As part of the spring cleaning for supporting ISO Schematron 2016, I am trying moving the site to WordPress. I have used WordPress as a user before, and had some clear ideas of what I needed from the XML.COM and OReilly sites I blogged for in the naughties, but this is the first time to set up a site with a site tool. I chose WordPress merely because it was free, mature, active and seemed to have enough value adds.

The first thing was to set up my local system to get the content ready. I installed InstantWP without fuss.

The next thing was to find a theme that would be closest to what I wanted. I must say, for a system that started to support blogging, almost all the themes are aimed at eye candy rather than text. There must be a hundred “portfolio” (products or photo) themes for every theme that supports technical information site well. I tried a few, and I ended up buying the Collab theme for 50 bucks: in particular because it supported kind of citation and callout options in text that I wanted, and not to use the shorthand codes much. It installed Collab without fuss.

The next thing was to set up the basic styling page elements. This was all vanilla themes and Collab theme options, which was nice. Adjust the default fonts and colours. Collab was not parameterized enough for the front page, so had to revise the php file for the main page, to get the (undocumented) boxes to the top of the screen. Also I had to revise that php so that the edited text would appear on the screen. I needed to update some colors in the main stylesheet too, make the drop cap sans-serif, and force p to justify. If I update Collab, I will have to make the corresponding changes again.

 <div class="main">
  if( of_get_option( 'engine_home_box1' ) ||
   of_get_option( 'engine_home_box2' ) ||
   of_get_option( 'engine_home_box3' ) )
    get_template_part( 'home', 'boxes' );

  <?php if ($post->post_content != '') : ?>
  <div class="container">
   <div class="row-fluid">
    <div class="home-content span12 content">
     <div class="main-content">

     <?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); 
                     get_template_part('loop', 'page'); 
                     wp_link_pages(); endwhile; ?>

     <!-- /.main-content -->
    <!-- /.content -->
   <!-- /.row-fluid -->
  <!-- /.container -->
  <?php endif; ?>

Following this I added categories, created menus, and selected what elements go on what pages. I want to transfer over some pages from the OReilly blog at some stage too.

I installed the Hyphenator plug-in, without fuss. To use it, I add wrappers on body text <div class="hyphenate">. It would be nice to figure out how to automate this, but my brain is full.

The known bugs I can see?

  • The menu does not appear on the front page at full width.
  • On posts, at full width the header graphic is reduced to small size, but it goes back to full size on the medium and full size. I bet this is easy to fix.
  • When trying to update collab to the most recent version, the download failed.
  • The pre blocks are too narrow to fix code well: need to reduce pre font size down by 1.