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Default Template Defects (46 posts)

  1. Matt Mullenweg
    Troublemaker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Please post your thoughts here.

  2. Ryan Boren
    WordPress Dev
    Posted 8 years ago #

  3. Root
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    There is CSS in the template files.
    There are images hardcoded into the templates.
    The naming convention is completely different from what we are used to and is inconsistent with Classic.
    IMHO there is an uneccessary profusion of classes.
    There is an inconsistency in employing h2 in the lists.
    As a default I question the use of images, and certainly not of that complexity (rounded corners), or file size when it is almost inevitable the blue header will be replaced.
    The code is seriously tabbed, and the line lengths are huge.
    It has a div called page of all things.

    Hope this will get us started.

  4. Jinsan
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I've only just had a look at Kubrick, and the only reason I haven't used it is because it is a ruleset unto itself - that is to say what Root said. It's perhaps the least flexible theme a new user could use because you have to assume they have no knowledge of css, and therefore won't have a clue on what to do and where to do it. It's visually appealing, and I guess the only examples I have seen that have done the tempalte any justice are mx4 amongst others.

    In terms of flexibility and understanding the rules and structure for a theme, the classic theme should be promoted to default. It may not look as pretty, but it's certainly much easier to learn and understand.

    Perhaps K2 will fix most of these problems?

  5. James
    Happiness Engineer
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Personally, I jumped right into Kubrick because it was the only image-based theme that provided a Photoshop template to aid in customization. And, I still recommend it as a starting point or guide for creating image-based themes, but only for users who are experience with Photoshop. But, asking all WP users to have Photoshop is a big step unto itself. I have since moved on, but I am looking forward to K2.

  6. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I would prefer a better separation of the presentation / structure.
    (I also hate tabs and untab every file I have to use but that's a personal thing .. I'll work on it :) )

  7. Matt Mullenweg
    Troublemaker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Ryan, the ID issue has been fixed.

  8. Matt Mullenweg
    Troublemaker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    There is CSS in the template files.... I question the use of images

    The CSS in header.php is to make it easy for people who want to alter the images and/or want to eliminate images entirely. Having images in the default has been discussed, and ultimately regular users really apppreciate having an aesthetically attractive default more than they would appreciate something having no images. (Every website I regularly visit uses images, I'm not sure what the virtue is to not using images.)

    There are images hardcoded into the templates.

    Would you prefer some sort of interface in the admin for switching the images? I don't know of any other themes that do that. They're only hardcoded insofar as anything else in any other theme.

    The naming convention is completely different from what we are used to and is inconsistent with Classic.

    We were moving away from Classic partly because of very vocal criticism from folks like yourself. What naming convention are you used to? Is this what most WordPress users are used to? Wh00at would be the benefits of changing it knowing that there are hundred of thousands of sites in the wild using the current naming? In other parts of the code try not to change things for change's sake because of breaking compatibility.

    IMHO there is an uneccessary profusion of classes.

    If you could point out some specific optimizations we could make I'm sure we could review it. Part of the reason it errs on the side of having a lot of classes is it's easier for CSS newbies to understand addressing a class directly rather than contextual selectors.

    There is an inconsistency in employing h2 in the lists.

    I thought we were pretty consistent in the headings above the lists, could you point out where we missed them?

    The code is seriously tabbed, and the line lengths are huge.

    Like tabs and line lengths or not, this is in line with the rest of the WordPress codebase and adheres to our style guide.

    It has a div called page of all things.

    What should the div be called?

  9. Matt Mullenweg
    Troublemaker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    In terms of flexibility and understanding the rules and structure for a theme, the classic theme should be promoted to default. It may not look as pretty, but it's certainly much easier to learn and understand.

    The classic theme unfortunately garnered a lot of criticism both for its look (which a lot of people didn't like) and its code (which was constantly criticised here on the forums.) It was mostly left for compatibility with people using the stylesheets from Alex's competition.

    Personally, I jumped right into Kubrick because it was the only image-based theme that provided a Photoshop template to aid in customization.

    That's a very good point. I think it's safe to say that most users are not going to want a bland blog with no images, so providing a way for people to easily customize the images is crucial. There have also been tools like Kubrickr to allow anyone to easily add free photos from Flickr to their Kubrick header:

    http://www.redalt.com/Tools/kubrickr.php

    I would prefer a better separation of the presentation / structure.

    What would make the separation better?

