Down the Rabbit Hole

Over the past week or so I’ve been tinkering a lot with my Arras WordPress Theme project.

Like any rabbit hole, the farther I fall into it, the more there seems to be.

I patched together the current release in a week last month. It was just to get the code operational. A quick patch version. Something I could use to get my client’s site back into operation.

Since then it’s been downloaded a few times. It turns out there were other people needing an update besides me. I even got a couple e-thank-you notes.

After the initial patch I’ve done a lot more fixing. Stuff most users won’t notice, but important stuff for further stabilizing the theme. Cleaning up code to bring it closer to the current WordPress theme standards. Rewriting code to bring it into line with best practices before launching into any development of new features and functions.

In terms of issues, I’ve got 90% of it done. The one big item I have left is the way the theme handles options. The previous developer invented his own system. WordPress has a built-in system. In order to get the theme up to WP standards, I’ve got to rewrite the whole theme options system to spec.

The options issue alone is probably twenty or thirty times the work it took for all the other issues combined, since nearly everything else in the theme hangs on which options get picked.

There’s a second smaller conundrum, too.

The previous developer has left traces in the code repository of a version that’s not referenced anywhere. As far as I can tell, that version was never released.

Ordinarily this wouldn’t be a problem, except that the version number (1.6) is the number I would have used for my next release and apparently that number is already taken.

The only way this would ever matter is if someone in some obscure corner of the internet has the mystery version available for download. So I’m going ahead with plans to use 1.6 anyway. Even if someone else does have a version 1.6 somewhere, it probably doesn’t work any more.

Mine will work. And it will be to spec. Eventually.