Web

Using Sass in a WordPress Theme

I’ve been having more fun that a puppy with a chew toy.  I needed to create a new WordPress theme which I haven’t done in a few years so I did my normal wander around the internet to find out what the current technology is like.

My explorations ended up at the Underscores  which is a impressive starter theme that I immediately fell in love with. Equally impressive was Morten Rand-Hendriksens “WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch  with Underscores” online course, which I devoured over the course of a few days.

You create a Underscores starter kit by going to their website and entering a theme name and clicking “Generate.”  However, it get’s much more interesting when you click “Advanced Options” and find out that you can enter most of your themes meta-data and  one mysterious checkbox: “

It turns out that checkbox does a bit of magic.  It adds a “Sass” directory tree with a sassified version of style.css which gives you a more organized method of dealing the your theme styles.  For a peek at the magic of Sass you’ll want to visit over the their website.

Sass takes “style.scss” and turns it into “style.css,” the only problem is it’s rather recalcitrant in putting the css file in the same directory or in the “../css” directory which WordPress really doesn’t care for.  Or does it? Continue reading

What do you need to run a successful website?

True Innovations Dib/Tall High-Back ChairYesterday, I was asked: “What do you need to run a successful web site?” and my first two answers were:

  • The best extended use office chair  you can afford.
  • The biggest computer monitor you can afford.

If your want to be one of the best, your going to be spending a lot time in that chair. The better the chair the longer it’ll take before your rump, hips, and lower back start complaining.

There are chairs available for 24×7 use but if your like me you can probably get away with one that’s rated for 5+ hours.  You really should be getting up and taking a stretch every few hours.

Likewise, your going almost always have a lot of windows open, and when it’s late at night and your eyes are ready to go to bed and your not;  The ability to zoom the display will be a much needed relief for tired eyes.

Switching over to WordPress

Talk about the Cobbler’s kids going barefoot!  I’m finally in the process of moving this website over to WordPress. Version 3.4 is about to hit the bricks and it’s has some very nice APIs implemented that should make theme writers either jump with joy; or groan with dispair.

The only disappointment is that it would appear that the “twenty twelve” theme has been pushed off and I was hoping to use it with the new WinkWink site.

HTML5 & CSS 3.2 Class


I’m teaching a HTML5 class once a week, which of course means that I’m getting a better handle on it. Now that IE9 is out, HTML5 is ready to rock and roll! The new enities simplify the document structure greatly and we have all sorts of new toys to play with.

We’re redoing the Seattle Storyteller Guild to embrace the new standard, and move them over to WordPress. Still a work in progress however, I think it’s starting to look really good.

I’ve playing with WordPress for several small projects that I’m doing. That’s led me to some old yet new technology for Websites. First the concept of a grid layout which has been used for centuries in newspapers and consistent typography which again has been used for centuries.

I’m actually considering moving my website over to WordPress, it has been decidedly easy to work with and I’ve been modifying plugins down deep in the guts. Needless to say I’m happier than a cat with a big bowl of cream.

jQuery and AJAX

I’ve been overhauling the admin pages for one of my sites.  I wanted to improve the through put by using AJAX techniques to avoid multiple trips to the server.

Along the way I came across a framework that for the first time makes Javascript manageable.   JQuery, JQuery-UI, and JqGrid are clean,  easy to understand, and fast.

The administration pages are up and running. The AJAX interactions has increased productivity by about 30% so a big win in a real world situation. Much more maintainable.