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9.0 Appearance

Posted: April 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: 9.0 Appearance | Tags: | 12 Comments »

There is no wireframe available yet

Description: This section allows users to choose/edit and perhaps ‘build’ a theme for their site

Current thinking/roadmap:

  • ideally, users would be able to choose from a number of great themes from this location
  • they would also (ideally) be able to build their own theme using a range of preset variables (grids, colours, type, etc.)

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Please feel free to add your thoughts as comments below or if you’d rather publish them elsewhere you can have them the pipe by using this tag #d7ux_2_0

go back to Project Framework to view all project components

Also in this section:

  • Find a Theme (#d7ux_9_1)
  • Theme Builder (#d7ux_9_2)

12 Comments on “9.0 Appearance”

  1. 1 Murtza said at 5:43 pm on April 24th, 2009:

    i’m not developer but a drupal lover..i have some idea’s about theme builder.i think below options will attracts novice users.

    1: user can add remove regions.
    2: user can change bgcolors (upper & lower) of regions.
    3: add remove bg image.

  2. 2 Peter said at 12:17 pm on April 26th, 2009:

    I think (from a technical point of view) it would be good to let the user specify a base theme first, which can then be adapted.

    This way we can let the theme define how much of it will be adapted. If I’m building a theme for a simple brochureware site, I don’t want to have to worry about extra regions the user might add, or how they might change the colors.

    If on the other hand I’m developing a base theme for Drupal to be used by all conceivable types of users, I can spend all the time I want specifying how users can change the colors, regions, layouts and everything they want, and I have plenty of time and testers to make sure it always works.

    I think both scenario’s are vitally important for Drupal, and letting the theme define its own adaptability would please both types of developers. In fact, a lot of Drupal’s themes already work like this, so it would just be a question of sticking to that, and building on it.

  3. 3 Simon said at 8:52 am on May 2nd, 2009:

    Themes/Appearence of Drupal is it’s biggest downfall.

    I’ve been using Drupal for over 5 years.

    Over the years themes have improved but you can almost always tell a drupal site just by looking at it.

    And generally, they look bad.

    Obviously other CMS have similar problems, but for example WordPress looks nicer, quicker and easier than Drupal.

    One problem is that Drupal has different theming systems.

    Some theming principles:

    1. Anyone can edit a theme

    2. Anyone can edit a theme while on the website (drag and drop stuff, including things like: drag and drop a background image)

    3. Anyone can use their standard design software (and I don’t mean CSS software, I mean Adobe Photoshop, Gimp etc)

    4. Anyone can access themes through their website

    I think with Drupal itself being more editable/drag droppable, this will help fix the theme problem.

    Some ideas off top of my head. Not very interesting/indepth. Will come back when more debate.

  4. 4 alambert said at 3:38 pm on May 6th, 2009:

    What if the starting point as in publication design would be:

    1. font(s) chosen (if @fontrule available + font in eot and ot)
    2. text size, caption size, title size, spacing…
    3. fold place (600, 617?)
    4. page size (800, 1000…)
    5. number of columns (with propos. due to minimun size of column depending on number of caracters)
    6. sizes of gutters hor. & vert., sizes of genral and content padding

    n. same approach for modules creation

  5. 5 Jeff Burnz said at 12:24 am on May 28th, 2009:

    Well this is a big ask and not something I see as realistic given the time frame till code freeze.

    However, this could be achieved by way of a set of very advanced themes, such as Top Notch Themes Acquia Marina.

    There is one feature out of this I think could be of use, and that is being able to disable unused regions to declutter the block admin.

  6. 6 Gilles Demarty said at 11:37 pm on June 16th, 2009:

    Hi everybody,

    You’ll hear a lot from me in the following 2 weeks. Indeed, I’ve been assigned the task to make the Appareance feature more usable.

    I first must warn you that i’ll probably propose things that are really cool but utopic. Well, excuse me in advance. We probably can find a trade-off. We’ll see that together.

    This post is really all about first ideas and not really implementation, let just imagine we have plenty of time and the technology right now. We have 2 weeks to scale things down to practical stuff.

    Ok so now my vision:

    From what I understand (really tell me if i’m wrong on something):
    * The Appearance module can be divided into 3 main tasks:
    – Find an existing theme
    – and customize it
    – build a new theme (and post it to the drupal website). Usualy it is done by using an existing base theme.

    Other tasks include :
    – use many themes for the same site, so that user can switch between them.
    – Consider some theme as “draft” to betatest and work on it while another is available, directly from the production site.
    – create a theme from nothing.
    – publish a theme to drupal featured theme list, to share with others

    Ok, that being said, how would jeremy manage those tasks (see http://www.d7ux.org/who-is-d7ux-for/ for more info on who jeremy is):
    Please note that Jeremy is my fellow friend and I really care for him a lot, so right now i’ll talk a lot about him.

    * I would suggest we start by building a theme search right into an instance of drupal ( Using criterias like : fluid/elastic/fixed, minimum resolution, css-based/table-based/grid-based, main color). Also it would be cool to download and install the theme directly from drupal.
    => Jeremy will find the theme that will suit his needs and he will be able to proceed to the next step really quickly.

    * Once a theme is added, it must be edited : things like site icon, favicon, colorsets can be modified. A list of the different parameters is already here, but it could be cool to have a “full-browser” mode :
    => Jeremy should be able to have a full-browser mode where he can add/remove regions, move them, change color set. a header would be visible to return to normal mode, so that Jeremy knows he is not just surfing into his website, but editing it.

