I decided yesterday that I was going to set up a Dev Blog at work so I could keep my head on straight and quit forgetting all the important things I should be writing down but never do. Being that we (try to be) are a Microsoft shop, I figured it would be prudent to go with a .NET solution over using WordPress on a Windows Server. I know it can be done, and quite well too – especially since it would not be a real production site anyway – but I am a good drone.
SubText is the best solution out there right now for ASP.NET blogging, so I downloaded it and installed it. After pissing with App Pools and IIS for about a half hour, I got it up, and the 5 step installation went quite smooth – and away I went. Quickly realizing that most of the default skins suck. And I mean SUCK! Not just a little either; full-on get-down Gorilla style suckage. So I decided to find a good CSS based template from the WordPress world and port to work with the SubText engine. I figured it would be a gigantic pain in the jar, and braced myself for a Plutonium based headache.
It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.
I was wrong. Way wrong. It is actually (all thing considered) pretty simple, and the first theme I converted didn’t take more than couple of hours to get more than half-way decent. I started with Fresh 0.8, and with my <CTRL> key finger primed and ready, started to hack apart the .NET templates and piece together my new theme. The hardest part of the whole thing was just figuring out where all of the various bits were hiding in the skin controls that I was modifying from SubText – after that it was all butter.
The folks that did the original design, creating the pages for this theme did a great job with the WordPress side of it. So that made my job a lot easier – kudos to you folks for a great job. I uploaded the skin files that I have thus far, so anyone is free to use them. The one thing I should say is I striped out the credits from the theme since I will not be using the design so much as the layout of the main boxes. Everything else is going to change, but I needed to start somewhere – and this was it. So if you do use, please give credit where credit is due. Rupert Morris is the listed author of this theme.
Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so it is not 100% complete, and never will be. I don’t intend to use the theme as-is – so I will not finish this one. I am working on another one though, that I will make as close as possible. I will post that theme as well, but when it is complete. I am about 90% of the way there now – so it won’t take me long. I will also post a detailed explanation of what I had to change in order to get the new theme to work from the transfer to SubText from WordPress. The new theme, Bonsai-Grafixx 1.1, is another excellent theme – head to toe; again making my job porting it easier.
The biggest thing to keep in mind at this point is to watch the div ordering on the compiled page when the blog loads – that’s where everything will get a bit screwy. You will most likley have to work in the CSS quite a bit more too to get all of the styles to display correctly in SubText. .NET is quite different from PHP, and quite honestly I think it’s a superior development platform. But I’m biased I guess, since that is what I work in day to day, that and Flash….
I will get the new theme finished up in the next week or so, so look for the tutorial page soon.