[development] Drupal 5 Themer Pack

Earl Miles merlin at logrus.com
Tue Jan 23 16:31:01 UTC 2007

Adrian Simmons wrote:
> Earl Miles wrote:
>> No, the only difference is that yours is a THEME while what I intend 
>> to do is merely a collection of stuff.
> I don't think that's true Earl, Sympal is also a collection of stuff, to 
> be pruned or modified in order to actually create a theme.

Semantically speaking, there is a large difference. When someone says 'theme' 
they see that they're getting a whole package. How is anyone to really know 
that they can pick and choose? And what's the chances that some of it will turn 
out to be dependent upon other parts of itself?

The fact that very few themers are even really aware that they could pull 
.tpl.php files out of the sympal theme tells me that this isn't the way to go 
for the purpose that I'm trying to serve. And why is this? Because they see 
"theme" and immediately it's just another theme, lost in the noise. The Themer 
Pack is Not A Theme.

>> You're trying to 'fix' things in Drupal with your theme.
> This I think is the crucial difference - Ber is driving towards a better 
> (or at least standardized) xhtml/css framework. We might take issue with 
> his route but I doubt any of us would argue that's a bad thing.

I don't take issue with his route, but that is one thing that I am absolutely 
disinterested in, at least as a Drupal 5 pack. If this pack 'fixes' things, it 
really isn't compatible with core and it doesn't do the job that I want it to 
do, which is allow drop in replacement.

>> I am merely trying to expose the templates. I want the output to be 
>> *precisely* the same as it is with stock Drupal. That means resisting 
>> the urge to fix anything.
> And that means your large project will be a dead end *if* all theme 
> functions get moved into tpl files and are organized into a more 
> structured xhtml tree for Drupal 6.

No, the project can contribute code to that effort as well. As can Ber's project.

>> There are some very serious differences in what this I have in mind 
>> and what sympal_theme appears to be meant to do.
> The only real difference I can see is that you want to extract Drupal's 
> current theme xhtml into a collection of templates rather than 
> attempting to  improve on it. In effect your themer's kit is just 
> another base theme for people to build real world themes on. That's no 
> bad thing but I'm not sure we need yet another one.

No, this is absolutely wrong. It is NOT a base theme. It is light years from a 
base theme. I don't really understand what I said to even give the impression 
that it is anything like a base theme.

It will include no *.css files *at all*, to start with.

Its pieces should be droppable into *any existing Drupal 5 theme*, giving 
.tpl.phps to the theme developers for easy modification. It is extremely good 
for site designers and usable for general theme designers as well.

Attempting to improve upon it is different. Improving upon it requires changing 
things. If I drop a template in there and get a suddenly different HTML output, 
then the style.css that I already has may become invalid. That is what I want 
to avoid. I want the HTML to change from default Drupal *only* if the themer 
modifies the .tpl.php file.

I have no qualms with including 'alternates' that are improved, but that is not 
what this base project is about.

Improving is something that can be done for Drupal 6, that's fine. But 
seriously, trying to tell me that we don't need this (especially when several 
of the types of people this is targeted at are going YES YES YES we need this) 
is irksome to me.

These are the points I want to address:

o Drupal does not have enough good themers working on the project.
o A lot of themers are simply unable to identify themable code in Drupal. 
They're just not PHP coders, that's not what they do.
o A lot of themers who can are unable to even deal with a lot of the currently 
themable code in Drupal because there is too much logic in it.

This project serves one purpose:

o To make it accessible for themers to be able to fully control the system that 
Drupal allows them to, but they currently cannot because they do not have the 
skills and the tools to access those parts.

I see a real need here. Dries and Steven want more themers on Drupal. I think 
this is important. I think the work to be done here is not complicated, it is 
simply a little tedious. I think once it's done, a themer can look at these 
templates and *see* a lot more of what is going on.

So yes, just because I'm not already looking forward to Drupal 6 and thinking 
about how this should go into core, don't try to kill this project. I'm aware 
that Drupal has problems and issues, but I'm also looking at this with an eye 
for what can we supply people with NOW.

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