[development] Administration Survey: Theme improvements, theme help system, theme mailing list

drupal-devel at istyledthis.nl drupal-devel at istyledthis.nl
Thu Dec 1 02:39:47 UTC 2005

On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 12:10:46 -0800, Kieran Lal <kieran at civicspacelabs.org> wrote:
> As part of the Drupal administration user experience survey we
> identified Drupal theme issues as the most difficult administration
> issues( http://www.surveymonkey.com/DisplaySummary.asp?
> SID=1425065&U=142506581557).   There was some confusion about the
> results so Trae McCombs, from CivicSpace Labs, conducted six
> additional theme development interviews.
> Trae identified some common goals of theme developers, basic theme
> tasks, and difficult theme tasks.   I have created a documentation
> page, http://drupal.org/node/39451,  which outlines all this.  I also
> spoke with Dries yesterday and requested that a theme developers
> mailing list be started to focus on helping with Drupal's most
> difficult administration task.
> In summary here are the actions we are taking to improve
> administration specifically focused on Drupale theme development.
> 1) Identified Drupal theming as the most difficult Drupal
> administration task.
Agreed, but IMO we can fix this by making it at least consistent, so it's easier to use.

> 2) Improved the project module to allow for categorization so that
> themes can be categorized to help themers pick a solid base theme.
> Designed by Dries and implemented by Nedjo Rogers for CivicSpace
> Labs.  This is coming in the next few weeks on Drupal.org.
Would be a great improvement.

> 3) Provided a "Manage inconsistency in themes" documentation page
> with best practices. http://drupal.org/node/37156

> 4) Created a support channel #cstheme to support development of the
> CivicSpace theme.  This may lead to a dedicated Drupal theme channel.
I vote for using drupal-theme, which is consistent with drupal-support.

> [...]

> 7) Requested a themers mailing list to focus specifically on the
> tasks of Drupal theme development
I will be definatly a members of that!

> Please help us to develop theme help documentation(http://drupal.org/
> node/39451).  Understanding basic and difficult theme tasks, and how
> to solve them, will allow us to attract more themers to the platform
> and make it easier for all of us to theme our sites.
I will, trust me... I will...

> I'll leave you with a quote:
> Dries_:it's the reason I didn't convert buytaert.net yet -- it takes
> too f*****g long to make a theme
Dries, If you need a fancy theme for free, you can contact me..

Don't forget we need to finally get the drupal theme functions to be consistent for usage.
Some functions return HTML, some don't. It would be nice if we can convert (or make wrappers for these) all functions used inside the themes to drupal_get_*(), like we currently have for drupal_get_title(). It would make life much nicer and easier to use.
This would lead to drupal_get_page_title(), drupal_get_page_help(), drupal_get_page_breadcrumbs(), drupal_get_local_tasks(), drupal_get_page_content(), drupal_get_node_title(), drupal_get_node_teaser(), drupal_get_node_body(), drupal_get_node_author(), drupal_get_node_submission_date() drupal_get_node_modified_date(), drupal_get_node_links(), etc, etc...

There are several things which I would like to see changed and willing to cooperate with any of you guys to accomplish this goal.

I think it would make sense remove all the PHP-logic from themes. Checking if there is output is IMO unacecptable, this should be done in the function which calls the desired theme function.
Things like check_plain() should also be removed from the theme functions itself.

Also removing most of the divs which are by default in the theme functions would make sense IMO. So it's more consistent from function to function.


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