Friday, November 05, 2010

Coding is easy

While most of my friends, at least those who are still in school, are reeling after the midterm exams period, I'm on a break of sorts from work.

We've just launched our first batch, which was Literary Fiction, and are slowly getting started with our second batch: Crime Fiction! Since I'm managing production, these are slow times for me, as recording hasn't really started yet.

It's all good, though, as I'm getting a bit of extra time to poke at the new LibriVox forums. Our sysadmin has been hard at work updating the forum software, but it meant we're back to the default forum theme.

I've proposed to take a look at the codes and improve the forum's looks, although I only marginally know any CSS.

Well, edits have gone through, and I haven't broken anything substantial (yet).

I daresay, when poking at a working setup, where everything works right out of the box, edits aren't that hard. I mean, I've got a general idea of how CSS works; there's some stuff, then squiggly brackets, then there's the stuff you want to change and how you want to change it. Then you just have to remember the semicolon at the end, and you're pretty much set. Increase the font here, change some colours there, voila!

Of course it got a bit trickier when I realized that the CSS wasn't the only thing I had to poke at. Most of the elements were in the template files, and I wanted to move elements around, which involved getting my hands dirty and messing with actual code. That was a bit of a mess, since the template files were an eclectic mix of HTML, Styles, PHP and probably Javascript.

Luckily these things all come in chunks, so all I had to do was find the right chunk to move around.

In the end, not too hard, but lots of finger crossing and hoping I didn't mess things up.