary. Or perhaps the old themes could be renamed Lawful Good and Lawful Evil, while the new themes could both be called Chaotic. :)

  50. Dix says:

    I like the new theme. Unfortunately the code still seems to be broken. The images cut off on the left-hand side and there’s a gap between the ‘content’ and the sidebar that I suspect isn’t supposed to be there.

    Safari 1.3.2 in Mac OS X 10.3 – yes this is old wares. Firefox doesn’t cut off the icons on the left, but it does create weird gaps between the menu at the top and the content. Better, but not the browser I use.

    I am not sure why you have a bunch of stuff – especially your archives – at the very bottom of the page when you have acres of empty sidebar that could go in, too.

    So, in short, it’s not about the colors or art in the new theme (though it does load much more slowly than the white theme… :/ ). It’s about it seeming broken in places, even though at this point the breaks are subtle (relative to how it was broken when we very first saw it).

  51. Rick says:

    I’ve checked out the LG theme several times over the past few weeks, and it’s now to the point where if you switched over and zapped the black background theme I wouldn’t be too annoyed.

    But I still prefer the black. And I also still miss the DMotR-era theme. But then, it’s not my blog.

  52. joshua says:

    I don’t really like it.

    The area of text for your posts seems thin and the lines extending down seem out of place.

    I think I’ll stick with the more conventional-looking formats for now.

  53. Joshua says:

    It scrolls slowly, for me, also.

    I scroll down and keep rolling my mouse wheel, and when it gets to the spot I need it keeps going when I let off. It’s not very important, but it’s just another slight inconvenience.

    I think just changing the names of the old themes and making new, different ones sounds like a good idea, also.

  54. Pete Zaitcev says:

    I have the same issue as Kacky (utterly impossible to see what’s on the left side, scrollbar does not scroll far enough). I saw this mistake a few times on websites, and when reported, webmasters were able to fix it easily, but I don’t know the details. My own CSS just does not use the positioning tricks.

    I really like themes which do not force fonts in the most of the text and allow browser to select the default. It cannot be “too big” or “too small” by definition, which is nice.

  55. YaVerOt says:

    Nice to see you fixed the “text hangs out of every comment box” bug. I normally don’t like changes, but this can grow on me. Of course the loss of smooth scrolling (being a page or a line) is a big turn-off; everything jumps, and in some cases double-jumps.

  56. I quite like the Lawful Good theme. It’s very pretty. That said, it’s not for me. I will always use Black Background until you roll out Chaotic Evil, or whatever would constitute the darkest background… I like my eyes ;)

  57. wagemage says:

    Definite advances from the last release. Still, the remaining issues guarantee that I’ll stick with White Background.

    One quirky issue is that with my typical setup (1024×768, but with the taskbar vertical on the left side), the browser starts drawing the content area to the left of the visible area. This is a fairly common issue, and the ubiquity of it on other sites forced me to switch to 1024×768 in the first place (I sit a fair distance back from my monitor at home).

    Returning the navigation to the right instead of left helps to mitigate visibility problems with the background gradient by putting more of the main content over the lighter area (but obviously its not as visible as the vanilla theme).

    The white theme feels cleaner and more reliable to me, and I’ll stick with it as long as it’s around.

  58. ClearWater says:

    I like it!

    The only thing I don’t like is that those commenters without a website have their name in orange, whereas those with a website have it in blue, and turn orange on mouse-over. My gut feeling say it should be the other way round.

    Never stop messing.

  59. Zaghadka says:

    Tarzan say: Gradient bad.

    I prefer to read text on a solid ground color, and I seem to remember hearing that text over a gradient is a design no-no. It sure gives me a headache.

  60. Joshua says:

    Yeah, it’s the gradient that gives me problems. No objections to the layout, but the gradient makes it look to me like I’m reading a book with a really tight spine in too little light.

  61. Viktor says:

    Just FYI, Shamus, I just got a random glitch while scrolling. It went away, but since you do your own coding, I thought you’d want to know.

    Image:
    http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m126/stoopidtallkid/screen.jpg

  62. scragar says:

    Can I very strongly recomend you drop the Valid XHTML link at the bottom, since you get around 300+ errors on just the home page…

    Don’t think anyone else has/will notice though :P

  63. Fosse says:

    For all of the themes, the one change I would love to see is having the margins for the main text remain much wider when zooming in with Firefox. I know nothing of web programming and what makes this the way it is, but when I zoom in so that the text is a comfortable size for reading the column becomes narrow to the point of being annoying. At least 50% of the screen is entirely empty when zoomed.

  64. Matt Algren says:

    I don’t know if it’s new or not, but I totally heart the dice numbering on the comments. Kudos for the idea and the (had to have been a PiTA) execution.

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