[development] Any way to get a poll? Drupal 5.0 Default theme.

Nathaniel Catchpole NCatchpole at brookehouse.ac.uk
Wed Oct 4 14:58:38 UTC 2006

Jeff Eaton said:
>Ultimately, I think we would be better served by settling 
>on a much-improved base XHTML layout (zen's is MUCH better than any 
>previous Drupal default) and promote it as a base for pure-css themes
>designers who lacked the programming experince to put together a Drupal

>theme from scratch.

This is the main thing for me as a non-coder (although I understand CSS
and html reasonably well). Bluemarine isn't pretty without any
alterations, but I can be pretty certain that it will display output
from contributed modules readably and is likely to be upgraded for the
next release of Drupal. It doesn't contain any structural images
(backgrounds, block corners etc.), so it's easy to swap css
colours/spacing around without being concerned about changing those
additional elements to see what it'll look like roughly. So with that
knowledge, I can:

*use it as a base to develop another theme from  - i.e. change css and
page.tpl.php a bit at a time instead of starting from scratch or
spending hours looking through the themes index.

*take code from page.tpl.php and styles.css and plug it into other
themes if I'm having trouble reproducing, say, primary links displayed
inline in the header.

In both cases, if there's an upgrade, it's going to be relatively easy
to apply any changes to Bluemarine again, or compare the old and new
versions to upgrade my own modified version.

With this in mind, for any user who's going to do more than just install
it and leave it as it is, it makes sense to have a transparent structure
clean and clear coding (ideally with code comments in there as well).
Then medium-experience spare time admins like me can see what the
various elements are making it work and begin to understand how they're
related - this can then be applied to contrib. themes or building from
scratch later. The javascript rounded corners and/or multiple divs
sounded like moves in the opposite direction to that.

If there's going to be a move towards more themes in a drupal
installation, then it makes sense to have the more "boxed in"/complex
ones as options - so someone who just wants to pick a theme and stick
with it has easy access to some choices.

Also, it does matter what the core theme looks like. The first time I
used drupal was when I did a fantastico install alongside another CMS
(iirc geeklog, and I'd tried postnuke before that).

Drupal.org looks good - some other CMS sites are really ugly. I looked
at things in fantastico before I'd ever seen the homepage of a CMS
though, and I'd imagine that's the way a lot of people come across them
- or at least start using them. You've also got opensourcecms.com where
people will be flicking through various options at speed, and will be
thinking about usability more than customisation when they know it's not
'their' site and any theme changes will be wiped in a matter of minutes.


Nathaniel Catchpole (catch)

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