On Some New Changes

The Stonehenge theme was always a short-term solution. I knew that WordPress 2.3 was coming. I knew it was adding tagging to the core. And I knew that meant changes under the hood to the way WordPress themes worked.

I remember the upgrade to 2.1. Oh, do I remember the upgrade to WordPress 2.1.

So I wanted something close to the default coding — in other words, something based off Kubrick — but with a little style and pizzazz, so that the underlying changes to themes would be more apparent.

I needn’t have worried. The coding changes were downright minimal. Integrating tags to the theme was… nothing. Everything worked.

Though I liked how the Stonehenge theme looked, I knew that it wouldn’t be around forever.

And so I moved on. I knew the theme I really wanted, and I bided my time before I could make the appropriate changes to that theme.

And so I uploaded it. Activated it. And what a damn slow, resource hog it was.

It lasted a day. It was pretty. It was stylish. But it had to go. And back to Stonehenge we went.

The time came, though, for moving on. I’d toyed with the Vertigo theme once before — it was one I’d downloaded, installed for five minutes to see how it looked, and then moved on. I had an issue with the footer.

I rethought Vertigo recently, though, and I discovered a variant — Vertigo Blue. More my colors, I thought. And I tackled the problem with the footer, mainly by deleting the two offending columns (basically, they were too freakin’ huge).

Describing all the file changes would take too long. Suffice it to say, I created Archives, Tags, and single page templates, and they work well. I rewrote some of the code for the header to be more in line with my needs. And I worked up my favorite little thing — a print stylesheet.

In terms of server resources, Vertigo looks to be extremely lightweight. And it’s snazzy. I think it’s going to hang around for a while. :)

ETA (6:45 pm): I discovered that on old posts, ones where the comments have been turned off (which happens automatically at three months), the sidebars were dropping to the bottom of the page.

That behavior wasn’t right!

A look at the HTML generated by WordPress for a single post page gave me an idea of what was happening — there was a missing </DIV> tag. A <DIV> tag opened the the comments block, but then there was no corresponding </DIV> tag to close the block, if the comments were closed.

I experimented with two things.

One. I moved the </DIV> tag to outside of an If block. No, that didn’t work.

Two. I created an If block that checked if the comments were closed. If true, a </DIV> tag was generated.

One didn’t work. Hence the need for number two. Number two seems definitively to work.

:bond:

ETA (7:00 pm): No, it was more specific than that. If comments were closed and there were no comments on the post to begin with, all was okay. Adding the If block nerfed things on those posts. Fortunately, that was a very simple fix, and now all really is good. ;)

7 thoughts on “On Some New Changes

  1. Vertigo looks good in Netscape 6.2! Obviously, it handles some CSS styling in a slightly off-kilter way, but that’s understandable. Netscape 6.2 is six years old. ;)

  2. It looks fine in SeaMonkey as well.

    I love that name, “SeaMonkey.” I’m not sure about the user interface (why, it’s the Netscape 4.0 interface, for everyone who can’t get enough of the Net, circa 1998), and the rendering engine — like Firefox — is freakin’ sloooow.

    But hey, a goofy name forgives a lot. :)

  3. And it looks quite nice in Safari as well.

    I am still not used to the way Safari renders fonts. It looks weird to me. Yet, I do understand that Apple has a different font philosophy than Microsoft, and thus the vast differences between the way Safari renders versus the way everything else renders.

  4. This gave me an excuse to download Netscape 9.0. And it looks like, well, SeaMonkey. Which looks like Firefox. Because they all use the same underlying code.

  5. I think it turned out quite well.

    I’d looked at this theme before, but it wasn’t until I saw the blue version that I decided I’d sit down and make it work to my needs.

    I’ve had to make some significant changes under the hood — beyond the comments.php bug, I replaced a lot of the code in header.php — but it’s because 1) I liked the overall look of the theme to want to use it, 2) it really does look professional instead of something cobbled together, and 3) it’s really lightweight on the server resources.

    It’s going to stick around for a while.

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