Release and news in LT 1.3 ?

Release and news in LT 1.3 ?

Postby electron on Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:13 am

Sorry for this questions, but it seems like there are somnice things planned for lt 1.3, so my questions are:

- What new is planned for 1.3 ?
- Is there a road map anywhere to see?
- will there be 1.2.4 or next is 1.3 ?
- any time for release? August, September?
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Re: Release and news in LT 1.3 ?

Postby phunkphorce on Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:22 pm

electron wrote:Sorry for this questions, but it seems like there are somnice things planned for lt 1.3, so my questions are:

- What new is planned for 1.3 ?


- Integration with Google Maps (so that you can "geotag" your pictures, posts and blogs)
- Friends list and private messaging
- Most likely, an "ajaxified" interface.
- Some other minor improvements

- Is there a road map anywhere to see?


We'll post a roadmap soon.

- will there be 1.2.4 or next is 1.3 ?


There will be a 1.2.4 pretty soon, containing a couple of minor new features and a few bugfixes from the 1.2 branch. There will be as many releases in the 1.2.x branch as long as there are bugs to fix, but we are working on 1.3 at the same tim anyway.

- any time for release? August, September?


Our current "guesstimation" is that 1.3 should be ready after the summer, late September or October (hopefully)

But why are you so worried about 1.3? 1.2 is already good enough and it performs quite well...
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Postby electron on Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:26 am

I think is great. I got help to insert more "vide" sites into the editor, but friendlist and private messages seems great and I think the version I will choose to start the site with will be the last one, since updates will be tricky in the future. I want to custom the script with the more video option but even more conding to get custom profile fields. After that upgrading will be probably to hard to to, so I want to get as much as possible from the begining.
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Postby phunkphorce on Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:42 am

Regarding the issue of your local customizations, please have a look at SVK, which turns Subversion into a distributed source control repository. It will allow you to make your own check-ins into your own repository and at the same time, it will help you import changes from the main repository (i.e. ours) This ensures that you never lose track of your changes and that you're always up-to-date with the changes to the main tree.

Bear in mind that September or October is just a very rough estimation for LT 1.3, we aren't committed to any specific date and the current estimation is based on the amount of work we've got left (which could change any time)
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Postby Nomad on Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:15 pm

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.

For example:
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? ...
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Postby phunkphorce on Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:52 pm

This is an interesting thought and we have considered something like this in the past (i.e. creating a standard template and make modifications to it only via CSS) The problem is that we've got plenty of extra templates that would need to be thrown away, or "adapted" to work with the new standard layout (if that's even possible)

Would be interesting to hear other people's thoughts about this idea too...

As for 1.2.4, it's about to be released. But if you're interested in testing it immediately before the final release, you can grab any of the nightly builds:

http://www.lifetype.net/snapshots/lifet ... latest.zip

LT 1.2.4 is just days away from its final release, so these builds are as stable as they can be.
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Postby Nomad on Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:45 pm

phunkphorce wrote:This is an interesting thought and we have considered something like this in the past (i.e. creating a standard template and make modifications to it only via CSS) The problem is that we've got plenty of extra templates that would need to be thrown away, or "adapted" to work with the new standard layout (if that's even possible)

Would be interesting to hear other people's thoughts about this idea too...


Well what I was thinking was maybe a way to do it as a separate option? sort of a 'Two Tier' system? One would handle the existing templates as is and the new feature would be an 'Added' feature? that way with the second new feature we can do just about anything we wish, such as teh custom features like I mentioned...

And also being able to include the plugins 'Before' the template is rendered if they are enabled of course. So templates would be called, and just before they are rendered the plugins would be included and then the template displayed.
If we used the standard template then any plugins that go to the nav bar say are simply styled via 'class="sidebar" - they would then take on the values attributed via the css.

the basics of the css and templates I think are easy enough but it's the rest I would have difficulty with doing..
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Postby reto on Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:23 am

Some thoughts that came to my mind while reading this thread:

1. we have already started something similar with the default template functionality - we should not consider another "similar" approach again but do the best with what we already have.

2. templates should be provided by the community. we offer a "standard" template that is quite flexible with just adapting the css (of course there is room for improvement). but fact is, that if you simply want to port a wp template it's much easier to take the wp template's html structure and don't try to adapt the standard template with modified css.

