Porting Bloxpress?

Skinning and designing Serendipity (CSS, HTML, Smarty)
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garvinhicking
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Porting Bloxpress?

Post by garvinhicking » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:10 pm

Any volunteers for looking at

http://www.bloxpress.org/demo/

and porting a template like that to s9y? I figure it mustn't be that hard, as it's all JS and HTML mostly. :-)

Anyways, it's more a playful thing - which is why I don't have time to try it out on my own. :-(

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Garvin
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Post by carl_galloway » Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:43 pm

I second that, its a nice looking theme and a bit different from other s9y themes. It would be a great theme to work on, probably a lot of fun (frustration) integrating the js, and would be a great learning curve for new theme designers, and if one of our newer users were to give this a go they would be able to get our support at all stages of the design work.

I say give it a go!

Carl

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Post by judebert » Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:15 pm

It looks pretty cool. But that's a lot of javascript.

Would that become our new default theme?
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Post by garvinhicking » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:48 am

Uh, I don't think such a JS-overkill theme should become our default theme. :-)

But, speaking about it: We desperately are in need of a unique (read: non-ported) default theme. :-)

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Post by carl_galloway » Fri Jan 13, 2006 5:29 pm

Garvin,

If you think we're in need of a new default theme, there are a lot of talented designers within the s9y world, just look at the recent activity, and I think all we need is some direction. Let me ask the following questions and start a debate about what people want;

1. What color scheme do you think we should go for?
2. Should it bea basic, or more advanced theme? Do you want it to showcase serendipity, or should it be considered a training tool for new users who want to develop their own theme?
3. Should it also include a new admin suite?
4. Will you be changing the serendipity logos?
5. Do you want the stylesheet to explicitly mention all styles used by serendipity even if they aren't in use within the theme, and should the stylesheet be commented?
6. Do you want to leave the smarty template files the way they are, or could we change them? If we leave them the way they are they can be used as training tools, and if we change them this might not be possible, but on the other hand I hate the default layouts on some of them, and some don't use styles at all in places (number of search results, no entries etc)

Hope this starts the conversation, sorry to hijack the thread, perhaps this should be moved to a new discussion.

Carl

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Post by judebert » Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:59 pm

There's already a thread about "branding" the Serendipity sites, including a new logo and default theme. Garvin's mentioned he didn't like my pink-and-red color scheme. He also likes the current logo, so it'll be interesting trying to find him a rock. (No, not that one; bring me another rock.) :lol:

To be the default template, it will require the same sort of styling and templating that the current default template has. Since many current themes rely on the current default theme, any changes to the templates will have to avoid breaking those templates.
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Post by carl_galloway » Fri Jan 13, 2006 8:29 pm

hmmm,

Looking at that branding thread you're talking about it doesn't look like anything was resolved. Lots of ideas, but nothing defined. If s9y needs a new default theme, there should and must be some basic design criteria established. Without this nothing can be achieved, we'll just end up going around in circles all over again.

Garvin, the ball is firmly back in your court, tell us what can be changed, what cannot be changed, what direction you'd like to take s9y, and then let the debate begin on solid foundations. I'm sure most of the theme designers would love the challenge and kudos of producing the next get default theme - I certainly would.

If a new thread needs to be created, are you able to move these posts?

Cheers
Carl

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Post by judebert » Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:45 am

Whoops. Sorry, Carl; I just re-read that, and I didn't mean it to sound that way. I'm obviously exhausted.

I just remember that thread saying that sometime in Jan/Feb, we'd have a contest for the new default theme.

I'd better go to bed now. Hope I wasn't offensive.
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Post by carl_galloway » Sat Jan 14, 2006 6:26 pm

judebert, when you put as much effort into helping other s9y users as you do, exhaustion is simply a matter of time. Believe me your help so far has been very much appreciated, I would just rather not receive it at the expense of your health.

In another sense you were right though that Garvin did request the logo's remain the same, and this is cool, and the business mentor in me says it is the right thing to do, and I liked the suggestion about restructuring the s9y core website. Not too sure about re-theming the wiki though, had a look the wiki homepage and it doesn't look like a very user friendly system. Looks more like something a programmer would have to get stuck into, but I haven't downloaded the source code yet, so once I've done this I'll know more.

I would still like to see Garvin's thoughts about all of this, a lot can change in a year, and I don't want to assume his comments in the other thread are still valid until he confirms it.

Cheers
Carl

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Post by garvinhicking » Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:30 pm

Hi Carl!

