Orchard premium themes

Topics: Customizing Orchard, General, Writing modules, Writing themes
Mar 7, 2011 at 6:26 PM
Edited Mar 8, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Hello everyone,

I'm about to start a new premium theme service for Orchard. I will be creating Orchard themes with a full control panel and bespoke designs. They will be part of a theme club where you can purchase individual theme or buy a subscription to every theme, as a new theme will be released at least every month. I would like to keep the idea broad at the moment and allow the community to shape it by posting your ideas and thoughts on the project in this thread. All feedback is appreciated and will be taken into consideration.

Please include as much detail as you can on your ideas, and thank you for your time as it is really appreciated.

Mar 14, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Hello again,

I have some updates on features we would like to include:

  • Style selector, select from different colour schemes;
  • Custom widgets, specific to the theme;
  • Custom typography;
  • jQuery sliders and other effects;
  • Mobile site versions, specific to iPhones and then other generic mobile devices;
  • Localization;
  • Lots of options in the theme options panel;
  • And of course lifetime updates.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas! So please don't hesitate to post back in this thread with your thoughts and ideas.

Apr 6, 2011 at 1:52 AM

Hello,

 

Ok, well, I am ready when you are. I think an JavaScript Slider Widget with its features exposed in an admin interface that can be added to any zone in any layout and customized using CSS....

What do you think?

Regards,

TJ Havens

Apr 8, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Hey,

Thanks for the reply! I'm thinking of adding super rich admin dashboard, with a toolbar that is present throughout the Orchard dashboard allowing quick access to useful features. I was thinking of the slider, having several different layouts of slider, and drag and drop implementation into layout zones. Site CSS will be fully customizable, adding custom written CSS from the admin dashboard or using the options (e.g. checkboxes and colour pickers). I'm thinking of drawing it away from themes only and going towards an all-round utility. The themes will still remain be a component, however. At the moment I'm not sure whether to keep it as a paid service or release it as an open source product.

Hopefully it will be ready by the end of the year! I’m just securing a name, I will post here when I have it!

Apr 8, 2011 at 9:28 PM
ryanburnett wrote:

Hey,

Thanks for the reply! I'm thinking of adding super rich admin dashboard, with a toolbar that is present throughout the Orchard dashboard allowing quick access to useful features. I was thinking of the slider, having several different layouts of slider, and drag and drop implementation into layout zones. Site CSS will be fully customizable, adding custom written CSS from the admin dashboard or using the options (e.g. checkboxes and colour pickers). I'm thinking of drawing it away from themes only and going towards an all-round utility. The themes will still remain be a component, however. At the moment I'm not sure whether to keep it as a paid service or release it as an open source product.

Hopefully it will be ready by the end of the year! I’m just securing a name, I will post here when I have it!

Just so you know, I've been working on a drag and drop module. It's a stand-alone framework that allows you to turn any arbitrary shapes into draggables and droppables, but one of the default implementations would be for widgets / zones.

I've got an experimental working prototype but it's very rudimentary and I need to hone the API surface somewhat :) Hopefully in another week or two I'll have something to show off, although I'm working on quite a few different things now.

I hadn't yet decided on how to release it but I just thought you might be interested, no point in repeating work; it would certainly provide the feature you're describing (and will enable a lot more than that) but will of course work independently.

Apr 8, 2011 at 10:13 PM

@randompete, sounds great! It would be great to implement it into the core of the project, so its not my module talking to your module through an API, it's just my module. Do you have any suggestions for the project?

Thanks for your input!

Apr 9, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Well I'm happy to consider options ... but there are reasons I absolutely need to keep it as a self contained module, I'm building it for specific purposes where the other features of your module wouldn't necessarily be required. Although, I'm sure some of them could end up being useful :)

I'm wondering if you're reading too much into my description of it as an "API" - all I mean is that there are a couple of interfaces and some conventions to follow to use the system. This requires at most a dependency on the project and a reference from the project; which is just the same as you're doing every time you use core Orchard functionality (which I assume you'll be doing a lot!)

In fact the key feature you're after here - drag and drop zone editing - will happen automatically once you enable my module and relevant feature. It just hooks into the relevant parts of the Orchard pipeline. No references or dependencies required; and you can even use the Recipes system in Orchard 1.1 if you want to have the module automatically download and install along with your bits.

The thing is, the real power of Orchard lies in the ability to compose a website from a large number of individually useful but cunningly interlocking parts. By going against this design choice and trying to build everything into one uber-module you will actually deprive yourself of the profound flexibility and extensibility that the system naturally provides... so I'd strongly recommend you reconsider your standpoint and look instead at ways to break your own ideas down into separate units that can be used on their own, but combine together into a much bigger whole. I'm primarily looking to the core modules of Orchard as examples of how this works amazingly well.

Since I'd be distributing this independently anyway, hopefully as open source (although there are specific reasons that might not be able to happen in this case), I'd think we should look at unique ways your platform could leverage this; so there's still some added value that's unavailable elsewhere. There are literally loads of things you could apply it to and I'm sure something nice could emerge once we've got a better overall understanding of each other's system...

So I hope this makes sense, as in general what you're proposing sounds really interesting and an ideal candidate to really make the most of this feature. :)

Apr 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM

@randompete, sorry for the slow reply, but yeah, I totally agree with you. I would just be a little cautious of the product becoming 'module mania', for example, install these 20 modules and then you can get up and running! This could very well become the case, as I'm changing the project slightly, still some themes (premium quality but free), and something else I'm planning. (I will release details soon!) The actual product I'm going to produce will be several modules, so users can leverage the features they want. So modularity will be a key concept, and your module could be a huge part of what I'm planning. (You can PM me and I will give you some details on it if you wish)

Apr 12, 2011 at 1:58 PM

That sounds like the right way; even with 20 modules the Recipes feature will make this very easy. But if you can keep down to a core set with various other optional extensions then you have a great formula.

I'll PM you anyway - I wasn't really quite ready to talk publicly about some of my projects either ;)

Coordinator
Apr 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM

You can of course have multiple features in a single module, which has some perf advantages.

Apr 14, 2011 at 11:44 PM

@bertrandleroy, yeah this is what I want; I would ideally need the whole admin backend to be a single, self-contained module that has no dependencies. Then the rest of the functionality will be inside of the theme. But I haven't finalized the features or the backend design yet, so it's still early days!