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Updates to ‘Stillness’ and ‘Footnotation’

Some notes on the recent updates to the Stillness theme and the Footnotation plugin.

Sometime last year I released an open source theme called Stillness, based on Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits 2. And a couple of months back I took over development of a fork of the fd-footnotes plugin,  which I call Footnotation. Both these softwares have seen fair use given their niche markets and this weekend I finally got around to pushing updates to both of them.

Stillness

If you have not seen Stillness, you can visit the demo website and take a look. The philosophy behind the design is zen minimalism and clutter-free functionality. There is just enough for the design to have character and nothing superfluous. A lot of people did like it, not least because Leo highlighted it on the zh2 tumblr around the time of its initial release.

The only problem with the theme back then was that the menu was not fully responsive. Now, perhaps a tad later than it should have been, it scales down to mobile devices using the open source responsive-nav javascript. On my end all is well. I should have got to work on this earlier, but of late I have been receiving tens of e-mails requesting this update so I finally dragged myself along and got it done. And now everyone is happy; or so I hope.

I understand that Stillness is not something that appeals to everyone, but it ties in with my long desire to make something that is starkly minimal but fully functional and, above all, puts words front and centre and celebrates the art of writing.

If you decide to develop the idea further, the code is open source but if you do take something all the way to completion, drop me a word as I would enjoy taking a look.

The idea of the design has always been that it should work out of the box, so a one-click install should get you set up and you can forget about everything else and focus on writing with absolutely nothing but your words looking blissful on your screen. You should not need it, but if you do, you can find detailed instructions on using Stillness in the article that was published earlier, announcing its release.

Footnotation

This is another niche software I released two months ago that allows you to use footnotes on the web with a simple syntax: enveloping, numbered square brackets. The code takes care of the rest, pulling the content and displaying it at the bottom of your article and providing a nice superscripted reference number1.

Once again, I realise that not everyone can find use for this but I do see that a lot of science-based websites can make good use of it. I use it personally on this website and we have started using it on Physics Capsule as well. You can find it on Github as well as in the official WP Repository. There also exists a homepage for the plugin right here on this website.

Pushing from Github to the repo is a pain (at least for me either because I cannot dedicate enough time for this or because I am somewhat of a dullard) so I doubt I will be maintaining a copy manually on Github. I use svnX instead for subversioning — is that even a word? — which is nice but, as I am sure we can all agree, it can do with some work. In fact, when you are not a full-time developer, anything that keeps you from getting carried away in the Terminal is a good thing.

Right now about one-hundred-and-fifty-odd installations of Footnotation exist, which, for a period of sixty days is not bad. It is about one-hundred-and-forty-eight more than I expected but the world can be pleasantly surprising sometimes.

Who knows when I will be pushing the next updates. I will try my best to do so when I have interesting ideas and/or maintenance updates in the pipeline, but, at least, you can rest assured that I will not be abandoning any of these anytime soon.

  1. And the reference number is automated.
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