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If Atahualpa isn't capable of having child themes, can users still switch th

Old May 27, 2011, 06:03 PM
8 posts · May 2011
I'm gonna be blunt and ignore polite speech here, because I've been screwing with my theme all day, frustrated that I can't solve some simple problems with my site. I am in a bad mood. I started using Atahualpa yesterday, and I have a serious gripe with it: no child theme support. Everyone keeps repeating the ideal that Atahualpa is "too good" for child themes, that they are unnecessary for several reasons. But I don't care.

I need my theme to have an ability for my members to switch specific styles. Nothing special, just a few colors and images-- and a emphasize that. Essentially, a really basic theme switcher. But apparently, since Atahualpa hates child themes, I have to figure out some special way to do it. What the heck.

So is there a way to allow my users to switch some colors and images with the click of a button, like a theme switcher plugin would allow, or do I have to get a new theme? Because that's what's gonna end up happening if I don't have some kind of solution. Can someone please help me?
Old May 27, 2011, 07:50 PM
lmilesw's Avatar
10,174 posts · Jul 2009
Central New York State USA
The way Atahualpa is built functions well for many but will not meet everyone's needs. All the settings are in the database which makes some things easier but having multiple Atahualpa theme styles is not one of them.

Just like some people are happy with a sedan and others want a truck with a trailer. Neither is bad that just meet different needs.

I know there are some threads where some have adapted Atahualpa to WPMU and maybe there is some info in those threads to help you.
~Larry (CNY Web Designs)
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Old May 27, 2011, 08:28 PM
BradBrown's Avatar
54 posts · Mar 2009
Child themes are a function of Wordpress itself. Any and every theme can have child themes, as long as it's running on a new enough version of WP.

I am using ATA with a child theme with no problem. There are very few scenarios where using a child theme with ATA makes sense. In my case, it's because I am using ATA on multiple sites in a WP multisite setup, and I have a custom template I only want available on one of them.
Old May 27, 2011, 10:56 PM
8 posts · May 2011
Can you please help me find some info on properly setting up a child theme in Atahualpa, then? I'm not brand new to messin' around with WordPress and themes, but I am new to making child themes. I've been reading about child themes all day but I still haven't gotten an Atahualpa child theme to work. Could someone please break it down for me?
Old May 28, 2011, 12:13 AM
BradBrown's Avatar
54 posts · Mar 2009
Instructions on creating a child theme are here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Child_Themes. Basically you just create a directory, put in a styles.css with the appropriate header plus any theme files you wish to override.

Generally in a child theme you can just update styles.css, and the new styles will get picked up. I'm not positive, but I don't think ATA loads the styles.css file at all, since the styles come from the database. If that's the case, ATA won't automatically pick up overrides you place in that file. So, you'd need to update ATA to bring in that file. (That's not the only way to make the changes I think you want, but it's probably simplest.) You'll need to add something like this to the head:

HTML Code:
	<style type="text/css" media="screen">
		@import url( <?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?> );
Pre 3.7 you could have put it in an insert in the theme options. Since version 3.7 can't handle php in inserts, I think you'll need to edit the header.php file and put it in directly. I would just put it in the main theme, though you could put an edited header.php in each of the child themes.
Old May 28, 2011, 11:10 AM
8 posts · May 2011
Alright, so I put that code in the parent Atahualpa's header.php? Where do I put it within the header.php file, and what is it doing? Is it making Atahualpa get information from, and use, the style.css from an activated child theme?
Old May 28, 2011, 12:50 PM
BradBrown's Avatar
54 posts · Mar 2009
When you said, "I'm not brand new to messin' around with WordPress and themes," I took that to mean you knew your way around PHP, (x)HTML and CSS. If you don't, doing any customization of a theme, including creation of child themes, is going to be a challenge.

The code I listed is just plain (x)html plus a wordpress function. The bloginfo function will just return the name of stylesheet for the theme. For the main theme, it will return the styles.css filename from the main theme directory. For a child theme, it will return the styles.css from the child theme's directory. More info on WP functions is in the WP codex: (http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/bloginfo)

The rest of the code wrapped around that function is the standard (x)HTML to bring in the stylesheet. If you aren't familiar with it, there are plenty of HTML and CSS tutorials out there. (Google is your friend.) I just copied that code from the 2010 theme. You could use a link instead of an @import, if you'd prefer. Either way, it needs to be put in the header.php file so it will be output between the <head> and </head>. It will be easier if you load this stylesheet after the database driven one, since in CSS, when there are duplicate identical CSS declarations the last one wins. That will make it easier to override the styles from the main theme.

