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#1 2009-08-28 15:50:26

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
Website

Templates, themes or layouts?

Seeing as we now have admin themes, site themes may not be too far off in the future.

My question is what will site themes be officially called?

1. Templates
2. Themes
3. Layouts

Doing a search around the net, we seem to be using all three at varied locations. Templates being the most popular naming convention, and some sites use all three and also throw in skins into the keyword mix.

At the moment it’s a bit confusing, having an official naming convention would let everyone get on the same page. Those of us involved in creating packaged designs can feel at ease that whatever we call our packages today, the terminology would be future proof.

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#2 2009-08-28 16:28:30

MattD
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From: Monterey, California
Registered: 2008-03-21
Posts: 1,254
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Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

I vote for Templates


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#3 2009-08-28 17:22:05

jsoo
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From: NC, USA
Registered: 2004-11-15
Posts: 1,793
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Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

+1


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#4 2009-08-28 17:30:33

ruud
Developer Emeritus
From: a galaxy far far away
Registered: 2006-06-04
Posts: 5,068
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Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

I vote for themes. I see ‘template’ and ‘layout’ as parts of a theme.

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#5 2009-08-28 17:39:06

6sigma
Member
From: Memphis, TN, USA
Registered: 2004-05-24
Posts: 184
Website

Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

From p. 124 of Textpattern Solutions: “While the Presentation area of the Textpattern Admin interface consists of only four tabs, it is by far the most complex part of the entire system. These four parts are: Pages, Sections, Forms and Style…Some of the terminology might be misleading, so it is best to think of pages as templates and forms as snippets of code.”

Given this, I might lean toward the term site theme as the bucket that holds all of the pages, sections, forms, style (& templates) required to make a site. An admin theme is exactly what it says it is.

$0.02 (which is worth less every day). Oh, by the way, I don’t consider this worthy of a religious war. I simply like the idea of defining the term(s) up front and sticking to them. Good on ya’ Bert.

Last edited by 6sigma (2009-08-28 17:45:06)


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#6 2009-08-28 17:45:53

jstubbs
Moderator
From: Hong Kong
Registered: 2004-12-13
Posts: 2,395
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Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

Would have to go with themes, since templates implies a design. Themes could theoretically cover templates (pages), forms and stylesheets.

The admin themes would be better names as templates, since all they do is change the styles.

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#7 2009-08-28 18:18:56

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 11,269
Website GitHub

Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

jstubbs wrote:

The admin themes would be better names as templates, since all they do is change the styles.

I see what you mean though it’s not strictly true: they can drastically alter the backend if you’re of that persuasion (well, the bits above and below the central area at least). They were called ‘skins’ at one time for even greater confusion, but not any more.

Site theme is unambigous (ish!) alongside Admin theme. Like ruud, 6sigma and jstubbs I see a Template as a Page and a theme as a collection of ‘stuff’ that makes up the overall look ‘n’ feel of a site.

Hmm, but Layout has merit…


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#8 2009-08-28 18:22:32

jstubbs
Moderator
From: Hong Kong
Registered: 2004-12-13
Posts: 2,395
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Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

Yes Stef that’s true, but that’s something a developer would take advantage of – an admin template is what a user would install from TextGarden. Or so he/she would think.

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#9 2009-08-28 21:10:19

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
Website

Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

Seems to be that Themes is winning out.

What other projects use:

Wordpress – Themes
Drupal – Themes
Joomla – Templates
ExpressionEngine – Template Library with Site Themes as a category
MODx – Templates
SilverStripe – Themes

Textpattern CMS Themes sounds good to me.

Let’s use it in a sentence: “Textpattern themes are so much easier to create than Wordpress themes”.

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#10 2009-08-28 21:54:51

6sigma
Member
From: Memphis, TN, USA
Registered: 2004-05-24
Posts: 184
Website

Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

To really “mainstream” a product like Textpattern this terminology issue is a non-trivial matter. The more consistently we can communicate with newcomers as well as experienced users, the more likely we are to see wider use of the software. Thanks again, Bert, for your leadership on this topic.


“Well, I, uh, don’t think it’s quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.” General ‘Buck’ Turgidson

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#11 2009-08-30 13:01:42

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
Website

Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

6sigma wrote:

Thanks again, Bert, for your leadership on this topic.

In my best Elvis impression: “Thank you, thank you very much” :)

While we’re on the subject of a naming convention, I’d like to point out the theme mechanism thread I started 2 1/2 years ago.

All the important points of said thread are neatly detailed on a wiki page titled Textpattern CMS Themes.

Now that we have admin themes, will user themes be next?

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#12 2010-11-18 22:27:34

hcgtv
Plugin Author
From: Key Largo, Florida
Registered: 2005-11-29
Posts: 2,722
Website

Re: Templates, themes or layouts?

Sorry to dig up a year old thread.

Winter is here, it’s cold outside and I want to start creating themes, templates, what have you.

Right now, I’m planning on using the hcg_templates plugin as the basis for distribution. As you can see the plugin name says templates, and it requires you to create a _templates directory in your site’s root. So if we as of yet haven’t reached an official position, I’m going to go with Templates as the nomenclature.

We’ve been discussing front side themes/templates for close to 4 years now, I’ve heard all the arguments for and against. The biggest concern I hear is that web designers will lose clients to packaged designs. My view is that packaged designs brings in more users, more users equates to more opportunities for everyone.

The first template I’m going to port is Wordpress’ Twenty Ten, it’s GPL right? I want to show that Textpattern can do it in less lines of template code, and without ever having to use PHP.

Let the templates begin ;)

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