Oct 062009
 

Over the past couple of months I have spent a lot of time adding new features and supporting users of Suffusion. I started with a single template and now the theme has morphed to something with a good set of options. Of course, it is not as comprehensive as Atahualpa (and I don’t want to provide the ability to customize everything – that will become a support nightmare), but I believe I have got a lot covered. At this point the theme is close to completion and I have a few tasks remaining:

  1. Support for more levels in the drop-down menu: Currently 3 levels are supported in the drop-down navigation bar. I am working on extending this to multiple levels, because I have received a few requests to have this capability
  2. Separation of comments from trackbacks / pingbacks: Now that I have more or less run out of tasks to do, this has come close to the top of the list
  3. Widget Areas, Widgets and Templates: The theme currently has 5 widget areas. I intend to add 3 more, though this is low on priority; 5 areas work well for most users. I also intend to build a couple of widgets, one for Twitter and one for RSS subscriptions. And lastly, templates. I made a submission to WP yesterday with a template page for “No Sidebars”. I hope to add a few more templates so that users don’t have to scramble to put something together to meet their needs.

That is the total list of activities remaining. More suggestions are most definitely welcome! I will slow down the development a notch to avoid wearing myself down, but nonetheless all of these should be available by early next month. Along the way I will make minor releases with code optimizations.

And yes, though I will cease adding new features, support will remain! The big thing about open source is that the users are proud of their work and like more people to use it, and hence feel the need to support it better.

What’s Next?

Suffusion was meant to be a stepping stone for me. I wanted to test-drive theme development before my next big plunge. A few things I will be doing as I gradually stop adding more features are:

  1. Port the Suffusion theme to phpBB: I have been supporting users through the comments on WordPress. Though this has worked, it is not really the right way to do things, and it is difficult to keep track of individual issues. I am working on building a forum to support this and phpBB is my platform of choice. While I work on making it look like I want it to, I am going to continue accepting support requests through the comments page
  2. Tutorials: I wrote a few tutorials to support Suffusion users and WordPress developers. I will continue to enhance those.
  3. My Next Theme: Yes, I believe now is the time to actually use the work I have done on Suffusion and extend it to my next project. Hope it is fun!

In the meanwhile keep the feedback coming!

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