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New Site Theme: bugrain3

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Thu 19 April 2007 - 20:17:50

* A new theme for this site

So I've finally decided to go with the new theme.

It's not perfect and there's bits of it I don't like and bits I want to change anyway and bits I still want to do. But, hey, you can tweak it forever and nobody will ever see it.

So, what's it all about - all this, skin chooser and stuff?

Well, I wanted to do a theme for my site that got away from the square "CMS look" seen in a lot of places. Not just e107, other CMSs too. Now, there's nothing wrong with that look, I just wanted to try some different things that I knew (or thought I know) i could do. The result is this theme (or "bugrain3" if you're viewing this news item many years in the future and I've moved on).

Now I've got a bit of a background in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, so I wanted to add some of that to the theme. I also wanted to make it 'e107 legal', so there are no hacks to the e107 core (as of version 0.7.8)... well, just one, but it's a simple one (removing one line of code from download.php so that category descriptions do not take over the whole 'page title' area).

I also though I would make it 'stand alone' so it had no dependencies on any other code. However, as I also wrote the e107 Helper Project plugin and this has many useful JavaScript function in it (self plug ) it soon became apparent that there was no point not using it. As the eventual aim was to move any useful JavaScript in to e107 Helper at a later date I decided there was no point waiting - the theme is just for me so e107 Helper will be available always and the extra JavaScript in e107 may be useful to others sooner rather than later anyway.

So that's where I got to today, here's few things I like about the theme
  • Skin switcher (the little buttons at the top right of the page)
  • Fading in menus - the two 'static' (or top) menus
  • Right hand menus - the round edges don't use any graphics - not perfect but I do like the look when they are all contracted, which brings me on to...
  • The way the right hand menus expand/contract - the effect was found by accident and I'm not sure I can describe it - just click
  • It was written from scratch, by that I mean the $HEADER and $FOOTER (for the themers) started out empty.

So there you go. I know there are things that don't (yet) work as they should. I'm a Firefox user so most of it works OK there (and Mozilla I guess), IE and opera may have issues, I've done some basic testing and the site is navigable but not as good as FF. If you find problems, I've started a [/link=http://www.bugrain.com/e107_plugins/forum/ forum_viewforum.php?37]forum[/link] where you can post any issues.

Finally, the skins - why Zorb, Black Water Rafting and Fly by Wire. Well, tried them all on a holiday in New Zealand, see these links:
black water rafting
fly by wire

Oh, and 'skinny' is just a graphics/colour free skin.

P.S. I would also like to make it XHTML compliant, most of it is so far, the rest will follow.

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