Not really FOMO, but it would have been nice to have been able to attend the first meeting of Front End Study Hall yesterday. Still, glancing through the notes, especially in light of having recently pressed Publish on a redesign of one of my other sites, made me once again reassess my priorities.

Nothing specific, really. Rather the nagging thought that if I were to make the effort to build my own theme for ClassicPress, to really understand it, I would be facing far fewer problems with it being Good Enough. Two examples. I am about to try and retrofit microformats to a pretty complicated theme with lots of conditional stuff. That promises to be a horrible mess of trial and mostly error. I would also like to have a better template than the one the theme offers for search results. That too will be more error than trial.

It isn't as if the look and feel to which I aspire needs all the bells and whistles my chosen theme offers. Only two basic page layouts, with and without sidebar. Most of the complications are handled by plugins anyway. My feeling is that if I did start with a blank canvas, build it from the ground up, I would end up with something that is only as complicated as I need it to be. The current effort makes me ignore most of the complexity and, as a result, fail to be able to do much with it.

In my dream world, there would be a tool that I could point at the site as it exists now and that would return to me the bare-bones HTML and CSS underneath it, the scaffolding, as it were, stripped of everything not actually needed to construct the façade.

Maybe such a thing exists. If it does, please enlighten me.

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