Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.

I’m developing a Tumblr theme as a way to force myself into writing clean and efficient code (please don’t look at this blog’s source code, PLEASE). It’s been fun and I’m learning a lot, but holy cow, it’s so time-consuming. I spent my entire yesterday off just typing up the framework and ensuring every conceivable variable was included. Most of the time was figuring out what I did wrong, and there’s still some issues to be dealt with. I made a to-do list of all the features I want and bugs that need fixing. The more I work on it, the longer the list gets.

I’m also using the project to improve my very novice JavaScript knowledge. I’m still not so comfortable with it, but I’ve read numerous times online that the best way to improve is to do a project. Yeah, well I tried to write my own script and I failed spectacularly. On the bright side, I am able to monkey patch an existing script so there’s that. I’d very much like to get better. I just don’t know where to start.

I don’t know when I’ll finish the theme, or if I’ll even release it. It’s strictly a learning project for now. I could work on it today, but I’m so burned out from staring at lines and lines of code literally the entire day yesterday. I wanna go outside and be somewhere wide open because I’ve been stuck in these four walls for over 24 hours. Plus, I have bronchitis so I should probably rest up until it clears.

Another thing on my to-do list is fix this site’s navigation. The slidebar is pretty cool, but it’s not exactly user-friendly. One thing after another, yo.


  1. Have you tried running your blog through the w3 validator? That seems to always help me figure out where my coding went wrong, you know, figuring out that you forgot to close a div tag or something of the sort.

    I’m in serious need of revamping to get on this darn responsive layout train too!! I think appearance wise (I haven’t peaked your source code), your layout is great. User friendly. Easy on the eyes & straight forward.

    The biggest beeetch with coding is the fact that it takes all daaang day like you said. I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT. No wonder people pay others to do this stuff for them hahaha.

    Some suggestions for you when coding: use chrome, right click “inspect element” & there you will be able to figure out where you went wrong. You can even edit the coding to see it appear in real time what your coding problems are. I know I’ve fixed a bunch of things like alignment & what not (perfectionist here, need to get it down right to the very last pixel) with “inspect element”.

    Let me know how that Tumblr coding goes though. I’m in need of a Tumblr theme myself!

    ALSO with the menu thing: just make sure that the menu is visible when it’s at full scale. Most people don’t even know what the 3 lines are.

    One thing at a time. Get well soon! Rest up!

    1. Oh yeah, I’m good on closing divs and such (I indent everything to a fault 8D). It’s Tumblr that’s the problem most of the time. Some variables only work on primary blogs and I was testing on an alternate one, so I had to make a second account just to see everything. Also, I can’t spell my CSS properties. A lot of my debugging can be cut down if I just knew how to freaking spell font-family and color.

      I actually like Firefox for inspecting elements! I find their dev tools more user-friendly, although Chrome does have a device emulator. I tend to have both open when I’m coding.

      I didn’t want a navigation bar, but it really is the best way to set up navigation I think. I’ll have to figure out where to place it. @_@

      Also, my code for this site is a mess. Do not look! XD

  2. A few years ago, I made it a self-project to code a Tumblr layout too. But you’re totally right, it’s incredibly time consuming! Tumblr has those block things and I think the thing I struggled with most was using CSS to get the look I wanted for each type of block. It was a lot of trial and error and man, was it a booger.

    How are you teaching yourself Java by the way? Have you ever heard of I think that’s what it’s called anyways. It’s a great way to learn new types of code languages, etc.

    I hope you do publish the Tumblr layout! Or maybe a tutorial/rundown of the process it took you to code it? I’d love to read that someday so maybe I too can take it on!

    1. Yes, I learned Javascript at Codecademy! Very easy and I like that it’s interactive. I’ve moved on to Codewars now. I can’t believe I passed the initial test to make an account. XD I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I have a few simple projects in mind for practice. Nothing too fancy, just like a to-do list or something.

      I’m back and forth on my theme. Because on one hand, I worked pretty hard on it and I should be able to publish it. On the other hand, what if it’s too generic or no one likes it? I’ve never released a public theme before. I’m pretty nervous.

  3. I’ve managed to make about two max. Tumblr themes, but they’re definitely not perfect. It’s hard to get the use of their shortcodes down and work them into the CSS and options and such, methinks.

    Have you ever heard of Codecademy? They have ‘tracks’, or lessons, on various programming languages/tools, and the tracks are usually easy to follow.

    Good luck on the theming, and feel better soon!

    1. Tumblr blocks have a steep learning curve. I still find myself referring to the theme docs a lot. And yes, I learned JS at Codecademy! It was really easy and helpful.

      Thank you! I’m feeling much better now. Still coughing but it’s not as bad as before.

  4. I once tried creating a Tumblr theme but got lost in the variables especially because of all the various post types. I used to use Chyrp and it works the same way, or similarly, I think. You kind of have to account for every possibility and that is what frustrated me. I had some up on my website but I think the quality was really low. It is good you are using it as a learning exercise though, that is the most important thing. :)

    If you are looking for Javascipt/jQuery stuff, and know the basics (sounds like you do!), then I recommend this 30 Days to learn jQuery video series. It helped me out, even though I haven’t gone through the lot.

    I have to admit it took me an extra few seconds to find your navigation. I like it, but I suppose it just needs to be more obvious, haha. :)

    1. Thank you so much for the link! I’ll take a look at it as soon as I can. :D

      Yeah, I was worried people won’t get the hamburger menu! I really should change it and go back to a standard navbar. This week, hopefully.

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