    * Also probably Jeremy need to :
    * share the same custom colorset between multiple themes
    * use multiple colorset in the same theme.
    Well there’s something to work on, but probably we should separate the ressources from the themes, and manage sets of theme+resources. Those ressources can be named “Website Identity”. I like the idea (hope Jeremy does too), that with multiple layout and multiple identities, you can customize your website in different way.

    Using this full-browser theming mode with a base theme, the themer can make a new theme in a matter of minutes: Every zone can be dragged/droped around, put on top of each other, clicking on the corner of a zone can show a menu to change parameters like backgrounds img, or even gorry css classes/attributes.

    Also consider ideas like (just writen down the ideas, not really thought of it fully)
    * “copied” themes. The new theme is a new sub-theme of the copied theme.
    * “Draft” theme so that only the creator of this theme can work on it, not accessible by everybody,
    * Detection of “sizes” for the logos. Usualy, the theme includes particular size /gabaris for logos. The previously defined “Website Identity” would include the differents gabaris detected in the theme. If a particular logo is not present, drupal can use a bigger image, if no bigger image exists, drupal can use a smaller image.

    I am really looking forward to read your replies. Tell me if it’s bullshit, brillant, awesome, or if you want more. I’ll be back soon with more stuff, more ideas, with sketching, with videos, with prototypes, etc…

    See u soon


  7. 7 Jet said at 5:31 am on June 27th, 2009:

    how about an interface that allows you to create your own theme from scratch?
    also being able to adjust the sidebars without going to code, sometimes it gets annoying if the pictures inside the content overlap with the sidebar

  8. 8 Page layout with Panels style widgets said at 4:23 pm on July 2nd, 2009:

    Is this the place to discuss laying pages out? It doesn’t seem covered by any of the other categories. Has anyone else managed to have a look at Telligent Community V5. I’m not one to advocate the use of proprietary software…but copy it we can. In terms of a UI for site layout, it’s like a beautiful Panels made simple. Basically everything in a site is a widget(or block or pane) and every single page(or page type) has a drag and drop (panels style) interface…so an admin with no knowledge of any code whatsoever can pick from a range of layouts and then drag and drop the widgets at will. These widgets include the header/the nav…everything. It makes building a site so so easy. Then it’s a case of styling the widgets. I might blog about it…as then I’ll have room for screenshots etc. But in terms of allowing ‘end-users’ to set up what their site looks like…the main thing is the layout – and we need to be moving away from regions and blocks to Panels and widgets (menus/blocks/views/content/CCK fields/anything).

  9. 9 Farid Said Alnamrouti said at 4:02 pm on July 29th, 2009:

    Hi every one ,
    First I want to mention that i love the drupal very very much but i love the drupal team and drupal community more .

    I am senior web / flash developer i am using drupal for 1 year , i always think for a good solutions for everything , actually i have an idea list , but the problem is that i don’t have any time to start of any of them , i am working now on 2 projects but not for drupal.
    i have in my list a very nice idea witch would change the behavior of drupal totally , and i would like to share it with you .


    1- one of the biggest none-logical things that i see in drupal that is the node is a page an have a url !!!!!???
    2- i have notice that most of drupal powerful modules design and developed to display the nodes in a new way like:
    -views (amazing one :P)
    -quick tabs
    etc …….
    3- the main problem with drupal core functionality is the complexity way that developer need to display the page as he want the design for it , for example
    -one day i need to put a page with multiple views in one page , so i need to create an empty page to put the views inside it .!!!
    -the comments is attach to the node and outside the node.tpl.php so i always have many problems to theming page with the comments form and comments content

    my solution:
    i think drupal should considered the URL as a main container for the drupal page so the last template file should be URL.tpl.php
    then i can extended it like URL-{url-arg(0)}.tpl.php
    the url container can be design as i can choose what the is things i need this url to contain for example (view1 and node2 etc…)

    * i have put a full outline for this project and new theming engine vision if you interest in my idea i can share it in details with you

    my best regards to all drupal community
    love you all

  10. 10 Klad said at 4:07 pm on July 31st, 2009:

    I love this approach!
    If there were a layout editor/editing mode, or a way to resize the rows and columns directly in layout by drag-and-drop, that would be even better. If we get this right, WordPress and all the other CMS’s will be copying from us…the best form of flattery.

  11. 11 Thomas Muirhead said at 5:33 pm on July 31st, 2009:

    Hi Klad,

    I couldn’t agree more. I did finally get round to sticking up those screenshots of Telligent along with a longer description of how it works. It may be too late for d7ux but it would be an amazing leap forward.

  12. 12 newmember said at 8:09 pm on November 1st, 2009:

    The trouble I have always had with drupal is making the site look like mine. The existing themes are not that good and editing css is just not a skill I have time for.

    Some ideas:
    A GUI to add a photo and use a tool like this to create a color palette for the person’s site. http://www.degraeve.com/color-palette/

    Or go to a website like this and import a palette:

    At a minimum have a GUI to allow me to edit the css without having to use a combination of a editor and uploading through ftp my changes to my production site. It just takes to many steps. This still would not be good enough for people that do not know how to edit css it just would make it easier.

    Select a frame layout for a page form a drop down list:
    I can’t recall where I saw the use of frames and div to layout a webpage.

    With these tools I could make drupal look like something I want, not what someone else was thinking. Color and layout can be so dramatic.

    Just take a look at facebook, you can change the look and feel of YOUR web page and make it yours.
    You don’t need to to load zen, and then learn how to edit the css.

    Good luck, I looking forward to using drupal for more things.

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