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Twenty Twelve
[closed] Excellent base for child themes (40 posts)

  1. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I have to commend the theme developers for creating a default theme that is ideal for building advanced child themes. Twenty Ten was a great start, but Twenty Eleven was far too complex and convoluted to be a good basis for advanced child themes. The more austere and simplified Twenty Twelve is a great baseline. I would go as far as suggesting people using it as the basis for new themes as well.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/twentytwelve/

  2. Fred Larson
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Will we be seeing an updated version of the course Building Child Themes based on the twenty twelve theme anytime soon?

  3. zota
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I was also looking forward to using this theme as a parent theme. But although Twenty Twelve is a very nice baseline design, the navigation menu has serious issues with IE 8 and below. It displays the "mobile" menu at all sizes, which is currently just a button that says "menu," revealing a full page list.

    Forcing the mobile menu on desktop browsers was a design decision, so even though it is now flagged as a bug, it might not be fixed in the theme itself anytime soon. Which means that for now, any child themes will need to be patched and carefully tested to ensure that 20% of worldwide web users will be able to access the main navigation menu.

    At the moment I'd have to urge caution using Twenty Twelve theme on any public site, especially one that has more than a handful of pages. After running a test on a live website, I quickly found out how many IE8 users are still out there, and how vocal they can be when their main navigation menu disappears.

  4. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @zota: Even Google is dropping IE8 support in November. It's time to upgrade. I understand wanting to cater to your users, however there are limits too.

  5. Emil Uzelac
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 1 year ago #

    IE7 is already phased out by many, IE8 is on the end of the line too, adding a note to "your" users about the upgrade to modern browser is definitely way to go.

    See for example, IE6 was one of the worse browsers out there and this is not a secret, even Microsoft says that, however IE8 is not that far from IE6 either (quality-wise).

    I do this for a long time and never seen so many issue with newer browser like IE8, comparing with let's say IE7.

    It's definitely time to upgrade and no need to "urge" anyone for something that people really don't use.

    Global usage of IE8 is about 13%. not 20% and even your link from StatCounter says lower and that's 18%, however that's only according to their statistics, not to mention that all numbers are estimates only and that's Sep of 2011 to Sep of 2012, not really current!

    Remember entire IE share is barely 20% ;)

    P.S. Any developer who's concern about their clients will overcome the browser compatibility "issues" on their own.

    Thanks,
    Emil

  6. Ov3rfly
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @Emil Uzelac:

    adding a note to "your" users about the upgrade to modern browser is definitely way to go.

    A note to update from IE8 to IE9 is pointless on XP.

    P.S. Any developer who's concern about their clients will overcome the browser compatibility "issues" on their own.

    Would recommend a look at how the current Twenty Twelve 1.0 is written ("mobile-first layout"), you can't just add a few css-lines in your childtheme to fix compatibility "issues". Otherwise an update for 1.0 would have already been published in no time...

    Many big companies are "lightyears" away from migration to Windows 7 and run mostly XP on their desktops, maybe even with IE7. My various real-world stats have over 50% IE7/IE8. This is not a problem with Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven (and the child themes which are based on them). But all these users are basically kicked out with current Twenty Twelve if it would ship like this as default with next WordPress.

  7. Ov3rfly
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @zota:

    At the moment I'd have to urge caution using Twenty Twelve theme on any public site, especially one that has more than a handful of pages.

    Very true. Besides the IE issues, also in newest devices the mobile "Menu" button leads to a very many "screens high" list of menu-items (with all sub-menu-items included right there) on a site with more pages.

  8. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @otto and @emil I have to disagree with you. Though IE8 is an old and outdated browser, ignoring it and asking its users to upgrade is simply not a valid option. If you look at the statistics of who uses IE8 you'll see that though the numbers are low in North America and Western Europe, they are quite high in the rest of the world. This is not because people are reluctant to upgrade but rather because of financial or institutional restraints. As someone else mentioned, IE9 and above requires an upgrade from Windows XP, an upgrade many people and many companies cannot afford.

