New Templates Management in Dolphin 7.1 (Osho) + Extra Template

Andrew Boon posted 5th of August 2012 in News. 38 comments.

Good news for template developers and all web-masters that like to change the look of their Dolphin sites! Dolphin 7.1 is going to have an automated Templates management system in Admin panel.

We have added templates installation and made some improvements in upload/files handling, so Modules will also now upload  with much better success rate. 

The new Templates management system is in "Settings" section and it looks like this... you may see it lets you choose the default template and preview other installed templates. The thumbnail picture, however, is provided by template developer, so it may be a sample screenshot or whatever else.


Add New Template

Adding a new (properly packaged) template is a breeze now. It literally takes a couple of seconds and looks like this...

Template packages should come in .zip format, so you just upload the archive and the rest happens automatically. The newly installed template will show up in "List" tab.



The "Settings" tab features some basic configuration preferences, most importantly the option to allow users to choose templates (if you have more than one installed).


The "New" ALT Template

For a long while Dolphin was packaged with only one default template - UNI ("base" doesn't count, as it is more like a "skeleton" required for other templates to work). From now on, we're adding a second template, called "ALT". 

Now, you may already know our position about providing additional templates with social networking software. In short: we think it's wrong to mass-distribute custom-looking templates. So, ALT isn't that much different from UNI and is provided only as an example of how a few quick changes to UNI can create a different feel, and also to give a better idea of how Templates management system in Admin operates. It's there for convenience, not actual looks, so don't mind corny clouds.

ALT has a different background image and a slightly re-adjusted color scheme - that's all. It looks like this (yeah, I love these Vonnegut-style "it looks like this..." leads)...


Text Logo

One more little feature that you may notice is the new "logo". It is basically a simple site name text with some CSS styles. You can, naturally, upload your own custom image logo instead. We decided to go for a text logo by default, because we see more and more sites that don't have established identity or company behind them, and web-masters struggle to come up with a good looking logo image from the beginning. So, many would do away just fine with the site name like, say, CupertunoPlumbers for example, shown as a styled-up text. At least until they have a proper logo ready.  

This way, one can quickly create a somewhat customised look without having much more than a background image handy or a background color in mind.



We expect the new changes to inspire designers to come up with new cool templates for Dolphin 7.1 and we hope web-masters would be a little more compelled to try different looks for their Dolphin-based communities.


Stay tuned!




Recommended by
Please login to post a comment.
All good, i just finished upgrading my 7.0.9 site to 7.1 haven't noticed many issues, however there are some minor issues in pagebuilder. And was not able to save changes in the "Settings" tab tried to change the page width.
Andrew Boon
Yes, we're aware of quite a few little glitches in many places. Working on them now. Once we're done with what we already know we'll move on to Betas.
And in the future please no more major changes to the templates!....
Andrew Boon
"The future ain't what it used to be."
Yogi Berra

can you send me a link to where i can download 7.1
The addition of a new template, is a great opportunity to give the drop downs a better look and feel. The 'More' menu with the second level, is a plain old monster. It easily drops below the bottom of the screen on widescreen displays. Why not take this golden opportunity to make a few css changes in the new template so it behaves like this:

The drop down spans the width of the main div, stays there until mouseout, and you can get a ton of see more info in it.... all nice and organized. The 'More' item, at 2 levels in 7.1, would be a great place to do this.
Andrew Boon
Yep, good idea. In our tempalate now, with all modules installed there's still space for some tabs to show and "more" only show a handful of items. Generally, we recommend web-masters to avoid installing so many modules at once anyway. That said, I think you have a very valid point and we'll check what we can do about it.
Thanks. It will look a lot better on your demo site,, whenever it's installed there with all the modules. You don't want potential customers seeing the two level more menu dropping off the bottom of the screen.... or any other menu for that matter.
Agree with houstonlively. In the market there is currently the MegaMenu from tboulley that have a similar solution.
If you want to help designers with developing unique looking sites then provide a very basic template, with no extra design "bells and whistles", from which we can then add unique design ideas. Use a mixture of greys and if a line doesn't have a definitely purpose then either leave it out or use a very faint grey to minimize it's affect.
Andrew Boon
That's what Base and in some respect UNI is for. UNI is mostly grey, with transparent elements to accommodate changes in color schemes.
Not only with color change, Do it like vBulletin if tags: or Smarty so that everyone can do what you want easily..
is Dolphin 7.1 out so i can download it ???
Andrew Boon
You can download it from SVN, but it's not released yet and isn't recommended for anything but testing.
Can you send a link to SVN so i can download the 7.1 Thanks
Is it possible for admins to add fonts to use for the Text Logo?
When will you migrate the syntax of your template engine to XSLT, as you had indicated?
Andrew Boon
We've been using XSLT for templates in Trident, which is now dropped in favour of Dolphin 8. Although, XSLT is a nice technology we found that it creates a lot of constrains for developers that aren't proficient in this particular area. This is, for the most part, a bad thing.

