Download: Ahimsa 3.3
September 6th, 2010 by ravi

The only three things guaranteed in life are death, taxes… and your periodic update to the Ahimsa theme. Fortunately only the first two are injurious to your health, while the surgeon general actively encourages use of the Ahimsa theme by pregnant women and children ages four and above.

So, here it is, Ahimsa 3.3!

What’s new?

  • Bottom bar fading in index page now uses jQuery
  • Show permitted HTML tags when comment box gains focus
  • Edit/Reply for Comments hide/display on hover
  • Added a download box style (use a div with class=downloadbox and within that a link to the download with class=download)
  • New “comment guide” option to display some help text next to comment box
  • Fixed comment date/time display weirdness
  • Added Google “Droid Sans” font as fallback for “Trebuchet MS”
  • Converted all relative font specifications to absolute pt format
  • Lightened blockquote and list backgrounds in default skin
  • Removed first letter styling for post content
  • Changed behaviour of blockquotes and lists not to stretch background under jacent elements
  • Handle lists within blockquotes by not styling them
  • More spacing between posts in the index/home view
  • Fixed the “single pixel offset” problem when sidebar is collapsed
  • Made background colour more consistent during slidebar slide in/out
  • Fixed an issue where post bottom bar background colour did not extend all the way to the bottom
  • CSS cleanup and many, many small fixes
  • Tested on Firefox 3.6.3, Safari 5, Chrome 5.0
Shortcodes in Ahimsa for WordPress
May 31st, 2010 by ravi

For a couple of releases now, the Ahimsa theme for WordPress has included two shortcodes which I have been too lazy to document, and this post attempts to rectify that.

Quick Fancybox Gallery

If you are not happy with just simple old Lightbox for displaying images (and image galleries), then the Fancybox is what you need, and happily for you, and using Fancybox in your blog is trivial with the Ahimsa theme using the qfgallery shortcode.

Here’s what it’s supposed to do:

QFGallery Shortcode Demo

And here’s how:

    [qfgallery title=”Photographs from Spain” scale=”0″ orient=”landscape” float=”left|right”]
    URL to image 1|title1
    URL to image 2|title2
    URL to image 3|title2

As is perhaps obvious, what the above does is create a thumbnail gallery (the thumbnails are sized at 128×128 pixels) of the three images, and attaches the Fancybox trigger to them, so that when a thumbnail is clicked the original picture pops up in a Fancybox window (which also provides navigation).

All arguments to the shortcode are optional.

The argument scale specifies if the image should be scaled down for the thumbnail or just a 128×128 part of it should be displayed in the thumbnail (the latter is the default). This is a good time to mention that thumbnails are generated in a hacky way: they are not created at all, but are merely browser scaled down versions of the original image. I admit this is a bad idea, especially if you have lots of images, and my only defence (if it can be called that) is that I created this shortcode to make it easy for me to post a few images without having to worry about scaling them to thumbnails, or having to use WordPress’s media manager, etc.

The orient argument specifies if the thumbnails should be displayed left to right and then in additional rows if necessary (“landscape” mode, which is the default) or in a thin vertical strip with one thumbnail per row (“portrait” mode).

The float argument translates to an equivalent setting for the CSS float property. If you want the thumbnail box to be to the right of the content, use the value “right”. Etc.

You can specify a name or title for each image by adding a “|” (pipe) symbol after the URL and then the text for the title.


FAQinWay is a trivial implementation of a FAQ (a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions) in a page or post. The answers to each question is revealed below when the reader clicks on the question. For an example, see the Ahimsa FAQ page. Questions and answers are added using the FAQinWay shortcode thus:

    This is the first question
    This is an answer to the first question
    This is a second question
    Answer to the second question
Download: Ahimsa 3.2 for WordPress
May 25th, 2010 by ravi

You can now download Version 3.2 of the Ahimsa for WordPress theme from the link below, or from the site shortly (once it is approved). If you are upgrading from a version of Ahimsa older than 3.1 and you have made customisations and created custom skins, you should first upgrade to Ahimsa 3.1.1 after reading about it.

