New look for the blog (and sorry for any hiccups)

I’ve wanted a more unique look to the blog for quite some while now, but hadn’t found any creative talent to help me with the process. Luckily I heard about Freelancer.com, and used their service to find a designer to help me with the process.

AFter some consultation, plus 10 hours of my work time to convert the design from Photoshop file to HTML and CSS, and then another 10 hours learning to transform that into a WordPress theme, I now believe I’m more or less ready to roll out the new look.

There may be some hiccups for a few hours at most while I’m testing the theme, and the look may revert back to Suffusion while I iron out any remaining issues. Sorry for that.

On electronics front, expect some new material rather soon – the blog design work has taken my time for the last two weeks, but I should have two very interesting projects to announce quite shortly!

Default feed not disabled with Suffusion

I switched to a new WordPress theme, Suffusion! Hooray! However, the %#&/?! default feed link is added to HTML even if disable it in Suffusion settings. Not hooray.

Digging into Suffusion code, I found suffusion_include_default_feed() from functions/actions.php, but it seems that it correctly does not output anything when I disable the default feed. Furthermore, the alternate feed URL actually does output my FeedBurner feed URL. So it seems Suffusion is not generating these links by itself.

Grepping around the WordPress source code (a look through the dozens of templating PHP files really makes me want to code a barebones blog myself) I finally located the culprit: feed_links() method in wp-includes/general-template.php. Why is this called? Where should it not be called?

It seems at least wp-includes/default-filters.php is adding this feed_links action to wp_head. I commented it out, and what do you know, the nerve-wrecking automatic feed URLs are gone!

Just thought to share it if someone else is having the same problem. It looks like Suffusion should have the following somewhere if default feeds are disabled:

remove_action( 'wp_head', 'feed_links', 2 );

It seems Suffusion is adding a ton of actions and filters in its functions.php, namely in function suffusion_setup_custom_actions_and_filters(). So here’s a patch which gets rid of that default feed URL if you have chosen to disable it in Suffusion setup:

function suffusion_setup_custom_actions_and_filters() {
    // Theme supports automatic feed links, which makes WordPress output default 
    // RSS feed links via feed_links action. Disable this if the user has explicitly
    // chosen in Suffusion setup to disable those very feeds.
    global $suf_custom_default_rss_enabled;
    
    if ($suf_custom_default_rss_enabled != 'enabled') {
        remove_action( 'wp_head', 'feed_links', 2 );
    }
    
    ///// ACTIONS

Widget-ready WordPress sidebars without headlines

A lot of people are asking me (of course I have to make this stuff up because I don’t have any readers) how I’ve done the menu bar (the horizontal thing containing static pages and categories, just below the name of this blog). This is a good question, because the menu bar is actually widget-ready, so I don’t have to change it when I add new categories. “But how have you avoided the widget headers and still remained strictly XHTML compliant?”, I hear some of my imaginary readers say. Well, I’ll tell you how.
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