New Santipada site

Hi all bloggists. Just to let you know, I haven’t been checking the blog for the past week or so, so if your comments haven’t appeared, don’t worry, I’ll get around to it soon.

I’ve been putting together a new version of our decrepit old Santipada site. Like most of Santi’s web presence this was built on googlepages, which served us well for a few years, but which is now falling apart. Since I started this blog, I’ve learnt a little about WordPress, and, with substantial assistance, have learnt to do a few simple websites. We’ve rebuilt the Santi FM website on WordPress, as well as the Australian Sangha Association. The latest is Santipada, the Santi FM ‘in-house’ publishing arm, currently at http://santifm.org/santipada/ (but soon to be redirected to santipada.org).

I’ve had a number of ideas for how a good reading site should be built, and I’m glad to say I’ve been able to implement just about all of them.The aim of the site is to present writing in the best possible way on the web. To accom­plish this I have started with a text-oriented WordPress theme, The Erudite, and modified it to further enhance it as a writer’s platform. The appearance has been tweaked, and the font size increased. I’ve paid detailed attention to typographic niceties, like ‘hanging quotes’, proper verse layout, tables, footnotes, semantic markup, and so on. For seamless display of diacrit­icals in Indic terms, Gentium Basic is used throughout, delivered using @font-face by kernest​.com.

The theme has been de-bloggified, removing comments, dates, and so on: I’m after a lasting repos­itory of quality writing, not a changing diary. If you want to discuss stuff, use this blog.

There are a few exper­i­ments: notice that hovering the cursor will highlight the text, changing the dark grey text into black; this is because some readers find even dark grey difficult to read. In addition, this can serve as an attention focuser. On single posts, the same action will display automatic paragraph numbers to the side. This is because I am conscious that any writing these days will be published in a variety of media, and for reference sake texts should be marked according to paragraphs, which are a genuine textual entity, not pages, which are merely an artifact of the technology the text is presented in.

Posts will be made available in several formats: as well as the basic html for web viewing, they are, or will be, in pdf (for downloading and printing) and Scribd (for, well, whatever people use Scribd for…). More formats coming…

The content is, for the most part, my old essays taken from the earlier santipada, with a few additions. In time I will adapt my books in a similar way. I intend to use that site as a repository of quality writing, so from time to time I may take the most lasting of my blog posts, polish them up, and include them.

For now, a treat for all you blog readers. The first post on the new site is a new piece of imaginative writing, now published for the first time: ‘Dreams of Bhaddā’. I hope you like it….

And let me know what you think of the new site…