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Theme hacking questions


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SoundChaser

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Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 11
I have a couple of questions about theme hacking -- one specific to Geeklog's supplied themes, one a bit more general.

(1) I started trying to create a new theme based on the Clean theme. I was originally thinking that it was fairly close to what I wanted to start from -- although looking at it now, it seems that I would probably have been better to start from Classic or Yahoo.

The question is this: are any of the themes more consistent in their usage of CSS? I am noticing that most of the themes seem to be over-riding the CSS code in a lot of the table tags in the themes. This, to me, means that it's going to be a mess to go through all of the thtml files and try to get them to be consistent in applying CSS structures. Is there any point to doing this? Or would I just be better off doing a global search/replace for specific colors?

(2) More of a preferential question: anyone have any good tools for working on editing the template files? (FYI - linux geek - want to stick with linux based tools.) I was trying to work with vim initially, but my minimal profficiency with vi doesn't appear to be up to this job. Smile

The big thing that I was looking to do is: grep all the thtml files for td's or color / background attributes, use a list of the results to navigate through the files and fix / modify them for my theme.

There's obviously tons of good tools out there. I tried Bluefish and Screem this morning - couldn't (a) quite get used to them, (b) find this kind of functionality in them.

Anyone have any suggestions? (At this point I am thinking I might look for an extension to jed that might do this kind of thing...that's my regular editing tool.)

// George
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Dirk

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Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 13073
Location:Stuttgart, Germany
I'd say the mixture of HTML and CSS for appearance (rather than doing all the appearance in CSS) is a (bad) habit that's carried over from the days when CSS support in browsers wasn't as good as it is now. And since everyone who's doing a theme is usually basing it on some other theme, these things are just dragged along.

With the way Geeklog works, you probably can't do an all-CSS layout (i.e. getting rid of tables for layout purposes), but there's no need to set colors and the like in HTML - that should all be done in CSS really.

bye, Dirk
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James Fryer

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Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 17
You might want to look at this: Download

It's based on Classic but it uses styles -- the only files you should need to change are header.thtml and style.css. There are no hard-coded attributes in the templates (unless I've missed some).

It's not as finished as I'd like, which is why I haven't released it properly.
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SoundChaser

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Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 11
Quote by Dirk:...is a (bad) habit that's carried over from the days when CSS support in browsers wasn't as good as it is now. ...


Ahh - history. Gotta love it. Makes a lot of sense -- especially given the history of the browsers.

Quote by Dirk:With the way Geeklog works, you probably can't do an all-CSS layout (i.e. getting rid of tables for layout purposes), but there's no need to set colors and the like in HTML - that should all be done in CSS really.


Yeah - I wasn't thinking of trying to do all of the layout in CSS, primarily the textual and visual attributes. I was just surprised - I was thinking it was going to be a relatively short project (under 5 hrs) until I looked at the template files.

I'll try to upload and document the results I come up with. Maybe a newer set of templates can start leaning folks towards a cleaner layout of the files -- which will hopefully help with converting to GL2 once it gets going.

// George
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SoundChaser

Forum User
Newbie
Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 11
Quote by James Fryer: It's based on Classic but it uses styles -- the only files you should need to change are header.thtml and style.css. There are no hard-coded attributes in the templates (unless I've missed some).

It's not as finished as I'd like, which is why I haven't released it properly.


Hi James,

Thanks! I've downloaded it and will take a look at it this evening. (Just running out to work now...)

// George

Update: Jim - just had a chance to look at (a) your templates, and (b) your site. I definitely like your approach. It's exactly in line with what I was looking for. Thank you again!
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