I got bold and decided to push matthewwhitworth.com into production today, and the bugs are already starting to shake out. The big problems seem to be in the theme I chose to use, miniBits. I liked it because of its clean layout and minimal graphics, but its small size also gave me the suspicion that some edge cases might not handle so well.

It turns out it’s more than the edge cases. About 15 minutes after pushing the site into DNS I noticed that the simple “view post” action produces invalid xhtml and displays the sidebar all wonky down at the bottom of the page.

So why didn’t I (or maybe the author) notice this earlier? Well, it’s only broken when you’re not logged in! I’ve been doing most of my development so far while logged in, either as myself or as admin, so the bug just wasn’t occurring. It’s also possible that he sidebar was off the bottom of my browser window and consequently I wasn’t seeing how broken it was when I was viewing the first couple of posts. Who knows? But now it’s gonna be out in the open for a while until I can fix it.

(Interestingly, the bug also doesn’t manifest itself at the demo site. The author freely admits that the theme has only been tested with WordPress 2.1 and hasn’t been maintained for a while. Could version compatability be the culprit?)

I also need to do a bit of Internationalization and Localization. The original author appears to be Italian, and the strings in the program are a mixture of Italian and English. That will actually give me a good “learn how to do something” project (as opposed to the more annoying “bug fix” project) .

So I’m pulling the theme code into bzr right now and getting ready to tweak. Hopefully, I’ll knock out the sidebar display bug tonight and get the site linked over to okcomputer.org so it can really go live.

UPDATE: I found and fixed the bug, and it’s a PHP classic: mixing your layout code inside conditionals. Down in the comments.php file I found two </div> tags were inside an if clause when they shouldn’t have been. A quick cut & paste moved them below the endif, and things are suddenly looking much better.

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