Sitestuff: Oops. I broke it.

5 O’Clock Shadow - 28 March 2007
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I really need to start keeping some sort of changelog for this site to make troubleshooting things like the current Slightbox issue a little simpler. Slightbox is the WordPress plugin that used to load images (like the 5 o’clock shadow pictures) in a nifty overlay “above” the main page when they were clicked. The key phrase there is “used to”, as sometime in the past couple of days the plugin stopped working. Instead of getting a nice, smooth image overlay, clicking on image links takes you to a new page containing just the full-sized image.

I was already aware that Slightbox wasn’t working if the image link was embedded in a list, but now it doesn’t work anywhere. I don’t know if it’s a JavaScript problem, a conflict with one of the dozen other WordPress plugins I’ve got installed, or something else I’ve managed to screw up in my endless fiddling.

The nice thing about the WordPress community is that plugin developers are generally happy to help when people encounter problems. I pinged Slightbox developer Taras Mankovski with an earlier issue I was having with the plugin and his response was not only quick, but correct. Of course, it’s one thing to say “your plugin is working but there’s a quirk that I can’t figure out” and an entirely separate thing to say “your plugin doesn’t work at all.”

On the bright side, I did fix an annoying glitch that caused the right sidebar to be rendered improperly in Internet Explorer (which I only noticed because IE is the standard browser at work). I knew that the culprit was italic text and when I Googled Internet Explorer italics CSS, the first hit was a page that described the IE/italics bug and provided a simple solution. That’s because I used the very same page when I was stomping out a similar bug in my own early attempts at WordPress theme design. I dashed off a quick note of thanks to Bruno Fassino, who wrote the page, and he sent me a note indicating the the problem has apparently been fixed in IE 7, but other italics issues have been introduced. Par for the course with IE, it seems.

Maybe if I just stopped fiddling with things, everything would be fine, but that’s just not my way; I’m going to keep adding new plugins or replacing the ones I already use with updated versions, tweaking the sidebars and the comment form and the page layout because it’s fun and interesting, even if I do wind up breaking stuff now and again.