New site design

July 3, 2007 at 06:17 PM · Nice work, Laurie. Looking spiffy as usual.

Replies (38)

July 3, 2007 at 06:17 PM · Thank Robert! And please do, because he custom writes the software for this entire site, and has been doing so, as a gift to me, for 10 years!

He is constantly offering up new ideas and technologies, and this website is a beneficiary of all his work and ideas about web publishing.

Thanks, Robert!

July 3, 2007 at 06:43 PM · Thank you, Robert!!!! (And Laurie too, since it's a gift to her there needs to be the initiative that sparked this whole thing!! ;))

It looks great!

July 3, 2007 at 08:32 PM · I like the clean design of this site, and the non-obtrusive ads. The updated design is very good.

July 3, 2007 at 10:42 PM · Sheesh--I thought I had gone off the wagon for a minute.

1. The Violin link is splitting a line.

2. It would be nice to have line one in the footers as well.

3. Tweak line one (Discussion) until everything but Search to one line.

4. Right justify line two, leaving the Search down by it's own; or, give search more emphasis by centering it under so I quit repeating redundant questions. .

Otherwise, it's improved simplicity wise. Very nice.

July 3, 2007 at 11:20 PM · Thanks, Robert!

I ought to mention that I'm not having any of the problems Albert's having, and it might have to do with having a screen width of 1280 pixels.

July 4, 2007 at 12:14 AM · I actually like this version better ^^

July 4, 2007 at 12:20 AM · great site, really well done.

I guess robert's like me and is always looking for a new design. I just recently re-designed my site.

July 4, 2007 at 01:26 AM · That's possible--I'm using my laptop.

July 4, 2007 at 02:03 AM · I'm on a laptop and I think the new design is sleek and clean. I love it. Great job and good choices.

July 4, 2007 at 02:13 AM · Thanks you guys!

Hey, look at the bottom of the page. You asked for it, you got it! ;)

July 4, 2007 at 03:16 AM · On the front page where it says "Violin discussion board" you have to change it to say "Most recent discussion topics" so a casual new user will know there's more discussion. It's not a familiar look so you have to let him know that and do everything to encourage him to skim the page for a button to get him there.

July 4, 2007 at 04:05 AM · I like it, too. It's clean, smooth, and easy to read and understand.

July 4, 2007 at 04:04 AM · I did--Thank you Robert!!! Now Laurie, give him a great big hug....

That improves navigation sooooooooo much... Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

July 4, 2007 at 04:14 AM · I see one problem which could probably be fixed easily. There is a line break between "THE" and "VIOLIN" at the very top. I use Firefox, so I don't know how it appears on other browsers.

July 4, 2007 at 04:29 AM · It looks Great!! for a couple of weeks now I have been seeing little changes.. and this is the biggest (and best) one yet!

July 4, 2007 at 05:17 AM · Very nice. Now in the id=navbar, you should be able to tweak the css to pull in the cell padding, font weight and so forth without losing much contrast; and whalah!. I have cheated and added a filler cell before/after--I'm not sure if that will pull the search back over in Firefox or not.

Alternatively, if {{a href}} is defined/overloaded with {{td}} one could add a ghost link as well.

This looks very very nice you all--very crisp and professional--not that it wasn't before. I'm just glad to have the navigation at the bottom too! ...

July 4, 2007 at 06:43 AM · picked up a mistake. On the front page, the link to the blogs page (where underneath are featured blogs) the header links to where it should actually be to /blog/

You might also like to head over to to check out some errors that it picks up in the code.

July 4, 2007 at 07:10 PM · Thanks, you guys, Robert's looked into those glitches and hopefully fixed a lot of them!

July 4, 2007 at 07:13 PM · Very spiffy! Looks very nice.

July 4, 2007 at 07:45 PM · Ditto--feels better too.

July 5, 2007 at 03:08 AM · Yeah, great site design! Simple, clean, and elegant lines... It's really evocative of the aesthetics of the violin itself! :-)

July 5, 2007 at 01:04 PM · Am I the only one who finds the new front page much too busy and confusing? I know the site pretty well, but it still seems overwhelming.

Also, I've tried three different browers and the new header font is hard on the eyes; it's too heavy.

July 6, 2007 at 04:58 AM · I was in the middle of going through and responding to discussion topics when this took caught me off-guard, and at first, I thought it was specific to newer topics. Then I realized the site is having a lovely makeover! It's wonderful!

Although...I did notice my name missing from the Indiana professionals.... *ahem?* I assume that if it was done on purpose there must be a good reason?