AlexT will probably chime in to comment about D8 templates, but AFAIK they're not XSLT-based.
I thought the Dolphin 8 was going to be based on Trident and fully use the XSLT engine as you had indicated in the old milestone.

If Dolphin 8 will get rid XSLT, does the forum it will still use XSLT? (I do not even see this module in Dolphin 8).
Dolphin 7.1 has the same template engine as 7.0, to keep the compatibility with previous versions. Dolphin 8 has the same template engine too but with some structural changes.
Dear Andrew,

I did not yet publish the current version of my website since I believe a "first impression" counts. Therefore im waiting for osho to be released. How long do you "estimate", but just a rough estimate of when osho would be be released for use on our website? Also, will be the beta be released this month?
Andrew Boon
Yes, the beta is very likely to be released this month.
looking forward to playing with :)
that's why I love being here with you on BoonEx - there are always good changes
Congratulations to all that worked on this version

Too bad you moved the system for couples on dolphin 8
Has anyone had problems viewing icon fonts on Dolphin 7.1? I can not see them on IE8 (windows xp).
Great job with the new template and the administration area but.... can you implement dependent fields? It is essential to any community and would be great to have in Dolphin 7.1.
Also it would be nice to have an image slideshow as facebook for the photo gallery (or the ability to click on a photo - for example, a profile photo - and see it in a pop-up).
Please check if you are running IE8 without IE7 emulation mode.
IE7 emulation mode is disabled. You can see the problem in these two pictures: -
Can't reproduce the issue. Please can you provide your browser version along with OS ?
Also please check that compatibility mode is turned off as well.
My OS is Windows XP SP3 with IE8. As you can see in the images posted above, the compatibility mode is turned off (the button near "refresh" is not enabled). I tried a browser emulator online (this is the report page: ) and the problem on IE8 is the same (on IE9 everything works properly, even if the report displays a blank page). It could be an IE8 problem (on the web I found a problem with icon fonts, IE8 and pseudo elements see more - ).
i can
xp pro.. sp3 ie8
I see it now! Very strange problem - it loads fine the first time, then icons disappear upon page reload.
Thank you for checking this, we will try to apply some workaround.
I simply hope with 7.1 that I can organize my top and subsequent 2nd level menu options to the following:
Share - Videos, Photos, Music
Communicate - Mail, Forums, Blogs, Boards, Ads, Chat
Inform - News, Files, Sites, Articles, Polls
Account -Profile, Dashboard, Spy
Search - Members, Categories, Tags, Search
About - About Us, Contact, FAQ, Help, Privacy, Term

Hope 7,1 is flexible enough to support such structure.
All Page is very good!! Demo or ?
God I remember my last site build and I spent --so-- much time on customizing my template and CSS.. this is nice. It will mean I will not have to do so much of that next time.
Hopefully the templating system will go towards the right direction... modularised, scalable and also designer friendly... People happily fluent with designing web templates found the past templating system quite uneasy to work with.
I hope this leads to the ability to create and customize templates easily within the Administration Dashboard.. Or even some default templates to choose from or use from Dolphin.. that would be great too!
Is it possible to add another. backround with a jpg or photoshop file or is it always that blue?
Below is the legacy version of the Boonex site, maintained for Dolphin.Pro 7.x support.
The new Dolphin solution is powered by UNA Community Management System.