I know it seems like I’ve been dragging you all along, having you wait for the next update of Hybrid. Trust me, I’ve been waiting to get the thing out the door myself. As soon as WordPress 2.8 is released, I’ll do some final testing and release the next version of the theme.
In this post, I will cover many of the changes and features coming in version 0.6. Much of it I didn’t plan on doing until 0.7, but the wait has been long for the next WordPress update.
There have been some major changes, and I wanted to prepare you for some of these.
New default design
I’ve actually mentioned this already when I released the Hybrid Original child theme, but it’s worth reiterating. If your child theme is built off Hybrid’s current default look (i.e., importing the default style), you’ll want to use that particular child theme.
The new design will be something a lot plainer. I wanted something that could be used to build from rather than discarded. It’ll be pretty much a black and white, two-column layout that will aid you in creating your custom child themes.
If you haven’t seen it yet, feel free to view the screenshot of the new design.
Even if you don’t create custom taxonomies, this might have an effect on you.
A major change here is the use of the CSS class of
post_tag rather than
tag on the entry and body classes. The reason for this is because of how the theme handles taxonomies. It’s a bit of a drawback at the moment but will help make the code cleaner and offer more functionality in the future. I don’t think this will hurt many people (if any at all), but I wanted to point it out. A simple search and replace would be sufficient for those of you using this feature.
taxonomy-link_category.php templates. The former will be the default taxonomy template, and the latter will handle the display of your link (bookmark) categories.
The tags widget will also allow you to display any taxonomy you want in tag cloud or list format.
Plus, there’s plenty of other little nifty features with taxonomies, most of which are a lot cooler to me (the developer) than most of you. And, if you have no idea what a taxonomy is, don’t worry. I wrote a post on my personal blog recently that covers how you can easily create custom taxonomies in WordPress 2.8.
I’m breaking your widgets. Again.
WordPress 2.8 will completely revamp how widgets work. Each of the Hybrid theme widgets needed to be recoded and moved to the new system. So, please don’t go too crazy if your widgets break.
Honestly, what will probably happen once you upgrade to Hybrid 0.6 is that your current widgets will move down to the new “Inactive Widgets” area on the widgets panel, and you’ll be able to easily drag them up to the correct widget area. I’d still recommend making a backup copy of anything really important just to be sure.
Even though it might cause a little trouble, it’ll be worth it. The widgets run faster and are a lot cleaner. Plus, you’ll get a few extra settings for your widgets.
Some things have changed with the Hybrid Settings page in the WordPress admin. When it comes time to upgrade, you’ll want to run through that to make sure your settings are satisfactory.
One huge change will be the footer settings area. Instead of checkboxes to include links, the whole footer area is all XHTML-based. And, I’ve added some easy-to-use shortcodes to handle commonly-used things like the current year, your Web site link, login and logout links, a link back to the Hybrid theme, and even a link to your child theme.
Many of you have been asking for this, and I’ve been refining the code as much as possible over the last few weeks. Basically, version 0.6 will come loaded with five new stylesheets to help speed up your custom theme development:
- Two columns, content left.
- Two columns, content right.
- Three columns, content left.
- Three columns, content right.
- Three columns, content center.
For those of you that create custom child themes, this should go a long way in helping you put together entire themes in just a few hours.
Other neat features to expect
I’ll cover most of the changes in the theme release post, but I wanted to point out a few things you’ll get with the next update:
- Ability to separate trackbacks/pingbacks from comments.
- Four new page templates.
- Ability to make custom author archive templates.
- More date-/time-based archive templates.
- More action and filter hooks.
It’s going to be a major release with loads of changes. Rest assured, I’m doing everything possible to make sure this is a smooth transition from version 0.5.2 to 0.6