[drupal-devel] phptemplate in core?

Jeremy Epstein jazepstein at gmail.com
Tue May 3 13:54:18 UTC 2005

FriendsElectric has quite a few bugs, true - but IMO, none of them are
so critical that they make it an unusable theme. Even with its table
rendering problems and its sometimes-weird sidebars, it's still one of
the nicest Drupal themes, as well as the only theme with a tableless
layout that is a candidate for inclusion in core. And it's native to

Someone pointed out that tableless layouts do actually validate as
XHTML. This is true, but is no excuse for using such layouts when you
don't have to. We all know that they're bad for accessibility (screen
readers), portability (browsers in phones), etc.

There are a lot of sites out there that are using Drupal in its
simplest form: as a pure blogging tool. FriendsElectric might not be
the best theme for sites that are 'pushing the limits' of Drupal (e.g.
E-Commerce platform, media hub), but I think that Drupal bloggers
would benefit greatly from having it as a theme in core.

As for maintenance... well, I can see how that alone would stop
FriendsElectric from going into core.


On 5/3/05, Steven Wittens <steven at acko.net> wrote:
> The only big issue with this is that FriendsElectric does not render
> pages with wide tables correctly. This is because of the tableless
> layout. There is also a problem when the left sidebar is longer than the
> rest. I've been unable to come up with a good solution for this, as
> something in the theme triggers a weird Mozilla fieldset stretching bug
> when I try the conventional way to fix it.
> Typically, overflow: auto; is used to make scrollbars appear on wide
> content, but this doesn't really work for big tables like we have in Drupal.
> Really, tableless CSS simply does not mesh with a complicated system
> like Drupal. Sure, it's doable for a limited site with a limited amount
> of options. But as a generic theme for a CMS? I have my doubts. It is
> trendy, and a very viable option for blogs and other simple sites, but
> the fact that 99% of all tableless designs can't even handle clears
> inside them says enough about the robustness of the whole thing.
> The world would be a much better place without IE: then you could
> actually use the table-layout model through CSS. Every other browser
> that matters supports it as far as I know.
> Finally: if FriendsElectric goes into core, who will maintain it?
> Putting the theme into core gives it a much higher exposure, but are any
> of you willing to handle the CSS that tableless layout requires? Or will
> it just mean more support requests to handle?
> Steven Wittens

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