No pre-built themes in 0.8?

Oct 25, 2010 at 6:33 PM

I am running the 0.8 release but do no see any of the pre-build themes available.  Ironic given the emphasis on theming in this release.  Or perhaps I am missing something in the install?

Gerry

Coordinator
Oct 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM

We decided to focus on a single very flexible theme and on the infrastructure itself so that theme authors can start working.

Oct 25, 2010 at 10:05 PM

@bertrandleroy

This is a big mistake in my opinion. Not including sample themes  will make adopting Orchard  a steep curve. The success  of many php based CMS systems  and even other .Net based systems is due to the fact that a developer can easily roll out a  great looking site out of the box, using sample themes that are included in the package. Using that as a proof of concept, or demo, they can then easily extend the themes and so on. IBuy Spy Portal that DotNet Nuke  and several other earlier CMS systems from Microsoft; included  themes or great looking templates that were used as starting points.

With this release, however, a non appealing theme is the only available option on install. A developer is expected to then start developing the theme using the theme Engine, (there's no documentation on how to do this yet); there's no documentation on how to develop the themes either.

Release 8 maybe a great release, but not including a visually appealing theme or template available out of the box, will make the adoption curve a steep one in a crowded  market dominated by Php based systems that can be used "as is" out of the box, packaged with visually appealing themes or templates .
If you must use a bland looking theme as the  only available theme out of the box, at a bare minimum, use colors and make it appealing.

Sure, I have installed release 8, and showed it off to four of my colleagues and the question everyone asked was, "where are the sample theme(s)?"

On the other hand, if your target audience is ONLY developers then you may have a point. I don’t see any hobbyist or even a “lazy” developer adopting this anytime soon.

cheers
yousaid

,

 

Coordinator
Oct 25, 2010 at 10:48 PM

It is version zero point eight, not eight. It is not meant for mass adoption. At all.

We had a choice between having great theming features and great themes (we did have a choice of 5 themes in the previous release by the way). We chose infrastructure.

There will be more themes by the time 1.0 is out.

From: yousaid [mailto:notifications@codeplex.com]
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 2:06 PM
To: Bertrand Le Roy
Subject: Re: No pre-built themes in 0.8? [orchard:232251]

From: yousaid

@bertrandleroy

This is a big mistake in my opinion. Not including sample themes will make adopting Orchard a steep curve. The success of many php based CMS systems and even other .Net based systems is due to the fact that a developer can easily roll out a great looking site out of the box, using sample themes that are included in the package. Using that as a proof of concept, or demo, they can then easily extend the themes and so on. IBuy Spy Portal that DotNet Nuke and several other earlier CMS systems from Microsoft; included themes or great looking templates that were used as starting points.

With this release, however, a non appealing theme is the only available option on install. A developer is expected to then start developing the theme using the theme Engine, (there's no documentation on how to do this yet); there's no documentation on how to develop the themes either.

Release 8 maybe a great release, but not including a visually appealing theme or template available out of the box, will make the adoption curve a steep one in a crowded market dominated by Php based systems that can be used "as is" out of the box, packaged with visually appealing themes or templates .
If you must use a bland looking theme as the only available theme out of the box, at a bare minimum, use colors and make it appealing.

Sure, I have installed release 8, and showed it off to four of my colleagues and the question everyone asked was, "where are the sample theme(s)?"

On the other hand, if your target audience is ONLY developers then you may have a point. I don’t see any hobbyist or even a “lazy” developer adopting this anytime soon.

cheers
yousaid

,

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Oct 26, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Is there any information on developing a new theme?

Developer
Oct 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

If there is a way to provide my Theme so that you have another one as a reference point, then I dont mind.

@bertrandleroy Is there a way to add a theme to the gallery??

Coordinator
Oct 26, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Yes, it's pretty much the same process as with modules (except the names of the commands change). We have not yet written the documentation for that feature but if you have a theme you want to submit, I'll help.

Oct 26, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Personally, I liked the fact that the Orchard team shipped the Theme machine bare bones. I could see how the theme system worked easily. The new theme infrastructure is extremely simple. I've been playing around with the latest build. I would recommend using the WebMatrix Beta 2 tutorial to familiarize yourself with the Razor view engine and its syntax (basically inline C# or VB code used as a templating engine) if you are having trouble understanding how the theme system is constructed. WebMatrix is actually a quick and easy tool you can use to create some themes but Visual Studio works just fine.

