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Future Theming

Posted by david on 03 February 2012 at 5:18 am
Currently, themes are separate from applications, although they are an integral part of the template selection process. Themes control the content central to a page, even while an application can determine which theme or page template will be displayed. I've left a lot of the options for theming in Clay on the drawing board, in the hope that people will join the discussion and help determine the future of theming in Clay. While options not offered aren't really options, the absence of a specific requirement for theming opens up a free avenue to explore and build upon. For instance, a theme today can be a page template and a stylesheet. There is no installation, only a boot loader setting to specify the default theme. I left it that way so I can use developer input to create the best possible theming system or leave it open for developers to choose/create their own options. One thing I would like to do is create an application that is used for creating and customizing themes from within the Clay package. That would create some overhead that doesn't exist with simply using a standard theme, but also make up for it with an extensible tool set for theming a site. There is a lot of work left before such an application is feasible or maintainable, but as ClayCMS and potentially other packages mature, I believe it would be a venerable asset to ClayCMS. Most modern content management systems do offer such tools, but I'm thinking more along the lines of a DreamWeaver built into the website, creating templates and stylesheets used for dynamic content, loaded dynamically as they become available. Clay's application object already supports full template overrides from the theme, so no underlying code changes would be necessary. That is the kind of flexibility I was wanting when I began building the Clay Framework.

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