Using Thesis headline filter to streamline your blog

Thesis (a WordPress theme) recently introduced a headline filter in version 1.7, which removes (not display:none, but from the document altogether) title, by-line, and date on posts you select.

This is really handy for building a blog with a style closer to Twitter or Tumblr, or a mix of styles.

Two concerns, though:

  • If we post something on the web without a date we’re doing it wrong. Thesis’ headline filter removes title, but also date, from posts. Bummer.
  • Title’s important for syndication. Even if the title’s not shown, you have to title the content for readers coming from Facebook, Google Reader, etc. Blank title, body-like titles, or title-like bodies, are sloppy. This is a problem bigger than Thesis and worth thinking about if you go with this approach.

Though I’ve seen repeated mention of this headline filter feature in Thesis 1.7, I  had a heck of a time finding it.

The secret: filters are only available to developers. Ew.

Fortunately what I think is a common scenario, hiding the headline of posts in a certain category, can be done with a cookie cutter. Here’s an example:

  1. Create a new post category or use an existing one (I’m using category “bits”)
  2. Edit the file /wp-content/themes/thesis_17/custom/custom_functions.php. Insert (carefully):

    function shown_headlines()
    return (!in_category('bits'));
    add_filter('thesis_show_headline_area', 'shown_headlines');

    and replace ‘bits’ with your category.

For more complicated criteria, you might look through the “is_” functions in WordPress Function Reference and consult your local WordPress or PHP fiend.

If you want to recycle motor oil…

… don’t mix it with gasoline. (As we’ve done in our “memories of lawn-mowings past” bad gas & used oil container.)

Says Boise’s “Curb It” recycling program, emphasis mine:

Used motor oil can be recycled curbside. Up to two gallons per household per week can be collected. The oil must be placed in a non-returnable, transparent plastic container so the contents can be seen. Label the container “used motor oil” and place it next to (not inside) your trash and recycling carts. Oil should NOT be mixed with gasoline or antifreeze, otherwise it cannot be recycled. Used oil that is mixed with these products will need to be disposed of at one of the household hazardous waste collection sites.

Usability: The unclose button

Elevator door open and close buttons in this style don’t work for me:


Open and closing doors don’t have a vertical line. A vertical line represents a future where doors are closed. The buttons say:

Imagine what’s done is done, but we can go back in time: would you unclose, or close even more?

I suspect the writers of the do-over & button-pushing oriented TV show LOST like elevators.

If what the The New Yorker says is true, that the close button is often a placebo:

In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button’s power. It’s a little like prayer. Elevator design is rooted in deception—to disguise not only the bare fact of the box hanging by ropes but also the tethering of tenants to a system over which they have no command.

then pushing both buttons is a good appendage-saving strategy, and might work as well as trying to figure these buttons out in a hurry.