    If WordPress is to be a world wide solution, it has to provide solutions for a world wide audience.

    I am not saying any theme should be dumbed down to work with all browsers. However the menu in Twenty Twelve ignores the principle of graceful degradation leaving those users who for whatever reason are stuck in the past with a more or less unusable solution.

    Building in a simple fallback for IE8 users is not complicated or obstructive and will cause no issues for other users. Leaving it out is more a slap in the face than a nudge to get up to date with the latest technology.

  9. Shapeshifter 3
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    mor10,

    I don't necessarily agree with your position, but your argument is well thought-out and written. It seems to me that the principal of graceful degradation can end up continuing forever, if not curtailed at some point.

    I was wondering if one solution might be a marketing strategy by WordPress(.org) offering recommended default theme options for new or current users with a short explanation of why they should choose one theme over the other. This could be in the Welcome Screen.

    I was also wondering how many complaints WordPress(.com) has had on Twenty Twelve, and how they have handled it.

  10. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    This debate boils down to two simple questions: What is our job as developers, and what is the purpose of the sites we build.

    Our job as web developers is to create websites that are accessible to the target audience and convey the message to those audiences in an easily digestible way. That means we have to make solutions that work for the end user. The purpose of the sites we build is to convey information.

    We have no (nor should we have) control over what tools, devices, or browsers people use to access our websites. Our job is to make sure that the information gets where it's supposed to go. Because WordPress is a CMS used to build websites for more than just Mac users in North America and Europe, we have to make solutions that work for the end users. That means graceful degradation within reason. IE8 is well within reason.

    For reference, the main reason Twenty Twelve's menu gets all messed up in IE8 is because the default menu is the mobile one while the 'regular' menu is in the media queries. A simple swap of the style code fixes this issue. The way it's laid out now assumes only HTML5 - ready devices will access the site. This is an unnecessary restriction and as far as I'm concerned it's non-standard. The best practice is to make the 'regular' menu the standard style set and place the mobile small-screen menu in the media queries.

    @shapeshifter With IE8 we're not talking about graceful degradation going on forever. As the world upgrades to Windows 7 and 8 this problem will disappear, and disappear fast. However, we have to address the current situation, and the current situation demands IE8 support. Google is dropping support for IE8, but they are not making their experience unusable for IE8 users. They just won't get the latest features. This on the other hand is tantamount to punishing people for not buying new gear.

  11. zota
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @otto and @emil, please don't call them "my" users. I build sites for paying clients. The users you are talking about are my clients' customers. On the commercial sites I maintain, my latest stats show IE8 users outnumbering IE9.

    And the thing about graceful degradation is that it's supposed to continue forever, both into the past and the future. That's the whole point of a fault-tolerant system. The idea is that you do not have to support ancient tools—or figure out what we might be using in 10 years—if you design in a way is usable when it fails.

    If a user on an old browser can't see certain features or the alignment is weird, but they can still use that site, that is perfectly fine. If the user can't access the main navigation menu, and instead gets a pulldown page list that extends far off screen, that is not usable.

    On a personal level, I would like to revoke the internet privileges of everyone who insists on using IE. But that is not what we're talking about here. And as far as WordPress support, this isn't a debate. As I understand it, WordPress still officially supports IE7 let alone IE8. If WordPress were dropping IE8 support in 3.5 it would be a really big deal... But it isn't dropping IE8, this menu issue is a bug, and a patch is in the works.

  12. almcr
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    as a minor user of wordpress, I appreciate evry one's concerns about advancing the cause with the new default theme BUT as far as I am concerned, the default theme needs to work in IE8, which it does not at present. half the users on the site I maintain are IE8 users, like it or not and you need to build sites for your users, not for advanced developers of wordpress and Html and CSS.

    so until twentytwelve is fixed and works in IE8, I will ignore it, I will check out how it works but as far as I am concerned, it is not usable. nice effort and result but totally unusable.

