Tag Archives: Custom CSS

Speaking of Sandbox themes…

WP Sandbox Logo

Hot on the heels of my own sandbox-based theme, Scott and Andy went ahead and dropped Sandbox v0.9 (0.7 only existed long enough for me to grab it out of SVN and build my theme off of it, and 0.8 had too many revisions to be released. 1.0 existed briefly, before being dragged back into beta-ville). The structural changes are much cleaner, so it’s easier to tweak the hell out of the thing.

The only new design element is that all of the example layouts now use a navigation menu. This is kind of an outgrowth of the skins menu being deleted: the menu HTML is always there, although it can be hidden in CSS (previously skins could disable the HTML).

And yes, the skins menu is gone. this means theme designers can now rely on the sandbox having a specific CSS. hello template: sandbox. 🙂 Accordingly, my skins have become themes:

The thin line uses about 4 lines of PHP to insert a credit link into the footer. The Joshuaink theme uses that plus the custom header API to help you add your own logo. Both themes are under Creative Commons licenses. Whatever waffling the wordpress developers may do about some themes being necessarily GPL, they can’t touch these themes, since they’re entirely CSS, save for API compliance (if API compliance transmitted the GPL, binary linux applications would be impossible).

Also, I’m discontinuing development on Sandbox Unsleepable. If I were to convert it to a theme, it would compete directly with the original, which is not my goal. Since the original has been installed on wordpress.com, there’s also no reason to develop the custom CSS version either.


misty eyed

with two themes in as many days, wp.com managed to grab a theme from a long-standing member of the wordpress theme community. i’m impressed, that’s getting to be a rare thing. i think i might have actually sent in feedback asking for mistylook. or at least thought about it really hard. (this would be before i bought my CSS upgrade).

Being designed by Sadish means that it has things like archives/links templates, and the oft-requested contact form. The original also supports asides and re-ordering the page link, and dropping pages from the nav bar:


of course, options panels are stripped from wp.com themes, for the crime of not sanitizing values (sensible for text fields, less so for ticky boxes and drop down menus), but rather than sanitizing the values, the options panel, with its oft requested features, is dropped entirely. [snark removed, real reason in the first comment]

so we’re left with fauna as the only theme that supports asides (because it does so without an options panel, kudos to joen). of course, it’s an aged version that doesn’t support sidebar asides, which are the only kind that can’t be achieved with sandbox and a CSS upgrade. i recognize that i’m in the minority when it comes to wanting asides, but that doesn’t stop the contradictory nature ‘designing themes for wp.com‘ process from really annoying me.

it’s just so very anti-open-source. users ask for a feature, someone gives it to them, and the benevolent dictator takes it away. mind you, i’m still confused as to how the benevolent dictator model can possibly nurture a meshwork and not turn it into a hierarchy, but i think that comes from reading ‘a thousand years of non-linear history’, rather than ‘the cathedral and the bazaar’. i’d link you to those books, but linking to amazon is forbidden.

now I’m really far afield. misty look is a great theme. kudos to Sadish.

Bus Full of Hippies for WordPress.com

This skin is for WordPress.com Users. feel free to use this skin ‘as is’. the images are hosted on wordpress.com, so it’s no different than hosting them yourself. If you host your own blog, please get the zipped version of the skin.

Joshuaink Screenshot


Original design by John Oxton
Illustration by Denis Radenkovic
Based on the Textpattern template reworked by Graham Bancroft.


This Sandbox skin is under the same license as the original template:
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5.


In order to comply with this license, you must paste the following code into a text widget:

<p><a href="#header">top</a> | Original design by <a href="http://johnoxton.co.uk" title="visit John’s site">John Oxton</a> | Illustration by <a href="http://www.38one.com/">Denis Radenkovic</a> | This design is released under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/" title="view the licence for this design">Creative Commons licence</a></p>

Note: If you put this text widget in your secondary sidebar, it will display the way it does on this site, as a footer of sorts. All of the widgets in the secondary sidebar will display this way. (Further instructions on widget usage).

Layout: From the Sandbox Skins menu, select “No Stylesheet”.

Logo Image: This design uses a custom image as the header. The image is 200×60 pixels, twice. the two halves of the 400×60 pixel image create the standard and hover states of the logo (mouse over the logo at the top of this page to get an idea of what I mean). To help you out, here is the *.PSD file I used to make this logo. It includes guides to make it easier to line up the two states of the image: Sandbox Logo

after you make your own image, and upload it to your blog, you’ll have to change the CSS file to point to your new image. look for #header h1 a near the start of the file.


the maximum width for images in posts is 375 pixels. anything wider will be squeezed, to prevent the skin from breaking.

John is an excellent designer. almost anything you put in a post will be styled. you can see some of the formatting here, in the HTML templates. Since formatting every post with code to use his <ol class="codesample"> might be a bit tedious, i’ve also added styling for the <pre> element.


Bus Full of Hippies v0.6.1
or, copy and paste

Bookmark This:

add to del.icio.us :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: seed the vine :: TailRank

in which it becomes clear that scoble is, in fact, a freeloader.

You’re a VIP, and you’re still not happy? Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Seriously, you already got a custom template, and the right to run ads on a service that no one else does, and you want more?

I mean, there are people asking for this stuff every day on the forums. but they didn’t get a sweet deal from matt. they got face value, possibly before there was even so much as a TOS.

They don’t have the ability to change their template files, but they can buy a CSS upgrade. Components from other web companies? did you mean like meebo? or like flickr? del.icio.us? or perhaps you have an RSS feed you’d like to display?

wordpress.com stops you short in one place, and one place only. javascript. (well, flash too, but i’ve seen few complaints about that). the only reason you think that javascript is a limitation is because the host of a million splogs lets you add them. And you see where that got them. It’s not a new limitation to the million of mypace users. or livejournal users. or xanga users. or msn spaces users.

so, yes, robert, i’d choose wordpress.com for any blog for myself or any of my friends. it’s got the horsepower under the hood, without the stigma of being a dramafest for teenage girls. But then, I know more CSS tricks than most folks. and the flexibility of the sandbox is lost on those who don’t.