New blog theme — some posts broken for now

I’ve changed (well, more specifically, updated) the WordPress “theme” used on my blog. I was using the theme called Twenty Ten, now I’m using the one called Twenty Eleven.

Given their names you’d really expect them to be compatible, except they aren’t. Lots of the visual formatting bits and pieces are broken, which on a technically-savvy blog matters quite a bit.

The two different themes are incompatible in what CSS tags they use for multitudes of things. Examples include monotype text (<tt> vs. <code>), how header sections are handled/rendered (i.e. <h1> vs. <h2>), and not supporting <b> (should be <strong> but that’s mainly my own fault).

It looks like <em> renders/behaves differently. Also, text in table headers (e.g. <th>) also look super wonky, font-wise, but there isn’t anything I can do about that. Finally, it appears that WordPress.com has again changed the SyntaxHighlighter thingus, so now some of the attributes to the {code} (in brackets not braces) plugin are named differently than before.

I’m cleaning as much of this up as I can, but it’s an incredibly tedious process. It requires me to go through each and every post, one by one, changing what needs to be changed, proofread everything, rinse lather repeat until finished. It mandates a lot of switching back and forth between the mouse and the keyboard; I’m about 1/3d done and my fingers and wrists hurt. It also doesn’t help that Firefox lacks a “Replace/Replace All” feature as part of its “Find” when editing text in a <textarea>.

Like I said: tedious.

So if some posts of mine look odd/strange, particularly older ones — yeah, I know, I’ll get to ’em.

Oh, and you might be wondering why I changed themes at all: because the SyntaxHighlighter plugin/extension here at WordPress.com was using a weird/bizarre font but only for certain characters (like capital M and some others). Entire thing smelled of bad/broken CSS, meaning someone somewhere changed something key/critical (probably some CSS class name within the main WordPress.com style structure) but then didn’t migrate/upgrade the older themes to import it or refer to that class name. You know, all of this nonsense is solvable if WordPress.com used an “abstracted” formatting language (think MediaWiki) and then require all theme authors to use the same tags universally — and then document all that for everyone. Web anything today, especially software, is such an absolute cluster. Ugh, I’d better not start on that rant… ;P