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The Grumpy Old Man has indicated that he isn’t a huge From the Grumpy Old Man: The style council of the current S(D)N site layout. He finds it dull and thinks that it lacks a real CI/CD (Corporate Identity, Corporate Design).
His desire to see its image improved can be satisfied rather easily.
All you need is firefox with a plugin/add on called Stylish which claims : ”User styles empower your browsing experience by letting you fix ugly sites, customize the look of your browser or mail client, or just have fun”. The author rightfully compares Stylish with GreaseMonkey. The latter customizes the way a webpage is displayed by using small bits of JavaScript. DJ has OssNoteFix script updated for Greasemonkey 0.6.4 and Firefox 1.5 that this makes OSS notes more workable.
Stylish, on the other hand, uses CSS to manipulate the layout. If you look at this Google ‘mashup’ by Valacar, pretty things can be established rather easily.

image

Not only sites can be stylish, applications like Firefox itself can be modified too, like LouCypher did.

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Competition
Having said this, I was thinking that this technology presents a good opportunity to launch a competition. What would YOU want the S(D)N to look like? Anything goes.
You can think in themes which vary depending on the season, like Google does regularly with their logo (only try to be more creative than just changing the logo though). Another approach could be to create layouts dependant on your moods. What would the S(D)N site look like if it helped you to find a solution to your problem, you were wondering about the What happened to the morality of the SDN members? of the community, reading a Grumpy, etc.?

Be creative and you will get rewarded. Each entry will get 20 points. All entries will then be collated and shown after the deadline. The community can than vote on which layout is the best. That winner will get 100 points on top.

How to send in
What do you need to do in order to send in your masterpiece(s)?

  1. install Stylish
  2. read the manual. I won’t give any support
  3. create a style
  4. mail me the style (no screenshots, Photoshop) code, thus RDF file (see FAQ for details), together with your Business Card URL (for assigning points) before February 15th. A couple of words of explanation are always welcome enabling everyone to understand your masterpiece.

I will try them all out in order to see if they work. I’ll put screen dumps of the entries online in order to let people vote on the submissions.

Important
This is a personal initiative and DOES NOT indicate that either SAP or the S(D)N admins will change the current layout by using either the winner’s or any other layout. There is by no means ANY commitment concerning that matter.
This competition is just my challenge to you to create a CSS style in order to know how you would like to change the layout.
Prevent copyright issues. Don’t use any protected material (outside the SDN site) without written confirmation from the owner that you’re allowed to use the material. That also counts for the look and feel. Any offence seen by or reported to me will result in exclusion from the competition and a very Grumpy Old Man.

Update: It’s now 50 points per submission and 200 points for the winner. Craig has also a special “secret” surprise for the lucky winner! (see Craig’s comment below)
So no reason for not submitting anymore.

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7 Comments

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  1. Mark Finnern
    Hi Eddy,

    Love the idea. Although the Google example is lame in my eyes: Dark background and a Web 2.0 style mirroring of their logo (Yawn).

    I am sure SDNers can do better. Especially as there is more meat aka content to pick from.

    Can’t wait for the results, Mark.

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