Talk:Newbie Guide: How to Patch Styles and Themes

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Revision as of 21:24, 26 July 2013 by Ninetydegrees (Talk | contribs)

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Patch Check List

-- Usage rights (resource credits, credits in HTML or CSS comments, dw-free or nonfree)

-- No tabs

-- No trailing spaces

Styles (general):

-- Always set layout_authors

-- Tabula Rasa child whenever possible

-- Supports all column modes whenever possible and at least one one-column

-- Supports all options from Tabula Rasa

-- Custom props sorted into existing propgroups using _child

-- Custom props also sorted into existing /customize cats in the file.

-- Custom props follow naming standards

-- Check everything, everywhere. In particular don't forget: non-default column modes, modules in every available position, community accounts, unusually short or long elements (subjects, tags, titles, entries, comments, usernames,...), userpic stuff (no userpic, non-square userpics, smaller userpics), collapsed comments, bottomcomment area, reply page, quick reply, icon page, pagination links (reading, archive, comments and icon page), contextual pop-ups, navigation strip, page text (sometimes only visible when there are no entries on the reading page).

Themes (general):

-- Alphabetized themes

-- Two blank lines between each theme

-- theme_authors if theme author is NOT style author. Otherwise no.

-- Props separated by headers (Presentation, Page Colors, Entry Colors, Module Colors, Fonts and Images, in this order. )

-- Alphabetized props within each cat.

-- No empty props

CSS (general):

-- If TR child goes into function print_stylesheet () for styles. Otherwise goes into function Page::print_default_stylesheet.

-- Theme-specific CSS goes into function Page::print_theme_stylesheet()

-- No broad resets

-- Comment headers

-- Indents

-- Shorthand


-- color_page_text in every theme

-- No half foreground/background combos (e.g. text color without background color)

-- Matching foreground/background combos (such as entry text color on entry background color)

-- Order in props for link colors: alphabetical so _link, _link_active, _link_hover, _link_visited

-- BUT order in CSS for link colors: hierarchical so a, a:visited, a:hover, a:active

-- Shorthand for color hex codes


-- Single quotes around font names with multiple words; no quotes otherwise.

-- No font_units settings if no font_size too.

-- No hardcoded font names

-- No hardcoded font sizes (some exceptions allowed)


-- No color profiles

-- Color-indexed PNGs whenever possible. JPGs with a lower res are sometimes a good alternative.

-- Common images in /commons

-- Follows file naming standards

-- Ninetydegrees (talk) 10:32, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Overall, pretty excellent! The one thing I would like (and am willing to try to compile) is to split off the list of stuff in 'check everything' to a more concrete list of all the major things to check - I know that would solve a lot of my 'oh, it turns out this layout breaks horribly if comments are disabled!' type bugs. --Momiji (talk) 08:37, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Very good idea! Also two different lists (one for theme and one for styles) would be better I think.--Ninetydegrees (talk) 09:42, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
    • P.S. Actually maybe it would be useful to split this into two different articles even if we repeat some things. I'm thinking it might make it easier and less scary for newbies. What do you think?

Themes: Things to check

As themes mainly aim at setting colors, you mostly want to check that everything is visible (no white on white for example). Keep in mind that most designers test things on their own journals and therefore don't have things set up to check for every possible color issue. You'll want to focus on things which aren't standard in a journal or are easily overlooked.

Tip: set up an account with dummy entries, dummy comments, etc. which cover as many different situations as possible. Once you've done that, checking a theme won't take you more than a few minutes. (TODO: mention and

-- Credit is correct in /customize

-- Credit is correct in the journal credit module

-- Colors look all right on all pages: recent entries, reading page, year page, month page, day page, tags page, icons page, entry page w/ comments, (full and collapsed), entry page w/ quick reply, full reply page

-- Colors look all right in modules

-- Colors look all right in the navigation strip

-- Colors look all right in contextual pop-ups

-- Text and links to check in particular:

  • poster name area on Reading page
  • 'There are no earlier entries to display' text on Reading page
  • 'Top of Page' link
  • 'no subject' text in entries and comments
  • bottomcomment area (text and links at the bottom of entry pages)
  • frozen and screened comments (this adds text before the subject link)
  • pagination links on entry pages
  • hover and visited on entry subjects, comment subjects, module links, calendars

-- You can also spot issues by looking at the theme code: if a text or a link color code is identical to its corresponding background one then it's very likely to be an issue and there should be some text you can't see on your test journal.

-- Issues: what then?

If something looks completely unreadable to you, it can come from the theme or the style. If you know it comes from the theme kindly mention it to the designer on dreamscapes and ask them to tell you what the color shoudl be instead. If it comes from the style or you don't know what causes the issue mention it on the bug so someone can troubleshoot.

While patching themes you may also notice unrelated issues (text overlapping, element positioned incorrectly in certain circumstances, etc.) If this happens please mention it on the bug file or open a new bug so it can be fixed. --Ninetydegrees (talk) 10:44, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Before I forget: --Ninetydegrees (talk) 12:50, 12 July 2013 (UTC)