> Bharat Mediratta wrote:
>> Stephen Cupp wrote:
>>> Who is G3 aimed at? Those people that know how to theme in WP and
>>> Drupal will want to run G3 embedded and just want the basic HTML so
>>> it doesn't break their WP or Drupal theme.
>>> It is my view that decisions like this are made by the developers who
>>> didn't wrap their heads around what the users needs are. Unless you
>>> are subscribed to this list you have no idea what's going on. Maybe
>>> I missed it, but have the developers asked the rest of the community
>>> what they want. I haven't seen any polls or forum topics or a
>>> survey. When I look through the Theme Development Forum I see
>>> questions like "Carbon Theme: changing logo" or "Carbon Theme: how to
>>> change the logo link?". Are these the people who are going to think
>>> PHP is better then Smarty? Now I'm not trying to be harsh because
>>> sometimes I fall into this trap too. Those that know PHP will think
>>> a pure PHP themeing system is the best. Those who don't know PHP is
>>> another story.
>> Stephen, I'm not going to take offense that you're basically saying that
>> I don't understand our user base. I don't think that a poll is an
>> appropriate way to figure out a solution for something like this. We
>> made a measured decision based on a variety of criteria.
> Well the email that Jakob sent is the first I've seen about users of all
> levels being asked about G3.
Sure. But I've spent thousands of hours on the forums and on email
talking to our user base and understanding their problems. I think we
have a pretty decent idea.
>> 1) It's 1 less technology to learn. We expect that themers will know
>> some PHP, or have to learn it. Even with Smarty templates, they still
>> needed to know a *little* PHP. And if they don't know either Smarty or
>> PHP then they need to learn one thing either way. It just needs to be
>> well documented and easy (which is achievable in either case).
> Actually for themers that theme for G2 it's one more thing to learn. I
> do know that I didn't have to learn a little PHP to theme for G2. It
> was probably a year or two into my theme before I had to touch PHP. Also
> it took me only about an hour to learn smarty. I like it because it
> looks pretty close to pure HTML.
If that's the case, then what you did with your theme was mostly
HTML/CSS manipulation, light on the Smarty. The change from Smarty to
PHP is the equivalent of changing variables from
<?= $foo ?>
If you can learn one of those, you can learn the other. Yes, it's
different. But there are tradeoffs. We deal with tons of users who are
puzzled why they can't use curly braces in their CSS and JS because
those are reserved characters in Smarty.
>> 2) PHP templates are fast and commonly used. Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress,
>> PHP-Nuke, and others follow this paradigm. This demonstrates that
>> there's a large and thriving base of people who know how to use PHP to
>> create themes. Taking a survey is not the way to make a clear decision.
>> We're doing this for technical reasons and we believe that it'll be at
>> least as easy to understand to the themer as Smarty is.
> I'll ask again. Do you think users of Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress,
> PHP-Nuke and others are going to want to create complete themes or are
> they just going to want a simple theme that will merge G3 with their CMS
> of choice.
I'm not referring to that. I'm demonstrating that there's a very large
base of themers (far, far larger than the base we have) that are able to
create high quality themes using PHP. This proves that the model is
workable and does not have a major flaw in it.
>> 3) I have personally spent a huge amount of time trying to create a good
>> metaphor for template layers like Smarty on top of our existing system
>> and I've found that this additional layer is slow and confusing. It
>> requires a compilation phase, generates new PHP files off in an
>> unexpected location, leads to permission errors that cause rendering to
>> fail, requires the reader to go off and read and understand the Smarty
>> documentation to do anything more complicated than variable
>> interpolation, and has confusing error messages.
> OK. Part of my original email just asked if it could be an option like
> it is in Drupal. I was hopeing to be able to have a theme for G3 that
> uses a good portion of the code I have for my G2 theme since G3 is going
> to be feature limited I feel half the community will be on G2 and half
> on G3.
Sure, it may be. Especially if some 3rd party gets excited about
incorporating it. But it won't be a primary focus for the 3.0 release.
>> 4) Smarty's choice of tag delimiters interfere with two of the most
>> common and basic operations that themers want: using curly braces in CSS
No, there are times when it's better to externalize it, and times when
it's better to inline it. If you really care about latency, then you
typically want to inline as much as you can because the cost of opening
a multiple TCP connections is very high. I know that this will sound
non-intuitive to many, but I spend much of my day job measuring this
stuff (and we can talk about it at length, offline).
>> So PHP is faster, smaller, better known.
>>> I'm also skeptical about the documentation for this new themeing
>>> system. As I've said here numerous times I feel that is G2's
>>> biggest weak point. Bharat told me he didn't like to write
>>> documentation and no amount of wishing is going to change that. He
>>> also said he wanted to write G3 in a way so there is not a need for
>>> much documentation.
>> Ok, I hear what you're saying. But hear this: a new theming system is
>> coming. If you'd like the documentation to be better this time around,
>> how about you take charge of the theming documentation effort and we
>> work together on it? I'll answer every single one of your questions for
>> you in as much detail as you can handle, you are in charge of getting it
>> down in a form that people understand. You'll also be in charge of
>> following through on it and not taking off in the middle of the project.
>> Step up and get involved and you can make a difference here. Otherwise,
>> while I appreciate your skepticism, it's not going to change the outcome.
> OK I got it. A new themeing system is coming. In fact a whole new
> Gallery is coming. I just know for themers like me G3 is going to be
> harder to theme for. Now I have to learn some new things. PHP for one.
> Then I have to learn how to work with Linux and virtual machines and
> get files back in forth since I'm a Windows user. With G2 I use XAMPP
> on Windows and Eclipse and work on the files directly. Come to think
> about it I'm not sure I'm going to be able to use G3 since I have it
> integrated with Drupal and I use the multisite option in G2.
Yup, change is coming. I'm sorry to see that you sound resigned to the
fact that it's going to screw you over. I honestly don't think that
you're going to feel the pain that you fear. But if you're right then
please feel free to quote this email and give me a big, fat "I told you
We will add multisite support for G3. Maybe not right away though.
We may eventually add windows support for G3. Both of these things will
happen faster if we get more developers willing to commit time/energy to
> I'd be willing to take charge of writing the themeing docs for G3 if you
> think someone with about 3 days of PHP experience is enough to do the
> job. You don't have to worry about me leaving the project. I've been
> using G2 since Alpha 1 or 2 and used G1 before that.
> When do you expect to have something resembling a default theme for me
> to work with? I think these docs need to be finished by time G3.0 ships.
I would love to see you take charge of this. Gaynor has offered to help
out and so has Alec Myers. So that makes 3, which is larger than our
UI team at the moment.
I'll start a separate thread with a rough timeline of where things are
and where I'd like them to go (and that should give you an idea of when
we have a theme that we can document).
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