I have spent the past couple of months working on a new site redesign for The Home Building, Renovation and Eco-Friendly blog.
This time around, I have also open-sourced the WordPress theme that powers this site so anyone can use the same theme and contribute their changes back to the community. I hope that this, as well as a number of steps including improvements to commenting and participation, will continue the blogs success and growth into 2012 and beyond. First some details about our redesign.
What is Open Source?
In production and development, open source is a philosophy, or pragmatic methodology that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product’s design and implementation details. Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code.
Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement was born to describe the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. A main principle and practice of open-source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, “blueprints”, and documentation available at no cost to the public. This is increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as biotechnology.
Where can I get this Theme?
Our WordPress Theme, Home Building Post, is hosted at GitHub.com. GitHub is a web-based hosting service for software development projects that use the Git revision control system. GitHub offers both commercial plans and free accounts for open source projects. According to the Git User’s Survey in 2009, GitHub is the most popular Git hosting site.
You can download our current version and participate in it’s development at https://github.com/ryanjohnston/Home-Building-Post.
What makes this theme special?
Our theme is built with the latest HTML5 technologies. HTML5 is a language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web, and is a core technology of the Internet originally proposed by Opera Software. It is the fifth revision of the HTML standard (created in 1990 and standardized as HTML4 as of 1997) and as of February 2012 is still under development. Its core aims have been to improve the language with support for the latest multimedia while keeping it easily readable by humans and consistently understood by computers and devices (web browsers, parsers, etc.). HTML5 is intended to subsume not only HTML 4, but XHTML 1 and DOM Level 2 HTML as well.
Following its immediate predecessors HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.1, HTML5 is a response to the observation that the HTML and XHTML in common use on the World Wide Web are a mixture of features introduced by various specifications, along with those introduced by software products such as web browsers, those established by common practice, and the many syntax errors in existing web documents. It is also an attempt to define a single markup language that can be written in either HTML or XHTML syntax. It includes detailed processing models to encourage more interoperable implementations; it extends, improves and rationalises the markup available for documents, and introduces markup and application programming interfaces (APIs) for complex web applications. For the same reasons, HTML5 is also a potential candidate for cross-platform mobile applications. Many features of HTML5 have been built with the consideration of being able to run on low-powered devices such as smartphones and tablets. In December 2011 research firm Strategy Analytics forecast sales of HTML5 compatible phones will top 1 billion in 2013.
What is the future of this blog?
I want to increase online participation, especially when it comes to eco-friendly topics, green living and the environment. I have made commenting much easier and simplified the entire process. The goal is to encourage people to submit stories and articles for publishing in exchange for links and publicity. Readers should feel that they are making an impact by joining and participating in our online community.
How to Contribute
Create an account and email email@example.com me with your account details. You will be made a ‘contributor level’ member and will be able to enter your articles or blog postings yourself. Submissions are moderated but are usually approved quickly.
Interested in Advertising?
If you would like to support this project and have a permanent advertisement on the site-wide sidebar then we have a special offer for you. We would like to sell you a 300×300 block of display advertising on our blog for a six month term, payable with PayPal. Again, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Ryan Johnston, Owner and Editor