I don't have 3.6.7, so I can't point you to a specific line. You can probably put it right before the closing </head>. In version 3.6.4 and earlier, PHP was supported in inserts, so you could have just put your code in either a header insert or a css insert and not edited the parent theme at all. If you'd rather go that route, you can find older versions of ATA here on the BFA site.
Old May 28, 2011, 03:16 PM
8 posts · May 2011
Alright, I added the code right before </header> in header.php for the parent Atahualpa. Then I duplicated the style.css in the parent theme and put it into a folder in the Themes directory for WordPress. I changed the theme name to my liking and added "Template: atuhualpa" inside the top comments thingy in the new style.css. I threw some extra css in there too. Like before, WordPress is recognizing my child theme, but when I activate it and clear the cache, I have no theme changes. What on earth could I have missed?

Also, like I said before, I've been reading about child themes for the last couple of days. Yes, Google is my friend, one I am already well-acquainted with. (By the by, most of the results I get link to official Atahualpa support, which generally means I'm just going to get told that Atahualpa doesn't need child themes.)

If in the end, Atahualpa doesn't work for me, are there any other WordPress "framework" themes that have liquid layout and support a left and right sidebar? I'll need an alternative if child themes don't work out.
Old May 28, 2011, 04:29 PM
BradBrown's Avatar
54 posts · Mar 2009
For most people's situation, "ATA doesn't need child themes" is the correct answer.

Is it possible to share a link to your site? Without seeing it in action, I'd only be guessing what the problem is. My first guesses would be a caching issue or a problem with your CSS, such as your rules aren't specific enough and are being overwridden or perhaps even a syntax error is causing them to be ignored.

My general approach would be to use the developer tools of whatever browser is your favorite. (Firefox Firebug is most popular, but IE and Chrome have similar tools built in.) With those tools, it's possible to tell things like what CSS is being loaded, what rules are applied, what rules are being overridden by other rules.
Old May 28, 2011, 04:55 PM
8 posts · May 2011
I use Firebug. Anywho, I broke my site sometime ago and I've been trying to build a new theme for it. Before I could just take a theme and modify the CSS, add a few images, and voila! a fantastic-looking site. (Because of the state of my site at current, I'd rather not link to it.) However, I had issues with my previous themes and was looking for a framework to build my own theme on. I mean, I know very little about HTML or PHP, but messing around with CSS is something I can handle. I'm just a lowly artist and blogger. Still, I used to have a really neat site.

I really like Atahualpa, but its CSS flexibility is... not enough for my needs. The CSS that shows up in Firebug doesn't even come from a style.css file (or seem to come from any other file for that matter), so I feel like I can't have anywhere near enough control over it. Are there any other WordPress framework themes that support liquid layout? I don't have the time or the mind to learn PHP. I just want to have my own CSS and have some child themes...
Old May 28, 2011, 05:10 PM
19 posts · Apr 2011
I think (thought) I was using an Atahualpa child theme. I am doing it so I can run a bbPress beta that for the most part is working ok.

Old May 28, 2011, 05:41 PM
BradBrown's Avatar
54 posts · Mar 2009
You're right, the CSS doesn't come from a file, but you do have complete control over it from the ATA admin pages. (Which is the reason most people can do everything they need in ATA without editing theme files or creating a child theme.)

Still, ATA isn't right for everyone. I haven't looked at themes in a long time. I found ATA a while ago and haven't looked back. One popular "premium" theme is Flexx (http://flexxtheme.com/). That's the one I was considering before I found ATA. I'm sure there are others, but I don't have any specific recommendations.
Old May 28, 2011, 09:42 PM
8 posts · May 2011
Actually, I found that you can't do everything with CSS within the theme options page. You can't turn the "pages bar" background black (for example), and have the actual menu link backgrounds be white. They will also be black. I looked for a long time to the solution for this. I could find none.

So finally, for the two reasons stated in this thread, I switched from Atahualpa to Suffusion. However, they seem to have an issue with flexible widths. Oh well. I can live with that...

Atahualpa still is a great theme. It's just not a great theme for very picky people, like me.
Old May 28, 2011, 10:09 PM
BradBrown's Avatar
54 posts · Mar 2009
Actually, if you'd asked, someone here could have told you how to do make the link backround different from the menu bar. You'd just need to use a CSS insert to set the link background color (or perhaps the span within the link, depending on the look you want) through a CSS insert on the "Add HTML/CSS Inserts" screen.

Anyway, I'm glad you found something you're satisfied with.
Old May 28, 2011, 10:54 PM
8 posts · May 2011
Thank you.


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