Many moons ago, trapped on a hellish thirteen-hour Amtrak train ride from god-knows-where to who-cares-now with limited power, no WiFi, and no book, I started playing with an old friend of mine: CSS. The sheet itself was for NetNewsWire; on a whim I’d decided to whip up a style to make feed items resemble email messages a la Apple Mail, and I liked what I saw.
Of course, it’s difficult to be self-congratulatory when you’re copying someone else’s layout wholesale, but I liked the idea of giving a feed’s author some prominence —that the text was coming from a person rather than from a web site— and little things like color-coded blockquotes tickled my fancy. A plain-Jane stylesheet with no presumptions about turning a news item into a large and boisterous web experience, I liked it because it put the reading first… it wasn’t there as an experiment in making things purty.
Thus, I present it to you. Download it now.
Release notes for version one of said stylesheet:
- NetNewsWire’s default font is Verdana 11. If you really want things to look like Mail, go with the Mail default of Helvetica 12. Far be it from me to choose your fonts for you.
- Unlike Mail, you cannot recolor or turn off the blockquoting in my stylesheet without getting your hands dirty. So unless you feel like tweaking, you’re stuck with blue, green, and maroon as they nest.
- One hopes this encourages more people to put their real names in the Author field of their feed templates (rather than their login name, as is the Movable Type default), and add their Comments link to the feed.