3. if we once start to expand the default template (more than just the commentform.template) we should consider using YAML (http://www.yaml.de) which is a xhtml/css framework more advanced than say YUI Grids...

4. our default template system would make core and plugin upgrades easy as only one xhtml structure would need to be updated (the default).
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Postby phunkphorce on Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:36 am

I didn't know about this YAML project but it looks interesting...
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Postby Nomad on Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:07 pm

reto wrote:Some thoughts that came to my mind while reading this thread:

1. we have already started something similar with the default template functionality - we should not consider another "similar" approach again but do the best with what we already have.


In a way what I'm suggesting is different. The default template is supposed to cover errors in template sets such as a required file being missing. for example if I leave out commentform.template then the system looks in the default template folder and serves the required file from there. Same would occur (Presumably) if post.template was excluded, although I'm not to sure as yet how far this safe gurad has been implemented? (At least thats how I understood it to work?)

reto wrote:2. templates should be provided by the community. we offer a "standard" template that is quite flexible with just adapting the css (of course there is room for improvement). but fact is, that if you simply want to port a wp template it's much easier to take the wp template's html structure and don't try to adapt the standard template with modified css.


I agree, templates should definitely be provided/contributed by the community. Hence my reasoning of maintaining the existing template structure and augmenting that with a secondary template structure that an end user can adapt to there requirements.

reto wrote:3. if we once start to expand the default template (more than just the commentform.template) we should consider using YAML (http://www.yaml.de) which is a xhtml/css framework more advanced than say YUI Grids...


I've just looked over that site (Very Good btw thanks :) ) and it looks like it is close to what I am thinking of

reto wrote:4. our default template system would make core and plugin upgrades easy as only one xhtml structure would need to be updated (the default).


Yes this is my thinking as well but with an extension of that, giving the end user the ability to make adjustments to some parts of the template them selves.

For instance, say they have a really nice header image but know little or nothing about xhtml - how can they then adapt a template? Most end users only want to click a few times on there mouse button, type a few things and click finish. They don't want to learn the intricacies of developing templates or code.

So utilizing a system where a end user can simply tick an option, browse and upload an image, insert that image as there header and click a finish button and they then have there own image in a template.

Sort of like a "Custom template Control Panel'? Utilizing features such as 'YAML' but with extended capabilities so they can change colour and maybe position, enable which ever plugin they want without having to add code to templates and click a button and they have there own personalized template.

The xhtml and css is simple enough. Each user would use either a basic fixed generated template of one of the three basic styles or a fluid template again in one of the three basic styles (Personally I think fixed is the better option here), and a basic base css styling template.

Any 'Custom' styling could be handled in a custom css sheet generated by the system and saved in the user template folder something we already have implemented for when a user uploads there own template sets privately to other users (If user template uploads are allowed/used within the system they are a part of).

Positioning of objects within the navigation? This can be handled by a series of numbered positioning options. I've seen this in action (and used it) via forum software when ordering the position of forums and forum categories. Here we could set the order of the stuff like categories, calender, links, rss, recent posts but also any plugins that are enabled.
If a plugin is not enabled then it doe snot show in the list and if added/enabled at a later date it automatically defaults to the end of the sort list unless the user specifically edits and resets that order.

yes it means a lot of coding and I'm not sure how much I could help with that - xhtml/css yes I'm ok with and simple java/php but as for the advanced stuff ????

Your idea of utilizing the default is definitely the best option then all we would need to think about is the xhtml/css and all the core elements are called from the default folder.

It would be a totally new way of handling templates and I have as yet to see any other blog system that is doing it. The plus side is it would give the ordinary end user the ability to have more control over how there blog is presented without them having to learn the complexities of coding.

Part of the reasoning there is the amount of times I am getting asked to build or make adjustments to templates for users and I just thought it would be a good idea if they could do it for themselves.

Out of interest - how difficult would it be to implement a feature like this?
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Postby reto on Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:32 pm

wow, that's a lot of text you wrote here :)

Nomad wrote:In a way what I'm suggesting is different. The default template is supposed to cover errors in template sets such as a required file being missing. for example if I leave out commentform.template then the system looks in the default template folder and serves the required file from there.


