Site Redesign

OTB has undergone a facelift as part of a forthcoming re-launch of OTB Media.

Please submit any bug reports in the comments below.

UPDATE: Does anyone use the social media icons in the post footer to submit blog posts? Or is everyone now using browser tools and other methods for that?

UPDATE: Ed and I have fixed the problems commenters have identified so far. Thanks! With so many browsers and screen settings out there, it’s very hard to test everything before going live.

Please continue to post bug reports and ideas for design tweaks below. I can’t promise to get them all implemented but I appreciate your feedback.

UPDATE: My thanks to Brian Noggle at for some additional bug testing. We’ll get this thing right before it’s all over!

Bumped to top from 19:36 June 9.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ten Jones says:

    Where is the “Show Comments Here”-Function (i.e.: show comments inline, without having to reload a single entry).

    That really set you apart — and I loved it. Can we have that again? Please?

    Fixed – JHJ

  2. hln says:

    It’s not a bug per se, but horizontal scroll is icky icky icky, and I’m certain your advertisers won’t be fond of it (since their ads show only in part). You’ve also got some wonky pixels in the upper right-hand corner. Comment preview panel needs work.

    My screen resolution is very standard – 1024 x 768. Look at this in IE7.

    Switched over to a Mozilla browser, and the same basic issues are there but in slightly different manifestations.

    Swiveled over to my Mac, and everything is good. I’ll bet your designer used a Mac.

    You have a few more issues. If you want a REALLY thorough critique, enlist Brian – he does that for a living. You know how to find me.


    Fixed – JHJ

  3. Mark says:

    When you preview the comment, the background is dark gray and the text is black – makes it kinda hard to see. Change the text color to white and you’re OK…

    Fixed – JHJ

  4. Matthew J. Stinson says:

    The colors and graphics look nice but there are a few issues.

    I second Mark on comment previewing. But I’m not sure about changing the font color to a lighter one, because if the comment is long then it’ll start at the top and go down the page to where white would also be hard to read. Instead, you should make a different, “clean” template for comment previewing or position the comment below the gray banner.

    I’m viewing at a large screen size — 1440 wide, so I don’t see the horizontal scroll issues at full size. If I resize it to 1024 wide, then the scroll bar does start to pop up, but it’s a minor annoyance.

    Incidentally, I’m using the latest build of Firefox.

  5. James Joyner says:


    Thanks for the feedback. And, yes, the preview had a clean background when I tested it earlier; something must have gone wonky while Ed was fixing other issues.

    We’ll get that fixed this evening.

  6. mark says:

    I find it hard to tell who wrote which comment – I keep forgetting whether the gray bar goes with the comment above or below..

    Fixed – JHJ

  7. PJens says:

    The main page; goes way off my screen right. I can see the adds on the left, and can start reading the body but have to scroll to the right in order to see the rest of the page.

    Comment page fits on my screen fine.

    I can’t replicate this problem. What browser are you using? What’s your screen resolution setting? – JHJ

  8. Triumph says:

    New site looks sweet!

  9. carpeicthus says:

    I don’t know if it’s [a browser plug-in I’m using] or what, but it looks pretty hideous to me. The central page is algined above the two other columns.

    Hmm. It’s a possibility that it’s the plug-in, I suppose. You’re presumably using Firefox and I’m not having that issue with either Firefox or IE. Anyone else? – JHJ

  10. Jay says:

    James, the redesign looks fantastic! It’s clean, crisp, and not so much of a departure from the old look as to seem completely strange.

  11. Alan Kellogg says:

    Mac OS 9 Netscape 7.0.2 (no donation towards upgrade refused 🙂 )

    Left sidebar renders rather wide, and the first letter of the first word in the pages section is lost.

  12. Anderson says:

    The font size in comment preview seems teeny-weenier than need be.

    How’s it now? – JHJ

  13. Tlaloc says:

    Not a bug but a request:

    could the link to comments default to opening in a new window (like I believe it used to)?

    Previously, you could access comments either via a pop-up window or via the permalink. They’ve consolidated it for this re-design for elegance.

    Any others have thoughts on this issue? It shouldn’t be hard to restore the old functionality if there’s a significant demand. – JHJ

  14. Michael says:

    If you’re going to make it open a new window, please don’t use Javascript. That’s my only request. I open links I want in a new tab using my middle mouse button. Javascript onClick events won’t work with that.

    Personally I would rather links open in the same page, that way I get to choose whether to open them in the same page (left-click) or in a new tab (middle-click). But that’s only because I use Firefox, I guess not everyone gets that choice.

    I think he’s just talking about the old comment popup window. Definitely no plans to make all links open in a new window. – JHJ

  15. Michael says:

    I would also suggest looking at better rich-text editing than the simple tag-insertion buttons you currently use. Something like TinyMCE ( or FCKEditor ( would be nice.

    I’ll look into it. – JHJ

    But even if you don’t, can you at least put the functionality you currently have into the comment preview page?

    Hmm. It looks like it’s there already? – JHJ

  16. Michael says:

    Also, since I and a couple of other have been hit by this recently, instead of a simple link count holding your comment up for moderation, how about a combination of link count and non linked unique word count. Longer posts will sometimes have a higher link count simply because they cover many topics. I’m guessing most of the link spam posts are shorter or repetitive.

    A good idea, although I’m not sure how to implement it. Akismet, the spam filter that comes with WordPress, doesn’t seem to offer that combination. – JHJ

  17. MarkT says:

    The comment formatting is very nice now – it is easy to tell which comment comes from which person, thanks!

  18. Alan Kellogg says:

    Left sidebar still rendering much too wide. Go over the stylesheet with a fine-toothed comb. Getting each file and the front page as a whole Validated would help a lot.