  10. Root
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    As I thought. This has degenerated into point scoring.

  11. James
    Happiness Engineer
    Posted 8 years ago #

    As I thought. This has degenerated into point scoring.

    Huh? Matt asked us to "Please post your thoughts here." And, we have. And, he has responded to those thoughts. I see no point scoring here.

  12. F1_error
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Why all the anger Root? I don't get it. It would be much more helpful to those of us who whish to learn if you would give us your specific issues and problems, and then offer a solution to said issues / problems.

  13. clydejones
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Why can't the CSS/images be coded in the Stylesheet where I believe they rightly belong.
    (background: url(images/xxxxx.jpg) no-repeat;).
    The images still have to be created and uploaded so the term easier to "easy to alter" seems rather bland.
    I don't think we need a means in the admin for switching images when you can do in the stylesheet.

    Just my 2 centavos

  14. RustIndy
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    By "images hardcoded into the stylesheet", I would assume it meant that the paths to images are hardcoded. Obviously, if a stylesheet needs to call an image, it has to be hardcoded somewhere - but it should always use a relative path. I can think of no situation where a complete URI would be needed in a CSS page unless the image were being loaded from another site. Which would also be bad form.

    I used Kubrick when I originally upgraded to v1.5, but have since switched to a Gemini-based theme. It seemed with Kubrick that anytime I changed something more substantial than a font size, I'd break the spacing in IE and my menu would end up below the content or something equally ugly would happen. In the end, it was simply easier to go with a better coded template. Whenever I add a new blog to InnerEyes, I change the default template to Classic - I don't delete Default, but it's not active either.

    Soon, hopefully, someone (or myself if no one else does it in the meantime) will create a Kubricked Gemini (or even Trident) that can be used to replace the current Default.

  15. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 8 years ago #

    This is the default template which ships to every person who wants to install WP. As such it has to cater for a very wide variety of users.
    When looking at support issues I think we need to consider where we pitch that default, and although we cannot aim at the lowest rung of the learning ladder, we should also not aim too high. The factor that determines the height would be posts here. (I have always seen all posts here as a bit like the visible part of the iceberg. Just because there are only a few does not mean the issue is small.)

    So.... going by what I remember from posts here, these are the changes that I would implement:

    1. Remove the image stuff from the <head> section and place it in the CSS file. Keep the commenting. We need to be clear which file we are wanting people to look in, and using terms like "main template" or "index.php" is more confusing than "stylesheet".
    2. Provide a fully commented CSS file, just like the one Craig did for the Classic Theme: http://blog.nuclearmoose.ca/wp-docs/wp-layout-explained.htm and link to this inside the stylesheet.
    3. Have some sort of easily findable FAQ for the default. We get questions about sidebars disappearing on a single post, or entries / images being truncated. Sure, users can look for more info, but this could be their first blog, let's make it easier for them. It's one of those jobs that doesn't take a huge amount of time but would save loads. It's about making the "WP experience" that much better than anything else out there isn't it ?
    4. These points apply to ANY default - it is not a kubrick issue
  16. Root
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Next up - the use of hacks in the CSS. They are butt ugly, entirely unnecessary, frightening to less experienced users, they further the mystique of CSS by making it less accessible , they discourage new web standards designers, are not forward compatible, and are generally avoided by web standards designers where possible. So why are they there?

  17. F1_error
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Can you show examples of what you mean, and solutions to them?
    I myself am very new to CSS and eager to learn more, and to produce more compliant code.

  18. Root
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Here is a bad one from the CSS in the header.php
    `#header { margin: 0 !important; margin: 0 0 0 1px; padding: 1px; height: 198px; width: 758px; }.

    Next up the CSS positioning is erratic across platform (IE). The reason for that is the failure of the authors to take proper, or any account; of the variations between the major browser vendors in their implementation of the Box Model.
    These are the two items:

    .narrowcolumn {
    float: left;
    padding: 0 0 20px 45px;
    margin: 0px 0 0;
    width: 450px;
    }

    .widecolumn {
    padding: 10px 0 20px 0;
    margin: 5px 0 0 150px;
    width: 450px;
    }

    This is just plain wrong and causes many of the layout breakdowns witnessed in these forums.

    These two items:

    .alignright {
    float: right;
    }

    .alignleft {
    float: left
    }

    are both in breach of the W3C recommendation and also contribute to layout breakups.

