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2.x Question about the new skin system

Started by on Dec 03, 2007 – Contents updated: Dec 03, 2007

Dec 03, 2007 15:32    

Hello people,

Ive just installed 2.2.0. My last blog (1.9.3) I completely redesigned over weeks (this being my first ever experience of php). I didnt realise then that Id loose this skin when upgrade time came. Then comes 2.x with "this is the last time you'll really need to upgrade your custom skin!" I decided to take the plunge, another huge custom job but its all learning and I have no doubts ill get there.

Now Im not so sure. I chose evocamp skin, copied all files into a new folder, uploaded and installed. Then I started reading the fine print. I imagined id be able to just start hacking away, like I did with 1.9x, but thats not how it works now is it? Is it?

Im hoping there's someone, preferrably a novice like myself, who has tackled this and can give me an idea of whether Im biting off more than I can chew. Im trying to make sense of the TemplateTags page (http://manual.b2evolution.net/TemplateTags) and not winning.

Realise this is a near impossible question :D :'( .
Is it simple once you cotton onto the basics?
Guru required?

Dec 03, 2007 16:32

I think it says "superguru" next to my name over there so maybe my view doesn't count here, but to me it was entirely baffling and not at all fun to try to make an old skin work in 2.1.0 - AND - once I got most of the way done it all started to make sense.

I haven't poked much in 220 yet but so far it looks a lot like 210. The file structure is COMPLETELY different now, but it's not like the old way was the best possible thing ever. The new file structure seems odd but really makes sense.

As for template tags: no worries. Just a fancy way of saying "functions" which is just a programmic way of saying "do stuff". Way back in the day you could read through a file and see something like "$Item->title()" and sorta figure out that this was about the item's title. Same thing now, only how you feed it information (customizing yay!) is different than it used to be.

Some stuff I have no idea how to do. Yet.

So no you haven't bitten off more than you can chew. You customized a skin for 1.9.3, so there is no reason you can't do the same with 2.2.0. Here's an idea for ya: in each of your files in your new skin throw in an html comment so you can see HOW each page of your blog is made.

Code

<!-- MY SKIN'S SINGLE.MAIN.PHP FILE -->

Then view your own source. Eventually how various bits are made will become obvious. Then you can customize!

Dec 03, 2007 16:47

Thanks EdB. I dont suppose Im feeling very much better but I will take it on. Biggest fear is doing it wrong so I face losing it all again come upgrade time.

Fortunately I THRIVE on challenge!

Thanks again, appreciated.

Dec 03, 2007 16:55

You have a forum with super guru's like EdB and forum helpers like me to assist you. Do keep copies from every step you take.

Good luck

Dec 03, 2007 17:08

This forum has been nothing short of fantastic, Ive been extremely grateful. And learnt the hard way about not keeping copies :).

I definitely will.

Dec 05, 2007 00:15

Update for anyone who's in (or approaching) the same boat and interested:

Its going very well. I put customising out of my mind and spent a good while thoroughly getting to know the new back office. Namely discovering the ability to move, remove or add the side bar and header widgets with a click! Moreover this can now be done individually for each blog, each blog can be unique. That along with the ability to turn on or off the pages shown in each blogs menu has increased the potential and options for my blog by a dozen fold! I realised it also meant the amount of customiing required for php files has greatly reduced from when I did my 1.9.x version.

I started customing, still using evoCamp skin as my base. So far Ive not had to go further than the style.css and designing new images. All images were easily located, even the little icons the skin uses, and the style.css is far more user friendly than my old version. Easier to find my way around and includes more styles (like blockquote etc which I had a hard time tracking down last time). I will need to delve into some php's for editing so may get tangled up then but the changes will be minimal by comparison to 1.9.x.

Alls good, Im thrilled :).

Dec 05, 2007 01:14

Hi sallym,

I'm glad you like it. We sure do.

Have fun

Dec 29, 2007 17:11

Crunch Time! Update for anyone who's interested.

Ive spent very close to a month (on and off) playing with my blog. Im truly blown away by how much it is capable of. Really, I dont think theres anything you cant have if you want it.

But...here comes 2.3.0 8| 8| which has been scratching around in the back of my mind since day one. Despite being scared to death Sally decides to just do it.

It has taken me about 5 hours to download, upload and do my various other tweaks. The bulk of the skin was up very quickly, no problems, the rest was just bits and pieces of files elsewhere that id adjusted. Thankfully Id taken notes on where to find files and what to do with them while doing 2.2.

Alls well that ends well. BRILLIANT. Im thrilled. Thank you to b2evo, I hope youve got alot of people paying it forward to you.

Dec 30, 2007 22:00

The fastest way I've found to upgrade a homemade skin from a 1.x version of b2e is to take one of the stock 2.x skins which is somewhat similar to my homemade skin and make a copy of it (this will become my upgraded skin). Then I copy over any image files that I need from my old homemade skin. After that, I go through the 2.x css file and make any adjustments to widths and heights and colors, etc.

This saves so much time! There's not a lot of need to make sure the guts of the skin are exactly right. I know it works perfectly since it's already a 2.x skin. I'm just fixing up the way it looks.

I know for some customizations there can be a lot more involved, but for basic skin upgrades this is a pretty painless method.


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