Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
October 19, 2010
We. Are. Widgetized!
Category: Technical Stuff

Recent circumstances resulted in my working with a fresh WordPress install this morning, and after doing a bit of maintenance with that I got it into my head to finally widgetize my Wesoteric theme! I've been thinking about doing it for a while, but every time I decided I was going to I'd start reading a tutorial and get scared away. They generally have titles like "Widgetize your theme in 3 easy steps!" -- and then when you get into them, they start going on about things and showing garbled code snippets and it doesn't sound very easy at all.

But it is easy -- it really is -- and shame on those pages for making it seem difficult! (Here's the guide that ultimately convinced me to do it -- note how simple it makes it seem. Sure, the other info was eventually helpful despite its superfluity, but only after I understood the basic gist of what was going on.) What was more difficult than anything wasn't the actual widgetization, but rather reacquainting myself with code I wrote five or six years ago. There were a lot of tricks and plain weirdness I implemented to ensure an identical display on Firefox and whatever versions of IE were the rage back then (IE5 and IE6, I think), but since IE isn't quite as headstrong as it used to be I was able to simplify the code fairly dramatically. I could probably do even more simplification throughout the theme's code -- today I just fooled with the sidebar -- but eh, that can wait.

Some of the tutorial pages also neglected to mention that it's entirely possible to tweak your sidebar to accept widgets without overwriting or recoding other items already in it, like my little image boxes and such that don't have any dynamic content in them. I ultimately decided to make (very simple) text widgets for them anyway, though, and if you swung by the blog this morning you might have noticed one or more of them doubled up -- which I did for comparison purposes and whatnot.

Blah blah blah -- the point is that the blog now supports widgets! I really don't have a ton of use for the things, but I went ahead and added a recent comments one to the sidebar just for the sake of having something to take advantage of the functionality. Does anyone out there have any fun recommendations for other widgets I might enjoy?

Okey-doke, that's all I've got for now. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 12:17 pm | Comments (6)
  • mickelodeon says:

    I get really tired of widgets really quickly and have pared down what I use to almost nothing. The inclusion of recent comments is nice, that's one I'm terribly fond of.

    • Wes says:

      Yeah, too many of these widgets are completely devoid of value! I pulled up a list of 50 "useful" widgets to see if I might like to implement some of them and didn't see a single thing I found remotely interesting. Well, I guess a recent posts one could be helpful (if only for jumping about between recent posts, since I don't have the previous/next post navigation), and I could see implementing a Facebook status plugin or something, but mostly I thought they were just lame.

  • mickelodeon says:

    Waaaaait a minute. What happened that you had to freshly install WP??????????

    • Wes says:

      Oh, not here -- Articulated Discussion's kinda dead on the original platform, so we're going to try porting it to WordPress (something I've admittedly been pushing for for a little while now). There are some problems with that new install as well, though, so I don't know what's up. Everything's fine with Wesoteric and SC!

      • mickelodeon says:

        Whewwww...that's a relief. When you say porting AD to WordPress, what does that mean, exactly? I see the terms porting and ported a lot, but have yet to discern what is really meant by my good friends, Context and Clues. XD

        • Wes says:

          Why did I never respond to your question? (Or did I via e-mail?) I mean importing... or exporting, depending upon how the description of what I want to do is worded. As in, I'd want to import AD's current BlogEngine.NET content into a WordPress blog... or export its content from BE to WP. 🙂

          Pretty much what I did a very long time ago, when I exported the Blog of Wes content from the old Blogger setup and imported it into WP. 😀

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