So… after over three weeks of full time tweaking, re-tweaking, and re-re-tweaking, here comes v.0.9 RC of the Semiologic theme, complete with new skins.
The changes are massive and subtle at the same time. A quick breakdown:
- The theme has a completely new set of skins… Each color scheme has been re-defined in a rather systematic manner.
- Two new color schemes (beige and olive) have made it in the zip. v.1.0 of the theme will have all of the core skins (except shades) in 12 schemes: beige, black, blue, brown, gold, green, navy, olive, purple, red, silver and teal. I might add a few more schemes by then, e.g. marine, pink, violet… (opinions welcome)
- The canvas has got a few slight edits, but old skin customizations should continue to work as expected in spite of them. Two exceptions. One is the widget title backgrounds for the boxed skins, which *might* break; and
- The number of inline boxes has changed, from 2, 3, or 4 boxes depending on the width of the layout, to 2, 2, or 3 boxes. That one would break any custom theme if you’re using the header or footer boxes bar.
- The typography got some love, resulting in slight changes to the font stacks.
- The classy skin, which is now the default skin, has been completely redone. I dearly hope it’ll live up to its name.
- The Custom CSS editor got a slight improvement, in that it now has an “Extra” area where you can add arbitrary CSS. That screen also includes pointers on the theme’s CSS selectors.
Expanding on the first and last points… Over the years, vocal Semiologic theme users have been requesting shadows, rounded corners… all sorts of fancy stuff. In the past year, I’ve mostly been hearing about easier to customize colors and (most importantly) background colors.
These new skins have been redesigned in such a way that they look “the way they should” in modern browsers that understand CSS3, and very acceptable in other browsers (read: IE).
In other words, background images are mostly gone, and it’s once again easy to change background colors. As a bonus, the skins load much faster, and the zip’s size was trimmed so much that I added 12 more skins.
On the minus side, it means that rounded corners and shadows no longer work in IE (except for the letter template); I can live with that. I hope you can too.
By the way… at the time of writing, I’m still not entirely happy with the boxed and copywriter skins. Basically, I hate the header. I tried white, and it felt empty; a neighboring color, but it looked weird; a saturated, slightly brighter color, but a few (red) looked horrible; and finally an unsaturated, much brighter color, but it lacks some tonic. I’ll keep trying to find something. :-)
Update: RC2 is out, with yet more skins and improvements.