Friday, September 15, 2006

House Cleaning and Format Suggestions

Dear Readers,
I am preparing to move Syria Comment to another site and to migrate to Word Press instead of blogger. Here is the new site I am preparing

I would appreciate it if anyone interested would take a look and send me any ideas for how to format it or what to add - that would be a great help.

Word Press offers a more powerful software package than blogger. I will be able to categorize my posts - i.e. list them under key words, such as "opposition," "Asad," "Alawites," "Kurds," "Islam," "Economics," "Culture," etc.

One can easily appreciate the advantages of such an archiving mechanism. Researchers will easily be able to access articles of interest to them by following a category. If you have suggestions for categories that will help you or that you think I should include, please post them in the comment section.

Also, if you know of interesting or better gizmos than those I use or have other suggestions about formatting or look, please write them in the comment section or send them directly to me: I have a tech person helping me with this for the time being, so I can add stuff and change things for another week or so before I am left to my own primitive devices.

It will cause a little turbulence as I switch over, which will not be for some time as I don't really know how to use it properly and am still adjusting things.

I will also be able to block IP addresses on Word Press, which will help to control the amount of spam, Inshaallah. Many of you have complained about the nasty comments that get reposted many times a day. Hopefully, we will be able to zap those.

I will also be able to have recent comments listed on the sidebar.

If you know of other sites you think are particularly format friendly or after which I should model my own, send me a link. I have already admired From Beirut to the Beltway's formating.


At 9/15/2006 08:07:00 PM, Blogger Alex said...

A few general questions to all of you:

As you probably noticed, Joshua's blog has larger font sizes thatn most other blogs. It is easier to read for sure, but looks a bit outdated.

Do you want to keep the large font sizes?

also ... what resolution do you use on your computer? 1024x768? 1280x1024? ...

And finally, the width of the center column compared to the two sides ... compared to the way it is now, do youprefer it to be wider,narrower, or hte same?

At 9/15/2006 09:09:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

I personaly can adjust to whatever you think is more practical ,I enjoy your writing more than the format.

At 9/15/2006 09:41:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Bashar Al Asad was taken to the hospital as an emergency,either stress or assasination attempt

At 9/15/2006 10:16:00 PM, Blogger norman said...

Majed , How did you hear that you usualy have good sources.or it is protecting the sources.

At 9/15/2006 10:47:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Al syaseh news paper

At 9/16/2006 12:43:00 AM, Blogger Frank said...


My only comment is that the arabic on the new site is left justified and not right justified which makes it hard to read.

With a million new potential readers in Syria you will need to be able to accept content and commnet in both left to right languages and right to left.

At 9/16/2006 02:16:00 AM, Blogger EngineeringChange said...

Will the search engine allow searches of only keywords or searches of all articles and comments?

It would also be helpful to have the recent posting, search, greatist hits etc all appear at the top of the page rather at the bottom.


I personally use 1680 by 1050 pixels. A font size like at Beirut to Beltway would be ideal for me.
And a wider center column would be much better--less scrolling for all of us!

At 9/16/2006 08:38:00 AM, Blogger ugarit said...

Dr. Landis:

I would recommend that you use Drupal instead of Word Press. Check it out over here. As an example of its power look at

In addition, look at all the available addins for drupal.

You should have syndication of news about syria. Here's one way

Syndicate news from Google

BTW, drupal is free.

At 9/16/2006 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

Why don't you clean your brain first Landis. You sure got a lot of worthless junk collecting dust and speading germs.

At 9/16/2006 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

ORKIN'S is what he really needs for remedy. With all those pests that post on his blogs, leaving trail of worthless comments. Oooh, and some pornographic one too. He may keep those, he seems to like them.

At 9/16/2006 01:57:00 PM, Blogger Eric said...

i maintain several wp and drupal and mt sites. first, i wouldn't recommend a cms, e.g., drupal, unless there was a need for much more complex presentations. second, i wouldn't recommend the perl/*sql binding for anyone writing in languages other than english. i spend far too much time fixing html markup for diacriticals at wampum. so don't use mt. i can't comment on farsi/arabic/hebrew (r2l, bidi, and combining characters) issues.

i like wp. pick a theme, one, two, or three column, and enjoy it. thanks for the link to the beltway.

At 9/16/2006 02:25:00 PM, Blogger Joshua Landis said...

Thanks Eric, Several people have written to say that Drugal is too complex for what I do, which is blogging and not hosting a broad community all of whom post at will.

I will set up a page with code on it that sets writing to the right margin for Arabic. Then everyone can just copy the code into their comment or post when they use Arabic.

I will also add a news feed.

Many thanks for all your suggestions. I have learned a lot and will try to take them all into consideration. Keep them coming.

Best, Joshua

At 9/16/2006 03:20:00 PM, Blogger Karakuz said...


One of the things I like most about your site is that it doesn't contain a lot of other materials and a bunch of distracting sidebars. I have been reading blogs on the Middle East for about a year now, and yours is still the only one I read every day. The rest have not captured my attention sufficient to become part of my daily reading. I hope that you keep your nbew blog as focused. I also like the software tool showing where all of the bloggers are who read your website. If that thing is accurate, you truly have a global audience! Of course you got that audience based on the content of your blog. But the fact that you have kept away from the frenetic look and feel of other blogs and websites makes it even better.

At 9/16/2006 03:44:00 PM, Blogger patriot2sy said...

On comment on your website. It opens perfectly well with microsoft internet explorer, but when you open it with firefox which is the second most popular browser, it doesn't show correctly if the font size is large. The right column goes down, so that you don't see it unless you scroll down to the bottom of the page.

At 9/17/2006 02:35:00 AM, Blogger markfromireland said...

This is my first time commenting here although all in my group we read here regularly.

I suggest in your style sheet you set up a class, not an id, a class, for Arabic and apply that as you need.

I'd also go along with the suggestion that you use wordpress which is what we'll be migrating to soon. (Drupal is way overpowered and a sod to administer)

If you're not terribly sure of your xhtml or css skills either leave a comment on my place and one of us (most likely me) will get back to you OR go to Open Web Design and ask them for help. They've got some very talented people there.

I'd also suggest that you size your text in ems not pixels that way how the text will be displayed is based upon your visitors' browser settings not some arbitary value.

At 3/20/2008 05:00:00 AM, Blogger Alex said...

Great post.
Thank you.
Wedding Album Design


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