Thursday, September 18, 2008

We can't ALL be Kato

Some days, I wish I were Kato.

I’ve mentioned a few times recently that I’m working on a webcomic. The biggest problem I’m having with that is the ‘Web’ part.

You see, I know enough HTML to insert hyperlinks and place the odd image. When it comes to anything else, I have all the knowledge of a dead hamster.

The one thing I absolutely don’t want to do is put my webcomic up on one of those ‘collective’ sites like Smackjeeves or Drunk Duck.

While I’m certainly capable of designing a webpage, as in the way it looks, where the buttons go and everything…meaning I could make an awesome mock-up in Illustrator or Photoshop…I just don’t have any of the required knowledge to take that mockup and turn it into a working webpage.

Anyway, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I wondered if it would be possible to hack a blogger template to turn it into a viable hosting solution. I mean, how hard could it be? Wordpress, another blogging service, has a webcomic template that Scott Kurtz uses for PvP! Surely blogger could do something similar.

Just set up a template to show a single post on the page for that day’s strip, use a plugin to turn the ‘previous posts’ list into an archive-friendly calendar…Then slap up a banner, put together a set of ‘first, previous, next, latest’ buttons to go at the bottom of each post and I’m golden! All I’d need to do then is register a domain name for about 10 bucks a year and point it at my blogger page.

So I thought “Who do I know who’s done some impressive tinkering with blogger templates? Kato! That’s who!”

So I went to Kato’s blog and clicked that magical ‘view source’ button.

I went ‘Squeeeee!’ when I noticed that Kato had actually put notes about what he was doing right there in the code for his page.

Holy shit! I thought. I might actually be able to work this out!

It took me exactly 4.3 seconds before I was completely and totally lost.

Oh well, back to the drawing board and desperately searching the net for a tutorial or solution I guess.

PS, Kato, if you read this I’m honestly not trying to guilt you into helping me. I know there’s just too much work involved to be a ‘casual favor’. Kinda like asking a casual acquaintance to help you move.


Evanesce In 2008 said...

You can cheat... you could always use MS Office and save in HTML format.

Note: That's not a clean solution, and purists would shoot me if they knew who I was. But the point's there.

Kato said...

Hacking the Blogger template was, I think, considerably easier in the "old" days before they went to their new widget-based template. Basically, they made it easier for most people to do some limited customization (by having a drag-and-drop layout editor) but made the learning curve for hacking the source much harder because of all the code involved in getting the widgets to work.

They made the right choice, that's just how it goes I guess. Plus the service is free so I can't complain too much.

Not to scare you, but I spent a couple months designing my current template. Of course, to be fair, that included not just the time to figure out their new template stuff but also to thoughtfully design an entire site. I was originally planning to blog what I had learned but didn't think to do it as I was actually learning it, so it never got done. Go figure.

Oh, and my blog link in this post doesn't work. Not that I'm vain enough to check. ;)

Kato said...

I should also point out that although I commented in my source I doubt I commented nearly enough. And my source is hacked to hell because I did a lot of custom stuff with my layout--I built mine from the ground up with a very specific interface in mind.