Yes and no. First of all, you have the option to either first display the default template, then - if it's missing - the specific template or vice versa. Of course it's basically working as a fallback like you discribed it. but if you would like to design a default template for your bloghosting and only derive css and header.template for the specific templates, that would be easy and you could avoid upgrading 70 different panel.template just because there is a change in the "user profile" feature.

I agree, templates should definitely be provided/contributed by the community. Hence my reasoning of maintaining the existing template structure and augmenting that with a secondary template structure that an end user can adapt to there requirements.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean. But would it help, if we would expand the default template (not the standard) to be usable as a full template skeleton (maybe with core.css but no styling)? template authors are then encouraged to base their designs on the skeleton and only providing css. of course full featured templates would still work and we wouldn't have to change a single line of core code

Yes this is my thinking as well but with an extension of that, giving the end user the ability to make adjustments to some parts of the template them selves.

For instance, say they have a really nice header image but know little or nothing about xhtml - how can they then adapt a template? Most end users only want to click a few times on there mouse button, type a few things and click finish. They don't want to learn the intricacies of developing templates or code.


this would be doable by adding features to the template editor, right?

Here we could set the order of the stuff like categories, calender, links, rss, recent posts but also any plugins that are enabled.
If a plugin is not enabled then it doe snot show in the list and if added/enabled at a later date it automatically defaults to the end of the sort list unless the user specifically edits and resets that order.


maybe this is something like a "panel" plugin for plugins. but I'm not 100% positive with "pipeing" partial templates through smarty... I think it should be doable, though. but this is not something I'm interested in. Although I see that it would add comfort and would be a nice feature...

To answer your question. I think there are three things we would have to implement:
1. implement the default template skeleton (YAML may be one of the best options here)
2. write a plugin/extend the template editor plugin to let the user easily/wysiwyg style change the template (generating the additional css and stuff in ./templates/UID/User-Template-Name/)
3. somehow implement a wysiwyg tool to add new plugins to templates (like wp is doing, maybe?)

the second and third are for sure quite a lot of work. the first one is something I will put back to my agenda, as I already once started to play with yaml and lifetype.
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Postby Nomad on Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:20 pm

I see what you mean Reto but I think I'm not giving a clear enough picture of what I'm suggesting (My fault - sorry)....

What I'm thinking is for end users who have absolutely no knowledge of coding ans don't want to or can't learn. (That happens - some folk just cannot understand the basics)..

So what I'm thinking is an option where, the user can, instead of selecting a template from the existing templates or using the default template, that a new option to create there own 'Custom' template.

My thoughts then on the way to implement that is to apply certain restrictions, basically that they can choose from one of three basic template styles.

those being

Two column/left Fixed
Two Column/right Fixed and
Three column fixed

These 'Blanks' would be controlled be a 'base.css' such as how YAML seems to work.

This would mean designing and implementing a secondary user interface for them to 'Add' header image and certain color style to the template and this styling would need to generated by the system as a 'custom.css' specific only to that user.

In essence this would be a third option for templates complementing the existing template structure but giving the end user an option where they can control the look and style of there template somewhat.

I'm not sure if it can be implemented but it would be a unique option for Lifetype as no other blog system including wordpress have such an option. Not as far as I am aware anyway. Stumbleupon has some sort of control but that is only minimal, others use custom templates that can be installed but none as far as I know like I say offer the option to adjust or control your own....
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Postby phunkphorce on Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:03 pm

Can you two have a look at and give some input on this:

http://forums.lifetype.net/viewtopic.php?t=6924

It seems to be quite close to what we're looking for, isn't it?
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Postby lavinya on Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:57 am

Please ADD in new version:
1. latest posts(with ajax) on summary page..
example blogger "Blogs Updated area"
2. Blog category cloud on summary
3. optimize custom-url system and 404s optimize.
(not exists url page and subdomain must be 404)
4. blogs stats on summary page. e.g. : total user, total post, ...
thanks.. :)
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Postby jondaley on Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:10 am

What does it mean to "optimize" custom URLs?

What do you mean to have latest posts using ajax on the summary page? Why not just load the data statically? I always dislike pages that overuse dynamic javascript when plaintext would be good enough, and there isn't any difference in the final result.
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