# Conforming to a blog layout and component guideline

This is an evaluation spurred by a lively discussion, as always, and the result is in front of you.

Well I took a breath and stopped and took in feedback, and I feel good about the results.. mostly.

## Reflections

Analysing how things have gone has revealed the following:

It starts with a desire some little addition to the theme and the organisation – one that appears deceptively innocuous and inexpensive in terms of effort and time. However considering the lack of my knowledge in manipulating PHP and CSS, I tend to look for a ‘better base’ to begin with, so that modifications may be ‘things that I may be able to do’. This approach is wrong, as reinforced in recent discussions. and to the extent of potentially receiving exclamations expressing disgust and consternation (and luckily guidance.. more on this later).

The above was rectified, by tackling the PHP head-on of two themes in consideration and porting desired functionality and page templates to the ‘better choice’ + some minor tweaks. Worth noting that this is the first time I am dealing with PHP, and I am secretly impressed I pulled it off. Wish I could say the same about CSS.

In the past, I would also have lost sense of time and purpose, however, I am making an effort to stop meandering and to follow a direction with sincerity. The weekly target is now being a light tower in the dark sea. I think I did better, but there is still much to improve. At this point, I still think it is a bit lucky that I was able to halt, perhaps it was also that I found solutions faster this time.

Stream : was supposed to consist of bookmarks, replies, likes, posts, notes, social interactions, etc. Everything. With full content (not abbreviated), and infinite scroll. This was rather tedious. Now excerpts are used everywhere, and there is no longer any stream. The Blog now contains an archive of everything.

## Evaluation and rectification

The list below was extracted from Trilema. My questions and some comments are available within >> [[

Some aesthetic adjustments still remain, which can be done as a lower priority task on the basis of what has been established so far.

1. [-] blog
1. [-] .read
1. [X] ..header image, lowest layer, with title and byline superimposed, topmost layer. >> [No suitable image yet. But I think the current appearance is in line with the idea, and I can fix the header image later.]
2. [-] ..left text column, 2nd lowest+++layer.
1. [X] …article title, thicker face+
2. [X] …article byline including time of publishing (Yes)
3. [X] …article body, limited to a, i/em, b/strong, blockquote, ol, ul, li, table, img, code, pre tags + footnotes. >> [This contains the full content, instead of an abbreviation as of now].
4. [ ] …span field as per url selection. >> [Not yet tried with current theme. Earlier issue was discussed in the forum, could not find a solution.]
5. [X] …article footer, including category/tag. [Yes, but the appearance of the category/tag etc has to be improved visually for quick identification.]
6. [-] …responses, boxed individually, comments first, trackbacks after, historical order. admin comments decorated. >> [admin comments are not decorated different. Responses are boxed individually, in historical order but am unsure of trackbacks coming after though.]
1. [X] ….response byline, including date, author pic and author name on left, comment count prominently on right. >> [Author pic/avataar to be set.]
2. [ ] ….response body, limited as article. >> [I am unsure what limited as article means? The response content is available in full when the article that;s been commented on opens. The list pages show the number of comments.]
3. [-] ..utility columns, right, left side >> [there is one column on the left, but footer widgets can be/have been configured, and a custom page template has been created.]
1. [X] …recent comments, at least 12 items.
1. [X] ….name, anchored to comment, followed by leading excerpt.
2. [X] …fixed page links.
3. [ ] …blogroll/fixed outgoing link list. [Yet to be plugged in.]
4. [X] …archive dropdown
4. [X] ..utility columns, right, right side
1. [X] …recent articles list, at least 12 items.
2. [X] …article categories ? (honestly this is the weakest spot of the entire thing)
5. [X] ..special pages consisting of lists of articles sorted by some criteria (time or category/tag).
1. [X] …article title, thicker face
2. [X] …article byline, including time of publishing and category.
2. [X] .write
1. [X] ..article title box, future computed permalink url underneath.
2. [X] ..toolbar
1. [X] …media upload tool
1. [X] ….uploads arbitrary list of files from user’s disk,
2. [X] ….scales all images to pre-selected sizes
3. [X] ….dumps everything in appropriate, month-based directory >> [As of now it does dump in a directory, but this has to be managed bhetter, and I need to verify whether month-based directories are created]
4. [X] ….presets for populating alt tag and caption wrapper ; left, center and right allignment of picture in text
2. [X] …programmable tag presets
3. [X] ..article body box
1. [X] …word counter at bottom
2. [X] …automated draft saver, producing a reviewable/diffable list of available drafts
3. [X] …category selector
4. [X] …publish button, with time-deferred publishing mechanism.
5. [X] …”save draft now” button.
3. [X] .admin
1. [X] ..comment queue processor, permitting ham/spam marking of selected new comments.
4. [-] .meta
1. [ ] ..no javascript >> [Believe some is used via the numerous plugins. This has to be reviewed and whittled down. ]
2. [X] ..all links in article produce pingback at time of publishing.
3. [X] ..rss
4. [-] …/feed serving feed of most recent published articles.
1. [X] ….article title followed by byline including date and time.
2. [ ] ….leading base64 encoding of string including caller ip followed by length-limited article body. >> [??? Need to review]
3. [X] …/feed/comments serving feed of most recent accepted comments. [Yes. Perhaps the link should be displayed more prominently, and/or the location optimised]
4. [ ] …awstats as per discussion. >> [First time I’m hearing of awstats. This needs to be reviewed.]
5. [X] …force missing pingbacks tool, as described. [[I believe I have used this.]

———

• [X] One-click shortcut to inserting lengthier fixed forms such as <blockquote></blockquote> or <p style=”padding-left: 30px;”></p>. [↩] >> [ most posts are exported or composed in org mode in Emacs and WP Editor is used sparingly.]

## 2 responses on “Conforming to a blog layout and component guideline”

1. Honestly, it already looks miles better!
Re comments, especially when a comment sparks a post from you at a later time, you should go back and add a reply to the original comment with a link to the post. Think of it this way: I leave a comment; you say nothing; at some point later you write a post in reply to the comment; while I have the bot informing me of any replies to my comment, there is no way I can directly know that you “replied” via a post! And moreover, at a later time if someone (even yourself!) tries to follow the discussion, they’d be stuck sifting through all the posts to see if/whether there is some reply.
Re avatars – mpwp has a very nifty thing that takes avatar.ico from the commenter’s website and displays that. It’s the right way since one’s avatar *should* be under one’s own control really.

1. shrysr says:

Thank you :). Yes, I see what you mean about replies and it makes sense. I will follow that approach henceforth. I’ll check if that mp-wp feature is hidden somewhere in WP.