Oct 112010
 

This is the longest I have gone between releases of Suffusion and unfortunately the current release is significantly more complex than the previous ones, hence version 3.6.7 is still a few weeks away from release.

A general fact of any software development cycle is that the more complex the software the longer the development cycle. As things stand today Suffusion is quite complex under the hood. As a result when I try to make a foundational change to the theme, it is a very very arduous exercise. Such changes were much easier to make when the theme was simpler. That is the difference between foundational changes and add-on changes: add-on changes are still easy to do given the theme’s modular structuring, which is why I can add new sidebars etc without breaking a sweat (actually adding sidebars is not that easy, but it still is much easier than what I am doing right now). There are two major changes I am working on at present:

  1. A revamped approach to navigation menus – I was never happy with the way WP handled its functions wp_list_pages etc. I felt that their concepts of “include” and “exclude” were slightly messy and I tried to build a fool-proof system for building menus myself. The net result:
    1. I was successful because I achieved what I had set out to do. Including and excluding items worked as advertised.
    2. I ended up introducing some rather undesirable inefficiencies in the code. The menu-bar code worked well, but to work the way I had envisioned it required to do a lot more queries in the back-end system. For users who had a large number of pages etc, the menus generated at least 100 extra database queries.
    3. Some plugins refused to cooperate with the menu code.
    4. Some features like highlighting the correct page etc were notoriously hard to implement.

    So in this release I decided to fall back on WP’s standard functions instead of my enhanced ones. The result is that menus will not work the way I think they should (which shouldn’t really concern you – I am but one individual), but they will work the way WP thinks they should.
    The change is complex because it required me to change all my menu code, test for pages, categories, links and WP 3.0 menus, fix all style-related problems and what not. Luckily though, this is a piece that I have finished implementing.

  2. An option for fluid width – This is a more cataclysmic change. It involves revamping the entire HTML markup and a humongous amount of implementation and testing. This piece is taking a lot of time to finish implementing, let alone get into full-blown testing.

Adding to the implementation complexity are some major changes on the personal front for me, like an upcoming move from the US to Canada and you can see why this release has been taking time.

The light at the end of the tunnel, though, is that once this release is done, you can do pretty much anything with the theme layout. At that point I can focus on the funky features I had promised in the birthday post of Suffusion.

  24 Responses to “An Update on Suffusion”

Comments (23) Pingbacks (1)
  1. Wowwww So much functionality !!! You might as well build a CMS of your own :). Just kidding 🙂 I really do not know how much work would go into building a CMS but you sure are putting in so much effort for a free theme. I don”t think 95% of the paid themes offer so much functionality.
    Kudos to you!!!!
    All the best
    Satyadeep

     
    • Thanks, Satyadeep!

      Seriously, though, one of my first forays into programming for the web was the yearbook for my graduating class, written in CGI/Perl without using a database (it was impossible to get database access in our university those days). It was my crowning achievement in an era that predated Orkut / Facebook, in the sense that you could add stuff about yourself and post comments about others. That was a much tougher task than Suffusion since I had to build the entire engine myself complete with security, UI and back-end, while in WP the whole underlying platform is provided to you as a developer.

       
  2. sorry, I Don’t speak inglish, can you helpe? because my worpdress with your last theme can’t to see my last post and other categories can’t to see the post.
    Thanks!!!
    Gaby

     
  3. You are a genius! Welcome to Canada!

     
  4. Cheers for this version, some days too late, but today is the first day I feel fit to go online in the hospital after undergoing foot surgery…

    Connie

     
  5. Many thanks for developing such a solid and easy to use theme. You have made my site wow its visitors. Keep up the great work and good luck with your move.

     
  6. A heartfelt THANK YOU to you for all of your hard work. I know first hand that sometimes you need to take a step back and say “No more”, at least for a while. I’m at that point myself right now with a few things.

    This is by far one of the best, if not THE best, WP theme I have ever used.

    Take care.

    (I think the theme might be generating incorrect HTML in one section… I’m still checking things out. I’ll report in the forums when I have something concrete.)

     
  7. Fantastic theme, really impressed!
    So much funtionality and so flexible.it’s a pleasure to use as well.

     
  8. Great theme! Appreciate your work! One small question/issue? On the posts of all blogs there is usually a “date” and “time” stamp so you quicly know exactly when the post was published. But for some reason my posts on Suffusion only show the “time” stamp in final published view, there is no date stamp? I’ve looked all over for the setting to change this so both the date and time show on the posts in the final published view, but I simply can’t find it? Any suggestions to get this fixed up? Right now it’s hard for anyone reading my posts to know quickly what day the post was published! Thanks.

     
  9. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah – fluid with – finally…
    stay tuned Sayo!

     
  10. Love, love, love Suffusion. I customize themes for my clients. I nearly always start with Suffusion. As you have added more options, I’ve found and used them (eventually), then removed the related Custom css. You create them faster than I can figure out how to use them!

    I would love to have quick access – i.e. dashboard Suffusion drop down tabs:

    Custom Styles – to style the Suffusion theme where the options have not yet been created. Example: Mycss plug-in with active Theme selection.

    Navigation Bar Setup – 6( x2 main and top) sub sections in a left vertical menu.

    Another Option request:

    Option export – import – could we name more than one Suffusion theme option file?
    With Admin only access to theme options, copy file, edit copy, while non-admin View Active.

    Request on this site (with a link in the options next to Buy me a coffee button):

    Demo gallery submitted by Suffusion users – with the Options files (as GPL)?
    Could these public Option files be scanned for validity and be submitted to WP.org themes repository?

    Thanks

     
  11. I simply ask how do I go about making my pages into tabs without it making multiple pages ? When I made my first page all went well,I then proceeded to make my second which was a direct link tab, upon refreshing I noticed it made 2 of each tab If you could help me out on this I would greatly appreciate it 🙂

     
  12. Hi

    I have been dwelling around the blogosphere right from the days of b2. I have tried out many themes of WP too.

    But How come I had missed Suffusion so long! I feel sheepish to admit that I had along been so dyslexic not to have spotted this wonderful feature-rich theme of yours! Luckily someone lead me to this through a comment on Weblogtoolcollection blog post on readers’ favourite themes.

    A big Hi to you and I’ll start using your theme in all my blogs gradually (Right now I am trying in in brahmam.com).

    And I offer translation f the theme into Tamil.

    Be seeing you!

    Cheers!

    S.K
    From Chennai, India

     
    • Thanks, S.K. A Tamil translation for Suffusion is very welcome, because for a theme by an Indian Suffusion has been translated to so many languages apart from an Indian language!

       

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