The Return of More Gadgetry Tomfoolery

In an earlier post I mentioned the free WPtouch plugin/theme produced by Brave New Code. One of the WPtouch authors even left a comment, which is fun. I really love their software. We should found a Mutual Appreciation Society, though I’d be doing most of the appreciating…ANYHOW.

I’ve since then upgraded to WPtouch Pro, which includes some better menu management (something that I use extensively on my parish’s website) and more potential for customization in the settings. I’m planning to poke around and customize some things.

For instance, rather than being able to access the entire Archives, the Archives page includes two sections: “Browse Last 15 Posts” and “Browse Last 12 Months”. That’s it. So, what I’m thinking of is a “Browse Latest Posts” (which would take the number of posts from the WordPress setting for number of posts per page, which then keeps this in the realm of the easily customizable for the future) and then the Archives, but in which you’ll click the year (2010, 2009, etc) and then it expands to a list of the months of that particular year, instead of just the last 12 months. That shouldn’t be too hard to do.

I’ve also got a number of pages and posts (particularly on my parish website) that will need some editing so that they show right in the smaller format. Things like a full-size embedded Google calendar that you can only see one day square of are not very useful. There’ll be some way around that, I’m sure.

From what I can tell, most of my readers are using an aggregator and just drawing on my RSS feed, so this site theming and such is irrelevant to that usage. But I still enjoy seeing what other people find to do on their sites in the way of aesthetic manipulation, and enjoy a particular kind of such myself, toward the leaner, less busy approach. So WPtouch (Pro or not) is really something I like and can appreciate. Particularly when (as on several nights this week), I’ve been caught for extended periods of time without a book. Some sites you simply can’t read on an iPhone, as they won’t even load. On others it’s a real trial (zoom in, pan around, get iSick, quit). But on many, there is in place either WPtouch or some other helpful theming for mobile devices, which is great. It’s interesting to note the differences. For instance, all the WordPress.com blogs have WPtouch available by default for mobile readers, but Blogger doesn’t, so you have to zoom and pan to read a Blogger blog on an iPhone. That’s kind of annoying, and somewhat primitive. There’s fun to be had with these mobile themes, and people should get with the program. I’d like to underline (and highlight and circle in red with arrows and exclamation points all around!) that such things are a matter of consideration for one’s users, and are therefore as necessary a thing as not using, say, dark grey text on a black background, or html email that locks the message into one size. Despite the unpopularity of such a concept, there really and truly is a moral import to all our decisions and actions in life, including (obviously) what we use these technologies for, but even to such things as the theme one uses for one’s blog.

I’ll have some book reviews up soon, and some other fun things, switching from these days of wine and technoblather back to something redolent of the finer attractions to be found on the grounds of Biblicalia Manor, which some will likely label the more important. But they should say that only with a twinkle in their eye, lest they be called out, verily, for silliness in finding one kind of ridiculously complicated technology more acceptable than another, or talk about it to be innately unedifying or divorced from moral or spiritual concerns. One might, in such a case, as well be blowing dolphin bubbles out yer blowhole.

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