Connections theme available to download

Skinning and designing Serendipity (CSS, HTML, Smarty)
Col. Kurtz
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Re: by the way

Post by Col. Kurtz » Wed Dec 21, 2005 9:30 am

carl_galloway wrote:By the way, are there any requests for more themes. I'm really enjoying myself, I think I'm getting better at understanding the styles used by Serendipity, Smarty seems really powerful so I reckon I could give anything a go now.

Currently working on a new theme, exclusively for Serendipity, based on tribal art from the Sotho tribe of Southern Africa, but will be 3-4 weeks before I'm ready to let anyone see it.


Hi Carl,

I might have something like a request. Not for one specific new theme, but I think it would be neat if you could write something like an `Beginners Guide: How to make/modify a theme for Serendipity´
A lot of people (like me) dont have the slightest idea hot to do this. I have very little knowledge of HTML, and dont know anything about PHP or Smarty. The modifications I´ve made for my installation of S9Y very a) very simple and b) done with the trial and error methode. So it would be great to create an Example-Template, and to write down the necessary steps for this. It doesnt have to be a very nice or sophisticated template, its more important to see: What code do I have to put where to get done X or Y?"
I dont have the time today to give an more detailed view of this idea, but I think you get the point. You seem to be the most active person on this board concerning template-creating, and so you seem to be the right person.

Think about it,

Marc

P.S. This has been discussed before, but never got any results..
http://www.s9y.org/forums/viewtopic.php ... umentation
Marc

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Re: by the way

Post by lendulado » Wed Dec 21, 2005 1:46 pm

carl_galloway wrote:By the way, are there any requests for more themes. I'm really enjoying myself, I think I'm getting better at understanding the styles used by Serendipity, Smarty seems really powerful so I reckon I could give anything a go now.


I would like have this theme ported

http://www.oswd.org/design/information/id/2266

Thank you for your work on S9Y :D

carl_galloway
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follow-up

Post by carl_galloway » Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:19 pm

Hi all,

Marc, that is an excellent idea, and I totally agree. I really struggled to get anything out of the existing documentation. It seems incomplete, and most definitely doesn't mention all the styles used. Getting to grips with Smarty is easy once you have that light bulb go off above your head, but until then its like wading through glue, you just don't get anywhere. I'm not sure how quickly I can put together a guide/tutorial, but when I do I'll package it up into a .pdf and stick it on my site.

Lendaludo, that is a groovy theme, I'll get onto it but can't make any promises about time frame, I would imagine I won't begin to work on porting it until after Xmas (only a few days anyway). Could you let me know if you want the sunset or softened cells version of the theme?

Cheers
Carl

Col. Kurtz
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Post by Col. Kurtz » Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:29 pm

Thx a lot Carl. Its great to see your contributions here.

Yeah the documenation sucks. And I´ve tried to read the Smarty documentation and failed miserably, because its not understandable for a beginner.
Keep it simple. Like how to make an index.tpl (like what elements belong where? what can you do with this or that), how to change the entries.tpl and the comments, how to use sidebars and then some css. For the beginning we dont need a full documentation, but an introduction. Like a real beginners course to tell people what to look for in the first place. I´ve managed to change the template the way I wanted after looking at the code and stuff, but it was all try&error.
And take all the time you need for this!
Marc

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Post by Josh » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:00 am

Carl,

having the two sidebars on the right side in your new theme is great. Looks better than having one side bar on the left and one the right.

What I think would be even better is to use only one sidebar and a horizontal bar with drop down menues like here:

http://fistfulofeuros.net/ or here http://www.acus.org/

Could you make a theme that lists the categories, the archive, the about us page and a custom page (like a link to a newsletter subscription page) in that horizontal bar with drop down menues? (You could also put recent entries, and recent comments in there as http://fistfulofeuros.net/ does, but I woud think that categories, archives, links to about us and a custom page would be sufficient.) If we'd have something like that we would not need a second side bar. The theme (and the entire blog) would look (even) more professional.

However, I understand that this is far more than "just" designing a new theme... It's sort of using the plugins differently in the new theme...

Well, it is Christmas soon, so I thought, why not think big and send you this big wish... :-)

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Re: follow-up

Post by lendulado » Thu Dec 22, 2005 2:30 pm

carl_galloway wrote:Could you let me know if you want the sunset or softened cells version of the theme?


