Preparing for a long-time-coming upgrade

After squashing a showstopping bug, I’m finally ready to upgrade my theme to the newest version and hopefully jump start its development, on my own if necessary.

The Keyboard Parade
Image by theopie via Flickr

I’m finally preparing to upgrade my theme to the latest version (ie the next part in my ongoing attempts to upgrade) as I really should finally start using wordpress widgets. Unfortunately the theme seems to be unmaintained at the moment and the author MIA since April this year. Also the theme still hasn’t been moved to the shiny new official WordPress repository which tells me that Nalin must have lost all interest in it.

Hopefully I’m wrong. I’ve sent him an email and left a forum post asking to add to the repository and allow me to pickup the maintenance if he’s not interested anymore. If he doesn’t come back to me, I’ll unfortunately have to fork it in order to make it compatible with newer version of WordPress and to merge the changes I’ve made into it for others to use. We’ll see.

Some of the things I’m planning to add/modify are

  • Support for the new way of styling so that it works properly with Zemanta and builtin alignments.
  • Option to enable drop-down menus for the header (as you see above) through suckerfish and possibly superfish in the future.
  • More options to tweak.
  • Widgetize the single-post sidebar to allow some content in the generally empty area on the left.
  • Hardcoded support for the various plugins I’m currently using. So for example, if you install emo-vote, there code will already be in your theme to activate it but nothing will be visible if the plugin is missing. I will probably add support for tweaking these plugins in the options page as well.

And that’s for starters. Fortunately I see that the community around this theme is still alive so I’m guessing I’ll be getting more ideas for addition from there as well.

I’m still running my old theme since I managed to debug the suckerfish issue a few minutes before I left for work today, but now that my biggest hurdle is resolved, I’ll soon my changing into “fresh clothes” so to speak.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Theme Upgrade Fail

I never understand why upgrading to the newer HemingwayEx is such a hassle. This is the second time I’ve attempted it now (once more on 1.0) and I just now gave up.

What is happening is that I get the theme to work, I can change the colours just fine and switch to finally using widgets, but for some reason I can’t get the suckerfish dropdown to work and I keep running into various other problems (like my gallery losing its theme etc).

It wouldn’t be such a great problem if I knew where to start but what is happening is making me scratch my head. Specifically, even drop-downs start to work once I put the code in, they get hidden behind the background. That is, I can see the dropdown menu appearing (the top of it) but its somehow placed behind the main content and even expanding the navigation does not make it appear. Grrr

Anyway, it’s too much bother to figure out what is causing this so I’ll stay with my current version which still seems to be working fine. I will however attempt to widgetize it and perhaps upload it as a different version from HemingwayEx. I’ve aready created a sourceforge page for it (waiting approval still) and then possibly more people might be willing to help.

It only annoys me that I spent so much time on it and I still couldn’t get it to work as the current version.