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[resolved] CSS help: a suggestion. (19 posts)

  1. Aga1
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Hi,

    I'm a bit of a CSS newbie. What little I've learned, I've learned through trial-and-error, and reading the support forums.

    One thing I've noticed is that many people ask the same question: how do I change this? Where do I find this? etc.

    A major issue for me, and it seems many others, is simply trying to FIND what line of the CSS to change to achieve what I want.

    It occurred to me that if the style.css for the default theme was better commented, many people's problems would be instantly solved, and the work of the mods would be halved overnight.

    All it takes is a decent explanatory comment above every line/section of the default CSS, such as:

    /*This controls the page color: replace the default color with another value of your choice*/
    /*This controls the width of the blah-blah-blah*/
    /*"section.featured-post" refers to the xxxx xxxxx*/

    ... etc etc... What this would mean is that all the answers are RIGHT THERE in the very file people are trying to edit (or copy into a child theme), saving bags of time going to the forums and searching/posting, and bugging the mods with the same old questions. It also teaches people what things are called, the correct syntax etc, as they go along.

  2. fonglh
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    If you use firebug or chrome's developer tools, everything is right there already.

  3. Aga1
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Sure, but not everyone does. Many people new to WP don't have the knowledge or confidence to get into "developer tools". What I'm suggesting is just a simple first step for the newbie, without them having to learn how Firebug etc works first.

  4. The style.css is always going to be up to the theme developer. We really don't have a good way to enforce that, and honestly I wouldn't want to.

    Viewing the source code is the best way to show how the pieces fit together. Even if we say 'This controls width of page' you still have to look at the source to see what's being called and where.

  5. potentweb
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    http://thescriptingblog.com/google-chrome-console-tool-important-tool-web-developer/

    Wrote an article on how to use Chrome's console tool. There really is nothing extensive need to learn how to use it. If you can't figure out how to use firebug or chrome, then don't know what to tell ya. Pretty straight forward.

  6. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    All it takes is a decent explanatory comment above every line/section of the default CSS

    In a file that already might be over 2000 lines long? That's just plain silly.

  7. Aga1
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    What? Scrolling too difficult for you? Poor thing... What's wrong with having a few more lines?

    It's still easier/faster than having several windows open at once, and referring back and forth.

    It's fine if you are experienced with CSS and know exactly what you're looking for, and how firebug etc works. But everyone has to start at the beginning sometime: why not make it easier for people? Just sayin'...

  8. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    What? Scrolling too difficult for you? Poor thing... What's wrong with having a few more lines?

    A few more lines? You're talking about potentially doubling the size of the file at the very least. Which means that in Twenty Eleven the style.css file could increase to over 5,000 lines. What you're suggesting would also greatly increase the burden on theme developers (like myself). It's not our place to teach people how to use CSS. There are far better ways to learn and far better resources than a whole stack of unnecessary comments in a stylesheet.

  9. potentweb
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Why not go learn it???? It wasn't "EASY" when I learned it and no one made it "EASY" for me to learn it. Nothing is "EASY" in life and if your looking for "EASIER" in web development, then your going to have s**t load of surprise ahead of you. I'm sure many people want to be doctors and lawyers too, why don't they make it "EASY" for people to become one while were at it.

  10. potentweb
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    @esmi "TWO THUMBS UP!"

  11. Aga1
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    LOLOLOL

    You guys are so funny!!!

    I didn't say people SHOULDN'T go learn CSS: I suggested something that might help them START learning it.

    And yes, it wasn't easy for you, and it wasn't easy for me either. But why then should it be equally as difficult for people who come after? Do you actually resent that it might get easier for people? Will that make all your hard work seem a waste of time? 'Course it won't! Why do you want to prevent people from learning CSS in an easier way than you did? That's just weird...

    And esmi, you're fantasizing: nowhere did I say that every theme developer had to do this with their themes: I suggested that WP could do it on the TwentyEleven (or whatever current) theme. Then people could refer to it. It only has to be done ONCE.

  12. potentweb
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    No I don't resent it, but your asking people who do this for no money to spend more of our time to MAKE YOUR LIFE EASY. So go spend your time and money buy a book, video, whatever that makes it EASY on you and figure it out. This is not a CSS for Beginners site where we hold your hand on our dime and time to make your easy, there are plenty of resources out there that is geared towards that. You don't go into a McDonalds and demand they carry premium steak dinner's and grocery to make your life easy so why do it here??

    Most of us have bigger fish to fry and create more features and addon than teach people how to do basic things.

  13. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I suggested something that might help them START learning it.

    Again - that is not the job of theme or core developers.

