Tag Archives: design

Walk in the Shadows for Wordpress.com

This CSS design is an experiment in layout. There are two sidebars stacked vertically. The second sidebar stacks horizonally, visually making 2 sidebars out of 1.  


Walk in the Shadows


A List Apart’s article on typesetting (followed to the letter because IE sucks)
Joen Asmussen’s brilliant idea about adding columns without touching the markup
Dezinerfolio’s web2.0 layer styles
KDE‘s Oxygen icons project
Datestamps inspired by the cover of Eero Saarinen, designed by CoDe Communication and Design


CC-GNU <acronym title='GNU General Public License'><span class='caps'><acronym title='GNU General Public License'><span class='caps'>GPL</span></acronym></span></acronym> This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.


Walk in the Shadows CSS


Promised Land for Wordpress.com

This design is a single column, fixed width theme, with 2 footer widget areas. 1 area contains 4 widgets that stack horizontally, the other area contains horizontal widgets that stack vertically. The main page highlights the first post, and shows the next 4 as links below the first.  


Promised Land Screenshot


Some abuse of a stock photo by Ryan Ford.
Based on “for elaine“, which became archGFX v02.


CC-GNU <acronym title='GNU General Public License'><span class='caps'>GPL</span></acronym> This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

Creative Commons License

This design is dual-licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License. Where possible, please include a link to this page for attribution.


Select the Sandbox-10 theme (currently on page 4).  Then open the download link below, and copy the contents into the Edit CSS box, Making sure to check the “Start from scratch and just use this” box.


Promised Land CSS

Shameless Plugs

Sandbox Design Competition

Scott’s organizing a wordpress design competition, purely in CSS. which means it’s open to:

  • wordpress.com users
  • anyone who can use CSS, since PHP and javascript won’t be judged

Also, Sourceforge is running Community Choice awards, so you can go nominate Dream in Infrared, if you’re so inclined:

SF.net Community Choice Awards

(Disconnected is also eligible).

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.

I only see in infrared

(Click for more Screenshots)

I planed to finish this theme before i rebooted this site, so that I’d only have to worry about customizing my own version of it. instead, life got crazy, and i stopped working on it for a few months. So I’ve had to backport some things from this site, and i’ve developed a bunch of features for the theme, that i have yet to put to use here. So a month late, here it is: A fluid width, light on dark theme with lots of CMS features. Based on the rich semantics of the Sandbox theme

Read about the features | Check out the Demo Blog | Download

Broken Reboot



while i was getting ready for the reboot, i set up my blog to pull down wordpress from SVN (the 2.1 branch). it went alright, except that after i moved over my theme and my plugins, i forgot to move over my uploads. (i’m not very bright). Then again, that folder really shouldn’t be there. So, in addition to having a half-finished reboot, i’m also missing images from any posts earlier than, say, 3 days ago.

but, you know, go vote for the rest of it: CSS reboot (before), Standards Reboot.

GPL Filigree


My filigree tile is not as succesful as the black linen wallpaper pattern extracted by mr. messina, but it is GPL. For the purposes of releasing a theme, that’s what’s more important. Granted, i could ask permission of mr. messina to relicense his work (although he’d need permission in turn from the wallpaper photographer. If we really wanted to see where the rabbithole goes, we might need the permission of the wallpaper designer. Although going that deep might call into question the doctrine of first sale. You’re not still surprised that i trusted my own hand here, are you?

I’m building my next redesign of archGFX as a sandbox based theme, which means i have no choice but to use a GPL-compatible license. hence the pontificating about wallpaper. It will look about like this, but it will build in a whole lot of CMS/tagging functio nality (among other things). The other works that i will have to replace before releasing the theme, are the silk icons. While I, the theme author, can satisfy mark’s attribution requirements in the theme, releasing the theme as GPL would mean that i would effectively re-license his icons as GPL. Then, anyone who wanted could come along and use his icons, out of my theme, without attribution.

If you’re wondering why so many other themes don’t waffle about this, that’s it. K2 relicensed the icons a long time ago. I could just use the icons out of the K2 theme, and my own ass would be covered. However, a) that would mean looking exactly like k2, and b) should mark ever go SCO on the kubrick guy, I might still not be covered (especially after posting this). Ironically, the habari version of K2, which is apache licensed, and requires attribution, would be acceptable to the original CC-license, but the apache license is not GPL compatible.

The old solution to this, proposed by wordpress developers, is to license the CSS and images seperately from the PHP templates. while that’s a nice ideal, i’m using a PHP stylesheet, so it’s not feasible in my case. The other problem is that, as i understand it (correct me if i’m wrong), GPL code cannot be distributed with non-GPL code without virally infecting the non-GPL code. so i’d need two seperate downloads: 1 for the GPL PHP templates, and 1 for the CC-by licensed CSS and icons.  plus instructions on how to properly mux the two before installing.

So my solution is this.  I’ve drawn my own GPL filigree, available as PDF and GIMP pattern, (because i agree with mr. stallman that proprietary tools should not be used to build open-source software (or in this case, templates)).    I’m going to use Drupal‘s GPL lullacons, but rename them to match the names of the silk icons.   Then i’ll package the original filigree and silk icons seperately.  thusly, the theme download will work out of the box, but users who want the better art can download and replace the stuff.   Having seperate instructions for them shouldn’t be too bad.  Anyone who’s scared by the instructions, can stick with the GPL graphics.