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"Arras" Theme vs. "Grunge"

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"Arras" Theme vs. "Grunge"

Postby Lankin » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:28 pm

So, finally I decided to switch back to a theme I already used before, "Arras."

This post also may serve as an excuse why I didn't have time to listen to "Griselda" yet with the attention the recording would deserve.

So, Arras: I like some features of it, and the fact that it can be decently customized.

First of all, the layout should convey that we encourage interaction, which was hard to realize with the other. The main reason for that: The theme I used before, "Grunge" works fine here on the board, but unfortunately not as a WordPress version. It is a free theme, so it is very unlikely there will be a bugfix for certain issues. I got some fixed myself, but some not, and this was rather annoying:

Things I got fixed:

  • The double display of the date,
  • The look of the featured image in the preview,
  • A few small things I have forgotten again by now.

Things I couldn't get to work:

  • The theme loads the index.php instead of the home.php for the blog layout. Just exchange/rename them, you say? Works, sort of, but changes all sorts of other stuff too. Neither with simple swapping, nor with major fiddling around in <div> tags I managed to get rid of some major bugs. Alas, I am not alone. Afaik no one got has solved those issues entirely until now.
  • There's no "read on" button in the post preview; the theme setting doesn't apply. This sounds easy, doesn't it? Just a <a href to the permalink? I tried. Alas, php is a lot trickier than plain html. The "read on" badge appears the moment you exchange index.php with home.php. But, as mentioned before, this causes other problems.
  • The RokBox plugin, one of the main reasons for choosing the theme, frankly s*cks. There, I said it. Not even the developers' demo site works as it should, imho. I haven't seen a single example in action where it does. If someone can wield magic and get it to work -- please provide a link, I am still curious. On principle, it still looks great.
  • The biggest and most annoying bug, however: The Grunge Theme is powered by Gantry, which means: It uses a framework that lets you adjust almost all of the layout without ever having to access any css or php file.

    Now that's the theory. As this theme is buggy -- I assume this is also due to the index.php and home.php mix-up -- most changes made in the gantry settings have no effect. The ominous "read on" button is only an example. More annoying even: I found it impossible to split the footer into sections, no matter with how much malice I pressed the key to save the settings, or added overrides.

    Summed up: Grunge would be a lovely theme, if it would work as it should. Allegedly it works nicely if installed including the demo content as a full WordPress install. However, somehow I feel reluctant to re-install WordPress from scrap on my webspace, even if this is not such a big deal. Never change a running system, or so they say.

So, back to Arras!
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