I like the sunset, with the blocks to the right.

carl_galloway
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update

Post by carl_galloway » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:00 pm

Lendulado, I had some spare time yesterday and made a start on that theme. The zip from the original author is only a mockup, it isn't actually a complete theme, this means that the layout of the entries (author, date etc), layout of comments and other s9y specific styles haven't been included or even thought about by that author. With a theme like this one I suspect the default layour used by s9y might look a bit primitive so I propose using the entry and comment styles that are used in kubrick, would you be ok with that? Other than this, the theme is 80% complete, should have it ready for download mid next week.

Josh, wow, that is an awesome idea, I don't like the styling (gradients) on the fistfullofeuros site but the menu bar is fantastic. Looks like the menu bar is just css, and I've seen some other comments on this forum about using some new smarty hooks (fetch and print or something like that) so might even be possible to work on a theme like this. Only problem I can see is that s9y is designed to allow users to select the sidebar plugins they want, and a theme like this would take away some of that flexibility. The alternative might be to convert the entire left sidebar into a menu like this so that the sidebar titles became the menu title, and then everything else within the sidebar content would go into the drop down. That would still allow users to configure s9y just the way they like, and also give you the menu you want.

As for big wishes, I hear you. s9y is so great but most of the themes seem stuck in a rut and some fresh ideas are very much needed. And if you're anything like me the skin you put on your theme will probably change from time to time anyway so the last thing you want is just more of the same. Ruins that creative spark for writing.

Cheers
Carl

Josh
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Post by Josh » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:52 pm

Thank you, Carl

The alternative might be to convert the entire left sidebar into a menu like this so that the sidebar titles became the menu title, and then everything else within the sidebar content would go into the drop down.


That sounds like a great solution to a non-expert like me.

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Post by Rembrandt » Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:05 pm

Thank you Carl for this great theme. I just love it. But if I create an entry and press the "Preview" button nothing appears but an empty green bar.

I use the verion provided via spartacus.

regards,
Rembrandt

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Post by Roaster » Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:07 am

Hi Carl,

your themes are really a wunderful work, I appreciate it. Would you be so kind and tell me how can I change the URLs used in the menu

"* Home | * About | * Archives | * Links | * Contact"

when using your "Connections WP-port" theme? I guess I will have to change the template itself, right - or is there a better way?

Thanks,
Michael

carl_galloway
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Post by carl_galloway » Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:23 pm

Hi Roaster,

Thanks for your comments about the connections theme.

To change the links, you need to get in under the hood and use some html, but this isn't too difficult. First, open index.tpl within the connections template folder using notepad, wordpad or something similar. Whatever you use must save the file as a normal text file so don't use Word, Wordperfect etc.

Then, you're looking for the following block of code;

Code: Select all

<div id="header">
      <ul id="topnav">
      <li><a href="{$serendipityBaseURL}" id="navHome" title="Posted Recently" accesskey="h">Home |</a></li>
      <li><a href="#" id="navAbout" title="About the Author" accesskey="a">About |</a></li>
      <li><a href="#" id="navArchives" title="Posted Previously" accesskey="r">Archives |</a></li>
      <li><a href="#" id="navLinks" title="Recommended Links" accesskey="l">Links |</a></li>
      <li><a href="#" id="navContact" title="Contact the Author" accesskey="c">Contact </a></li>
      </ul>
          <h1><a href="{$serendipityBaseURL}">{$head_title|@default:$blogTitle}</a></h1>
          <h2>{$head_subtitle|@default:$blogDescription}</h2>
   </div>


I would always leave the home button the way it is, your website visitors probably expect to see a home button, and may not realise they can also click the blog name to get back to home.

Now lets say you want to change the about the author link, perhaps you actually have a page about yourself. The easiest way to make this work is to simply copy the entire url for that page into the link by replacing the # sign, so instead of

Code: Select all

<li><a href="#" id="navAbout" title="About the Author" accesskey="a">About |</a></li>


you would now have

Code: Select all

<li><a href="http://myblog.com/aboutme.html" id="navAbout" title="About the Author" accesskey="a">About |</a></li>


Hope this helps,

Carl

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