  • Tested: Safari4, Chrome 3 on Win, Chrome 5 for Mac, Firefox 3.6, IE7, IE8, Opera 10.53, PHP 4.3 and above, WP 2.8 and above
  • No longer supported: IE6, Safari < 3.1
  • Internationalisation support (potential translators: please see included POT file)
  • Rotated text in sidebar tab
  • Support for header logo
  • Changes for rounded corners on Opera 10.53 and higher
  • More robust parsing by QFGallery shortcode
  • Theme now uses jQuery bundled into WordPress
  • Removed jQuery conflicts with MooTools (and MooTools based plugins), etc
  • Sidebar show/hide effect is now “slide” rather than “fade”
  • Added hint on permitted tags when focus is on comment response form
  • New screenshot! ;-)
  • Various other fixes

I am yet to write up instructions on how to use the two shortcodes (QFGallery and FAQinway) built into Ahimsa. I will get to that as soon as I get this post out.

Screenshots: Ahimsa 3.2 for WordPress
May 25th, 2010 by ravi

Below are screenshots of Ahimsa 3.2 (download link coming next) for WordPress. The first screenshot highlights the two new visible changes (there are others under the hood): rotated text in the sidebar tab and logo support in the header. The others are screenshots of the theme as it appears on various browsers and platforms (click on image and check image title at the bottom for platform/browser information). Some of the screenshots are with a single sidebar setting and others with two sidebars — this is not an error, but a result of the screenshots being taken with different Ahimsa settings.

Ahimsa 3.2 for WordPress

IE9 to support rounded corners
March 16th, 2010 by ravi

This is a bit old (from the IE9 blog) but important and interesting news for users of my Ahimsa for WordPress theme: IE9 will support the CSS3 border-radius property, WebKit/Gecko (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) versions of which are used in my theme to render the rounded borders.

Before you break out the champagne, note that IE9 isn’t expected to hit the Internet series of pipes until 2011, and it is anybody’s guess when it will gain a sufficient share of the IE space before we can claim to share our visual experience with all browser users!

Download: Ahimsa 3.1 for WordPress
February 9th, 2010 by ravi

If you are an Indianapolis Colts fan, take heart. All is not wrong with the world, for now there is a new version of the Ahimsa theme for WordPress. Alright, okay, a new version of some WordPress theme does not equal a SuperBowl ring, but remember, you don’t get to wear a SuperBowl ring but you do get to decorate your blog as you desire!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ahimsa WordPress theme and Firefox 3.6
January 28th, 2010 by ravi

Firefox 3.6 is out and unfortunately it has unveiled a slew of small annoyances in the Ahimsa theme caused either by the browser or more likely by wrong assumptions in styling in the theme. I am running through the issues right now and expect to have a fixed release of the theme out in under two weeks.

This version will also have support for a right sidebar, and a few other interesting new features. If you have things you have wanted in the theme, now’s the time to ask!

Ahimsa for WP skin: Sarvodaya (screenshots)
September 1st, 2009 by ravi

Sarvodaya is a new skin for the WordPress Theme Ahimsa and is available bundled in the 3.0 version of the theme. Below are some screenshots of this skin.

Sarvodaya Screenshots

At long last: Ahimsa 3.0 for WP
August 31st, 2009 by ravi

Update: You can now download this version of the theme from the official WordPress site as well.

Download Ahimsa 3.0 for WordPress

Download Ahimsa 3.0 for WordPress

With apologies for all the delays, and for the incomplete features and issues that remain, I am releasing Version 3.0 of Ahimsa for WordPress.

