[wp-hackers] Making it better

Phil Hart radial at mindspring.com
Fri Apr 22 02:32:56 GMT 2005

Ok, follow up I guess.

Here's a thought - If I had to learn the ins and outs of php to create a
simple theme for my website, why not suggest me to start from scratch and
write everything, backend and all.

When Robert wrote: 
>  Horizontal navbars have nothing to do with PHP. Learn some CSS. Google
for horizontal navigation bars in CSS and you'll find a lot.  -  There are
tons of themes that use horizontal navbar, Blix being a more popular one.

I completely skipped over "learn css" and moved to "Blix does this already".
I HAVE looked up CSS horizontal menus.  I found several things on Eric Myers
web site, but I don't know how to translate that into wordpress.  I did
learn from his site, and several books I bought on css to do some things I
have on my site now.  I can handle looking at an existing theme that does
what I want, I can copy and paste code.  So, is wp designed only for people
who know css and php?  Or is Customizing it only for those who know it?

I guess my point being I shouldn't (in my opinion) need to be a master of
php and css to move the sidebar from the right hand side to the left.  (I've
already figured this out, no need to send suggestions, it's just an example,
but thanks!)

And I'm going to say something I will probably regret, so please don't take
offense anyone.  I'm kinda thinking out-loud here.  But, the lady who wrote
the original article that started this was last 40's.  I'm 27.  Young
whipper snappers like Matthew and Ryan who do this php stuff in their sleep
because they look at code all day don't have a problem creating themes.  But
the average joe blogger doesn't know php, nor css.  The don't care to buy 10
books from amazon on mastering php and css just to do move around items on
their blog.

Perhaps even this thought - the guys who create all the great php plugins
and look at the WP code all the time and help answer the support forums with
code questions could easily create a theme.  They know what the triggers are
to put something where and that sort of thing.  Know the limitations of what
that code would do, know the implications of parameters and the like.  But,
again, the average joe blogger does not look at the code for WP, maybe ever.
They don't care to know the code, either because they are scared to mess
something up, or simply don't understand it.  So, for everyone in the know,
it's easy to tell a theme newbie to learn css to modify their theme, but for
the user, it may be a hugely daunting task.

All this being said, I do not know how to make it any better.  I agree some
plugins seem so basically needed they should be included in code.  Or, have
an official recommended place on the wp site that lists known working and
compatible plugins to do different things.  One thing that comes to mind is
easy image uploading and posting to a thumbnail to a post.  What blogger
doesn't want to do that?  

I guess wp needs to decide if it's for blogging or cms like several have
already said.  What level of experience are you shooting for the end user to

I would of never said any of this unless this discussion was going on.  I
love my wp, and what it enables for my site.  

Phil Hart

-----Original Message-----
From: wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com
[mailto:wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com] On Behalf Of Andy Skelton
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 9:38 PM
To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
Subject: Re: [wp-hackers] Making it better

David, Phil walked in and sat down in the CSS/PHP 101 classroom when he 
>     I'm a user, who wants to develop my own theme.  I do not know php.
The question is: is Phil willing to learn it? Most users aren't. (I love 
learning it.) When we decide what to do to ease the learning curve for 
code-phobes, we must also leave the doors wide open for code-philes to go 
totally nuts with the guts of their themes. It should not become as 'easy' 
as Blogger at the cost of becoming as limited as Blogger.

For now, it would do wonders to help people understand that depth of 
customizability is lost in direct proportion to gains in ease of 
customizability. Translation: you can't make 3-D holograms with an 

Andy Skelton

David wrote:
>Robert - Just to be clear, the first part of your answer made me cringe.  
>It's exactly what people don't want to hear: "Learn some CSS".  That's not 
>to say it isn't (somewhat) true! ;)  Just that it's part of the 'stigma' of

>WP right now.

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