Oct 272009

Suffusion Version 2.5.0 was released today and it can be downloaded from WordPress. The most prominent features of this release are:

  1. Featured Posts!!
    I have pulled together a “Featured Posts” capability using the jQuery-based s3Slider. I had to make some non-trivial changes to add a frame index at the bottom of the slider, but it was worth the effort. Your feedback is, as always, welcom.
  2. More Languages
    Thanks to the following contributors Suffusion now has additional language support:

    1. German by Manfred Usselmann
    2. Danish by Team Blogos
    3. Swedish by Iréne Svensson Räisänen
Oct 212009

7 days after processing my previous update, WP finally approved my latest update, version 2.4.7 on 20th October. I had made submissions of 2.4.5, 2.4.6 and finally 2.4.7 before the last update was processed. The last three releases have brought forth some major changes:

  1. Nicer Excerpts – You can now do a lot more with your excerpts. Your excerpt will display a thumbnail corresponding to the post. This thumbnail can be custom defined for a post, or else the first image in the gallery for the post will be picked up and if that is missing, the first image included in the body of the post will be picked up. I am yet to add the functionality for a default image, but I will do that soon.
  2. My first full-fledged Widget – Yup, I created a widget for Twitter. Nothing fancy, but hopefully you will like it. One of the key advantages of the widget is the set of customization options – you can pick from 10 different Twitter icons and set it up with different options, like enabling / disabling the display of Tweets etc.
  3. Translations – Finally we have an official translation in this release – French. Over the last couple of days I have been modifying the translation files for Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese, too, so they are available to people using 2.4.7. The French translation is the only one with the Twitter stuff translated – the other languages have it missing. I am, however, happy to include the Twitter widget translation into the translation files for the others, if you can tell me what the translation texts should be. You are welcome to download the translation files from here for the additional languages.

Translation Files
Spanishes_ES.po, es_ES.mo
European Portuguesept_PT.po, pt_PT.mo
Catalanca.po, ca.mo

To make the translations work, do the following:

  1. Download the files for the language that you want (French is included with the theme)
  2. Place the files in the folder called “translation” under your theme’s folder
  3. In the installation folder for WordPress you will see a file called wp-config.php. Look for a line there that says “define ('WPLANG' ...“. Replace it with “define ('WPLANG', 'es_ES');” for the Spanish translation etc. You are set

If you want to translate the theme to another language or you believe that some of the translation is incorrect, please let me know. You can track translations on the Support Forum.

Sep 142009

Good news for people asking for a narrower main page – I brought it down to 1000px. The difference is imperceptible, but users concerned about low-res monitors can now breathe easy. In a subsequent release I am going to make the width configurable.

I also put in a few other features:

  1. Dynamic gradient images in the header
  2. Ability to add some more styles, stylesheets and JavaScript code without modifying the files – I have some plugins that allow you to define a custom stylesheet, which needs to be present in your theme’s directory. I found it a bit of a hassle, having to manually tweak the files whenever I upgraded the theme. This feature helps you tackle this kind of a scenario.

Current development work includes:

  1. Configurable overall width – I have been scratching my head about the 2 and 3 column formats for this. In the “Sidebar Setup” section I currently have some options defined for adjustment in case you use 2 sidebars, so I now need to figure out how to tackle this with configurable widths. One option could be to allow the sidebar widths to be configurable as well, but I really don’t want to go there – you can easily end up wrecking cross-browser compatibility.
  2. Internationalization – I cannot believe I forgot to mention this in my last post. I am going to tackle internationalization pretty soon.
  3. Extra widget areas – I guess I will have a “complete” theme when I provide this.
  4. Segregation of comments and trackbacks / pingbacks / tweetbacks

Anyone with any other suggestions?


Sep 082009

Suffusion 2.2.1 went live on 8th September. The key features in this release are:

  1. New colors – You can now pick an orange-base
  2. A “Home” Button – You can show a “Home” icon or tab in addition to the pages on your blog in the navigation bar
  3. Control over comments – You can hide your trackbacks / pingbacks if you don’t want them to show up with the rest of the comments.
  4. Better sidebar control – You can now define the font / link colors for your sidebars. You can also turn off the “drag-and-drop” feature or the “expand / collapse” feature for the widgets.

