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#1 2019-10-11 13:47:02

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,603

Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

Many (about twelve) years ago, I discovered Textplates and downloaded a few pre-made templates for my Textpattern sites. I wasn’t quite smart enough to figure out how to make and maintain my own templates back then, and mostly I hacked existing stuff to work to my needs.

I’m considering a winter project of designing a Textpattern template, taking into account modern web design considerations and the like. Maybe I’ll start it, and do it, and finish it, and use it on a live site. Maybe it’ll be good enough for the Textpattern showcase. Maybe something else more important will come along and I won’t get it done after all.

This place has good people, doing good things. It strikes me that I’ll be much more inclined to work on this theme if there are other people doing a similar thing, and we can perhaps check in and sound off about how it’s going. Frankly, there are some dark evenings coming for me over the next 6 months and I’d really like to have some good people connections to get through ‘em.

I’m convinced that one of the keys to Textpattern’s wider adoption is to have commercial sites like Envato, ThemeForest etc have quality, attractive Textpattern themes that people can buy and use. Having a broad theme ecosystem is a good step towards that goal. Having designers recognise there’s a bunch of quality themes, regardless of commercial intent or not, will drive more interest in theming for Textpattern.

Who’s interested in a theme design, discuss, build, and show & tell project over the next bunch of months? Hmm?

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#2 2019-10-11 14:02:00

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,785
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

I agree. I’d love to see this. And I’d be in… if only I was a designer.

My “design” process usually involves browsing html5up to find a theme a client likes, downloading it, sticking the template code in a couple of Pages then going through and replacing chunks with calls to <txp:> tags and consolidating repeated elements in Forms.

Hardly design!

Now that we have the concept of Themes and can provide a zip bundle download that can be unpacked in the filesystem and imported into the database to assign to Sections, it does seem a good idea to offer these out to template sites, if they’ll take them.

How would this impact our plans to create a template site of our own? Any thoughts?


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#3 2019-10-11 14:04:53

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 3,548
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

Definitely! Like you, I suspect, I have various ideas in the “when I get some time” drawer and that would be a good way of pushing things forwards.

One Two thing(s) I’d still love to see in themes:

  • The ability to include theme-specific variables
  • Sample content
  • (maybe plugins)

The first two are, I believe, close to being possible (as seen in the textpattern setup routine)…


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#4 2019-10-11 14:09:44

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 3,548
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

Bloke wrote #319654:

I agree. I’d love to see this. And I’d be in… if only I was a designer.

My “design” process usually involves browsing html5up to find a theme a client likes, downloading it, sticking the template code in a couple of Pages then going through and replacing chunks with calls to <txp:> tags and consolidating repeated elements in Forms.

As long as the licence permits, that’s legit, I reckon.

… it does seem a good idea to offer these out to template sites, if they’ll take them.

How would this impact our plans to create a template site of our own? Any thoughts?

While I agree with Pete that the commercial template sites could increase exposure, the ecosystem is currently so small that we have very little in the way of paid anything (plugins, themes, etc.). Paid themes might mean that authors feel more inclined to keep their stuff up to date, but I personally think a greater choice of (free) themes – using Phil’s forthcoming themes area – would already be a good start.


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#5 2019-10-11 14:12:06

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,603

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

jakob wrote #319657:

While I agree with Pete that the commercial template sites could increase exposure, the ecosystem is currently so small that we have very little in the way of paid anything (plugins, themes, etc.). Paid themes might mean that authors feel more inclined to keep their stuff up to date, but I personally think a greater choice of (free) themes – using Phil’s forthcoming themes area – would already be a good start.

Heavy +1 to this. I’m thinking if we have a varied collection of themes for general use, in an easy-to-apply fashion, that will generate interest, which will lead to CMS-agnostic theme designers becoming more interested.

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#6 2019-10-11 14:17:08

etc
Developer
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 3,346
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

Bloke wrote #319654:

Now that we have the concept of Themes and can provide a zip bundle download that can be unpacked in the filesystem and imported into the database to assign to Sections, it does seem a good idea to offer these out to template sites, if they’ll take them.

Plugins can already (in 4.8) be uploaded as single zip files via txp interface. I guess we should allow it for themes too, extending to other compression formats.

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#7 2019-10-11 14:17:12

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,603

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

Bloke wrote #319654:

I agree. I’d love to see this. And I’d be in… if only I was a designer.

You designed the template for your own site, right? That’s pretty much the same as I’ve done over the years, so I’m equally un-designer-ish.

My “design” process usually involves browsing html5up to find a theme a client likes, downloading it, sticking the template code in a couple of Pages then going through and replacing chunks with calls to <txp:> tags and consolidating repeated elements in Forms.

Porting with credit is fine. If the licence permits it, why not?

How would this impact our plans to create a template site of our own? Any thoughts?

I don’t think it would affect it, we’re far off having a commercially-viable set of themes, but we can kick-start the process for freebies to get more eyeballs interested. Was it Stuart Butcher (?) who ran The Bomb Site for some commercial themes, back in the day? I think he’s moved on now, and the venture might not have had enough steam to be viable, but it’s worth considering in future.

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#8 2019-10-11 14:21:29

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,785
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

jakob wrote #319655:

The first two are, I believe, close to being possible (as seen in the textpattern setup routine)…

Yes they are possible. All we have to do is migrate the bits that handle the setup routine to the Skin class and then .prefs files and content can be included.

Not wishing to derail this thread, but the problem is what to do with the content if there’s already something in the database. Definitely don’t want to trash anything already there but if the theme author has used <txp:article_custom id="1" /> in their theme during development (because they only had one demo article), it isn’t going to work if it’s imported into someone else’s site unless we overwrite article #1 with their content – and that’s something I don’t want to do without at least some kind of confirmation action.

That confirmation could be a simple checkbox “import and overwrite content”.

More powerful – and the way I’m thinking – is a “preview” step (like we do when importing a plugin) of what the theme is going to do along with a bunch of checkboxes that allow you to act on the various things. e.g.:

  • [ ] Overwrite content (will trash article IDs 1 and 2).
  • [ ] Append content to existing.
  • [x] Import prefs.
  • [x] Import and overwrite plugins.
  • [ ] … but skip ones already installed.
  • [ ] Assign Page X to Sections A,B,C.

[ Import button ]

Something like that.


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#9 2019-10-11 14:24:14

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,785
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

etc wrote #319661:

Plugins can already (in 4.8) be uploaded as single zip files via txp interface. I guess we should allow it for themes too, extending to other compression formats.

+1!


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#10 2019-10-11 15:37:16

etc
Developer
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 3,346
Website

Re: Who's interested in making a Textpattern theme over the coming months?

Bloke wrote #319663:

the problem is what to do with the content if there’s already something in the database.

-1 for importing content, sorry. Or do it separately from themes.

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