How I would like to see Dolphin templating system

hd4real posted 15th of June 2009 in Community Voice. 8 comments.

Templating is really the first thing everyone does look at because nobody wants to have the same look. I have worked and still work with a cms that has a very userfriendly templating system.

You can design anything you want and just add codes to your template. For example they use flexcodes:

%menudata% is for calling the menu
%main_shape% calls for modules and content
%copyright% calls for footer copyright

Their template folder looks like this: CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW

Shapes is the folder for specific designs within the main site. This can be modules templates if used with Dolphin. Also different blocks templates can be in the Shapes folder.

wsc_default is the folder for main index/pages template.

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW

As you can see, they use codes to call for system features:

%menudata% for the menu.

%glob_lang_drop% calls for a dropdown of different languages

%path% calls for a breadcrumb menu

%content.htm|plain|492% calls for index page content

%google_friend.htm|plain|551% calls for template shape with google friend code

The page template is the same as the index template but with a small difference in flexcodes: CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW

This template will use 1 different flexcode because the page template is used for all pages for example for contact / about us / terms / privacy etc.

%start_ajax% calls for code needed for ajax function

%main_shape% will call for all content for any page.


I love this way of templating because i'm not a coder nor a designer but I could add my own design easy. No need to know much.

You can even make different designs for different pages. I can tell you. You would all love this system.

For anyone, I feel templating is the biggest issue if your not a coder nor designer.

I just hope Dolphin ever gets a system like this. Well that's my post for now.

Have a nice day.

 
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DeeEmm
It seems simple as you are used to it.

The example looks very clunky to me.

If you have to learn all these template codes, why not simply learn html and css? probably the same amount of work and applies to all sites everywhere.

DM
hd4real
You do not have to learn the codes. The codes are already created. There is a list. All you have to do is add the codes in your template where needed.
DeeEmm
OK - here's an excellent link that everyone who wants to attempt to design / modify a website should go and familiarize themselves with.

http://csszengarden.com

It demonstrates the power and flexibility of CSS.

The same can be achieved with your dolphin site via the admin panel.

ADMIN > SETTINGS > CSS STYLES EDITOR.

DM
hd4real
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.
mbdc
Holi cannoli. I didn't realize css could change the page look so drastically. I have much to learn, grasshopper.
TheSoMeEx
I agree that the Dolphin templating could be much easier and more flexible.

DeeEmm, I see what he is getting at here. Even with a clear knowledge of HTML and CSS, Dolphin is awkward and inflexible (unless I am missing quite a bit of information, which is always possible). I'd like to style different modules differently. Some to have a darker background, for example to make them stand out fromt he page, and so on.

This is not easily accomplished in Dolphin.

Not that I will not keep trying, see more and I am sure I will succeeed when i have the time to devote.

That said, some CMS systems have the templating more standardized and it is easy to say X_Module (latest blogs, for example) looks very different from Y_Module (latest forum posts), because you gave it a different style definition (classes module_x and module_y, respectively, for example).

It's good to be able to do, and make designing much more flexible in the long run.
DeeEmm
I will agree that the template 'system' in Dolphin is perhaps not entirely intuitive and not 100% flexible.

But I think that it is easy enough for most users to effect basic style changes with a few simple css changes (just look though general.css and you should be able to create a completely different looking site with minimal changes). Half the battle is knowing where to look.

IMHO this is where most webmasters should start. Learn the basics and then grow with your site, it's the best way see more to learn, relying on an automated templating system does not a good webmaster make. People are so reliant on things such as frontpage and dreamweaver that when it comes to doing simple css mods they are stuffed.

More complex changes will probably also require changes to the code (to create different classes so that you can style different blocks to look visually different - as per your example) so this is the logical next step in the learning process.

I believe the tools are already there within Dolphin, people just need to take the time to learn them. IMO it's pretty easy.

Dolphin has a typical layout -> header / navigation / footer + 1/2/3 central columns of content.

Header and footer files are easily editable with text editor if required. Column layout is decided within builder in admin panel and css files can all be edited via admin panel.

Might put a quick blog together for the noobs with some tips.
DeeEmm
As promised - http://www.boonex.com/unity/blog/entry/Website_design_for_n00bs
 
 
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