[drupal-devel] Admin theme?

Eric Scouten drupal.org at ericscouten.com
Wed Jun 1 18:49:50 UTC 2005

Adrian Simmons wrote:

> What we need IMNSHO are adaptable themes, not a separate admin theme.

Adaptable to what? Lost in this discussion is a notion of what is a 
minimum acceptable screen size for using Drupal. Statistics I've 
collected over the past month say that 800x600 screen size amounts to 
11% of my traffic. Other recent surveys (Google on "screen resolution 
statistics") put the 8x6 crowd at as much as 29%.

Several of my elderly friends have computers that are *capable* of 
displaying higher resolutions. What they don't have are *eyes* that can 
read fine print, so they choose to use 800x600. One of these elderly 
friends is actually a chief editor and contributor for one of the Drupal 
sites that I've created (www.mn-leon.org). So rendering on small screens 
--even in the "admin" sections-- is actually a significant issue for me.

If Drupal fails to render properly on this screen size, then I suggest 
it is not the theme that is failing to be adaptable, but Drupal itself.

Worth noting: The front page of drupal.org renders passably on 8x6 
(Firefox/Mac), but has some unintended artifacts. Most pages render OK, 
but the project pages are pretty bad.

Chris Messina wrote:

> I spend 90% of my time theming the admin sections of sites and it's a
> waste of my time when 2% of users actually see it. We can greatly
> improve the overall user experience with Drupal if we focus on
> consistency and simplicity and while maintaining flexibility. ...

Amen to that...

As the author of one of the themes that is broken in this way 
(greenthing), I made a conscious choice to focus my efforts on the 
end-user visible portions of my site and live with some bad rendering in 
the "admin" sections (which, on most of my sites, at least, aren't 
visible to anyone but me).

I can control the *content* of my site so that it displays nicely in a 
given width. I can't control the admin section of the site so easily.

If you continue down Adrian's road of insisting that themes be 
"adaptable" to arbitrarily wide content, then I predict you will 
continue to (a) continue to make choices that make Drupal unappealing to 
the small-screen crowd, and (b) severly limit the number of people 
willing to make the effort to create new themes for Drupal.


Eric Scouten Photography | www.ericscouten.com (Drupal powered!)
Fine art prints from the world of nature

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