The WordPress theme (software) that creates the look and feel of this site is called Skimmed Milk. I developed it by recoding White As Milk by Azeem Azeez and he should take the credit for its elegantly simple design. If you’re not a WordPress blogger then what follows is unlikely to be of much interest to you, but if you are one and this minimal theme appeals then you’re very welcome to pick up a copy of the latest version here:
This theme requires that your WordPress installation is at least at version 2.3. If you’re running an older version of WordPress then you should use one of the previous two releases of Skimmed Milk available below. And if you’d like a version in Danish or Dutch then read on.
[Note this theme previews blank in WP2.6 although it works fine. Until WordPress come up with a fix a workaround is available below.]
Installing themes is easy: WordPress provide full instructions, but basically just open up the zip file and put the resulting folder (with its contents, of course) into the wp-content/themes folder of your site and turn it on in the presentation/themes page of your admin panel. You can then configure widgets for your sidebar using the presentation/widgets panel if you like. The widgets with names starting with Skimmed are specially designed to fit in with this theme.
Feel free to modify the code if and as you wish: I only request that you leave the link to Skimmed Milk in the footer, or at least politely reference the heritage of your theme somewhere if it’s heavily altered. And, of course, do continue do let me know if any of this is either appreciated or requires repair.
What’s new in 1.2?
Skimmed Milk 1.2 (which requires WordPress version 2.3 or later) is a minor update to 1.1. The look is identical except for the sidebar (and therefore the whole page) being a touch wider. The biggest news is that the theme now displays tags with posts, tag support having been integrated into wp2.3. A Skimmed tag cloud widget is also included that offers a little more control over sizes than the default one.
The other major change is that the internationalisation (which I thought I’d done in 1.1) is now fixed and tested. Many thanks to Guy Sie in the Netherlands for pointing out how I’d screwed this up in 1.1. If you wish to localise the theme (translate it into your own language) you don’t have to alter any of the files; instead you use the arcane ways of gettext to create a .mo file for your language or dialect. A template file (skimmed.pot) is provided to start you on your journey. Only left-to-right languages are catered for by my style sheet, though.
Guy Sie has made his Dutch language translation available here. First obtain and install SM1.2 as normal, then download the files linked from Guy’s page and place these in the skimmedmilk1.2 folder. Actually, only the .mo file is really necessary; the .po file is a text file you could use to create a variant Dutch version. To switch on the translation you need to edit your wp-config.php file to alter your WPLANG definition line to read:
define ('WPLANG', 'nl_NL');
And now (in March ’08) a new Danish translation is kindly being made available by Mads, and my Danish isn’t so good but I get the impression that another Danish version is ready for the taking here. Seems Danish translations are like busses; you wait for ages then two come along at once!
What about 1.1?
Skimmed Milk 1.1 (requiring WordPress 2.1 or later) is a fairly extensive reworking of 1.0 but the look of pages rendered with it should be little changed from the previous version other than the columns being a fraction wider in order to accommodate embedded YouTube videos (or any other 425-pixel-wide objects for that matter). Download it from here:
The most exciting change is that you can now use Widgets (integrated into WordPress in version 2.2) to place items such as a calendar or a recent comments list into your sidebar. Three Skimmed Milk variants of standard widgets are supplied for enhanced compatibility: Skimmed archives, Skimmed calendar and Skimmed search. The archives widget can show yearly archives as well as an optionally limited number of months. There are hundreds of third-party widgets to choose from too.
Pages print better, especially from IE and Firefox, and they print without the sidebar and other interactive clutter that is of little use on paper.
Some “attachments”, such as large images or video or audio files should now be presented more appropriately, although I think WordPress’s support for these is a little confusing and half-hearted as yet.
The code has been fully internationalised [er.. actually not, see 1.2 above], so that anyone wishing to create a non-English version (or just a differently phrased one) should be able to do so without hacking a single one of my files. Repeated chunks of code have been abstracted into functions in the new functions.php file so easing further customisation. Finally, in the interests of modernity I’ve tried to seek out and update calls to deprecated functions (hence the requirement for WordPress 2.1+).
And the original, 1.0?
If you like living in the past, the 1.0 version and the story of its creation are both available here.