Technically all you have to do is change the CSS file in the Theme machine to get a totally different look and feel without even touching the cshtml file. What makes Razor so powerful is that it can be used inline with ASP.NET development irrespective of whether or not you apply the MVC pattern. Orchard does apply the MVC pattern, but learning Razor is what's essential to creating themes in Orchard. The theme system in the latest update to Orchard is built on top of Razor. In the main Layout.cshtml file in the Themes -> Theme Machine folder there are "zones" that you need to implement for the system to display information from the CMS. You can actually move them around anyway you like but it would make sense to keep the header at the top of the page for instance because that is self-explanatory,

 

For example:

  • @Zone(Model.Header) - This is the header zone
  • @Zone(Model.Navigation) - This the navigation zone
  • @Zone(Model.Featured) - This is the featured zone
  • @Zone(Model.BeforeMain) - This is the before main zone
  • @Zone(Model.AsideFirst) - This is the aside first zone
  • @Zone(Model.Messages) - This is the messages zone
  • @Zone(Model.BeforeContent) - This is the before content zone
  • @Zone(Model.Content) - This is the content zone

 

Examine this code: If there is Model content, show the content zone.

 @if (Model.Content != null) {
        <div id="content" class="group">
            @Zone(Model.Content)
        </div>
        }

When you see the @ symbol in front of a control construct. That is Razor. You can control the look and feel of the content zone by manipulating the content id in CSS or get a uniformed look and feel by modifying the group class in CSS.

If you take a day or two and simply examine the source code, and study Razor you should be able to utilize this system any way you want. This is just how I did it, I cannot speak for the Orchard team they may recommend other conventions. From my own experimentation I would conclude that if you learn Razor you can build any type of themes you want.

@BetrandLeroy.  I think you guys are doing a great job. I think I may be able to contribute something useful judging by some of the responses I am reading in these forums if you could use some help writing documentation. I believe we should contribute as well as critique. Everyone have a good day.

Oct 26, 2010 at 9:38 PM

I have not been able to figure out how to add a theme.  When I add any theme to the gallery, it shows and empty list.  Only TheThemeMachine shows at the top.  I'd even settle for hard-coding it at present, but I haven't figured out when   

     public void SetSiteTheme(string themeName) {...}

gets called.  I set a breakpoint and it didn't stop on it.  Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Trevor

Coordinator
Oct 26, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Should be easy as copy/pasting TheThemeMachine and update the Theme.txt file with your ozn information. Refresh the Themes pages.


From: Trevor [notifications@codeplex.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1:38 PM
To: Sebastien Ros
Subject: Re: No pre-built themes in 0.8? [orchard:232251]

From: Trevor

I have not been able to figure out how to add a theme. When I add any theme to the gallery, it shows and empty list. Only TheThemeMachine shows at the top. I'd even settle for hard-coding it at present, but I haven't figured out when

public void SetSiteTheme(string themeName) {...}

gets called. I set a breakpoint and it didn't stop on it. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Trevor

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Oct 26, 2010 at 9:56 PM
sebastienros wrote:

Should be easy as copy/pasting TheThemeMachine and update the Theme.txt file with your ozn information. Refresh the Themes pages.


 

Thanks.  Funny I tried that and it didn't work and then I tried it again and it did.  Guess I was sleepy (yesterday flight)!
Thanks,
Trevor de Koekkoek

 

 

Oct 26, 2010 at 10:17 PM

@aumonte

I think the point I was trying to make has either been lost or misunderstood, but I stand by it. I was not critiquing the efforts and do believe release .8... is great (I have been using it before it was officially released).

The point I was making is that, focusing on the infrastructure is good and so on, but the truth is that we live in a world where first impressions is everything. Out of the box, it (.8) lacks the WOW factor (visually) on install. Granted it's a .dot release, but then the earlier releases had themes that should have been included, (you can still install them also). Ideally, the landing page (home page) on install should have included a Home, About and Contact pages on a visually appealing page.

Sure, you and I can roll our own themes, etc, but if you poll many developers, they may tell you that including some ready to use themes is very helpful. In-fact if you look at BlogEngine, you will realize that a very high percentage of the sites out there are actually using default themes, same for DotnetNuke, MonoX, Umbraco etc; granted these are mature tools, but they have been that way from the early dot releases.

