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

Kieran Lal kieran at civicspacelabs.org
Wed Nov 30 20:10:46 UTC 2005

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.
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.
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.
5) Added a link to theme help from the theme admin interface using  
the CivicSpace theme.  Added several base layouts to the CS theme for  
theme developers to customize with styles.
6) Created a theme help documentation page to focus on basic and  
difficult theme tasks.  http://drupal.org/node/39451
7) Requested a themers mailing list to focus specifically on the  
tasks of Drupal theme development

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'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

Development Manager
CivicSpace Labs
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