  19. TechGnome
    Moderator
    Posted 8 years ago #

    My biggest beef with Kubrick was that is was a nightmare to cusomize... I don't have Photoshot, so the PS file is crap to me. And from what I've seen an heard, that's the easiest way to customize it. But 1) not everyone has PS, and 2) not everyone is a graphic artist. I can do some real basic image editing, but nothing fancy.... and Kubrick, with it's image dependency became really difficult to manage. Ever since then, I've been using my own home-grown templates. For some reason it's easier for me to do that.

    As for specific problems I had with Kubrick:
    1) Colors- I just couldn't get how to get the colors I wanted. I could get it in the CSS, but the images were another story.
    2) Widths.... I wanted my menu a little wider.... I should only have to change a couple of areas.... nooooo....I had to find it for the main section, then tweak the sidebar, then narrow section, wide section, and on and on and on....
    3) What controled what... once I finaly did figure out how to get the images changed out.... the CSS that controlled it all was all over the place..... It was only hapenstance that I finaly found the header in the index file (WHAT?!!)

    Needless to say, I'm not too keen on K, but what ever, no one's going to care what I have to say any ways.

    Matt - you've asked for opinions, but you seem to be defending instead... don't ask for opinions if you're going to get defensive. I keep hearing from people about how easy it is to customize Kubrick. That's one of the biggest laod of crap I have ever heard. You want something asy for people to customize, reduce the amount of CSS elements, reduce the number of images, and clean the code up some to make it easier to follow.
    Root - let it drop, this has played out once before, and everyone lost.
    Rusty - re-read the post.... it was about the images being hard coded in the template... not the style sheet. Big difference. And I feel for you, that was why as soon as I had the chance back in 1.2 I moved to Trident.
    Podz - your opening para makes sense, glad to see someone has put some thought into this. I would like to see classic revert back as the defualt, but allow Kubrick, Gemini, and Manji also sent as canned template themes
    F1_Error - because this has played out once before, and the same result happened. The ctritiques have been voiced before and were essentialy dismissed. It was a bitter war that left the forums split.... I'd just assume not have a repeat of that.

    Tg
    -not that any of this is going to make one damn bit of a difference.

  20. F1_error
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I think I get what you mean. In the #header it's the dual use of margins. With the box model example, I don't think I get it. And the align+float it should be just one or the other right?
    I could be wrong, as I'm new to CSS.

  21. kingcosmonaut
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I have almost no experience with the default and I've never tried to customize it. However I have to say that I also think that there shouldn't be any css in the html files at all. Speaking of code: I really don't get why the whole sidebar is an unordered list? That doesn't make sense to me. Not at all.

    Also I think the rounded corners might in deed be hard to work with for beginners.

    All in all I think it would be better to have less images so that everybody can easily customize it by only changing some colors in the css file. It's really boring to see all those sites out there using an unmodified version of the default (that I don't find very pretty).

    @Matt. Didn't you ask for thoughts? Are you the one to judge them? Root might be a bit "special" about the whole issue but he still makes some valid points.

  22. Matt Mullenweg
    Troublemaker
    Posted 8 years ago #

    The only goal here is to make WP better. The more specific the suggestion, for example "The CSS hack on line 92 could be replaced by moving the padding to a different element," the more likely it will make it into the codebase.

    The reasons I'm trying to address things point by point is to separate the argument from the person and to find the best solution to each individual issue. It's been asserted that the default was adopted without any discussion or reason behind it, when in fact everything that goes into WP is done with a great deal of deliberation.

    I have no attachment to any particular theme or layout, at the end of the day it's just HTML and CSS, not the constitution. I'm less attached to the new default than I was to the old one, if simply because I had more of a hand in Classic. Like any part of WordPress it's meant to constantly evolve and improve, as it already has immensely from Michael's original Kubrick.

  23. F1_error
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    What about offering WP with several themes, and describing each theme, in the readme file?
    i.e.
    The Default: No graphics, simple straight forward clean layout, little to no CSS knowledge.
    Mid level: Header graphic, for people with some knowledge of CSS and some kind of graphics editing program.
    Third tier: More graphics, advanced CSS, advanced graphics etc.

  24. Joshua Sigar
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    The Classic is too ugly, the Default is too complex--is that what I'm hearing?

    If so, something like what MovableType has would be suitable--simple yet presentable.
    http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/default_styles

  25. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Extra themes add to the size of the download. Which may not be an intention at this point. (Of course, that doesn't necessarily matter for those of us with the option to get the current version using Fantastico.)

