Templates and collaboration

Discussion corner for Developers of Serendipity.
Post Reply
User avatar
Oknil
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:16 pm

Templates and collaboration

Post by Oknil » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:37 pm

Hi,

We are a a group of 3 students currently attending a course about the design of collaboration in digital environment. onli proposed us to work on Serendipity project and so we did.

First, we tried to understand how the Serendipity community organizes itself and how you are working.

This graph represents what we understood. It is obvisouly lacking a lot of information but it has been done mainly in order to help us find a subject.

On this graph, you can see that a lot of arrows are aiming to "Themes/Templates". As we are interesting in collaboration processes we focused on that subject.

We started studying the submitting themes process with the following idea in mind : editing or creating a theme and sharing it can be a first step to join the community.

We searched the different websites related to Serendipity wondering how can we create or modify a theme and how could this new theme be shared with the community ?

The official documentation about templates is a good start. Maybe a too technical one. We haven't been able to find something like a beginner's guide. For example, this page could link to some step-by-step tutorial to help visualize what all the technical terms are related too. At the bottom of the page there's a small paragraph concerning contribution but sadly this one seems to link to a non-existing document.

The Theme section in the forum is also a good source of information. You are always available to answer user questions. However it seems to us that some of the questions (once they have been answered) could be part of a FAQ rather than "hidden" in the forum.

The second step is now to find a way to share our theme.

The showcase part of the forum can be used to share themes but it's more about presenting a blog than sharing knowledge and work. So we looked for something else.

They're have been initiatives developed to support the sharing of Serendipity themes :

- Serendipity-Template : this website has been announced on the Serendipity official blog and we haven't been able to find any other post or link on the Serendipity website stating that this website exist. It is now deserted (the last theme has been posted in 2010). One problem with this website is that it is "unofficial" but uses the graphical aspect of the official Serendipity websites which may lead some users to think that the Serendipity theme community has disappeared.
What do you think about that initiative ? To us it seems like a good idea to give people a common space in which they can share and evaluate works.

- Bulletproof. I guess you all know Bulletproof, we have only one question concerning it. Have you already discussed why its website section "Templates based on bulletproof" stays empty ?
If so which were your conclusions ?


Thanks for reading, I hope this post may be useful and that we will be able to discuss its content.

And happy new year and 2.0 :)

User avatar
yellowled
Regular
Posts: 7072
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Eutin, Germany
Contact:

Re: Templates and collaboration

Post by yellowled » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:18 pm

Oknil wrote:We started studying the submitting themes process with the following idea in mind : editing or creating a theme and sharing it can be a first step to join the community.
While that is definitely true (it actually was my first step to join the s9y community), the term “submitting themes process” seems exaggerated. In many cases, this “process” is very easy – people build a theme on their own time and ask in the forum how to present them. If the theme offers something unique, we're usually happy to add it to the central theme repository (Spartacus).

Communication in the s9y project in general usually happens right here in the forums, although we sometimes have VoIP meetups for developers. All other forms of communication (mailing list, IRC channel etc.) have never really been used much.
Oknil wrote:The official documentation about templates is a good start. Maybe a too technical one.
Documentation is in fact a weak side of s9y, as it is with many open source projects. That's because open source software is usually developed by a small groups of developers in their spare time for fun. Writing documentation is not a fun task. :wink:

There is better documentation available in form of the s9y handbook written by Garvin, but so far, it's only available in German as a PDF. (Yes, we are aware that this should be translated and made available in HTML format, but it's a tideous, time-consuming task.)
Oknil wrote:However it seems to us that some of the questions (once they have been answered) could be part of a FAQ rather than "hidden" in the forum.
Personal experience: people tend to neither read FAQs nor use the search function of the forum. They prefer to express their (supposedly individual) issue and have an “expert” address it. I guess that is one of the reasons why the s9y FAQ is not maintained very actively.
Oknil wrote:Serendipity-Template
As far as I know, that domain is unmaintained, has never been very active and the person operating it is not active in the community. It is definitely not an official theme site (which is kind of unfortunate, yes), that would be the themes section on Spartacus.
Oknil wrote:Have you already discussed why its website section "Templates based on bulletproof" stays empty ?
First of all, Bulletproof is outdated. The new default theme for s9y is 2k11 (which is part of the s9y core). It is much more modern, supporting current webstandards like HTML5 and responsive design (works on smartphones and tablets).

Templates based on BP were are rarity because during its developement, BP got adapted to user needs quite a bit. It can be adapted fairly extensively without touching a single line of code. Due to that, its code is incredibly verbose and complex, which does not make for a good starting point for new themes. Also, the phase in which BP was developed was also a phase in which we “lost” a few former theme contributors (to personal reasons). There is a (commercial) derivate of BP called Kinetic by Don Chambers, but other than that, there really are no themes based on BP.

Hope that clears things up a little, happy to provide more info. Also looking forward to any input or contribution by you guys. :)

YL
amazon Wishlist - Serendipity-Podcast (German only, sorry)

Post Reply