In relation to the new release (1.3) - I was wondering how difficult it might be to add a 'Standardized' template system?
Currently we have many templates for LT and a lot of the 'Custom' templates are not standard - i.e. they use say different class names for css values in the navigation or some even use panel.template while others use links.template, others still use the footer.template to include the navigation.
From a styling point of view, this make sit that much harder to include the many plug-ins that are available, such as technorati, tag cloud etc..
I've been thinking on this for a while, more so since the adsence plug in came out and my thoughts were - wouldn't it be great if we could just enable the plugin and it was inserted directly into the template without the need for template editing?
The snag though is how a lot of the 'Custom' templates are built as I've said, panel, links, footer?
What I'm thinking is that if we had some form of standard template system then plugins and the likes could be easily dealt with without the need to edit templates so often. however extending this idea, my thoughts were, that if we had a 'two Tier' based template system, custom and standard, we could maintain the existing templates but also have the ability to offer the end user a way to 'Edit' certain aspects of the default template, in essence creating a new template altogether.
Technically, templates follow three distinct styles, two column/left nav, two column/right nav and three column/left-right nav and are generally built in three distinct parts, header/body/footer. I believe due to that we have the ability to be able to build a section where the end user can insert the head image, select there own colour scheme and body background.
There are three basic styles - the end user selects the two column left. They are then presented with a page, (in admin control) that allows them to either select from pre installed head images or upload there own/next/
The user then can select either an image or body background colour/next/
the user can then select the background colour of the nav bar/next/
the user can then select from a set of pre defined nav styles - fonts, colour of fonts etc/next/
the user can select a colour and what text for there footer/next/
the user can select the order for there nav bar and what plugins are to be enabled - i.e. tag cloud, technorati etc and what position - included in this section would be the basic nav stuff, archives, rss, calender, categories etc
they then finish and the template and settings are saved and presented next time the blog is viewed. They can obviously make changes and recompile/edit each part of the template as and when they wish, however they would lose any previous settings.
I know this would be complex maybe to initiate and is only possible be using a standard template set and so as not to lose any of the existing templates it would mean a separate template part to the system but it would give the end user more control over the look of there part of the system and make it that much easier to include the many plugins via default settings..
My main idea behind this though is how to include the plugins without having to keep editing the templates? Currently as each new build is issued i.e. 1.0 -> 1.1 -> 1.2 templates need to be updated to keep up with the upgraded plugins or if the plug ins are updated so do the templates need to be. This can be time consuming especially as there are over 70+ templates and many plugins - this can mean over 700+ edits and tests each time a new build comes out.
But as well though it would mean that the end user has more control over there individual blog and how it looks and as far as I know there is no other blog system with the ability to do that, not even wordpress. It would definitely be a bonus for LT if we could introduce it.
As for writing the php and functions for it I'd probably be of little help but I could certainly put the basic plain templates together.
not sure if this could be done as it would mean that LT would have two template type systems but if there was some way? could it be developed?
Just an idea mind and one I wouldn't expect to see in 1.3 - maybe 1.4?
btw - out of interest hows 1.2.4 coming? need any testing done on it yet?
edit: how strange - just been stumbling and came across this page http://www.sixshootermedia.com/ostempla ... fixed.html
This is exactly what I'm talking about (Check the nav out) - if you read through the text he is saying exactly what I mean and as you can see it works. However if we could develop on that by adding stuff like I mentioned? ...