Rapid Theme Development was: Re: [development] Administration Survey: Theme improvements, theme help system, theme mailing list

Trae McCombs occy at occy.net
Tue Dec 13 14:37:43 UTC 2005

andre wrote:
> Well - the 90-10 rule applies.  I get get 90% of a theme done very 
> rapidly and have a pretty good looking site at the end of a short 
> session (i.e. matter of hours).  But, its that last 10% that takes 90% 
> of the time.  All the special cases - all the different forms - 
> different node types - different 'sections' of a site that require a 
> different look etc.  All the tiny annoying little bumps that require 
> ironing.  That's what's a pain in the ass.

I think half of the problems I encounter themeing different drupal sites 
is with the different modules.  Every single developer out there wants 
to code something in one way or another.  And they all want to use page 
breaks (<br /> [yes, that is the proper way you print out a "<br>" 
people!) in places where you, the themer, might not necessarily want 
them.  So if you are themeing all the different form elements, you are 
constantly scrambling for different classes and ID's to try and theme a 
particular form to look a certain way.

I honestly don't understand why there isn't, and wasn't, a common set of 
practices decided on long ago for people to use when building modules. 
I am thinking that's what this new "forms.api" stuff I keep hearing 
about is for... I'm not sure.

The biggest bulk of a Drupal themers problem is, you typically can't 
just theme, all generic selects, inputs, etc.  You have to specifiy 
certain elements and my gosh, there can be tons and tons and tons of 
them.  Ending up with a nasty huge giant amount of CSS.

Dries is right, it shouldn't be this hard to theme.  I should be able to 
theme the header, sidebars, footer, content area, select, input, and a 
few other things and be done.  But that is not the case.

Before anyone goes asking me to patch something, I do graphics, and know 
CSS.  I don't code.  So, no, I can't "submit a patch"[tm]


> But, most of this is unavoidable.  This time consuming stuff isn't the 
> fault of the themeing engine or the templates... its the natural result 
> of people wanting to modify things because they don't want a 'stock' 
> vanilla looking elements.  They want to mod almost every detail - and 
> that kind of modification takes time.
> And also keep in mind that some of these mods that make a site look 
> 'unique' aren't just simple theme overrides - they are hacked and 
> modified modules - that become completely new modules and/or new 
> functionality contributed back to core modules.
> andre
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Trae "occy" McCombs || http://occy.net/
       Founder - Themes.org // Linux.com
     CivicSpaceLabs - http://civicspacelabs.org/

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