Soleil Theme for WordPress

Soleil screenshot

The Soleil theme for WordPress was based on the original creation and colors by designer Carrie Petri for other blog systems. I just mixed the PHP code and some technical ideas thowards what a blog system should be.

Althought it looks really good, Soleil is way more than eye candy. It is unique due to this main features:

  1. Localized on demand
    The blog generic control strings will appear in visitor’s language that he set on his browser. Also, all blog-specific strings as category names, post titles and personal links may have hooks for personal localizations. See bellow how to activate this feature.
  2. Widgetized sidebar
    Soleil provides all its sidebar content as widgets. If you use the WordPress Widget Plugin, you’ll be able to visually rearrange the sidebar and also visually use more widgets from a vast network of developers.
  3. Very friendly to feed readers
    Every aspect of a Soleil blog provides clear and intuitive links and icons to its feed version. Categories archive pages, comments, list of categories on the sidebar, etc. Browse my blog to see what I’m talking about.

All artwork was completely redrawed in CAD systems and in OpenOffice.org Draw to improve images quality. The vector files are included.

Other benefits of this theme are:

  1. Shiny and vibrant colors, thanks to Carrie.
  2. Certified to work on Firefox 2, IE 6 and Konqueror. This gives a clue it will look good in any other browser.
  3. Efficient, yet well balanced use of the entire screen.
  4. Intuitive icons for reply, trackback, blog, post and category feeds, etc.
  5. Clear visual separtion between each post, each comment, etc.
  6. Shows number of comments in evidence.
  7. Direct links to post and comment editing (for administrator only).
  8. Includes a style for printing that hides parts of the page irrelevant to this media.
  9. Provide list of links with icons to popular feed readers.

Download the theme archive, unzip it in your [WORDPRESS_ROOT]/wp-content/themes directory, and select it in the Presentation tab of your WordPress admin interface. Organize the sidebar widgets (if you use the recomended Widgets Plugin) on the admin interface, Presentation -> Sidebar Widgets.

Soleil Predefined Style Classes

Soleil provides some CSS classes that I heavily use in my posts:

photo
To be used on image tags. Add margins, padding and a slim border. Use it like this:

<img class="photo" style="float right" …
command
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a computer command in evidence. Use it like this:

<span class="command">ls -al</span>
programlisting and screen
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a box with special fixed size font as a computer output or programlisting. Adds scrollbars if content is too wide, to not breake your layout. Usage:

<pre class="programlisting"> 
	// sourcecode of a program 
	code { 
		Some code 
	} 
</pre>

or

<pre class="screen"> 
	bash$ ls -al 
</pre>
filename
From the docbook series and for technical writers, renders a filename in evidence. Use it like this:

<span class="filename">/bin/kdb</span>
xmlbutton
An XML button maker, the one very popular on blogs etc. To get a button like My XML button, use as:

<a class="xmlbutton" href="http://someplace">My XML button</a>
articleinfo
Creates a nice may-be-floating box for you to show some information about the post. The box will appear in evidence but outside the stream of the text. See an example on this post. Usage:

<div class="articleinfo" style="float: right">Some info about this article.<div>

You should also use <h4> as the header for subtitles inside posts.

Displaying Links Correctly on Sidebar

Many blogs that use Soleil have their links looking bad on their sidebar. To fix this, you should go to your blog admin interface, select Links->Link Categories and edit each link category’s properties in a way that each item will be wrapped into an HTML <li> tag.

For example, my blog categories have Before Link: <li> and After Link: </li>

Soleil Localization and Internationalization

Soleil’s default language is english, and is currently localized to portuguese.
To localize Soleil to you language, go to soleil/languages and copy the theme-pt.po (portuguese language) file to theme-YOURLANGUAGECODE.po and edit it to fit your language needs. The file format is very intuitive and it contains all generic messages the theme uses.

You can also localize your blog specific strings as your category names, blog name, blog description, and even some posts titles. For this you have to edit personal-YOURLANGUAGECODE.po in the same way.

To compile a .po file, on Linux do this:

bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o theme-YOURLANGUAGE.mo theme-YOURLANGUAGE.po 
bash$ msgfmt -c -v -o personal-YOURLANGUAGE.mo personal-YOURLANGUAGE.po

The .mo files must be located under soleil/languages/ while the .po don’t have to be under your blog installation, live them in your PC only.

To activate on demand localization based on visitor’s prefered language, ensure your wp-config.php file contains this:

define ('WPLANG', substr($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE'], 0, 2));

Enjoy.

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