    Al

  13. jeffnar
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    mor10, when you say Twenty Twelve "is ideal for building advanced child themes... but Twenty Eleven was far too complex and convoluted" to make advanced child themes, do you mean it just offers a better basic set of building blocks to customize? As a newb, the only child themes I've experimented with so far have been Twenty Eleven. Wouldn't it still be easier to just override some of that Twenty Eleven complexity where necessary (as opposed to coding from scratch all the stuff a simpler theme is missing); or by "convoluted" do you mean that it's more time and code-intensive to customize precisely because of that?

    What kinds of templates, features, options, etc have you found so far in Twenty Twelve that make it more appealing to you for child themes than Twenty Ten or Twenty Eleven?

  14. Emil Uzelac
    Theme Review Admin
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @zota well in that case my point was right on target.

    If I as developer want to base Twenty Twelve or any other Theme for my clients, IE8 or any other browser support issue would not be any problem would it?

    Please don't get me wrong, I used many Themes from WPORG in the past and yes some of them didn't support the required browsers and in some cases completely broken, however if somebody hires me, all browser issues are my responsibility.

    I was wrong to say "users" it should said "clients".

    P.S. IE8 issues are going to be fixed, according to the ticket you provided :)

    Thanks,
    Emil

  15. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @jeffnar I find Twenty Eleven to be stuffed full of bells and whistles that you have to work around or exclude to get something nice and clean. Most of the features in Twenty Eleven - like the Showcase Page Template with its slider - are features I rarely if ever have seen used, and a lot of the code is unnecessarily convoluted and complex.

    As a stand-alone theme Twenty Eleven is great. And if you're just making minor configuration or styling changes, its great as well. But if you want to make larger changes with more advanced inclusions it quickly gets heavy handed and clunky.

    Twenty Twelve is a stripped down basic theme that has all the necessary features without any extra bling. That means it's a great clean slate to start from if you want to experiment and build something more elaborate. It's also coded in a much cleaner and more understandable way than Twenty Eleven making it an ideal learning tool for those just starting out.

  16. jeffnar
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @mor10 Thanks much for that explanation. I think I'll let the community 'kick the tires' of Twenty Twelve for a month or two and then start using it with child themes when WP3.5 comes out. Sounds like a good one for newbs or those needing a simpler cleaner starting point.

  17. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 1 year ago #

    As someone else mentioned, IE9 and above requires an upgrade from Windows XP, an upgrade many people and many companies cannot afford.

    Google Chrome is free and works on Windows XP just fine.

    http://google.com/chrome

  18. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 1 year ago #

    As I understand it, WordPress still officially supports IE7 let alone IE8.

    We *should* drop IE7 support. IE7 is an inherently insecure browser, and using it leaves you at risk.

    IE8 on a fully updated XP is also inherently insecure, but in other, less-risky, ways.

  19. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @otto: While it is true that Chrome works well in IE and that IE7 and IE8 under XP are insecure, these facts are irrelevant to the discussion. We have no control over what browsers the end-users choose or are forced to use, and our role as web developers is not to police the web and the tools being used to access it but rather to convey information.

    The IE debate often ignores the core reason why IE in its different iterations is still prevalent: In enterprise environments and many other circumstances, one browser is chosen as default and no other browser is introduced. This is a decision done at sys-admin level and can have reasons that go well outside of the web in general: Intranets, custom apps, the list is endless. Writing IE off as a bad choice is ignoring the reason why many use it. And simply saying "switch to Chrome" gets us nowhere.

    I am of the same opinion as you: Users of IE8 should upgrade. But I know that many of those users can't. Therefore I do everything I can to provide them with a great experience as long as that does not interfere or lessen the possible experience of those with modern browsers. As this minor issue in Twenty Twelve is a deliberate choice of design model that can be easily reversed with no performance or experience difference for anyone other than the IE8 users, I see no reason why it can't be done.

  20. paul.cass82
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @mor10: I'm sorry if this is off topic but I have followed nearly all of your web courses on Lynda.com (most recently the one on making wordpress themes responsive) and find them so helpful and informative!

