[geeklog-devel] New GL default theme

=MF=Geiss geiss at midnightforce.com
Sun Oct 14 02:51:42 EDT 2007

Hi all,

I didn't receive any feedback on my previous thoughts re: a new GL 
default theme, so I decided to go ahead and do a mockup (since a picture 
is worth a 1000 words :-) ). Please check it out at 
http://geiss.getmyip.com/gl141/ and give me your thoughts.

I am also wondering if anyone with admin rights to CVS has added the 
XHTML changes submitted by  mystral-kk/ /in this devel email: 
. This would be a big help in moving forward with new themes.


Eric "Geiss" Warren

=MF=Geiss wrote:
> Hi all,
> Long time lurker, first time contributor. Go easy! :-)
> It sounds like the real question is, does one bite the bullet now or 
> later? Personally, I would like to see now. XHTML and CSS layouts are 
> the way to go IMHO. The landscape is changing rapidly, and I know 
> everyone hates to hear it, but GL's layout shows its age more and more 
> every day. If the steps aren't taken now, then when? If one waits 2-3 
> releases, they are very realistically talking about year(s) until a 
> layout revisit.
> I have some ideas for a new default theme, basically a Frankenstein of 
> the existing Refresh_F theme (re-worked colors, etc.) and the header 
> background at http://www.bartelme.at. I also think the main site needs 
> to be re-designed to be more "surfer" friendly. Let me explain. Like 
> others have said before, the average joe coming to gl.net to check it 
> out will get their first impression (like it or not) from the way the 
> site looks. Too much info (especially text-based stuff) on the main 
> page is overwhelming. There are ways to still incorporate a lot of 
> info, but let the user experience it at their own pace. For example, I 
> like the Extras tab toward the bottom of http://complementaryduo.com/ 
> that expands and repositions itself at the top of the page. Something 
> similar could be tied into the static pages in that when you set a 
> static page to be the Extras section, its content would appear in the 
> slide-down box. Almost like a "featured" static page. Also, more block 
> real estate could be saved by moving login/my account info into a 
> slide-down header similar to http://www.builtbybuffalo.com. I would be 
> willing to proceed with work on a new theme, and gl.net re-layout, if 
> of course I have the blessing of the core team and the help of all the 
> wonderful people here. :-) My goal is to make GL eye catching and 
> interesting. Yes, some of the javascript I mentioned above is 
> eye-candy, but there needs to be a certain amount of it, if gl is 
> going to appeal to a wider base of users.
> GL does a lot of things right, I think a theme's functions.php file 
> should be put to more use with regards to selecting column layout, 
> etc. The person who converted the GL layout to transitional XHTML 
> already put forth a lot of effort that would be a great place to 
> start, and it sounds like Oliver is willing to put forth additional 
> backend effort to make it a reality. I see a need for a developer road 
> map, as organization of teams and a clear vision for the future of GL 
> are lacking. But other than that, it sounds like there are those 
> willing to make it happen. They're just waiting for a green light 
> from... somebody.
> What time frame are we shooting for the 1.5 release? Like I said, I am 
> willing to put in some significant hours, but I don't want to see 
> things drag on forever. Again, I think a clear road map and timetable 
> would be beneficial to help everyone focus and prioritize. GL has a 
> great core, a great forum, and a great media gallery. Now it needs a 
> great look. ...maybe a new name and tagline... gl - the cms for the 
> rest of us. :-)
> Respectfully,
> Eric aka "Geiss" Warren
> Oliver Spiesshofer wrote:
>> Here is the current state of affairs regarding the layout:
>> It would be quite easy to do CSS-only layouts, as I found out now. 
>> Only very minor changes are necessary to create a center-left-right 
>> HTML/CSS, one of them being to add a right_blocks_in_footer config to 
>> the left_blocks_in_footer, and the other a flag to COM_showBlocks 
>> that makes the function simply return if there are left or right 
>> blocks in the layout and therefore assign different classes to 
>> elements in either footer or header.
>> Now the problem: If we want a layout that has the center in the html 
>> before the left and right blocks, we cannot have a footer anymore 
>> that spans the whole page as far as I could find out. The ideal 
>> layout for center-first HTML is described here: 
>> http://glish.com/css/7.asp If anyone manages to put a footer there, 
>> please tell me how. The footer would have only the width of the 
>> story, if the left/right blocks are shorter, there will be a blank 
>> space.
>> So the only thing left over, if we want a footer, is to have a left, 
>> right, center, footer order in HTML and float everything to the left 
>> (http://css.maxdesign.com.au/floatutorial/tutorial0916.htm). This 
>> would require to display all blocks in the header, I do not really 
>> know however what those left_blocks_in_footer are doing in the config 
>> in the first place, this should be set only in the theme.... well, in 
>> an ideal world this would not be necessary anyhow since all elements 
>> would be joined together in one central function.
>> So here is my proposal:
>> 1. modify COM_siteHeader and COM_siteFooter so that either of them 
>> can display right and left blocks (for the left blocks, that is 
>> already the case, so why not for both?) This is to allow theme 
>> authors to really do what they want and not be forced to a certain 
>> order of the main 3 elements. This would be obsolete once we 
>> introduce step 5.
>> 2. Add an option to simply tell if blocks are there to 
>> COM_showBlocks, so that in the header and footer, layouts of elements 
>> can differ depending on the existence of left and right blocks.
>> 3. Use a table-free layout for the professional theme with 
>> left-right-center floated.
>> 4. (draft) Introduce a minimal-layout where the CSS only is changed 
>> to display the center first. I am not sure how to make mobile devices 
>> to choose this by default, and how this will look like, but I will 
>> try to find a proper solution before introducing any of this.
>> 5. (draft) Create a new function that creates all elements in one go 
>> and replaces the COM_siteHeader + center + COM_siteFooter. Both ways 
>> will be available but the aforementioned will be deprecated and 
>> removed 3-4 (?) versions later.
>> comments, suggestions, flying axes?
>> Oliver

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