Using, your own post as an example, a developer who does not know how to code using Razor or Webmatrix is automatically excluded if they want to be an early adopter and wishes to build a visually appealing website using  Orchard.
One undeniable fact that even Misfit Joe (from  MS) complained about is the gap in number of CMS  systems for .dot net platform compared to what is out there for php, that are ready to use "out of the box".

Perhaps, Orchard will may change that when it fully comes online, but visual impact should be part of it even from the .dot releases. With the WOW factor included, users  will be left wanting for more when the final release comes around.
But then, bertrandleroy  essentially answered the question I had. .8... is NOT meant for mass adoption. I was in no way  critiquing their efforts, but as an early adopter, I expected the themes, but I will roll mine. Can that be said for someone who does not understand Razor or webmatrix? No, and that’s my point.
cheers,
yousaid

 

Coordinator
Oct 26, 2010 at 10:27 PM

@aumonte: yes, any help is welcome. Do you have an account on the wiki already?

@yousaid: I understand how you feel. I'm frustrated by the lack of themes myself, but the choice we had really was between shipping the infrastructure and shipping themes. I think we made the right choice and by 1.0 everyone will have forgotten that 0.8 shipped with just one theme. If we had compromised the implementation of the infrastructure, that would have left a much longer-lasting bad impression.

Nov 16, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Hello,

In the next version, please include another theme, it can be blank, maybe just a simplified version of the theme machine.

The reason is there should be at least two themes, im interested in how the architecture was build around content persistance when changing themes.

Im sure youve looked at how joomla was made, and maybe sitefinity which lacks heavily in this area.

Coordinator
Nov 16, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Content persistence when changing themes is really simple, there’s nothing extra done to ensure content finds a good home in the new theme, all placement depends on the zone names in the theme template(s). If all of the zones are named differently in the second theme then the page would appear empty when that second theme is made active.

-Nathan

Nov 16, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Ok, but then after changing to such theme can you list the widgets that dont have a proper home, can their zones be changed? Also have you considered storing "multiple theme/zone" values for a widget?

i.e. when creating a new HtmlWidget on the 1st Theme you select one zone (Header) and save it. then you switch to the 2nd theme which doesent have a (Header) and you change that widget to display in (LeftContent), and you store both for that widget, in result this widget now runs ok on both themes.

Does this make any sense? 

Coordinator
Nov 16, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Yep, makes sense. The widget zones can be changed but there’s no UI to show which widgets have been orphaned to the point of the zone they’re in not existing in any enabled theme or just not in the active theme. A simple solution for the later would be to just give emphasis in the widget management page to the zones that exist in the active theme.

If someone were to add an issue for that there’s a chance we could add something for the 1.0 release J

-Nathan

Coordinator
Nov 16, 2010 at 7:53 PM

http://orchard.codeplex.com/workitem/16796

Dec 1, 2010 at 7:35 PM

aaaah c'mon guys, if it's so easy, then can't someone just quickly cobble together a half-decent sample theme? Maybe just port one over or two from Wordpress if it's all so super-simple now.

A good looking theme is crucial. For me it's almost the main reason why I'd want to use a CMS. Most people and developers don't have the artistic eye required and/or just don't have the time to fiddle around with all that CSS, HTML layouting and image sprites nonsense.

Dec 2, 2010 at 11:03 AM

I much rather the core developers work on the infrastructure of the system. This is an open source project anyway. Themes development is a great start to contribute.

Coordinator
Dec 2, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Michael and Jon are creating new themes and will be available for v1.

Dec 2, 2010 at 3:36 PM
My memory is bad so can you refresh us on the dates for v1?

Thanks,
Gerry

From: sebastienros <notifications@codeplex.com>
Reply-To: <orchard@discussions.codeplex.com>
Date: 2 Dec 2010 07:31:59 -0800
To: Gerry High <ghigh@hightg.com>
Subject: Re: No pre-built themes in 0.8? [orchard:232251]

From: sebastienros

Michael and Jon are creating new themes and will be available for v1.

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Coordinator
Dec 2, 2010 at 3:41 PM

MD january

Dec 2, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Our company (www.webadvanced.com) has decided to use and contribute to the Orchard Project and will be tasking a couple of our designers with creating themes. Will have them get on this ASAP. Great project!