nytheatre.com Redesign!

You don’t need to listen to me complain about theatre coverage in the Times or the Voice anymore, because nytheatre.com is back in town with a brand new look!

I’ve only skimmed the site’s code so far, but it didn’t take me long to adjust to the new layout. The pictures are bigger, the text is easier to read, and it’s now CSS-based! That makes it all the more tempting to Greasemonkey….

The other changes are surprisingly minor, and I really hope nytheatre doesn’t plan on stopping here. The site may look new, but the same baroque link scheme is in effect:

  • Currently running plays get their own page, featuring performance information and (eventually) a review. Their links are individual .shtml pages underneath the /nytheatre/ folder. (For example, /nytheatre/cand2143.shtml.
  • After a play closes, the play goes into the Current Season archive; its link does not change.
  • But when the Current Season becomes a Past Season? Uh oh! Not only does the show’s link change, the page disappears entirely! The review is culled from the performance listing and placed in alphabetical sequence. The show’s new “permanent” link looks like this: /nytheatre/archweb/arch2005_24.htm#576 Numeric attribute values on anchor tags? Yuck!

This haphazard linkage does the most damage on Martin Denton’s nytheatre i. It’s always a great read, but can we really call it a weblog? I can’t read his old entries. I can’t link to individual entries, even if more than one shows up on the main (and only) blog page. And there’s no feed to subscribe to!

But these are old complaints; the redesign has not made the site any worse. nytheatre.com remains the most vital, most comprehensive resource for theatre in the city: its scope and content more than live up to its name.

For Nerds Only!

  • The linksidebar is divided into h4s and ps; this should instead be a Definition List.
  • The site’s character encoding is iso-8859-1, but Denton’s Candida review uses illegal characters like em-dashes. Either those characters should be escaped or the site should use a different encoding.
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