[development] Drupal 5.0 Theme - v2

inkfree press inkfree at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 21:10:40 UTC 2006

"Trae McCombs" wrote:

> <joke>
> If all he sees on his tiny viewport is the search block, then I've gotten him
> to the most important thing right off the bat!
> </joke>

Well, that's not a bad fall-back, if the site dictates that kind of UI.  For
example, if the Drupal site were a word bank (acronym finder, dictionary,
etc.) or some other search interface, then -- yes.  It would be wholly
appropriate to have the _visual_ UI be a search box.

I'm for it in that case.

And your joke is well-taken.  It _is_ a big question of _what_ to cause to
be visually displayed in a small (even very small) view of a web site.  Each
site has a different kind of answer to that question.

As an exercise, one could take the Drupal.org web site and ask:

    What would I want to appear at the top of a downward linear,
    all-text display on a palm-sized device?

Consider that the default template is 'blue marine', and then go from there.
It's a very good question for _any_ template design (and design_er_) and is
very much on-topic, I think.

> Seriously, as I said, perhaps we could do secondary links in there, or maybe
> even the Drupal Logo {or some logo}

Well, this answer points to at least _part_ of the problem.  You seem to be

    Okay, I've got this block of space...
    now let me see what I should put there.

Architects do not build buildings, with rooms, and then decide what kind of
room this one or that should be. (Yes, some rooms can be designed as
flexible, anything-goes rooms, even with modular wall systems to turn one
room into several.  But, that is the purpose and intent in that case.)

Good design can be visually appealing but it's prime goal is to ease the
transaction of information.  (It's the difference between the "design arts"
and the "creative arts", where the later need not give consideration to any
function other than the actual transaction...which may be purposeful hard
and not easy at all.)

Anyway, the suggestion that you put forward, to me, really suggests that the
process is all askew and that the design (especially the wasted top) really
suffers for it.

It's a nice blue.  It's just not fluid and therefore not very useful or
friendly in most web contexts.

I think folks should remember:  This is the __default__ template.  It
should, therefore, be really solid, 100% viewable on many kinds of view
ports, and it should represent __the best__ in design qualities and not the
lowest common denominator.

The only design qualities that, IMO, should be paramount are:

    _no_ color locking (use color sets as separate choice)
    _100% fluid layout_ viewable in any width (column # as choice)
    _no_ artwork (use artwork sets as a separate choice)

Everything in parentheses is "theme" (think "thematic") and everything else
is "template" (think "mechanical structure", "framework").

Any template -- especially and certainly the DEFAULT template -- should be
rock-solid and practically devoid of all but the most essential "art".
Then, it should have a number of "themes" ("skins", if you prefer) which can
be draped over it.

Anyway...you are right, Syscrusher, that there is more than a little
philosophy of life in the broader discussion.

As for this particular template, well, it's a generally appealing visual
color palette and it's at least not cluttered, so that the "default human"
might have a pretty good chance of getting started.

(This may be the only person ever to _see_ this template in action, as they
make changes and so on to their Drupal site.  So...that's even more reason
to keep it generic and neutral.)


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