Time for a paint-job

In the run up to some big news tomorrow, I've stripped this site down to bare metal and given it a shiny new coat of paint.

And all that Malarkey wallpaperThere's new wallpaper too...

It's been a very busy few months in Malarkey world. (I've got a big announcement to make tomorrow.)

Anyway, as our American cousins have been splashing blood around their sites in the run up to Halloween, I thought that I would splash a little colour around myself, and give the site a respray. There were parts of the old design that I was never entirely happy with, and I've been looking forward to fixing them.

Actually, this is a bit more than a respray. All of the MovableType templates have been kitted out with shiny new XHTML. I have reduced the number of <div>s and classes by over half and the mark-up is now more semantic. The images have been stripped down to bare metal and rebuilt too.

Along with the new paint-job, I've also added Live Preview to comments (down below) and I am allowing some limited XHTML in comments too. I'm not so sure how this will pan out, so let's see what happens over the next few weeks.

I was a bit worried at the start that adding colour might spoil the overall theme of the design. What do you think? I hope you like the new look, otherwise it's going to be out with the paint-stripper... :)


  1. #1 On October 4, 2004 02:34 AM Andrew Krespanis said:

    Damn cool.
    The little pixel-style folded edges are a nice addditional touch and the scooter image rocks; no doubt about it. One question though, how the hell did you make this colour scheme work?! In the wrong hands these colours could have had devistating effects. ;)
    With every light weight redesign I see I feel more guilty about my div happy nest-o-rama... time to get off my ass, me thinks.

  2. #2 On October 4, 2004 04:16 AM Tom said:

    Very, very nice! (Hmm.. That live preview is pretty nifty, too...)

    One thing I just noticed is that the blurb for Stuff and Nonsense in the upper left is hard to read, especially the link after you've clicked it.

    All in all, I like it. It looks like much care was taken. :)

  3. #3 On October 4, 2004 06:21 AM John Oxton said:


  4. #4 On October 4, 2004 07:25 AM Jeremy Freeman said:

    Not bad at all...like your live comment preview too!

  5. #5 On October 4, 2004 08:37 AM Neko said:

    Fantastic re-design! Can't wait to see the new Stuff and Nonsense and Karova.

  6. #6 On October 4, 2004 09:31 AM Jon Hicks said:

    You've done a grand job here mate. It keeps the look of the previous design (which worked great), but the subtle use of colour has really lifted it!

    The only element I don't like is the headings being letter-spaced at -1px. To me, it makes it look as if something has gone wrong, rather than being intentional. Very minor picky point though, and it' s just because I'm jealous!

  7. #7 On October 4, 2004 10:19 AM steve said:

    like the color scheme, and the header graphic is smart!

    One thing I would say is that there is a lot of flickering going on, in my screen at least. The background images flickers when scrolling, and combined with the bg-color changes, it all feels a little odd.

  8. #8 On October 4, 2004 10:44 AM Peter J Lambert said:

    I likey. I likey lots.

    Keep up the good work fella!

  9. #9 On October 4, 2004 10:51 AM Malarkey said:

    @ import... ;) Hi guys, thanks for the kind words. I feel much happier about this version than the last.

    @ Steve: Interesting... mmm... I see a wee bit of flicker on my laptop screen too, but I put that down to my monitor. Maybe it's because the background images are only 2px tall. I'll experiment with making them taller and see if it's the height, or the repeat frequency that causes it.

    @ Neko: Patience my friend...

  10. #10 On October 4, 2004 11:36 AM Richard@Home said:

    Very cool :-)

    It looks like its open season on blog redesigns/tweaking! I too managed to hack out a great deal of cruft from my general markup too. It's amazing how this stuff tends to accumilate.

  11. #11 On October 4, 2004 12:10 PM Jason Santa Maria said:

    Lovely colors, really great job! The folded corners make me smile. I agree with Hicks about the letter spacing.

  12. #12 On October 4, 2004 03:29 PM Phunky said:

    Really, Really loving the changes looks very snazzy and has kept the unique feel ur site has due to the imagery you use.

    great work! shall be throwing a shout out for you over on Phunky.co.uk

  13. #13 On October 4, 2004 04:04 PM Malarkey said:

    @ Neko: Just for you ;)

  14. #14 On October 4, 2004 05:14 PM Ryan Brill said:

    Awesome job, Andy. You didn't tell me this one was coming... ;)

  15. #15 On October 4, 2004 06:33 PM Neko said:

    W00T! Can't wait! :)

  16. #16 On October 4, 2004 09:13 PM David O'Hara said:

    As always, a great design that's well executed. The only negative is that I would have to second the comment about the screen flicker. It's quite pronounced on my monitors.

    Keep up the great work.


  17. #17 On October 5, 2004 03:47 PM Brian Behrend said:

    I love it, looks great! Even the comments section is attractive.

  18. #18 On October 7, 2004 01:50 AM Andrew Krespanis said:

    One thing that your MT templates are missing - informative tooltips on commentor's names. Can you pleeeease hack your comment form to show the person's URI in the title?
    Other wise there is no way of knowing whether a comment is from Dave, Dave or Dave without clicking the link ;)

  19. #19 On October 7, 2004 01:56 AM Andrew Krespanis said:

    Edit: Sorry to double post Andy - feel free to block my IP :p

    There is one other thing slightly amiss in your new design, Mr Accessible...
    Scenario - I am commenting on your site, I don't have javascript turned on. In fact, I don't even know what the hell javascript is - I just found your site while searching for Disney merchandise.
    Why on earth does it say "Live Comment Preview" but nothing happens? The site must be broken...

    What I'm getting at is that, imho, containers that are entirely fueled by javascript should be created at run time by javascript as well. Surely you can see the point in that approach?
    No script = no 'dead' features...

  20. #20 On October 7, 2004 08:18 PM Malarkey said:

    @ Andrew Krespanis...

    Yes, you are right on that one (Mr. Picky...). I also think that features created by scripting should lose their 'headers' if scripting is not enabled. I'll take a look one day when I have nothing better to do... like you... ;)

    As for commenters' 'titles', I thought everybody was called Dave.

  21. #21 On October 8, 2004 01:56 AM Andrew said:

    Don't get me wrong Andy, I had better things I should have been doing... I just didn't want to do them.

    "Hey man, open up - it's Dave!"
    "Dave's not here man."