July 6, 2007 at 04:18 PM · Hi Rob,

Was it there, and then not there, or never there? Check your user profile to make sure you are signed up to be in the directory and signed up as a professional.


July 6, 2007 at 10:05 PM · Hi Laurie,

Design looks great but what font are you using? I ask as the text looks really bad on my system and very hard to read in both IE and Firefox. Did you use a standard system style font or go for something fancy that is normally not installed by default?

July 6, 2007 at 10:53 PM · The Site's using Verdana and Helvetica, with headings as Times New Roman

July 6, 2007 at 11:04 PM · The fonts look fine on my laptop, and also desktop. Verdana 12 is the best font for reading according to several usability researchers.

July 6, 2007 at 11:36 PM · The font faces we use for body type are Helvetica, Arial and whatever default sans-serif font face your computer has. For large headlines, we are now using Times New Roman, Times or whatever default serif font your computer has.

For example, in the body type, if your computer doesn't have the font (Helvetica) we specify, it's supposed to take the second (Arial), and if it doesn't have either, it is supposed to use whatever sans-serif font you have.

We didn't change the body type at all.

July 6, 2007 at 11:41 PM · Verdana is what we use for the navigation bar.

July 7, 2007 at 11:32 PM · Hi Laurie,

Before the site upgrade the everything was easy to read.

It's the font Helvetica and the way it renders compared to the other fonts you are using. I have all the fonts installed that you are using.

To give you an example below are screenshots from both browsers that I use. It will give you an idea of what I see from both standard un-modififed browsers on my system.

Anything that is not in Helvetica is fine to read.

July 8, 2007 at 01:01 AM · Apropos to Jasmine's comments and screenshots, Mac users generally read in Safari and/or Firefox (Mozilla) and the new design is hard to read in Safari-- it's those fat, serif fonts (it may be Times Roman, but bolded, it's hard on the eyes.)

July 8, 2007 at 06:45 AM · There's something that seems to be lost in translation somehow. The fonts look fine in my firefox. I've never been a fan of all bolds, but that's a personal thing.

July 9, 2007 at 03:24 PM · "Hi Rob,

Was it there, and then not there, or never there? Check your user profile to make sure you are signed up to be in the directory and signed up as a professional.


Laurie, I used to be on the list, and I think I disappeared from it a couple months ago, and I've tried updating my profile in various ways to trick the site into putting my name back on the list, but nothing seems to work. I actually started wondering if maybe this was because I often contradict the orthodoxy of the violin, but it seems like someone would have told me why if they had intended for this to happen. I just checked my settings again, as well as the directory. I've got Professional performer, teacher, or luthier listed. (performer applies here...definitely not a teacher or luthier!!!) And the directory does not include me under Evansville, IN. Go figure.

July 9, 2007 at 06:41 PM · Were you ever using a fake name? We had you designated as such, and that gives you fewer privileges, for example, you can't be listed in the directory. We changed your status, and now you are in the directory.

July 10, 2007 at 01:10 PM · It's possible that sometime about a year ago I had myself listed as Weird Bob Schnautz... I was getting all hyped about writing parodies.

I can see where that would be an embarrassment if it were on the list as such, and thanks for putting me back on.

July 10, 2007 at 02:20 PM · new site, same substance!

July 10, 2007 at 05:22 PM · The front entrance seems to have changed significantly as well. Robert has created queries into the database based on classifications of questions. Very nice.

The next step might be to create a group of editors to compile the questions coherently--add a couple hidden fields in the db, and base the queries on the discussions chosen to represent each classification, for instance {{if practice1 not null}}, or any simple value for those among us who have been lazy before, in allegory.

I know I've repeated questions, but also sometimes gleaned new information in asking them a different way. But, where they are obvious--what kind of 'e' string is best, there is redundancy I'm sure. I think, I remember that there is some advanced "truly client-side, being the client in this case" google query programming that would be potentially beneficial. Also one may add aggregate functions (count, Avg, and others that might help) that are not too brutal to master on the back end of such efforts as a stored procedure or something.

Finally, over time, and in a nearly curriculum spirit, one might truly parse this in the spirit of "the questions we ask". And there Laurie, would be your book..

July 12, 2007 at 03:21 AM · I noticed when I did a Google for myself the other day, only one page of came up. It was that one about the "new key" I thought I'd discovered when I played Nardis. I wondered why that one showed up and none of the others. Actually, I'd prefer only the directory to be catalogued, as tracing my discussion topics would leave a large trail behind.

You have any idea how to do this, or what's going on in the first place?

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