Slow, Unfocused Progress (Or Lack Thereof)

I finally got a good block of time to just sit down and do some work  on the new design today, but it was far from productive. I’ve been extremely busy the past few weeks on the job so hadn’t had time to focus on furthering the progress of the design.

I came home today after a company Christmas event and got down to work on the site. For some reason, I couldn’t focus properly on the task at hand. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I’m tired. I haven’t been sleeping enough recently, so I think I’ll take the hint and get to bed earlier tonight.

On the plus side, I’ve planned out the design a little better. I’ve written down a checklist of features and functions I want to implement and I’m starting to check them off as I go. This makes it much easier to see just what stage the design’s at and what areas need some attention.

A release around New Years definitely seems more likely than Christmas at this point…

Work Continuing on New Theme

Here’s a little status update on the upcoming theme. I’ve been extremely busy at work during the day (gearing up for a bunch of year end presentations to the department) and my nights have been taken up by the professional engineering course mandated by the University of Waterloo.

As an update on the progress of the work, I’ve pretty much finished the work on the actual design, aside from the search and archive templates. Then it’ll be a matter of integrating a bunch of the functions I’ve had in mind. I’m targeting a Christmas or New Year release, so that’ll be my gift to you.

With the obvious increase in interest of content monetization by bloggers, I’ve decided to make the new theme ad-friendly. That means designing the theme with advertising in mind; in this case, I’ve been focusing on text ads, such as Google Adsense or Yahoo’s Publisher Network program. The current Hemmed theme happened to work particularly well with an ad banner at the end of a piece of content, but I’ll be planning some strategic real estate for ads in the new theme.

Of course the choice will still be up to the owner to actually take advantage of that ad space; the theme will look perfectly normal without them.

A Long Overdue Update

Well, *glances at last post* it’s been just about 4 months now since I last updated this blog and I think it’s time to give a little refresher to this place. First off, I’d like to say thanks to all the people who have said nice things about my work. It really means a lot. It’s also a little incentive for me to get off my butt and work on something new. Everyone likes compliments right? 😉

Well, I don’t think I’ve ever said anything about it here, but I sort of promised myself that I’d do at least one project every work semester I have on WordPress. Almost all the themes you see here were the result of my work semester from January to May of this past year. After four months of school, I’m back on the job and I’ve got some free time to crack away at some more development. Plus, it’ll help me get to work on some of the programming which I’ll have to do next semester at school anyways.

To be honest, I’ve been holding out on working on anything new with WordPress since I heard about version 2.1. There seems to be quite a few changes and I wasn’t sure how that would affect the whole template design process. I guess what I’d like to know is the roadmap for version 2.1. When is it supposed to be released? I see that there is a nightly build that I could try out and start development with, but if the final release is a looooong ways away (mostly thinking in the context of this work term, so end of December) I’ll just get started on something for the current 2.0.x versions of WordPress. If anyone has a definite or even a general time frame, give me a shout. I’d greatly appreciate it.

So sorry about the whole deadness of this place. I plan on making up for it in the near future.

Weekend Update

Well, I had planned on spending some time over the weekend fixing up some annoying issues I’ve seen with the themes I’ve released. Especially the commenting system. They’re all the same and ugly at that. But despite all that, I definitely didn’t expect this one to pop up.

Widgets Plugin

Uh oh. This is going to mean I’m going to have to do some work on fixing up my sidebar to work with the plugin. I still haven’t taken too deep of a look of what’s involved, but judging by this tutorial, it doesn’t seem too bad. The only thing that could be potentially difficult is modifying the Hemmed theme to take the plugin properly. Since sidebars can usually expand as long as they need to, it doesn’t matter how they’re styled really. However the bottom bar is space sensitive so I’ll have to take a look at the CSS to see how I can make that work without looking ugly as hell. I’m lucky in that I’ve only got a few themes out there. I can’t imagine the people with many, many themes. That’s just going to be brutal to modify.

As well, I’ve been progressing with my work on Hemmed. I’ve added live commenting and changed up the comment styling. I actually also have LiveSearch working, but it really doesn’t seem to like Internet Explorer too much. As much as I hate IE for all its quirks (see, I’m allowed to say this from a developer’s point of view now. :)) a lot of people still use IE. Being the more technically inclined people that bloggers probably are, I only get around 25% of my visitors on IE (as opposed to the like 85% market share is actually commands) but nonetheless a quarter is a quarter is a quarter.

So this weekend shall be a pretty intense couple days of work, but hopefully something nice will come of it. 🙂

[tags]wordpress widgets, themes[/tags]

Upcoming

Well, I’ve got a big project on the front burner now, but it’s going to take quite a while to get it to the point I’m envisioning right now. So in the meantime, I’ll whip up something quick. I’m a University of Waterloo student and I think it’s only appropriate that I create a blog template based on the UWaterloo website. It’ll be quick and I don’t think I can do a bad job. The website is already pretty disgustingly ugly. I doubt I’ll be able to do any worse. Still, some people may be interested if they’re UWaterloo students and have a WordPress blog… (I honestly wonder how many people fit into that category, hehe)

[tags]university of waterloo[/tags]