Robert C.’s test blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

how is it going

Posted by Matthew on January 7, 2007

I just logged in to test some stuff but it looks like you have things pretty well under control. Are you happy with things as they are? What issues are you working on solving?

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4 Responses to “how is it going”

  1. Robert C. said

    Php vs. css. I’ve learned more about what the theme controls vs. what can be controlled with the css file. I think the theme controls most of the the content of what is displayed where (though you can use different display options in the css file).

    Why not Sandbox? Sandbox is the most flexible theme, but I’m leaning against it now b/c: (1) it’s documented very poorly and I’m too lazy to learn it from first principles, (2) it doesn’t display the date or who the post is by until the very end of the actual post page (in a box that I think gives too much information), and (3) by default it shows entire posts on the front page, not just excerpts.

    Why Andreas09?. Now I’m leaning toward the Andreas09 theme. The css file is very well documented making changes easy to make. And I like the 3 columns (it’s a bit more cluttery, but I’m thinking we can put wiki stuff on the left and blog stuff on the right), and how it shows who’s posted what and when at the top of every post (on the front page and on the post page itself). On the down side, it shows entire posts on the front page of the blog instead of excerpts (#3 above), but this can be determined easily on a post-by-post basis (a “more” command is even in the wordpress.com dialogue box). The biggest downside in my mind is that it forces you to use a custom color scheme which doesn’t seem that easy to change (I like Isecore Blue best, except I think the stripes are distracting, Striped Blue is probably my first choice though I wish it were a bit more gray–however, all but the banner color I think is relatively easy to change).

    Tweaks to Andreas09. Here are some tweaks I’ve either made or plan to make to the Andreas09 theme.

    Subcategories. I figured out how to fix this for any theme in WordPress.com–on the widget page, double-click the Categories widget and there’s a “display subcategories” option. I like showing the number of posts in each category (again, an option available through WordPress.com), but it looks ugly wrapping in Andreas09. This can be fixed by changing the Display option from “block” to “inline.”

    Blockquotes. Andreas09 puts a dashed border around blockquotes which I think is ugly. It’s easy to remove, so I plan to (using only a left-border doesn’t look good on this theme b/c the line is higher than the quote itself for some reason, and I can’t figure out how to change this…).

    Bullets. I like having bullets on the Recent Comments and Recent Posts (otherwise it all seems to run together on my view). I figured out how to change this (ditching the “display:block” command and using “list-style” commands in the css file).

    What next? I’d like to get a somewhat polished version ready before changing the site. Mainly, I think it’s important that we have a nice “About” page ready before changing over since this is something users will probably only ever look at once (notice there’s an About tab at the top in Andreas09–I like this, and we should use it to plug the wiki and explain the difference between the wiki and the blog; I also have a couple ideas for cleaning up the help files on the wiki before doing this…).

  2. Robert C. said

    By the way, I’m quite happy with the Shocking Blue and Green theme as is, again my main complaints are (1) no chronological Next and Previous links for posts, (2) the way it groups posts by date on the home page with the date displayed so prominently. The css file was also poorly documented and so it was hard for me to figure out how to make even simple changes.

    Also, if you’re interested in the Andreas09 php and such files, they are available here.

    Also, I haven’t looked into this at all, but I think preview panes for commenting are really nice (so commentors can preview their post incl. html tags…). Not sure how hard this is to implement, esp. with WordPress.com.

    Also, I feel like there are too many boxes and lines In Andreas09, but I think this is changeable too, and removing the avatars doesn’t cause problems like in Shocking Blue and Green. Notice that the little “e” after the time of each comment is an edit option if you are logged in as an admin, kinda handy.

  3. Robert C. said

    (Oh yeah, I also find the alternating shading of comments in Andreas09 a tad annoying, but I think it’s an easy fix, or at least a more neutral/gray color can easily be used that’s not so distracting….)

  4. Matthew said

    This all sounds good to me. Let me know if there is anything you want me to look into specifically. Sounds like you are way ahead of me.

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