Semiologic theme and CMS, v2 released

In resources — I’ve uploaded the latest version of my CMS theme. Changes since the first version are numerous. And I would add, temporary. In short:

  • I’ve internationalized a little bit, adding the main phrases on the site in the appropriate WordPress wrappers — but I doubt this will be very relevant
  • I’m using my set of tiles (see below), rather than WordPress template tags
  • The canvas changed a tiny bit: I’ve made it a little wider, I’ve removed the numbering of comments, and my two ‘(not-so) sponsored links’ will no longer display on your site by default.

The theme is hardly customizable in its current state, which is why I’m calling this state temporary. Hardly means you can customize the overall canvas and the CSS — and you are welcome to submit your changes for inclusion as variations of the theme. But much about everything else (e.g. how to display an individual post or a comment) is in rigidly defined, quick and dirty tiles.

Having WordPress generate a page on your blog should make the structure very clear if you feel like toying with HTML and CSS. A few areas are predefined in the canvas and referenced using id attributes. In the main division, headers and body are identified accordingly using classes. The tile elements are well structured. And the CSS files are hopefully easy to customize.

The next version of the theme should feature a few strategically placed, theme-specific hooks in the canvas via the tiles and in sidebar.php (which may become a tile in itself). This would be for me and other plugin developers to use as locations to insert new features. These will enable the average Joe user to add features to his web site in one click. One of these plugins will let you add customized notes to your sidebar by creating a page called sidebar — odds are strong I’ll make this one available quickly.

I’ll be reworking the tiles in the month to come. I’ve released the theme in its current state in spite of their being unfinished, because I feel the core canvas is sufficiently stabilized for others to use the theme without fearing to see their work squished entirely after upgrading their theme. The target is to make upgrading the theme a painless affair, and this upgrade makes this — almost — possible. Almost, as in I’ve still a few issues to solve, but we’re getting there steadily.

The next version of the tiles should feature arguments, like my fuzzy recent plugins. This will bring back the customizability from the original wordpress tiles, but in a much more powerful way. The planned arguments for the tiles are consistent with those of my fuzzy recent plugins: Captions (e.g. ‘Posted on %date%’), for use with the default HTML, a ‘display=xml’, which will make the tiles spit XML at your option, and a ‘xslt=filename’, which will let a web designer use the tile to spit whichever HTML he wants.

Comments on Semiologic theme and CMS, v2 released

  1. I’m grabbing this now, will try it on my other site. I’ll get back to you with some opinions when I have some!

    If I like it as much as I think I will, I am pretty sure that I will re-design it. Would you want to provide an additional design in the theme zip if I made one?

  2. I´m using your template…It´s by far…what i was looking for in the wordpress system. Glad y ou made it, and also glad I found it at last.

    I also will write some feedback, if that´s ok with you.

  3. I think I’ll redo the archives area in the next version, too. Something, like: A list of monthly archives, basically, with the main posts each month — rather than a list with all of them.

  4. I’d like to see and alternate page template that when applied to a parent page it list’s the links to it’s child pages (and their children pages if any).

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to make this work and have not come up with a good solution.

  5. This is great stuff. I would like to this on my site. I’ve also discovered the multi-user version of WordPress which uses the Smarty templating engine. As I try playing around with the three implementations (standalone, cms, multi-user) do you have any suggestions on how to go about making sense of the code. I’m not a programmer, but I would like to learn more so that I could at least understand designing differences.

  6. I was thinking that maybe it would be possible to set a post to vanish off of a page and into the archives after, e.g., 2 weeks.

    And, similarly, to set a post to be published in 2 weeks but to only stay published for 4 weeks.

    Does that make sense?

  7. Another newbie question…can you tell me, how can I change the post title style. There´s this plugin called: “image headlines generator”, that I want to try. Can this be possible?

  8. there’s a minor update available. i squashed a few bugs since the last release candidate.

    @hipocratico — i trust this is built-in: i apply all the relevant filters to all fields when filters available.

  9. Nice theme :) . Can the Blog page show content or the excerpt of the posts?Not only just the titles. Thanks.

  10. Jen — the rational behind not putting the excerpt is that it is easier to spot a post if there is no excerpt. the search engine is more appropriate to find posts with an excerpt. unless you’re doing something like Catonya.

  11. I will also second getting rid of the tables. I see this as a misuse of them. All I see is tables being used as a means of layout and not for tabular data.

    That being said, I do like the prospects of what you’ve done.

  12. @James: Tables are perfectly valid HTML tags, that are meant to be used for grid layouts. Remarkably, XUL features grid layout tags that are even more powerful than those of HTML, even though Firefox is very CSS friendly. And incidentally, interfaces in HTML and XUL benefit from using a grid layout when you use flow positioning rather than absolute positioning.

    Now, it is arguably wrong to use 1×1 pixels and the like for positioning rather than CSS. But there’s really nothing wrong in using a table for what a table is meant to be used for, _i.e._ easily align things in a grid.

    And this would likely be better discussed in a previous post where I mention the nonsense of using pure CSS for grid layouts. :)

  13. Tables are for tabular data, they.. are inappropriate.

    Is a design tabular data, no it is not. Saying CSS is Nonsense is an urban legend. CSS saves on bandwidth, improves SEO, etc.

    Trust me, I do this for a living :)