    I am currently used to making websites for clients by creating a custom child theme based on twenty ten. At the moment I have a default wordpress child theme that I use as a starting point for most of the websites I create. I am now wanting to start creating responsive wordpress sites using twenty twelve as a parent. How would you recommend I go about converting my current default site (or an existing site) to using the twenty twelve theme? Should I start from scratch with my style.css file and what about the custom functions I have included (which mostly came from your WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course - thankyou for that). Also I have custom page templates, custom categories and have changed many of the php files (header.php, footer.php etc). This sounds like it's going to be a lot of work.

    Sorry if this makes no sense or is too vague but I would really appreciate your help and advice :) Thankyou

  21. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @paul.cass82: It is impolite to interrupt another poster's ongoing thread with a question of your own that has nothing to do with the original topic. Please post your own topic.

  22. paul.cass82
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    Sorry about that I'm new to this. Although I thought the question was related to the thread as I was talking about using the twenty twelve theme as a base for a child theme.

  23. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @paul.cass82: It's a common mistake when you first start with forums. Send me a message at designisphilosophy.com and I'll answer.

  24. LandonAB
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @mor10

    Do you have any near future plans of a lynda.com course using twenty twelve? As someone who is new to WordPress and my skills are mainly html and css, I really struggle with simple things like adding a footer widget area to twenty twelve (which i am trying to figure out now).

    Landon

  25. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @LandonAB: Though I can't talk about upcoming and in-production courses on lynda.com what I can say is that if I were to update the Child Themes course, it would be logical to follow the same line of reasoning used when deciding to use Twenty Ten as the base for the original course. Pardon the vagueness.

  26. LandonAB
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @mor10 now I have to go watch it again to get the reasoning bit :)

    Thanks for the response and look forward to more courses!

  27. Morten Rand-Hendriksen
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    @LandonAB: I'll save you the trouble. The reasoning for going with Twenty Ten originally was that it was the default theme for WordPress and that it is a rock solid baseline theme that is well documented and easy to work with. As this forum thread implies, that is exactly how I feel about Twenty Twelve as well. Draw your own conclusions ;o)

  28. Dominor Novus
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I was looking forward to using Twenty Twelve as a responsive base but after encountering the IE8 issue I'm sad to say I have to forgo it.

    The refusal to cater for the fourth most popular browser globally is a surprising and disappointing move. A broken navigation menu for 1 in 8 visitors just isn't an acceptable compromise.

    Some of the attitudes expressed in this discussion (e.g. "the user should upgrade their browser or tough") are additionally surprising and pretty much anathema to the precept that is graceful degradation and demonstrates ignorance to the spectrum of plausibilities as to why a browser user is limited to a specific browser version.

    As mor10 has elucidated, it is our role to deliver the content rather than poorly attempting to dictate how we feel it should be received. Browser usage as it exists and browser usage as we would like it be are incongruent. WordPress should endeavor to pander to reality instead of subjective idealism.

    At the very least, an IE8 fallback superior to the current implementation should have been applied. Not all theme users possess the technical know-how to remedy this themselves.

  29. Tomas Mackevicius
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    As far as I remember issue with IE8 was fixed. Try to download latest files and test:

    http://core.trac.wordpress.org/browser/trunk/wp-content/themes/twentytwelve?order=date&desc=True

  30. Tim Nicholson
    Member
    Posted 1 year ago #

    I'm certainly considering using Twenty Twelve as a parent theme instead of a "framework" because of its balance between features and simplicity. I don't understand why this theme wouldn't have a widgetized footer, though. Almost everyone is going to want to have a footer that they can control. I'd even like to see the ability to upload a footer image, just like the way you can upload a background image.

    I also love that this theme is responsive because in today's day and age, everyone's site should be expected to look good on a tablet or phone. I'd love to see this theme use a simple grid structure, though, rather than the hard-coded content and widget area. This would let us take advantage of the new static home page features to make a really nice layout with some simple styling. For example putting some elements in a two or three column layout.

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