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Developing a theme - feedback please

I've used vanilla for a few years (thank you devs for your fantastic work and ongoing commitment!) but especially since 2.1 have been frustrated by the lack of available theme add ons, possibly due to the switch from .php to .tpl

As a result I felt it best to do a minor modification of the default theme that could serve as a better starting point for others in my situation.

I plan to remove my company specific images for the released theme, and to put it up on github in the hope that it may eventually be included as the default template for user modification, as even just having the view, custom css and any required images in a default template would make the modification process - at least to the extent of styling- a lot quicker, especially for users who unlike myself aren't professional programmers. Even those with basic HTML/CSS/PHP knowledge may be a little confused by the current setup, it took me a little while to realise that adding google analytics to my .tpl template required surrounding

google analytics script

tags not to produce the 'something went wrong' error

This is where I'm at:

Please let me know any criticisms you have, or similarly confusing modifications you'd like to see aded to this basic template.



  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    The trend is to make everything bigger and add more space everywhere. Since I'm getting older and my eyes are becoming slowly worse, I welcome that! ;)

    So when I look at your design I would recommend you to use more paddings and I would find it more readable if the font would be larger. I saw that the comments have no date! That is a brave decision, but I think this information should be provided =)

  • Thanks for the feedback! I scaled up the font size slightly but I also wonder whether part of the problem is the default font being a not too common font that's installed on Macs as it's a very OS-centric forum, so I should test elsewhere too.

    That lack of a date on the comments is peculiar, the modification to the default .tpl in my theme is very slight and mainly in the CSS - should I have copied another template file to edit? Not sure what happened to it as it appears to be in the default theme

  • R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    Using the developer tools of my browser I get the information, that you have to look at /forum/themes/vanillin/design/custom.css?v=2.1.8p2 line 20 to find that lines:

    #CommentInfo, .CommentInfo {
        display: none;
  • Ah thank you that fixed it! That's what I get for modifying someone else's custom.css and not commenting out everything I didn't personally set!

  • K17K17 Français / French Paris, France ✭✭✭

    Add the padding attribute for the panel, like this;
    #Panel { *something here* padding: 5px; }

  • Thanks, I'd tried that before but had a conflict as there was

    #Content {
    #Content, #Panel {
    #Panel {

    In the css I was using, and removing #Panel from #Content, #Panel didn't work out but removing #Content from the same worked out fine :)

    Anything else I should check out before I submit this as an add on?

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