    I suggested that WP could do it on the TwentyEleven

    And you think a 5,000 line CSS file would help? Given that those non-technical users who do edit their stylesheet do so using the Theme Editor, how do you think they'll react to such a huge (and apparently complex) file? Frankly, I think it will terrify the life out of them and have exactly the opposite effect that you propose.

    Nor will your suggestion have any real use outside of the default theme. The vast majority of users don't run the default theme on their site, so all of this commenting will be pointless as far as they're concerned. They don't want to learn how to use CSS in another theme. They want to know how to change the CSS in their theme. And the best way to do that is to actually start learning CSS using a proper resource like http://www.w3schools.com/

    And what would be the next step? Comment all of the markup to help people learn HTML too?

    It only has to be done ONCE.

    No it wouldn't. Even default themes are updated and CSS changes made - which would mean new or changed comments. All for what? No one would learn from it because a stylesheet by itself is not a teaching tool.

    We already point people towards tools like Firebug and decent learning resources like http://www.css-discuss.org/ here. Let those resources do their job. They far better equipped to do it than a non-teaching resource like wordpress.org

    If you want to start teaching people about CSS, do so via your own site or blog. That's what I've always done.

  14. Aga1
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    There you go again, putting words in my mouth! Who on earth said YOU have to do it? Did YOU come up with the TwentyEleven theme?

    And you kind of answered my whole point: I know the people on this forum volunteer their services: they'd have to do a lot less work, and waste a lot less time on repetitive newbie questions, IF the default theme had better comments on it. The default theme ITSELF could "teach the basic things", which would SAVE you guys from having to!

  15. Aga1
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Gah! I give up. It's like teaching maths to monkeys. You're just not seeing it, refusing to see it, and stuck in your little "my way is the best way, because this is the way it's always been done" narrow-minded view.

    Close topic, delete, do whatever you have to do.

  16. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    One thing I've noticed is that many people ask the same question: how do I change this? Where do I find this? etc.

    A major issue for me, and it seems many others, is simply trying to FIND what line of the CSS to change to achieve what I want.

    The issue lies with the misuse of WordPress forums.

  17. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Did YOU come up with the TwentyEleven theme?

    As it so happens, I have contributed to it in a minor way and hope to contribute more to future default themes.

    The default theme ITSELF could "teach the basic things", which would SAVE you guys from having to!

    A stylesheet by itself (even a heavily commented one) cannot teach anything. At best, it can only act as an example to a fully documented teaching resource or article. People who are learning need proper explanations - not a couple of comments here & there. If that were the case, the whole of http://www.w3schools.com/css/ could be condensed into one big stylesheet example. As it stands, the commentary on http://www.w3schools.com/css/ is still pretty sparse - which is why additional resources such as http://www.css-discuss.org/ are needed.

    You describe yourself as a CSS newbie. yes? Well, I'm not. I've been working with CSS for over 13 years. And I've also spent time teaching it. And I can assure you that a commented stylesheet ain't going to cut it as a teaching aid by itself.

  18. potentweb
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Dude, I'm done with this post, with your attitude, your going to get A LOT of help on here for sure. If someone else wants to keep going back and forth with you then that is their time to waste. To answer your question about "they'd have to do a lot less work, and waste a lot less time on repetitive newbie" We just ignore stupid questions that have been asked over and over and over again. Just today, some a**hole demanded that someone do the changes for them and called everyone a mother f***er for not doing the changes for him. Guess how many people helped ZERO!! And his post is lost in oblivion on page whatever.

    So simply put as volunteer helpers, we help the ones who are courtious, and respectful and just simply ignore a**holes and the same dumb questions. That is how volunteer helpers manage our time.

  19. Pleae don't make personal attacks.

    I know it's really easy to get fired up over things that we feel passionate over, but remember we're a community and we should work together :)

    Aga1 - We do see your point. Esmi (and I) don't feel it matches the goal of the default themes.

    TwentyEleven (and it's replacment TwentyTwelve) is an example theme not of CSS but of WordPress. It's not meant to be a CSS primer any more than the Hello World! post is an HTML one. This is just a basic, get you started.

    We shy away from teaching CSS and HTML here, and often limit PHP only to as it relates to WP, simply out of constraintes. Most folks on the forums aren't paid to support WP, but are volunteers who want to help.

    Andrew Nevins - I'd argue back that if people searched more, they'd find the answer, but at the same time, I'm well aware that if you don't know the right terms for the question you're asking, you can't find the right answer. Part of how we try to help is to teach people the right words. "Google on how to force a DIV to center text." or "Here's a doc on how to add background images in CSS."

    We want to teach, not just answer. We want the person asking to learn how to ask the question next time. :)

    (If that sounds contrary to what I said about the theme, remember I said the theme is an example of WordPress, not CSS/HTML/PHP/SQL. It should teach you how to write a theme, not how to design one ;) )

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