Suffusion Version 3.5.6

Finally! Finally a version of Suffusion got approved! This is the longest it has ever taken between two versions to be approved. And also, this is the first time in the last 3  months that I am actually posting the release note after the actual release!

This release is actually quite a big one from several points of view. Firstly it has all the changes that I documented in the release notes for version 3.5.4. This includes key features like CSS compression, some new hooks, flattening of the WP 3.0 menus etc.

In addition here are the changes for this version:

  1. Code Housekeeping
    Normally code housekeeping is a footnote in my release notes. But in this release it does get the spotlight and with good reason.
    1. After some feedback from the reviewers at WP I put in numerous checks at various places in the code that shouldn’t impact you as a user, but they do minimize the volume of your server logs. Mind you, this was a very large-scale effort that completely diverted the focus from my main goal for this release. But I guess it was worth its while.
    2. I have reduced repeating CSS code for two sets of elements: the l3nav … l8nav elements, which you see in the “full-sibling view” in the breadcrumbs for pages, and the navigation menus. Again, these were quite big as changes, because of the large-scale visual impact.
    3. I have modified the framework to handle compression better in case you are using a child theme. Some parameters have been provided in Blog Features → Child Themes to let you control the different stylesheets you want to include in your child theme. You can ignore this if you are broadly staying within the confines of the the theme’s look and feel even in a child theme.
    4. Another thing I did was to move the individual skin files into their own sub-directories. This gave me the advantage of defining custom configurations for each skin.
  2. Bug Fixes
    1. In cases where the number of posts was very high (a few hundreds if not thousands) the magazine template tended to fail. Apparently this was a problem with a standard WP function call, get_posts().  This has now been fixed and in the process the magazine template has been made lighter too.
    2. There was one bug that was showing incorrect WP 3.0 menus in the top navigation bar. This has been addressed.
    3. A very long-standing issue was the fact that TimThumb refused to work on WP-MS / WP-MU. Apparently the “issue” was my own absentmindedness, which resulted in my wrongly assuming that the problem was more complex than it actually was. Anyway, this issue is now fixed. WP-MS users can harness the full power of TimThumb image resizing in their installations.
    4. In cases where the static tabbed sidebar was enabled, the special page layouts like “Singe Left, Single Right sidebars” were going completely haywire. This issue has been addressed.
    5. There was a bug that was causing an inaccurate rendition of the header and the top and main sidebars when all of them were set to have backgrounds as wide as the window but contents aligned to the wrapper. Though this was never reported, it needed fixing for a very important reason (see below)
  3. New Features
    1. After several months Suffusion has a new skin!!! This is truly a different skin in terms of styling, look and feel etc. The skin is called Minima and is currently available on a white base with some black highlights with very very few images. Of course, you can pick and choose whatever you want as your colors. I have changed my personal blog to use the new skin. Check it out. There might be some chinks with specific GUI functionality like widget drag-and-drop on the blog pages, but if you stick to something that doesn’t use fancy features you should be okay. As compared to the standard Suffusion look, there are a few things that will jump right at you in Minima.
    2. One of the things you will see that will jump right out in Minima is a continuous navigation bar, instead of the traditional tabs. Particularly if you are running a news site this kind of a look will serve you well. You can control this setting in Blog Features → Main Navigation Bar Setup and Blog Features → Top Navigation Bar Setup, by having a tabbed vs. continuous look. I am not very happy with the color combinations that I managed to get on the dark themes for the continuous navigation bars, but that is something I will fix in the near future.
    3. I have added a new option to switch rounded corners off across the site. Check out Visual Effects → Theme Skinning for setting this.
  4. Feature Changes
    1. I have made significant typographic enhancements to the theme. I have basically followed best practices and guidelines for this, so if you don’t like the new tweaks to line spacing etc you know whom to blame!
    2. Also in typography I changed the base font size from 0.75em to 12px. Apparently some people were having issues rendering the fonts on their browsers because of different browser setups. All other font sizes are left as percentages.
    3. I have modified the theme option menu to be enabled if the user had the capability to “manage options” rather than “edit themes”. This is of particular impact to folks using WP-MS, where previously only the Super Administrator was able to manage theme settings. Regular Administrators were unable to do so even in themes that they owned.

Now a few lines about what didn’t make it to this release. One feature that I really wanted to put in was a few more sidebars, particularly in the header area etc. But unfortunately due to the extremely high volume of work that I had to do, this got pulled. But I promise it will be there in the next release. That’s about it – I am off to relax after a few very taxing weeks working on the theme.

4 Responses to “Suffusion Version 3.5.6”

  1. If only the new theme template had been released a few days earlier: I could have used my favourite theme in a site conversion where I had to mimic the look and style of a non WP 3 compatible theme! I was wondering about turning off rounded corners, it’s a useful feature to be able to turn them off. Ditto for turning off the border outlines without adding custom CSS.

    Seriously, when will Suffusion come as part of the standard WordPress bundle? We should start a campaign. Hope you enjoy/enjoyed London 🙂

  2. Suffusion is amazing! Thank you for doing such an excellent job of developing this theme and for paying so much attention to the details! It is the most comprehensive theme I have found yet.

    I really like the new Minima skin. I would like to use it on one of my sites, but I will have to change the background color of the continuous nav bar. Can you give me an idea of how I would go about changing that color?



  3. I love your theme. I want to add my voice of support for a new feature that has also been requested in the forums – editable space to the right of the title/description (or logo) in the header. Not below the header or above, but directly aligned right. This is a perfect spot for small banner ads or google adsense and right now there is now way to utilize that prime real estate. Thank you for considering this. Once that is done, your theme will be darn near “perfect”. Thank you for all your hard and excellent work.

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