Vanilla (ish) theme review and feedback
I’ve built a theme that will more than likely be released as a freebie.
There’s lots of design and development still to go into it, but some of the main components and functionality is out the road. All be it a little buggy.
The design doesn’t work as intended in anything but Chrome (for best viewing) but the plan is to make this cross browser compatible if there is a little interest about the themes stable release.
Would love some member love and feedback if possible?
@marcella1981 Checked it out using Firefox 🙂 Following comments are from initial scan
1. I like how you added the alphabetical listing for the members directory. You’ll be adding the same in Groups and Blogs directory too, I assume.
2. The toggle switch to cover the member/group header area is cool
3. Clean and compact design, nice.
1. I think member/group navigation could become confusing to new members as there’s a disconnect between main item navigation on the right sidebar and the subnav below the member’s header area.
2. The user link within Activity Stream goes to no posts found page – authors.php, I presume
Like you said, there are some bugs, but it’s looking good.
1. I’m not sure how to port that functionality to groups.
2. I plan on adding a cookie plugin to remember the various header toggle states also.
3. Yeah, I thought that.
1. Yeah there is a disconnect, you are right. I’ll try and think about a way of bringing them together or making them function well independently.
2. Not sure which one you mean here.
Lots of bugs, have never built something like this. It’s a big undertaking.
Couple of important things:
When building sites/layouts WP or other wise build to Standards, this means building in ‘Modern’ browsers that observe W3C Standards, if you’re building in a browser and then find that you are not getting the same display in another known standards compliant browser then it is something you are doing incorrectly. Browser checking is something that takes place from word go you must trap problems early rather than later.
Get in the habit of using debug tools i.e html tidy to tell if there are markup errors as the commonest reason you’ll see a display render differently from browser to browser is because of human errors thus forcing the browsers tag soup rendering engine to step in and try and silently correct those errors- the W3c does not specify an rules for vendors to adhere to in interpreting errors or performing error correction so browsers will do what they think is right and that varies from bowser to browser. Clear up markup errors and you’ll find many things will fall into place.
I note a few mis-matched elements, elements without correctly placed closing tags.
In the body tag I see no class tokens or class attr this is a function of WP and BP pushes out many classes for it’s own screens through this function, if you’re using the BP styles then many won’t be applying if they’re based on body classes.
Your buddypress theme is looking really appealing. Does it support rtMedia plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/buddypress-media/)?
It would be great if your theme would be responsive so that you could use it on a mobile device.
Maybe you should team up with @Karmatosed because I think that she is managing the buddypress template sprint. You could contribute good value to the buddypress theme team.
@hnla makes a very good point about cross-browser testing. A theme could work flawlessly in say Google Chome yet behave completely differently in Internet Explorer. Then you have versions to think about. Early IE versions are particularly troublesome to design for. If you decide not to support a particular browser or browser version – then that’s OK – just make sure you let your potential users know before they download.
@hnla @henrywright yeah I whole heartedly agree, although I’ve began to realise over the past year I’m a bit of a poor coder but have all these huge ambitions. That said, I wanted to finally complete something of relative worth and without re-studying my poor coding this is the way forward. I believe it’s not a complete minefield, the markup is tidy and the CSS isn’t so bad. The niggling problems can be fixed at the end in a bug fixing cycle.
@ekine thanks for the heads up about that, I’ll be focussing my efforts with this theme for now.
@marcella1981 you’re missing the point of what I was trying to get across to you. In respect of bugs in reference to markup – rather than mid tier scripting – then likely you haven’t any, what you do have are markup errors, fixing those is not something you do at the end you must do it as you progress through a site build, this is strict and for the reason that you can’t apply styles to a broken DOM, and you can’t expect browsers to handle a broken DOM in the same manner browser to browser, fixing markup errors can clear up a heck of a lot of issues you may be seeing at the moment (html tidy performs the same markup checking as the W3C Validator it’s not just a markup tidier but a sgml parser that will report errors by line)
Also Please get rid of that x ua-compatible meta tag it’s IE proprietary and used to induce google frame is just wrong and always was and isn’t doing anything useful, IE 9+ are reasonable browsers that will handle Standards pretty well lose that meta tag and you have one less validation error 🙂
@hnla I’ve validated the page but there are 2 niggling malformed markup issues, but it’s related to BuddyPress functions.
I looked at the code for bp_activity_comments, which leads to bp_get_activity_comments which leads to bp_activity_recurse_comments, which in turn has 2 filters applied to the template
echo apply_filters( 'bp_activity_recurse_comments_start_ul', '<ul>');
echo apply_filters( 'bp_activity_recurse_comments_end_ul', '</ul>');
I need to remove these as they are messing with the markup.
I’ve tried the following…
But this doesn’t work. Any ideas?
hmm tbh I wouldn’t necessarily mess with the markup BP generates at this point; the div ‘activity-comment’ should contain the entry form and if comments a ul list which for a series of items like comments and where they may be nested is a about the only suitable choice really.
What have you got around the area where bp_activity_comments() is set?
<div class="activity-comments"> <?php bp_activity_comments(); ?>
I could just make it a list… Shouldn’t be too much trouble.
but it is a list already so not sure why you are getting this error. Unless you have modified the comments.php template you should have ul li construct for comments.
The filters seem problematic, add_filter works after a fashion but won’t take an empty string, remove filter doesn’t work from functions.php on any priority level.
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