    I tend to believe a "default" theme should be about as vanilla as it gets. A simple header graphic, all the styling in the css, thoroughly commented css and php, and suggestions where to find either other themes or info as to customization - and done in greys or beiges (yup - vanilla!), not startlingly blue. The classic theme actually makes a better default for those reasons alone - I don't personally find it ugly, but that's just me!

    When I first downloaded 1.5, I already knew there were other themes out there. Good thing too, after I took a look at the included default. There's no need for complications of that nature in a "default" theme, I feel (not going to reiterate them, been covered nicely above). Especially when a person is just beginning to use a program, difficulties with the "look" of same should be prevented as much as possible.

    I think it was nice of Michael Heilemann to provide the theme. It's too bad that so many people don't care for it - but it's a fact of the current reality.

    [[Personal opionions only, please note: YMMV.]]

  26. notthatugly
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I agree with what vkaryl says about keeping defaults plain and easy to customise; that's the route the majority of blog tools seem to go down and it makes a lot of sense. However, in choosing Kubrick Matt and Ryan went in a different direction (that of using the default as a showcase for the cool things that can be done with wordpress) and there's not a lot of point in having that argument over again.

    One thing I would like to see changed, though, is the 'bullets', which are not exactly customisation-friendly:

    .entry ul li:before, #sidebar ul ul li:before {
    content: "0BB 020";
    }

    That's not making a whole lot of sense to novices, or indeed to people with a working knowledge of how CSS normally handles lists. The only reason I can think of for not using a tiny .gif that'd display across all browsers and be easy to edit is that the author wanted to show off his mastery of CSS 2. In that, it's typical of Kubrick as a whole; it's very clever, sometimes merely for the sake of being clever, and its cleverness can make it hard for the average user to understand.

    (I've always thought that made it a slightly odd choice of default for a tool that markets itself as being simple and bloat-free, with most of the advanced stuff left to plugins; why not have a basic, light default template, with the advanced stuff left to other themes? It doesn't seem consistent. But, as I said, no point having that argument over again. I'll shut up now.)

  27. Root
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Why has this thread been moderated? And why have the specific examples which were ostensibly requested now been deleted? And why does it not say any where that this has in fact taken place? The post title includes the word defects. I provided 5 code examples. What more do you want?

  28. ceo
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Speaking from the viewpoint of someone who cares nothing for the visual aspect of the themes, for rather obvious reasons, Still that shouldn't be the deciding factor in whether a theme is good or bad because even if everyone uses a graphic of some sort on their blog, the majority of people using the default will not be using the prepackaged graphic!

    But anyway, as for the rest, I have to agree with the above comments that the default is definitely not an out-of-the-box-user-friendly theme. I know CSS, XHTML and PHP and the default confuses me to no end! I can't imagine how a complete newbie must feel. And while I won't say I think it's not a good choice for the defualt, I do think there needs to be far more documentation - as podz suggested above, a fully commented version. Granted you can't bridge the gap completely between the novice and the expert, but as it stands the default is far from friendly to the former. As a default, it should be easily customizable, whether or not the populous think it's beautiful or not because in the end everyone is going to want to make his/her blog their own....and yes there's tons of other themes to go download instead, but if greeted by what amounts to code soup, who's going to be willing to search out more insanity?

    I've never personally perused the code enough to be able to note any true errors, only been witness to the strange things that have happened with minimal tweaking. So on that...I'm sorry I have no input.

  29. mkgago
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I find Kubrick hard to customize -- especially if one wants to change its layout -- even though I know CSS. The code is difficult to wade through. notthatugly's example above is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    One specific, big problem with the template is that it doesn't make the header image a clickable link to the home page of the blog. I've seen countless posts on the support forums asking how to do that. I'd argue that it should be done by default.

    I'd also argue that the sidebar should appear on all pages by default, though there is a new template that solves that problem.

    I join those who favor a heavily commented CSS file to allow easier understanding and customization of the template.

    I also like the idea of offering more than two theme options in the download.

  30. clydejones
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I don't remember all of the examples Root cited but they have been deleted.
    Here are two that I do remember:
    .narrowcolumn {
    float: left;
    padding: 0 0 20px 45px;
    margin: 0px 0 0;
    width: 450px;
    }

    .widecolumn {
    padding: 10px 0 20px 0;
    margin: 5px 0 0 150px;
    width: 450px;
    }
    If we're looking for examples and asking that they be posted why are they subsequently deleted?

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