I'm again short on time, so I'd just like to elaborate on your questions:

1. What color scheme do you think we should go for?


I think the colors of the logo and our current default theme give a bit of hint: I'd like to stick with blue-grey colors. It should look solid and trustworthy, not too "playful" or misleading.

2. Should it bea basic, or more advanced theme? Do you want it to showcase serendipity, or should it be considered a training tool for new users who want to develop their own theme?


I'd like a theme which works well cross-browser. So probably not too much freaky CSS/JavaScript stuff. It should be flexible and not cause a hard time when manually modificating it, but that's only a minor point.

Priority should be a decent look without buggy appearance. And it should use the currently existing CSS/HTML selectors, if possible. This ensures that it works with all plugins that use custom styling based on those selectors...

3. Should it also include a new admin suite?


I wouldn't mind! Surely the backend is only styleable via CSS only, but I think a lot could be done there as well.

If needed for good appearance, we can talk about modifying the HTML output there as well. But a smartyfication of the backend is very, very hard. Especially in terms of maintaining the admin backend for future versions and new features.

4. Will you be changing the serendipity logos?


If there is a logo that takes my breath, I wouldn't mind. But as Judebert also pointed out: I, for myself, enjoy the s9y logo and haven't yet seen a better proposition ;)

5. Do you want the stylesheet to explicitly mention all styles used by serendipity even if they aren't in use within the theme, and should the stylesheet be commented?


Commenting would be helpful. But implementing all (empty) CSS selectors is IMHO not required.

6. Do you want to leave the smarty template files the way they are, or could we change them?


They can of course be changed, but not majorly. You need to think of that all other themes use the Smarty files of the default template if no custom file is existing. Changing the default Smarty HTML too much would break all depending themes, so this must need to be performed sensitively.

Adding/enhancing styles shouldn't be a problem, but BC should be held. One of the great things of Serendipity is that we pay a LOT of effort on maintaining BC.

Hope this carries on the sparkle you started, Carl! :)

Best regards,
Garvin
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Post by carl_galloway » Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:15 pm

Garvin, thanks for those comments.

I will of course now start to work on my version of a new default theme with admin suite, and I challenge other designers to do the same.

One last question, when are you planni9ng to release version 1 of s9y, and would you like tohave a new theme ready for that?

Carl

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Post by garvinhicking » Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:11 pm

Hi Carl!

My current release plan for version 1.0 of Serendipity is somewhen in the beginning of February. That depends on the time I'll have to look at a few issues remaining. But it would be great to have a new default theme by then. It would even be worth to wait for such a theme. :)

Regards,
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Post by carl_galloway » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:32 pm

Garvin,

Not sure if I could have a new theme ready by then, and I suspect most designers would feel the same way. Also, it seems the forums are a lot quieter at the moment due to the holiday season. Maybe you should announce a request for a new default theme on blog.s9y.org, and set the date for release of version 1 to 1st march 2006, with design submitting closing two weeks before so users can vote on their favourite.

Would that work?

Carl

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Post by judebert » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:46 pm

Oh, I've been working on that Ladybug theme for submission to the contest. I'm ready for February! :wink:

Honestly, I wanted to submit the ladybug as the new logo. It's much more recognizable than the top-view coffee cup (a holdover from JBlog, anyway). It even has relation to the name: "serendipity" is difficult to translate, but generally comes up "lucky accident"; the ladybug is considered lucky in most cultures, as is the number 7 and the four-leaf clover; this is a ladybug with seven spots, one of which is a four-leaf clover.

It's international!

Okay, enough of my soapbox and delusions of grandeur.

I do agree that the release should coincide with a new default theme. If we can, we should also theme the wiki while we're at it. I'd like to recommend that any theme should pass Carl's test suite before it can be considered as a candidate.
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Post by carl_galloway » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:10 am

oh boy, you would have to drop me in it wouldn't you. Would you believe even my own themes have failed my own test, although I'm frantically trying to bring them all up to standard over the next week so I can prove the concept of the designers checklist. No point telling the world about it if I can't prove why its needed.

I intend to assign my themes a grade, 1 being that it works perfectly with an out of the box install and the core plugins, followed by grade 2, meets the previous requirement, and also works perfectly with the most popular additional plugins.

As for the logo, serendipity does mean what you say, and a ladybug is definitely known to be lucky in almost every culture where the ladybug is seen. I would probably avoid the number 7 (or 8 if you're Chinese), and the 4-leaf clover simply because they aren't as universal and could be seen to be too stereotypical. S9y is a global phenomenon now, plot on a map where the users are based and you quickly realise its international.

Carl

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