Since we seem to be running out of ideas for improving the monastery, and vroom seems awfully bored, I thought I'd pitch in. ;-)

Last night, when the chatterbox discussion turned to how bad my home node looks under the Dark Theme, Cascading Style Sheets came up. It seems to me that one of the easiest ways to enable folks to customize the look of the Monastery would be to allow them to specify the URL of a stylesheet to be placed in the head of every page they view. This would, essentially, turn every monk loose to more easily create and trade themes, and help decentralize some of the housekeeping here.

This would seem to be simple enough to implement, and would allow people to do neat things like create their own background graphics. For the sake of discusson, however, I'll mention some other possibilities.

More flexibility could be gained by adding extra attributes to various HTML tags, thus allowing the stylesheets to differentiate categories of elements. If the tags in the "Other Users" section, for instance, each specified area="users", it would be easy enough for a monk to make the Other Users background pink, while leaving the rest of the page purple.

It would be interesting as well if, on one's homenode, the author's stylesheet link could (depending on the viewer's preferences) take precedence over the viewer's. Thus people could *really* get creative with their home nodes, and yet never have need to store either graphics or style sheets on Perl Monks. As I can think of no security problems with this, it could, perhaps, make up for our necessary loss of JavaScript.

Anyway, just some thoughts. I realize that monks can create and submit their own themes for consideration, but it is, I think, preferable to allow vroom & friends to focus on content, rather than on presentation. And anyway, as a lowly Monk, I get a "tough beans" error when I try to read the Themes node. :-)

What do you think?