Nuketown Redesign Update, September 2012

It’s the little things that kill you. Most of the broad strokes of the Nuketown Redesign are done: I have template for pages, nodes, microcontent, and blocks, and the site renders under the new theme without any major errors. Since last month my work has focused on building out the nooks and cranies of the theme. It’s stuff like block headers, the “read more” links, and sidebar bulleted lists.

In short, the little stuff … and it’s time consuming. Each component takes about two hours to knock out (though in the case of captions for images that’s more like 8 hours … and I’m still not done) as I tweak css and tweak template files. It is satisfying, in that each small piece that I complete brings its own sense of accomplishment but man, there are a lot of pieces.

I was distracted from my theming adventures by needing to re-jigger how Nuketown 7 handles Twitter updates but that landed in a good place.

My next two goals are to nail down how to do image captions in Drupal 7 (which is a blog post for another day) and to format the comments block. After that the big question will be do I go with what I’ve got and roll out the custom home page later, or do I keep pressing on, knowing that if I wait the new Drupal 7 site won’t launch until December 2012?

I’d love to get Nuketown on to Drupal 7 sooner rather than later. We use Drupal 7 extensively at work, and frankly it gives me a headache whenever I have to try and navigate Drupal 6’s serpentine administration menus. Upgrading would also let me shakeout the bugs I have in the initial version of the theme before launching into the more complicated home page. It would also allow the site to immediately start leveraging its new social media powers, which in turn could lead to a nice bump in traffic.

And yet … I really need to learn how to build a non-Drupal-looking, Views-driven home page. It’s essential for one of my projects at work (which is, thankfully, less complicated than the Nuketown one) and I really like the look of the new design. To move ahead with the upgrade without it would be like building Frankenstein’s monster, but leaving off the head.

I think I’m going to give myself until mid-October to make that decision. Work and family life will be crazy busy between now and then, so its best to focus on all that little stuff and punt the big decision to a time when I’m not so busy.

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