January 8, 2009
Interesting…

While I’m no expert at all the nuances of WordPress, ESPECIALLY the newest version 2.7, I do know a little bit about it. As my dad used to say “You can put all I know in a thimble and still have room for your finger in there.” :) Anyway, back to the point. I have used popup comments for a long time. I guess it’s a carry over from when I used to use first Blogger and later Movable Type (no, I’m NOT going back). But I like them. It gives you the ability to look at the post in the original window of your browser and make your comment in a new, smaller window that “housed” all of the comments and the comment form. I like that and my themes have all used the popup comment form – all that I had to do was remove the commenting from one line of php in the head section and the popup comment form was used.

Why am I saying all this? Well, after much searching and checking of sources I have come to the conclusion that the new commenting features in WordPress 2.7 are NOT available when using the popup comment form. If there are any WordPress Jockeys reading this, please inform me if I’m wrong and point me to where an explanation is of how to use the new features (threading and replying to comments) on popup comments.

What that means is that when I update my themes to use WordPress 2.7, I’ll include legacy support which will use popup comments on WordPress versions older than 2.7 and on-page comments with WordPress 2.7 and newer. This is not a bad thing, but it is a change for me as a theme designer; and, it’s more than change for the sake of change.

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January 2, 2009
Themes

The new version of WordPress, 2.7, allows for what are called child themes. To use these child themes, one has to come up with a parent theme. Think of it this way: a parent theme is the layout of the page, the child theme is the coloring. In a way, I’ve been doing this kind of theme designing for WordPress since I’ve gotten “serious” about it. I start with a particular layout and change the coloring, the images used and a few other frilly things like fonts and spacing and such and voilĂ ! – a new theme! What is possible now with WordPress 2.7 is to take the CSS and functions file out of the theme and then make it into a parent theme; then take that same parent and use it as a framework to make several similar themes that look different but use the same underlying code. Nice! So I can use my code base from Iowa Winter 2 and use it as a parent theme and then set up a number of child themes based on it.

Of course, first I want to figure out the new functions in WordPress 2.7 and add them to the theme group so they are all “up to snuff”. Still working on that one. I’ll probably release all themes with updates for WordPress 2.7 individually and then go back and rework them into parent/children groups. However, at the rate I seem to work on them now, it may take months! :)

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December 10, 2008
Theme Change

I was kind of hesitant to change themes right now as the WordPress 2.7 update is coming soon (Release Candidate 2 was just issued today). It has a bunch of new functionality that I’ll have to add in to my themes, which is why I’m kind of hesitant to change themes. However, with winter upon us here (we had snow yesterday, AFTER the rain and ice) it was definitely time to change.

Once 2.7 comes out, I’ll be working to make my themes compatible with it while maintaining backward compatibility. I suppose I could start that any time as there are articles out there about the major changes in 2.7… anyway, enjoy one of my most-downloaded themes: Iowa Winter 2.

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September 18, 2008
Newest Theme

Here it is, my newest theme. The one I’ve been working on for a while. I finally figured out how to style the tag cloud in order to get the tag cloud to fit “inside” the area.

Anyway, there’s a story behind this one. I was looking at my kids’ senior pictures a couple of weeks ago and decided I really like the look of the “centerpiece” frames we got for them. You see, these frames hold one 8″x10″ picture and four of the 4″x6″ proofs. They really look nice with rounded edges on the oak border around the pictures. That’s when it hit me: “Hey, I could make a WordPress theme that looks like that!” So I set about creating such a look. The disaster happened shortly after I began when I lost my USB flash drive with all the preliminary work on it. So much for backups, huh?

So the end result is what you see here. Wooden Picture Frame. If you like it, it is available for download here. The wiki article describing the theme and additional download links is here.

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June 27, 2008
Theme Change

It was about time. The flood waters are receding here. Everything is still kind of brown and “river-stinky” if you know what I mean. But it was time to change themes. Plus, with baseball season in full swing (pun intended!) and the great history-making run by Fresno State to be the lowest ranked team to ever win an Division I NCAA tournament of any kind and to set records for runs scored in the College World Series, I simply HAD to change it to the Baseball theme!

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May 22, 2008
Themes, themes, themes

I spent some time last night cleaning up and adding the finishing touches to the last three themes that I have created. They are now available for download here on my site. I was going to upload them to the WordPress Theme Viewer, but it seems that they are not yet accepting uploads. (Since December of 2007?!!)

Anyway, the themes are titled Lazy River, Office Use Only and Iowa Spring 1 (which is my current theme). You can either click on the “WP Mods Wiki” button on the navigation bar at the top of the page or you can click on the links here to get to the wiki page for the themes. Enjoy!

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April 13, 2008
Here It Is

Finally! I’ve been working on this theme for what seems like FOREVER! So I’m unveiling it a bit early. Here it is folks: My Iowa Spring 1 theme! Anyway, I still need to do some tweaking with it; especially where certain plugins fit in with it. I want it to recognize an use certain plugins that pertain to the display and have to write that in to certain files in the PHP programming. But it’s complete enough that I can put it out there and start using it. I hope to have the tweaks done in the next couple of weeks. After that I’ll make it available for download on my site.

Let me know what you think!

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