Customizing Vanilla: sharing my clean Discussions layout

50sQuiff50sQuiff ✭✭
edited October 2012 in Feedback

Hi folks, I'm really enjoying hacking about with Vanilla since I discovered it last week. Using the Stable version here's what I've come up with so far:

There are some subtle changes that I think give the forum a more balanced look. I have:

  • Added user images using the popular plugin
  • Moved the discussion category to the left (like on VF.org)
  • Removed the '1 New' boxes
  • Made 'Latest post by TestUser' link to the last post of a thread. Sometimes I like to read threads backwards!
  • Used the BigCount plugin to display number of comments only, using black or grey to show if there are any unread.

So far so good! I hope this layout gives someone some ideas.

UnderDogperegrinecumiastowski

Comments

  • aeryaery Gtricks Forum in 2.2 :) ✭✭✭
  • edited October 2012

    @50sQuiff did you have to modify the plugin to make the comments black//grey? i've been thinking about how that would be nice but i don't use bigcount (also, would be nice if it greyed out the thread title sorta like vf). If it's not a plugin mod, how could I add that to my theme?

  • Looks very nice. Keep doing what you're doing. I would like to see the url of the plugin you're using (can't find 'popular', or I'm becoming blind). Hope you're willing to share your theme (bootstrapped?)

  • Thanks chaps.

    @UnderDog, the name of the user images plugin is IndexPhotos.

    @thekillingtree, it was just a small mod to the BigCount plugin:

    if ($Discussion->CountUnreadComments == 0 && $Session->IsValid()) $Css .= ' HasCommentsBoxRead'; elseif ($Discussion->CountComments > 1) $Css .= ' HasCommentsBox';

    Then you just create a CSS class called .HasCommentsBoxRead and style it there. I also commented out the Views and Follows bits of the code.

  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited October 2012

    nice and clean. do you have a link to your site?

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

  • Not yet, it's still a work in progress. I'll be happy to provide a link when it's public.

    The other changes I didn't mention was I hid the Bookmark Star and got rid of the "X comments" text from below the title. I've since lightened up the separator lines a little which works even better. Yes, I am a little obsessive about these things :)

  • @50sQuiff - what you've done here looks fantastic, and so much more attractive than the default theme. I wonder why some of these plugins don't make their way into the core code. Many of them seem like obvious features that most people would want (pictures, quoting capability, marking unread items, etc)

  • cumiastowski

    50sQuiff - what you've done here looks fantastic, and so much more attractive than the default theme. I wonder why some of these plugins don't make their way into the core code. Many of them seem like obvious features that most people would want (pictures, quoting capability, marking unread items, etc)

    Because that's why they are plugins. So they don't bloat the core for people who don't need them.

    UnderDog
  • 50sQuiff50sQuiff ✭✭
    edited October 2012

    I think that's a fair comment. The 2.0 core is very barebones but with so many readily available plugins it's not hard to build in the functionality you need. Here's the latest iteration of my design which I hope is the final version:

  • OK, I think I'm finally done with this :)

    What struck me most about Vanilla is that it's genuinely trying to evolve the forum concept. In that spirit I think we're conveying only the vital information here:

    • Giving credit and personality to the OP with a clickable profile image
    • Highly readable thread title
    • Category
    • Clickable info about latest post
    • Comment count (level of interest), read/unread status

    I think this is now cleaner than both vanilla Vanilla and Xenforo.

    KasperUnderDogpawandubey
  • 50sQuiff50sQuiff ✭✭
    edited October 2012

    Fancy or basic?

  • This is what I settled on for my final design:

    dblazeUsernameUsernamovich
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