Plans for the upcoming releases:

  1. The feature that has been requested the most is a narrower page. I was inconsiderate enough at the time of building the theme, to have a default width of 1050 pixels. That is 26 pixels more than what people with older monitors can see. So my first priority at this moment is to either have the width configurable or to have some predefined widths to pick from.
  2. In version 2.1.5 I introduced an extra sidebar. I have been toying with the introduction of new widget areas, particularly in the footer.
  3. I have also been working on custom gradient backgrounds for the header. I have my gradient code ready, but the testing is taking time, and I have not had the opportunity to tie it with the options yet.
  4. The last feature I have been thinking about is separation of trackbacks / pingbacks / tweetbacks from the rest of the comments. The easy way to do it would be to use jQuery (or some predefined JavaScript library), but I am not very keen on loading a big JavaScript library. Let me see how I can implement this.

I believe that with the above list I should be through with the overall feature list for the theme, unless someone has a few other suggestions. A vote of thanks for the users of the theme who have been providing me feedback – your inputs have been extremely helpful. Thank you!

Aug 312009

Version 2.1.0 of Suffusion was released on August 31st. This was a minor release, with the following new feautures:

  1. A red theme was introduced
  2. Some bugs were fixed on the comments pages and in the page breadcrumbs

As usual, the theme can be downloaded from the official WordPress site. Any comments, feedback and queries are most welcome.

Aug 272009

Version 2.0.x of Suffusion was released on 25th August 2009. Such a jump in versions was warranted because of the significant enhancements to functionality by providing theme options. To provide a gist:

  • 9 new color schemes to choose from. The original used to be green on white. Now I have green, pale blue, royal blue, light gray and dark gray, all on both black (dark) and white (light).
  • In addition to the canned schemes, you can pick any one and customize the colors further. You can set the colors for the header title and description and for the fonts in the main body. You can define the colors for links, link hovers and active links. You can also have your custom colors for the body background.
  • You can use your own header and background images to make things more spiced up.
  • Your sidebar boxes can be unstyled or have more colorful headers.
  • Your sidebar could appear on either the left or the right side.
  • You can control which pages you want to show in the navigation bar. If you exclude a parent page, all the children pages are hidden automatically
  • You can add code for Google Analytics and OpenID setup
Aug 032009

I am happy to announce “Suffusion”, my first experiment with a WordPress theme. The theme can be downloaded from the official WordPress Themes page.

The theme uses light colors – mostly green, white and gray. It also makes use of Brothercake’s Docking Boxes, Drew Diller’s belatedPNG and some CSS3 features. It is a two-column fixed-width theme with widget support built in. In addition it supports drop-down menus from the navigation bar.

I have tested it for the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer:
    • 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 – Works fine, but doesn’t show rounded borders or shadows (CSS3 features). Also, version 6.0 creates problems with displaying long page names.
    • 5.5 – Doesn’t show rounded borders or shadows (CSS3 features), shows extra space below the navigation bar, and creates problems with displaying long page names. I haven’t had much time to debug for a fossilized browser.
  • Firefox:
    • 3.0, 3.5 – All features work as designed.
    • 2.0 and below – Haven’t tested, but I think it should be okay for everything apart from the rounded borders or shadows.
  • Safari:
    • 4.0+ – All features work as designed on both Windows and Mac
    • 3.2 and below – Haven’t tested, but I think it should be okay for everything apart from the rounded borders or shadows.
  • Opera:
    • 8+ – Works as designed, except for rounded borders and shadows
  • Chrome:
    • 2.0 – All features work as designed, except for the docking boxes. The boxes show up and can be moved around, but cannot be collapsed or expanded. I believe this has something to do with the stripped down version of the docking boxes code that I use (as do most other WP theme designers).

The theme is XHTML 1.0 compliant. Please feel free to pitch in with comments and bug reports.