Well I finally got tired of waiting for the Joomla people to finish up their long-awaited 1.5 update, so I’ve updated Off on a Tangent to version 19 on the same CMS platform that version 18 was on. You may remember I kicked-off v.19 development in October 2006, and—while Joomla’s release delays stymied some of my really cutting-edge plans—I still managed to get a lot of mileage out of these months of development, including a new forums feature and a streamlined mobile version in addition to the usual visual improvements. Read-on for details.

  • Refreshed Look—The most obvious change is the look. I’ve darkened the blues a bit, added some texture to the lighter areas, increased the number of randomizing pictures (now four at a time!), and lots of little things throughout. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I think it’s my best-looking site to-date, all while maintaining a high level of cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility.
  • Off on a Tangent Forums (Experimental)—I used to have a comment feature on the site (powered by AkoComment), but it was a bit wonky and inflexible (not to mention unpopular). I quietly disabled the function quite a while ago, and only one person ever mentioned having noticed. As part of the Website 19 upgrade, I’ve implemented a new experimental forum system (powered by JoomlaBoard) which I hope will catch-on and become a vibrant area of the site. The forums give you a relatively free-form area where you can discuss what I’ve written and, even better, start new discussions of your own. Now get talkin’!
  • Off on a Tangent Mobile (Experimental)—In December, I initiated limited support for mobile web browsers. Website 19 takes mobile support to a new level, automatically delivering a streamlined, small-screen version of the site to users visiting from many kinds of smartphones. Off on a Tangent now offers broad support for browsers on BlackBerry, Palm OS, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and more (see Site Requirements for a list of supported mobile browsers). I’m still learning in this area, so consider my mobile support solid-but-experimental.