I’ve finally “released”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/2007/02/13/navigation-for-bbpress/ a “final” copy of the “Navigation Theme”:http://www.gpsgazette.com/navigation-wp-theme/ for bbPress that “I’ve been working on”:http://open-dialogue.com/bbpress, with a couple of after-the-fact tweaks (suggestions from a “friend”:http://fadingdust.wordpress.com) that’ll likely appear in any later release I do.
When I initially set out to port the Navigation Theme from WordPress to bbPress, I really hadn’t thought to undertake a major coding project. It’s been several years since I’ve really done any kind of web design work, and 90% of _that_ was for my own personal website as I was learning and working with HTML(Hypertext Markup Language). CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) language has changed a lot over the years, and I’ve gotten woefully behind on what it can do now. All I wanted was a functional template that looked at least _something_ like what I use here in WordPress. What I ended up with was a week-long project hacking and crash-coursing CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) in between other real-life projects in order to quiet the perfectionist raging inside me.
And I’ve really learned quite a bit. Stylesheets can do quite a lot more now than when I was first exposed to them. I’ve been highly impressed. I can also say that I think I’ve become quite comfortable with most of the new commands and with forcing things to appear in the way that _I_ want them to. (It’s amazing how much time you sometimes have to spend poring over code just to figure that adding one short line to an element will solve a couple of major problems all at once. It’s disgusting, really.)
The only problem with stylesheets is, you’ve got it, Internet Explorer. I actually worked really hard on this project to make sure that the theme would be as compatible across browsers as possible. Unfortunately, IE6 makes this extremely difficult because it doesn’t always acknowledge all the CSS(Cascading Style Sheets) commands. Or it executes code in really funny ways, making something that looks great in both Firefox and IE7 look like utter garbage when you load it in IE6. So, I had to funny creative workarounds in the stylesheet that would allow the theme to be functional in IE6 while still not breaking things in Firefox and IE7. A major headache, to be sure, but ultimately it turned out to be worthwhile. What I ended up with was a clean, attractive template that perfectly complements the one I use on WordPress.
So, if ever I find a good reason to use these two tools (WordPress and bbPress) in apposition to each other, I’ll already be set up and ready to go. I had fun messing with the design, but it’s time again to move on to some other things that have been waiting (im)patiently for me.