Finally our new theme is live on the site and available for download. Since I was unhappy with the internals of the theme I completely
rebuilt the theme from scratch with the same layout and enhanced functionality
in mind. I ended up with a theme based upon the core PostNuke theme and many,
The theme is now based on the PostNuke core theme supplied with the PostNuke
distribution and fully licenced under the GPL. The main reason to do this was to fully
comply with the theme standards and be sure to be a pure GPL theme. I
found that most themes released are trying to impose some other copyright, thus
really violating the GPL. I do not want be part of such violations and our theme is therefore fully licenced under the GPL.
I actually think that non-GPL themes should not be part of theme collections, which also contain GPL themes. This makes the choice of a theme much harder. But over to brighter things. Following is a list of improvements and other
topics worth mentioning:
- Broken table layout
- The whole site is now separated in multiple tables with the same properties.
This allows the browser to finish rendering the header table although the page
is not fully loaded. The same applies for the body rendering, before the footer
- Choice of alignment and width for whole site
- The broken table layout has the additional advantage, that you can change the
whole site layout to be a fixed width with a center, left or right alignment
instead of the standard 100 percent browser width. This allows you to change
your site to a magazine style layout easily.
- We have implemented a favourite icon for the url line in your
browser and your bookmarks. I like that!!
- Improved search to maximize results
- The search now parses through all parts of the database like the advanced
search. In addition a logical OR was implemented to maximize results. You can easily change this within one search rendering function to adapt it to your needs.
- Fixed center blocks
- The old version did not work with additioanal center blocks e.g. admin
messages on top of the articles.
- Implemented banner ads
- We don’t use banner ads ourselves, but for other sites it might be
interesting that the theme now inserts banner ads on top of the regular site.
This gives the banners prominence and does not affect the site design itself
negatively. See slashdot for a sample site
using this method of ad integration.
- Top links and bottom links included
- We have implemented the top and bottom links in line with the core
theme. We are however not completely happy with this functionality. It
requires a core definition file to be modified and has a hard coded number of links. We
would like this to be enhanced in the core system to have a separate setup
within the theme and a higher number of links. The separate setup seems to be
included in the PostNuke theme. It does however NOT work. We have changed the
rendering so that only defined links are rendered. If you need to use those
links just modify the bottom and top url global constants in
language/yourlanguage/global.php. We have emptied them. Maybe we should
implement an on/off switch?
- Language support in line with core PostNuke
- We are now mainly using language variables from the core system. There
might be some hardcoded text left though…
- Improved compliance with XHTML and cleaner HTML
- Case sensitivity for tags and elements is implemented. So are apostrophes.
We also fixed up the termination of break tags, image tags and others. Alt
tags for all images were also inserted everywhere.
- Reduced style sheet
- We have reduced the style sheet tremendously without sacrificing any layout
or adding more HTML layout code. In fact we have reduced both.
That’s all the changes I can think of for now. Make sure to let us know if
you are using the theme somewhere or if you have any further requests. We will
keep improving the theme. A few ideas are still in our mind…