There is a lot in this new release (hence the bump up to version 3, rather than the 2.3 that was initially planned). Here’s a summary:

First the fine print

This release includes cleanup of the stylesheet. If you have custom CSS changes or equivalent, please beware (also see my offer towards the end of this post). Your custom skins will need to be updated to the new styles. You can do that by checking the “Update Skins” checkbox in the Ahimsa Options page of the admin section of your blog, and then clicking on Save Changes. The AhrenCode supplied skins (Kind of Blue, A Grey Mood) are already updated to the new style, so this step is not required in their case. The corollary is that if you have made custom modifications to these themes, then please save them before you install this version. Finally, as of this release, there is not even a pretense of IE6 support. Sorry, its just too much work.

New Features and Fixes

  • Custom skin editing: if you created a skin in the past and were frustrated by the inability to edit it, this might be a bit of relief. You can now edit the skins you create (or have created) — the limit is that the skin has to be the current selected one. As the above fine print notes, the style sheets have now changed, so follow instructions above to first update any skins.
  • New Skin “Sarvodaya”: this update includes a new earth toned and simplistic skin called Sarvodaya. Give me your thoughts on it!
  • IE Rounded Corners: don’t get excited. This has turned out to be a horrible affair. After evaluating 10 or so JavaScript plugins and libraries, I settled on two that provide some support for rounded corners in Internet Explorer. A lot of disclaimers apply: no rounded corners for the titles, sidebar widgets, the action bubbles, etc; and an artifact: a small white section is displayed under the bottom bar of each post. If all of this is palatable to you, then visit the Ahimsa Options page and turn on IE rounded corners support. If you notice anything worse than the above, turn it off and let me know.
  • Custom modifications support: for your own CSS customisations, or JavaScript snippets and such that you may need to add to the footer, there are now two files that you can use: <code>custom.css</code> (for your style overrides) and <code>footer-custom.php</code> (for your footer snippets). The stylesheet <code>custom.css</code> is loaded last by the theme, so you can override any of the styles in this file. And since these files are external to the theme files, your modifications are safe from theme upgrades (watch out, however, that your theme update does not nuke your entire theme directory, killing your custom files!).
  • Proper Comment Reply Form AJAX behaviour: WP 2.7 introduced the feature of moving the reply box up immediately after a comment when you click to reply. That behaviour was broken in Ahimsa and has now been fixed.
  • Share your skins: this is not a change to Ahimsa itself, but if you have created a custom skin that you want to share you can now do so. See the instructions on the Ahimsa page.
  • W3C XTHML 1.0 Standard validation: many, many fixed to satisfy the W3C validator. One or three issues might persist but most are now gone. Check it out and let me know!
  • Multi-page suppport: Ahimsa did not include support for mutli-page posts. It now does.
  • Other fixes:
    • Fixed input fields in response form: The response form had ridiculously long input fields for Name, URL etc. That has now been fixed.
    • Increased line spacing: makes for easier reading for your audience.
    • New screenshot: the current one dates back to an Ahimsa 1.x release!
    • More information in the Options section
    • Fixed a bug where the date bubble in comments was getting chopped off on the right.
    • And a lot of other minor issues.

Many of you have waited patiently for this update and I hope this is worth the wait. As always, I greatly appreciate your feedback.

And if you have done customisations of the theme with which you need help, or if your skin does not update properly, etc, please do contact me and I will be glad to help.

Ahimsa for Tumblr 0.8
July 5th, 2009 by ravi

Below is the download link for version 0.8 of the Ahimsa theme for Tumblr. Note that it was rejected by the powers at Tumblr for not meeting their aesthetic standards (ouch!), so use at your own risk. Don’t know what Tumblr is? It’s a “tumblelog” service, a sort of mini-blog, for posting quick notes, pictures, etc. Another player in this space is Posterous, a fast expanding service that provides unique email based posting and commenting and a range of other great features.

Download Ahimsa 0.8 for Tumblr
Ahimsa for Tumblr
Version 0.8

If you are curious about how it looks, check out Ahren Code on Tumblr.

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