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WordPress Theme Kubrick K2 Review

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WordPress is a free, well-structured blog publishing software. One of its sophisticated features is the Kubrick template. It is an easy to install and customizable open source template.

Open source is a programming code that can be read, viewed, modified and distributed by anyone who wants to. Open source allows the user to make whatever changes he sees fit and releases the results as long as it is under the same terms as he received it. Kubrick comes bundled with WordPress as the default style.

WordPress Theme Kubrick K2 is an advanced template, a WordPress modification. It is developed by Michael Heilemann, Chris J. Davis, Zeo, Steve Lam and Ben Sheratt. It is sort of an improved version of Kubrick. WordPress handles logistics such as verifying users, receiving and sending data to and from the database and provides the user with the backend administration interface. K2, on the other hand, is the front end of WordPress. Its main job is to display data fetched through WordPress in the exact way at the exact time. K2 is what reaches the readers of a blog. K2 is a notch higher than the basic Kubrick because it serves not only the readers but the administration of the blog as well.

Upon installation of WordPress, the default theme is Kubrick. Say, after you have posted a couple of entries, you soon realized that you need to keep better track of the comments left by readers. To solve the problem, you download Brian’s Latest Comments plug-in. A plug-in is a programming script that adds functionality to your blog. This feature enhances already available feature or add them to your blog. WordPress offers an easy way to allow plug-ins to your blog. From the Administration Panel, there is a Plug-in Page. Just upload the plug-in to WordPress Plug-in Directory. Simply activate it from the Plug-ins Management SubPanel and the plug-in is ready. If you want to change your default style to K2, it takes care of everything. It can support a range of widely used plug-ins. All you have to do is upload and activate the plug-in, sit back and watch it work.

For a unique and beautiful looking blog, K2 has sub-themes called CSS styles. CSS or Cascading Style Sheets is a programming language that specifies how a blog page is presented. It allows web designers to create formatting and layout for a blog independently of content. CSS files are placed in a “styles” directory. Any CSS file in the directory can be selected from a drop down menu in the K2 “Options Panel” and can then be used to overwrite the default CSS in K2′s styles.css. You can also distribute your own CSS styles for other K2 users. K2 will automatically show the information about your style in the footer of the blog using it.

In K2′s “Options Panel” which is under “Presentation” you can also upload and manage custom headlines aside from selecting CSS styles. You can write a blurb or a short publicity notice about yourself for the front page and turn the AJAX features on and off. AJAX is a programming language that allows your Web browser to communicate with the server without having to reload the blog page you are currently viewing. Through AJAX, it becomes easier and faster to work with Web applications.

K2 has several major AJAX-powered features. Live commenting enables readers to leave comments without having to reload the page. LiveSearch does not require set up or code editing. You can type your search query and immediately have the result. LiveSearch integrates directly with Rolling Archives, a navigation method which allows you to navigate through archives and search results without having to reload the page. K2′s JavaScript code is less likely to break across browsers and hides complicated mechanics behind readable code. LiveSearch and Rolling Archives are highly customizable and can even be brought to your own template if you want to. All these can be done in the Options Page.

Sidebar Modules also comes bundled with K2. This allows you to totally customize your sidebar whatever way you deem best. Because the code is modular, created with standardized units, you can either write your own modules or allow plug-in writers to supply their own. You can freely drag and drop modules onto and off the sidebar. The Sidebar Modules also support WordPress Widgets. K2 also includes an Asides feature. If you want to use Matt’s Asides, K2 can implement them for you plus allows you to choose whether you want them inline or on the sidebar. If you want to have comments on a steady blog page or draw up an archives page, K2′s page templates make these easy.

K2 also provides you with relevant edit links for posts and comments, welcomes back previous commenters and make sure the readers get all the information they need when they need them. K2 can detect multiple-user blogs and shows author only when multiple authors are available. K2 allows the comments of the author of an entry to be highlighted.

While K2 has great backend functionality, there are downsides or major stumbling points going against WordPress Theme Kubrick K2. For one, development is still in the alpha stage, thus there are some pretty serious bugs to fix. Refrain from using K2 unless you understand what an alpha version is. There are likely to be plenty of bugs and the feature set and design are still in complete. In the alpha stage of development, each minor point release (i.e. 1.0 to 1.1) would mean significant update to the structure of the style. A letter increment (increase), on the other hand, (i.e. 1.1a to 1.1b) would mean a minor bug has been fixed on the previous release. A major increment (i.e. Alpha One to Alpha Two) would mean some major new features added or big changes to the code.

When the style reaches beta stage, there are only some minor improvements and bug fixes before the release, candidates should be feature complete and few bugs left only. Therefore, expect serious bugs as K2 is still in the alpha stage. There are a couple of bug fixes along the way so it is advised for anyone planning to upgrade to wait awhile for more bugs to be found and fixed before upgrading.

If you attempt to install the upgrade, strange errors occur when you play around with the Options Page. When you click on the sub-tab below the Presentation tab, a plain text that says “cannot load http://functions.php” error occurs. The Links Option Page does not work too. Links cannot be deleted. Hours of configuring K2 still proved futile. There is no blogroll and even the sidebar cannot be found. It is also such a bother having to move away from the main screen just to select a previous post one is looking for.

I guess all these downsides are to be expected as K2 is still in the development stage. Hopefully, a final version, more user-friendly, is in the can.

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  • Mark

    Unfortunately, K2 doesn’t seem to recognize page templates. I’ve uploaded several to the theme directory and they still don’t show up as options when I edit a page.

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