What the Hell is This?
Alright. I think I've got this horse dealy more or less how I want it. Well, okay- for now.
The interface is simple, and by simple I mean complex, though I hope it is also intuitive. There's a 'stack' of 'cards'. Without doing anything, you can see the titles of all the cards in the stack. To see a little bit more of what a particular card is about, hover over it with the mouse and you can see the first few of lines of text or more of the image, if there is one.
To read the full card, you can do any of three things: click on any part of the card (except the datestamp- more on that later), navigate to it by pressing the "Oldest", "Next", "Prev", or "Latest" buttons on the right, or navigate to it by pressing the "o", "n", "p", or "l" keys on your keyboard (respectively, naturally). When you do any of these things, the appropriate card will swoosh up to front and center and all the contents will be visible.
Or if you are just browsing the cards and not setting out to read any specific card, you can start by clicking on Latest or pressing l and work your way back with Prev or p, or, alternatively, you can start by clicking Oldest/o and work your way forward with Next/n. Options, options, options.
New posts are added to the top of the stack, so that is the latest, and Latest/l always refers to the card at the virtual top of the stack, which is at the lower right of your screen. (3 shall be the number of the count, and the number of the count shall be 3- nevermind.) Oldest/o will always refer to the oldest card in the stack, which is positioned in the upper left, and which is the virtual bottom of the stack. Prev/p (for previous) will go back in time, one card at a time, toward the upper left and virtual bottom- likewise, Next/n goes forward in time, one card at a time, toward the bottom right and virtual top of the stack. Anyway, it's simpler visually than it is in English.
Clicking the Reset button or pressing r on the keyboard will reset the cards to their default position in the stack.
Here's a cool feature: As you may know, Blogger, and all other blogging tools individually identify each post with a distinct id number, which can be linked to (the permalink). The format used here will automatically swoosh a post to front and center when that post's permalink is used to visit this site. This is actually a necessary feature because without it, the page would just present a stack to the visitor if he or she arrived here via a link to a specific post.
And here's a (thus far) useless feature: As I mentioned earlier, clicking on the datestamp won't swoosh the post to the front. That's beacuse I have a different function coded for clicking on it. When you click on the datestamp, the post will go into "move" mode. After you click, the card will follow your mouse around until you click again. In this way, you can move all the cards around. (You don't need to hold the mouse button down to move a card- in fact it won't work that way. Click and release on the date to go into move mode, then click and release to end move mode. In between clicks, the card will go where you want it.)
As I said, this feature is pretty useless in its present context, but this format is an experiment in 3-dimensional representation of information. In other contexts, you might use the move feature to put a card in the trash can, in a printer or into an email- you know, click-and-drag type stuff that you can do now, though generally not from a web page. In certain hypothetical contexts, moving a card might give it a higher or lower priority, or an earlier or later deadline, or save it for future reference. You might also want to categorize pieces of information by virtually moving them to different stacks or to different areas of the desktop. The possibilities are wide open.
In any case click Reset or press r to reset all the cards to their original positions.
If all this is giving you motion-sickness or some form of vertigo, you can click on the OldStyle button or press s on your keyboard (o is taken) to reformat the whole thing to the old school blog style of 2-dimensions, latest-post-on-top, with all of them fully visible. As an extra, pressing the o, n, p, and l keys will still take you to the appropriate post, even in old-style mode. The move function is disabled in OldStyle mode. Once again, clicking Reset or pressing r will reset the cards to their original 3-dimensional stack postitions.
Unrelated to the stack paradigm, but cool anyway, the typical blog features of archives, blogroll, and other links are hidden but accesible through clicking the buttons on the right or by pressing the appropriate key. (The corresponding hotkey is underlined on each button, as is traditional.)
All of these features should work on Internet Explorer 5 & 6 and Netscape Navigator 6 & 7, which together account for about 98% of browsers in use. If you use one of these and some feature described above isn't working, please drop me a line or make a comment. I have no idea if these features will work on other browser brands, but if you have one of these other browsers (and you can read this at all) I'd likewise appreciate a note. Include your browser name and version and OS.
That is all! General comments about the format are welcome. I'm still not sure if this isn't more annoying than it's worth. I'm looking for something blog and info-friendly, but not something so complex that people have a hard time with it. Also see my post The Stack
for the story about the inspiration for this format.