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Themed Vanilla 1 this weekend - my impressions

I have held off theming Vanilla 0.9.2 waiting for Vanilla 1. So when it seemed like Vanilla 1 was imminent and the theming section was relatively stable I jumped on it.

here is the current result: Theme Test (note: not IE compatible)

I wouldn't quite call it polished and finished yet, but its usable. It was very fast to theme and only required a couple small template edits. Took about 2 hours (though I was doing other stuff at the time).

As great as that is (in terms of time), I think theming could be aided greatly by releasing a developers theme that has the CSS greatly commented, and borders and background colors exagerated so its easier to figure out which block is which. Since any nice theme will use the same colors in many places, it makes it slightly difficult to know what exactly applies to what when using an existing theme to develop your own.

I also just wanted to send the word to everyone waiting for Vanilla 1 to start theming, that its quick and easy to set up a test forum from svn and get your theme developed pre-Vanilla 1.


  • gigingergiginger New
    edited May 2006
    That's really quite a nice theme. Whilst not 100% to my tastes I like what you've done.
    It's also good to hear it IS easy.
  • Yeah, i like the integration with the members area, very nice. As for the developers css, i'm sure if you were willing to run through commenting it mark would be very greatful and willing to use it but for the time being i suggest he's a little tied up with these dodgy new bugs he's found. As for finding certain elements, unless you're already using it i'd suggest you check out one of the firefox webdev toolbars. They can be very useful indeed.
  • Very nice, I like it, well done.
  • edited May 2006
    I like it too, but fat chance getting it to work in IE6; as far as I know there is no workaround for centered sliding-door tabs. Your best bet would be to give IE6 a separate set of css rules which left aligned the tabs.
  • edited May 2006
    i'll tackle the windows ie issue eventually, but right now its not a big concern to me. i can hack it to work in mac ie so I suspect i'll be able to find a hack for win ie.

    my main point though was just to let everyone who hasn't tried it yet that it is easy to theme vanilla now, and we should all get started before Vanilla 1 launches. i.e. i showed you mine now show me yours. :p
  • That looks really nice. I remember when you had the funmac forum and they looked neat as well, anywho awesome job on this theme. It integrates with the site very well.
  • I don't have a theme built yet (just got Vanilla 1 working this weekend), but do have a custom style in its early stages.

    You can view it by putting in the custom style URL.

    main points of interest are tabs down the left instead of across the top, a pseudo-table discussions page with headers, and tabbed pagination with some hover effects. Its based on an early CSS file so anything IE, account profiles and search are broken, but should be getting that fixed sometime.
  • As great as that is (in terms of time), I think theming could be aided greatly by releasing a developers theme that has the CSS greatly commented, and borders and background colors exagerated so its easier to figure out which block is which.

    Yeah, that would be great.
  • There actually was a style like that for 0.9.2, but I forgot where it is.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    I had sorted and commented out most of the vanilla dark/light (root/sky) themes, but at the moment, my stuff is offline. I could upload it for the 0.9.2.x updates section if people want it there. At least, I remember doing so, it was at least sorted by section.
  • edited May 2006
    For Bergamot and trunkadelic: Doesn't work too well with Vanilla 1.
  • Wallphone: Yep, that was it. synthrabbit: Awesome :D
  • edited May 2006
    I went live with my theme and vanilla pre-1.0. When I read Mark comparing Vanilla to Debian I knew it was time to say "screw stable - lets play with unstable!"

    Anyway here it is: live install

    And no, I haven't tried fixing it for IE users yet.
  • Ambitious: By the look of your avatar, are you Rio Ferdinand? LOL Think your Vanillla is brilliant. Really good. It's kind of similar in layout to my own site, so you've given me ideas about how to integrate my Vanilla. Thanks.
  • the integration looks pretty slick, ambitious. also, nothing against your style (looks great!), but is there something in vanilla that causes people to gravitate towards orange and yellow? or is this just yet another trend i've missed the boat on?
  • I'm guessing its Vanilla. Vanilla is so minimalistic and clean, sweet layout, user friendly, it just puts you in that "happy" mood. Which are bright and colorful or pastel colors. I tried making/using a darker theme/style before and it just didn't work. It didn't feel right. Most of the time anyways. Just a thought.
  • Thanks for the kind words guys. But I've shown you mine now you need to show me yours :P

    As for the colors. I think people just want to get away from blue. If you are going with light colors and want to avoid blue (since it is over used and cliche) then yellows oranges and greens are next to present themselves.

    I have another site I am working on that is orange/peach based and I wanted to use the same general CSS/XHTML on it as I am using on AL. So I couldn't make AL orangey. That sort of just left green. And them lemon part necessitates yellow. And green and yellow go well together.

    Probably not the colors of design I would have chosen were it not for these other considerations. I like the design for the other site better actually. I think the colors are less contrasty. The strong green background on AL is a bit much. Makes a good first impression, I think but for a high volume forum I think it would be annoying. I am hoping the other color scheme I am working on will be more pleasing to the eyes.

    who is Rio Ferdinand? ;)
  • Wow... the resemblance is striking
  • I took a look at the Ambitious Lemon project, I mean beyond the forum, and its really interesting. Good luck with it.
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