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Stephen Cobb

Site owner: Stephen Cobb

Site contact email: click here to contact Stephen Cobb.

Site history: Created in 2002 to coincide with publication of Privacy for Business. Revised on several occassions, most recently in 2010.

Other Stephen Cobb sites include Cobb's Blog and Scobb on Security. Stephen also manages Dare Not Walk Alone. You can follow Stephen on Twitter.

Site design: Based on Andreas02

Stephen Cobb: I am a big fan of open source web design and in particular the designs of Andreas Viklund. My interest in the use of templates is not just about efficiency (templates are a very efficient way to build sites, CSS/XML based templates even more so). And it is not just about the cost (although 'free' is an attractive price). A good part of my interest in templates has to do with color. To get personal for a moment and let slip the cloak of privacy, I am color blind, or as we used to say in the old country, colour blind. Actually, the correct term in my case is color defective, since I see plenty of colors. The problem is, I don't see them the same way most people do.

Of course, you may already be saying: "Duh! The maker of this page is clearly color defective." Hopefully not, but if you are, my apologies (just try to focus on the content and not the form, okay?). What templates offer, and computer graphics applications support, is color coding. That means I can use 08559C for the background and know it is the same shade of blue as the color of the book. I can also make sure that when I need that shade of blue elsewhere in the design I can get it, just by typing 08559C.

Beyond that general interest in templates, this particular design fit my desire to connect a number of my sites together. Here is what Andreas said about coming up with this design:

"I wanted a design that all of my sites could use and make some kind of official link network between the sites. My way of doing this turned out to be the use of toptabs (for selecting a website) and navitabs (for selecting subsections within the different sites). With a basic template, all sites can have the same design and share the same toptabs - but they can have their own separate content. The final touch to it would be to give each site a color scheme of its own. The personal site has blue colors, the company site is green, the artist site is red and so on."

The Cobb Associates web siteStephen Cobb: I have not stuck with that color scheme, but have used blue for this site and gray for the CobbAssociates site (gray is a handy choice for the color defective crowd).

I will probably go with 990000 for the personal site, but that redesign is still a work in progress. (It should be noted that Andreas has since moved on to a different design for his own sites.)

The Dare Not Walk Alone web siteIncidentally, I used a quite different Andreas template, Andreas05, for the DNWA site which I built to support the civil rights film, Dare Not Walk Alone.

Once again, here is Andreas:

"As with all designs I publish on my page at OSWD.org, I have not aimed at making any kind of trendy or shiny design. I prefer to keep it clean and simple, and let others add the details that will make the design special and unique. However, the design has some useful built-in features, such as a print CSS and full functionality when degrading to no-CSS mode. You can use the design as it is, but I recommend that you play around with it. Add things, remove things, let your creativity flow!

That attitude is deserving of something like a "Spirit of the Internet" award. You can read a lot more about Andreas, his music and his webmastering, right here.

 

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