A couple days ago I began using the WordPress 3.2 release candidate. I was impressed by the back-end overhaul and the interface streamlining. So much so that I wanted to update yet again my own theme.
The theme is powered at its core by Hybrid. I call it Ryan’s Hybrid Theme because an original name was just so unoriginal. The initial release went live on May 2nd, and 50 days later, here we are with another update.
So what’s new? I liked the idea of aside and link post formats and my original style implementation wasn’t ridiculously bloated. I just down on the cruft and hide the details that aren’t really necessary. The byline and post-meta are hidden and the font size of titles are smaller. This is enhanced by subtle labels denoting asidship or linkship.
In fact, the font sizes for many chunks of text are smaller. The byline and post-meta lines are no longer icky italics and now much smaller. The headers in the sidebar are now smaller, less protruding to the left and slightly lighter to drag the eyes down to the archives and other widgets.
Speaking of which, the two archive widgets, monthly and recently, no longer have their first and second members highlighted in anyway. I thought would be cool to promote them but I found it gimmicky and out of place.
Out of place? I think that brings us to the final bit, the padding alignment. The original theme had the post bodies heavily padded. The bodies would be universally indented below their respective titles and then blockquotes and other post elements would be indented further. It was annoying to scan pages with all of this vertical unevenness. And again, to provide some sense of place, the posts themselves are delimited by a thin gray line. It’s rather striking.
I was inspired by the great new default theme in WordPress 3.2. It’s really fantastic with its smooth styles, anti-web-2.0 pattern of blocky and boxed sections, and of course its excellent native HTML5 element structure. I couldn’t come close to copying everything, no, not with the Hybrid theme as it is now without native post format support, but I imagine soon I will be able to do even more.