Remote Socket
End Point:
Theme Update 2.01
Assessment:
  1. Added support for selectively including followees
  2. Cleaned up display of A tags in the side side bar
  3. Moved font-family declaration to BODY tag instead of *. (Decided not to include font selection customization.)
  4. Corrected bug: some footer elements were missing their class name.
Asset Added:
2009.10.03 12:14:55
Photographic Reconnaissance
Media Asset:
ninjineer:

Neuschwanstein Castle - Seen from the road up to it — (Photo taken 2006-07-30)
Assessment:

ninjineer:

Neuschwanstein Castle - Seen from the road up to it — (Photo taken 2006-07-30)
Asset Added:
2009.08.15 10:07:21
Remote Socket
End Point:
Theme Update 2.00
Assessment:

As hinted at in the post below, the look and feel of this theme has been completely revamped.

If for some reason anyone prefers the earlier version, it can still be obtained here.

Asset Added:
2009.08.15 09:41:00
Mission Brief
Incident:
MFUs Travel In Packs
Debrief:

ninjineer:

A Little Background

A while back, I submitted a theme to the the Theme Garden that was rejected with the ever-so-helpful feedback, “Does not fit accepted Tumblr blog aesthetics.”

This came as something of a disappointment. I looked but saw no obvious technical flaws or egregious style violations. I was left with an irritating conclusion: the reviewer just did not like the way it looked.

I became indignant at that point. While I grant that the theme did not possess universal appeal, I also felt it was the equal or better of many themes already in the Garden. In light of this injustice, my enthusiasm for theme-ing withered, and I focused on other interests for a time.

Eventually, I took another look at my rejected theme. I did so with new eyes and discovered there were some aspects I no longer found so aesthetically pleasing. I conceded perhaps the reviewer had had some basis for his judgement after all.

All was not crap, though. Some elements I still found innovative. I decided to return to the drawing board, so to speak. Over the course of a week, I evolved a new prototype theme. The new incarnation incorporated several new ideas with all the things I liked best from the original theme.

Apply Palm to Face

With the new prototype in shape, I set to convert it into the format of an actual Tumblr theme. During this process I had occasion to reference the original theme’s source code. The following line of code jumped out at me:


<h1><a href="/">Undercover Operative</a></h1>

That line is perfectly correct. For a prototype. For theme source code it should have read:


<h1><a href="/">{Title}</a></h1>

The later fills in the blog’s title with whatever value the blogger defines. This behavior is expected of all general purpose Tumblr themes. The former sets all instances of the blog to have the same title, which is a clear violation of the aesthetic rules.

A technical flaw existed all along.

Myriad Emotional Responses

As that realization sunk in, I experienced a number of emotions:

  • Chagrin — I strive for perfection in my writing, whether it’s prose or code. Mistakes where I know better are unacceptable, even if they occur with distressing frequency. Sure I’m human, but I don’t have to like it.

  • Annoyance — If instead of tossing out a generic, all-encompassing boilerplate rejection, Tumblr had offered something specific I probably would have found the problem. Something like “Theme is missing a required variable” would have been sufficient.

  • Regret — While Tumblr makes an easy scapegoate, truth is I made the mistake. I caved into doubt. I robbed myself of my enthusiasm. These are all my missteps, my failings.

  • Gratitude — If the theme had been accepted, I never would have iterated the design. With a second go-round, the theme is much improved, even if I say so myself. I’ll post it soon, and you can judge for yourself.

Asset Added:
2009.08.15 09:31:39
Photographic Reconnaissance
Media Asset:
Rest In Peace Version 1 &#8230; Long Live Version 2
Assessment:

Rest In Peace Version 1 … Long Live Version 2

Asset Added:
2009.08.15 09:29:13
Remote Socket
End Point:
Skin Your Tumblelog
Assessment:

Instructions for the Adventurous

  1. Suck the theme down to your computer. It’s waiting for you at the link above. (IE users beware: When saving make sure the file extension is .txt; IE will mistakenly try to force it to .htm)
  2. Jump to your Tumblr Dashboard and click the “Customize” link.
  3. Select the “Theme” tab
  4. Click on the “Use custom HTML” link.
  5. The screen will change to show you the actual source code for your current theme. Delete all of it.
  6. Copy all the text from the downloaded theme file and paste it into the white text area.
  7. Click the “Save changes” button

Feedback

Rob Boylan created this theme. Problems or praise? Let him know at [ rjboylan ] at [ gmail ] dot [ com ].

Asset Added:
2009.04.05 15:32:00
Mission Brief
Incident:
Rounded Corners
Debrief:

If the corners of the posts and the side bar items are not rounded, it means you’re viewing the theme with a browser that does not support this CSS3 feature (*cough* Internet Explorer *cough*).

Asset Added:
2009.04.05 15:22:26
Photographic Reconnaissance
Media Asset:
Palm trees swaying in the breeze.
Assessment:

Palm trees swaying in the breeze.

Asset Added:
2009.04.05 15:21:10
Informant Tip
Message:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Informant:
Arthur C. Clarke
Asset Added:
2009.04.05 15:19:05
Interrogation Transcript
Incident:
Lame Joke
Transcript:
Guy:Knock, knock!
Gal:Who's there?
Guy:Orange
Gal:Orange who?
Guy:Orange you gonna let me in?
Asset Added:
2009.04.05 15:16:07