Excel theme fix list

I’m writing this working list so that I can keep a record of what I did to the Excel theme to get it the way I like it, as well as for anyone else who’s interested in learning how to hack up WordPress themes.


  • The amount of vertical space consumed by the header region (seems to be a common trend among the themes I’ve tried so far)
  • Need to tweak styles — tags and recent comments run into each other, headings in the sidebar are too prominent, need some custom style work for the Delicious widget
  • The dark borders around images and the big blocky links make the top of the page feel too heavy
  • Category and single post pages missing blog title

Fixes to date:

Tags: I replaced the function call for tags that was in the theme to specify the following: the_tags('<ul class="pmeta-tags"><li>Tags: ',',</li> <li>','</li></ul>');. This basically made the tag a true unordered list with a new class, pmeta-tags, and inserted a comma and a space after each item in the list except the last one. Then I edited the stylesheet to define ul.pmeta-tags as display:inline. So the tags now displays as a comma separated list. I tried a different, very handy, css-only approach (example) first, but the browser didn’t pick up the specified commas or spaces as cues to break the line, and so the content disappeared off the right hand side of the box.

Recent comments: I used the CSS-only example cited above to style the comments and provide a semicolon as a separator between comments. Alas, IE doesn’t understand this approach so I’ll have to do something else here.

Blog title on other pages: I edited the header.php file to include the blog title in parens after the title of the object (post, category, etc.)

Audiophile quality music download club

Peter Gabriel’s RealWorld Studios have teamed up with Bowers & Wilkins (B&W speakers) to bring an online music club targeted at audiophiles. It’s not really a store, because the service offers only subscription pricing and the content is exclusive–up and coming musicians recording at RealWorld. The B&W Music Club is part of a set of B&W content offerings, including a blog and an article series on the industry. The intention appears to be to start conversations about bringing high fidelity audio back into the picture, after “audiophile” concerns have been pushed to the side for a few years by the prominence of MP3. It’s a smart marketing strategy for B&W, of course, who have their fingers in both the traditional high-end speaker market and the iPod accessory field; they have a strong interest in making sure that music listeners find out that uncompressed audio through premium speakers sounds much, much better than MP3s through earbuds. This is a classic market education play, in other words, and one that (presumably) has the benefit of sounding really good.

I would appear to be in the target market for this announcement; my primary home listening speakers are B&W bookshelf units (Series DM602s), and when I rip audio rather than purchasing it online, I rip losslessly to Apple Lossless Audio, the same format as the new B&W service. I think I need to check out the free trial of the service to give a better opinion on what it can provide.