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

Boris Mann boris at bryght.com
Tue Dec 13 17:07:25 UTC 2005

On 12/13/05, Trae McCombs <occy at occy.net> wrote:

> 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.

Have you filed bugs against modules that use <br /> and/or suggested
alternate approaches? If a module is outputting hard-coded HTML where it
shouldn't, it's a bug.

> 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.

Umm....sorry, but *why* can't you just theme those areas if that is all you
want to do?

I'm really not too sympathetic to theming complaints, seeing as how I've
seen something like 60+ sites launched in the past year with custom themes
-- see http://www.aeropod.ca/ or http://www.netsquared.org for two examples
off the top of my head.

*Design* is hard. A completely custom look and feel for your website is
hard. Cross browser CSS is hard. Designing individual pages in HTML and
uploading them via FTP is hard. None of these things have anything to do
with Drupal.

Boris Mann
Vancouver 778-896-2747 / San Francisco 415-367-3595
IM boris_mann at jabber.org / SKYPE borismann
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