Simplish version 2.1.1

Posted by – September 22, 2008

We focused on cleaner, more orderly CSS and some code factoring in this release. Visual changes are minor, but post metadata display is tighter, while line heights have been widened ever-so-slightly for easier readability in long text passages.

  • Fix spacing below Tag Cloud sidebar widget above certain elements (thanks op111.net).
  • Rename hCard generator functions more rationally.
  • Uncompress line heights.
  • Remove explicit permalink from entry meta display; entry title now serves uniformly.
  • Remove the Meta label from entry meta section; unnecessary.
  • Add per-comment permalink on comment date.
  • Style more basic elements: table and dl styles improved/added (adopted bits of Blueprint CSS).
  • Removed remaining uses of visual alignright/alignleft convenience classes in favor of more-semantic class names in the template markup.
  • Add entry meta display to image attachment template.
  • Improve fall-back fonts in CSS (thanks op111.net).
  • Split entry title/byline and meta into include files that produce the main hAtom microformatting.

Download Simplish version 2.1.1 here, or see it soon in the WordPress themes directory.

5 Comments on Simplish version 2.1.1

  1. demetris says:

    Hello, Josh! Thanks for the credit! and congrats on the new version — at the rate new versions are coming, Simplish must be the most actively developed WP theme currently. :-) I like this.

    Now, some remarks:

    * Fonts sized in pixels are not resizable in IE6.

    * I find 12px for the body text too small, but this is probably just personal preference — in general, for paragraphs, I don’t enjoy text smaller than 14px (87.5% + 1em in relative sizes, given that browsers have 16px as default for normal size).

    * When colours or background images are set in the stylesheet (in general, when any colour is specified that is considerably off the HTML defaults), I find it is alwasy a good idea to specify background colour for the body too. Most people will not see a difference, but some will see: not all backgrounds are set to white. (I usually set mine to the Windows Classic gray, because white backgrounds kill my eyes in some cases, in some programs, in large screens.)

    * Since a C font is used for paragraphs, you can use a serif font from the same family for headings too (Constantia or Cambria — see screenshot).

    op111.net in Fx3, Simplish 2.1.1 original

    http://op111.net/files/op111net-simplish-211-fx3-original.png

    op111.net in Fx3, Simplish 2.1.1 tweaked by demetris
    Main tweaks:
    1. Body font set to 14px
    2. Sidebar font set to 12px
    3. Headings set to Constantia
    4. h1 heading set to Cambria
    5. Site description aligned with site title
    6. Link underlining changed to 1px dotted black border (which changes to 1px solid #bbbbbb border on hover)

    http://op111.net/files/op111net-simplish-211-fx3-demetris.png

    op111.net in IE6, Simplish 2.1.1 original
    The background colour is not specified by Simplish; so, it follows system settings.

    http://op111.net/files/op111net-simplish-211-ie6-original.png

    Last, I have Simplish always installed in op111.net — if you would like some extra content to check anything, just add ?wptheme=Simplish to any URL.

  2. josh says:

    @demetris: This is an unusually delayed response to a blog comment, but I started working on what will be the next version today, beginning with the bugs and enhancements you mentioned such as:

    * Fonts sized in pixels are not resizable in IE6.

    How odd. But you’re right, they aren’t.

    I find 12px for the body text too small, but this is probably just personal preference…

    I happened to be using a Mac frequently when I picked up this code and I’m happy with how Lucida Grande comes out there at 12px; but I’ve been using Linux more lately and might agree that the body font is too small. I will probably move to relative sizing to address both your first point and this one together, after I experiment with the font size(s) a bit.

    Body background color: good point, suggestion applied, and background-color will be specified in the next version.

    Agreed on improving fall-back fonts for headings; I’ll add Cambria and probably take a closer look at fonts on Linux, too.

    Out of that list of tweaks:

    #3 & #4 – I will probably just use one of the two fonts for all headings.

    #5 – I like the existing alignment of site title and tagline, which is also the alignment from Hardy’s Scribbish, of which Simplish is a more-or-less faithful port. So I can always fall back on saying “It’s like Scribbish!” instead of admitting that I’m lazy and won’t change something. ;-)

    #6 – I’m still not sold on the superiority of using a border -vs- plain-old link underlining. However, I do see your core point, which is that we distinguish links only with the underline, and not with color or emphasis or any other attribute. I can see how that’s a borderline issue. Right now I’m inclined to keep things as they are in Simplish, but experiment with different ways of presenting links in sp, where faith to Scribbish is of no concern.

    It’s cool I can always see some Greek text in Simplish on op111 with the theme switch, and as always thanks for helping make the theme better.

  3. demetris says:

    Hey, Josh!

    I agree. The important points are the first two. The rest (the “tweaks”) was just me playing with Firebug and a theme I like, :-) and they are more of a matter of preference.

    Now, how about another tweak! :-p

    I was thinking the other day of adding a sitemap to the 404 page of op111.net (I have already a sitemap, so the code is ready) — but I have no idea if it is a good idea. I’ll research the matter a bit, and get back to you.

    I’m bringing this up because Simplish is one of the few themes that come with a sitemap, so it would be an easy tweak for Simplish, if it is a good idea, that is.

    Cheers,
    Demetris

  4. josh says:

    @demetris: I’m not sure that a confused user who has landed on a 404 page is best served by a dump of the entire contents of the site. Couldn’t that increase confusion — especially on a large site?

    I don’t disagree that it can be helpful to present some navigation on a 404 page; I think a sort of top-level index or directory of the site is better suited; maybe the main categories, recent posts, tags, and meta info. Once I narrow the list of requirements down to that, I find it’s mostly already there: in the sidebar. Which is why, for example, I decided not to have Simplish repeat the search input form on a 404 page, and instead let the sidebar serve.

    On a smaller site, or a site without a sidebar, or a sidebar containing non-navigation content, maybe you could dump an archives (by month, by category, by tag) template, instead of the whole site map?

  5. demetris says:

    You are right.

    A sitemap would be too much in a 404 page, while most of the other information (as well as a search box) is already in the sidebar.

    But I’ll keep thinking about something to put there, because I don’t like the huge emptiness of 404 pages. :-)

    Congrats on the new version of Simplish (2.1.2).