WordPress 2.2 broke my theme. I just upgraded to the newest version and suffered a setback when I found that the theme I was running is slightly incompatible with how WordPress uses widgets. See, if you know much about WordPress blogs, you realize that most themes feature widgets, which are useful little gadgets that you can drag and drop around in your sidebar to change the functionality. A few people (mostly developers of the popular K2 theme and its derivatives) decided to use something different for managing stuff in the sidebar, and they called their stuff modules. So, modules and widgets…the same, but not. The main problem is that the two are utterly incompatible. Enable widgets on your blog and the modules break. I personally like the modules better, but apparently WordPress decided to go with implementing widgets. No surprise there considering the widgets were originally developed by Automattic, the company responsible for bringing WordPress to the masses.
Anyways, the theme I was originally using was Unsleepable, which is based off of K2 and thus uses modules. It’s actually a version that was released a while back and then taken off the developer’s site due to bugs. I managed to fix my copy and it served me well. However, today when I upgraded to WordPress 2.2 from 2.1, I noticed one big problem: all my module configuration was gone, and there was no way to get it back. The little menu tab that let me mess with the theme’s modules wasn’t there at all. There was something new, though: a widgets tab.
In previous versions of WordPress (from about 1.5 to 2.1), you had to install a plugin to enable widget functionality, and that only worked on themes that were widget-ready. As of 2.2, the widget plugin is essentially built right in, which is nice for most people, since most themes use widgets. Since my theme used modules, the widget functionality broke the theme. As far as I can tell, there’s no easy way to disable widgets.
Due to this, I’ve switched to another theme, Redoable. This theme is also based off of K2 and uses modules, but I’ve found that it’s a lot nicer-looking than Unsleepable when I can’t change the modules. The base sidebar stuff is just what I need, and it’s a little newer than the other theme. Hopefully as time goes on, something will be done about the widgets. I’d mess with it myself, but I’ve no clue where to start. As knowledgeable as I am about WordPress, I’m no good at editing PHP to the extent that it would be needed. I’d probably end up screwing up my whole installation, and I personally think a half-working blog is better than a non-working blog.
EDIT: I spoke too soon. Not five minutes after I posted this did I come across a handy little plugin which disables widgets in 2.2. I need to learn to look before I speak. Anyways, with all things put back as they were, I’m back with the Unsleepable theme. I’m tempted to permanently switch to Redoable, but the sidebar modules still aren’t working on that (I’m not sure if they ever were), so it’s the tried and true for now. The pink is starting to get to me, though.