As this is being written, Centerline is nearly complete. When the outlines of v5 for Associate-O-Matic were being established (nearly two years ago!), one goal I wanted to accomplish was to create a different look to the products in category view. This meant a vertical look, instead of the ‘image left, text right’ appearance of every other AOM store ever made. After finally getting my hands on the files, I realized I had to conquer the steep learning curve required to come to grips with the new system. Abandoning my love for strict HTML tables, I plunged into a fully CSS environment. Once I had created my first two templates, Bluescan and Oakwood, my thoughts turned back to the vertical stack for the category pages.
So I sat down and started to work the code. For a solid week, I spent every possible minute I could, in front of the monitor, trying to tweak the files to do what I wanted. The beard grew, the mail piled up on the desk, my family wondered if I would remember their names, etc. I made a little progress, but not much. The deadline of a long-scheduled family holiday loomed over me as I worked into the night. Finally, I had to admit that I couldn’t crack it, and reluctantly left the computer for a week. It took about two days to disengage my brain from the task; while it never completely went away, without the files in front of me, I could do little but wonder what would happen when I got back.
It wasn’t until the morning after we came home that I felt ready to carry on. I sat down, opened the files… and within an hour or so, had it figured out. Maybe it was the break, maybe I would have followed the same path of reasoning anyway; there’s no way to know. But with that feat out of the way, the rest of the template fell into place very quickly. It’s still taken two very intense days of staring at the screen, but Centerline had a radically new layout, and a name. I’m pleased with the results, and hope you are as well.