IOTA Theme

01
Nov
2014

IOTA Theme

I have been making a lot of these themes lately. Mostly it is just me catching up with old projects that I had put on hold in the past. This is another one of those projects. The International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) is an astronomy association whose website is managed by a family friend. Their old site looked like something out of a bad 1990's Hollywood film. It was a pain to navigate around and it was updated using Frontpage and MS Word. Of course I shouldn't be surprised. Many people don't know that astronomy types tend to use old reliable technology, not the most up to date technology (example: NASA still uses slide rules on occasion).

With that said this IOTA theme is designed to be simple to use; functional across a wide range of devices from PC's, Tablets, and Smartphones; and easy to maintain. There are a few things I learned making this theme.

1. If you want to give the Primary Links menu in Drupal drop down links you have to use the "main menu" block. It is the only way to get the child menu's to render.

2. I pretty much abandoned Nivio Slider at this point and switched to Fraction Slider. It is just so much more functional. The only thing Nivio Slider has is a bunch of pretty buttons right out of the box but you can get that with Fraction Slider with some custom graphics of your own.

3. I learned that One Note has some excellent OCR software built in. I managed to convert a scanned clipping from the 1983 inaugural meeting of IOTA and turned it into printed text. It wasn't 100% accurate but in about 30-40 minutes I was able to edit it correctly and it came out quite well. So if you ever want to convert a bunch of scanned articles or news clippings into computer readable text just use One Note if you have it.

A full demo can be seen here.

I believe this is the last unfinished theme in my folder and hopefully I won't get this huge backlog of unfinished work ever again. I like having these working themes because I can always test different things with different designs on the fly. I can then incorprate the things I learn into my future designs. For instance I incorporated the ColdSolutions Image Menu (as my social links) and the IOTA Drop down menu (look under web design) here on Kemralight.com.