More on the Gnome Regression

Another newsletter, another reason to worry. Here’s the quote:

We’ve spent a lot of time and effort on our cutting edge CSS layouts and, while they are definitely fancy-schmancy, they detract quite a bit from our core efforts which are great content and easy access to it. So, as Chris put it in yesterday’s Windows Fanatics, we’re taking a mulligan and calling a do over. Lockergnome is changing looks one more time and moving to a more traditional layout and coding structure. This, my friends, successfully filled the rest of the time between when we last graced your in-box and now. I’ve been locked in my office, nose to the grindstone, hacking out automated content updaters, link rotators, and convoluted include structures hand over fist. Now here’s the part that’s going to get resident Web-Gnome, Foofy Mathews, on a plane to throttle me in my sleep… All the layout is based on tried and true HTML tables.

Dave and Paul have already added great thoughts to the discussion, so I’m not going to address the “tried and true” web techniques of the mid-nineties again. My previous optimism is waning, and I hope someone at Lockergnome is listening and will come out of the echo chamber and let us know what’s going on.

Update: I’ve written an update that explains why I care.

3 thoughts on “More on the Gnome Regression

  1. Madness. Absolute madness.

    “the site rendered exactly the same as it did on IE 6 in XP Pro and Safari on OS X”

    This is the most revealing phrase in the post. I guess an ongoing inability to maintain (thanks, no doubt, to a lack of knowledge on working with standards-based code) is what spurred this move. What a collosal waste.

  2. I think what most people might be overlooking here, is that Lockergnome is admitting that their site design is what’s going to change, not necessarily their markup – and believe me, while their design (style that is, not usability) is pleasing, changing the way a user has to sort thru their horrible navigation to find what he/she is looking for should be their top priority.

    Personally, I find their site next to impossible to use, and finding any logical navigational content on their main page ( is painful at best.

    What I want is content, not flair, not fancy schmancy this or that. I weigh a site more by what I read (i.e. content), than necessarily how it looks.

    In the case of lockergnome, I eventually got to the point where even their newsletters were a struggle to find the content intermingled between the ads, branding and seemingly endless navigation. Eventually I go frustrated to the point where I didn’t even want them in my mailbox. I’ve since unsubscribed from all of them, save their OS X one.

    And tables? C’mon … there better be a very good reason why you’d want to go back to mid-90’s markup when it’s been proven a well-thought out (x)HTML/CSS recipe can be successfully implemented – just look at

    The best advice I can give Chris Pirillo and company is this: “Sometimes less is more.”