Drupal Theming Limitations
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Drupal Theming Limitations

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Presentation on DrupalCamp Athens 2010 (http://www.drupalcamp.gr) on Drupal's theming limitations and how you can design around them.

Presentation on DrupalCamp Athens 2010 (http://www.drupalcamp.gr) on Drupal's theming limitations and how you can design around them.

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Drupal Theming Limitations Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Drupalcamp Athens 2010 Why m ost D rupal s ites are ugly* AK A: Dr u p a l Th e m ing li m it at io n s * it’s because they’re made by developers! Sunday, 11 April 2010 1
  • 2. The whole Drupal experience is dated & ugly Sunday, 11 April 2010 2
  • 3. But it’s changing! Sunday, 11 April 2010 3
  • 4. Why most Drupal sites are ugly • Bundled themes are UGLY and bad for starting a theme (In fact, most free themes are ugly) • Premium, commercial themes business is nowhere as big as with Wordpress or Joomla • Drupal looks SCARY to designers because: - it has a steep learning curve - it requires a developer mindset, limitations need to be taken into account when designing ‣ Developers end up fixing things themselves Sunday, 11 April 2010 4
  • 5. Drupal facts of life You CAN’T theme Drupal without touching PHP (theming and development are intertwined) You CAN’T (always) put stuff anywhere you want You CAN’T (always) change anything you want In fact, tou CAN change (almost) anything if you really really want to (but it may result in hard-to-maintain sites) Sunday, 11 April 2010 5
  • 6. Two ways to tackle limitations: • Spot stuff that Drupal can’t do well in a design or: • Design Drupal sites that can be easily coded Sunday, 11 April 2010 6
  • 7. Limitation #1: Moving things around Page • Content is arranged in stacks Region • It’s EASY to position things inside a stack Node • It’s HARD to place things in other stacks Block • You CAN code around it (it may require hacks) Sunday, 11 April 2010 7
  • 8. Content Node Fields Placement • All node content should be inside a single <div> Field • Fields are the most common thing you’ll want to move (e.g. move a node’s file attachments to the sidebar) Sunday, 11 April 2010 8
  • 9. Solution: • (Easy case) hide content fields in node view and invoke them via PHP in blocks • Drupal 7 is coming: • You can’t move everything, don’t bother with little things, use CSS or forget it Sunday, 11 April 2010 9
  • 10. Limitation #2: Bloated HTML & CSS • DIVitis • CSS overload (MANY css files!) • CSS: sometimes too specific to override Sunday, 11 April 2010 10
  • 11. Solution: • Choose a clean starter theme: Basic or Mothership • Clean things up yourself! Sunday, 11 April 2010 11
  • 12. Limitation #3: Core Element Markup • Core elements appear everywhere • You can’t change one instance, you have to change the style EVERYWHERE • Things might be more generic than they first appear to be, e.g. you can’t change theme_item_list() to affect the recent comments list, ALL lists will be affected • Solution: Fix it with CSS (You CAN code around it, but you shouldn’t) Sunday, 11 April 2010 12
  • 13. Limitation #4: Forms • You can’t change forms from the theming engine, you have to write a module • Solution: - Wait for Drupal 7: use hook_form_alter() in template.php - Write a module! Sunday, 11 April 2010 13
  • 14. Limitation #4: Using 3rd Party Modules • Each module brings its own HTML/CSS • Don’t expect that their styling (or markup) will look the same • Solution: fix the code yourself! Sunday, 11 April 2010 14
  • 15. References • Limitations of the Drupal Theme Layer http://bit.ly/8ZHJm0 • Awesomeness Redefined: Drupal 7 Theming http://bit.ly/djuF73 • D7 Theming: so awesome you'll need a change of pants http://bit.ly/coC8vJ • Converting 6.x themes to 7.x http://bit.ly/cFPX3b • Basic Theme: http://drupal.org/project/basic Mothership Theme: http://drupal.org/project/mothership Sunday, 11 April 2010 15
  • 16. George Terezakis gterez@lucidideas.gr http://www.lucidideas.gr http://twitter.com/gterez Sunday, 11 April 2010 16