Elgg 1.8 theming features?

Hi all,

I know this is a cheap shot, as I could download the 1.8 current build and look for myself,  but I'd really love to hear the experts/core developers on their perception of Elgg 1.8 theming features.

As of today, with Elgg 1.7+, if I get an XHTML/CSS template set for a new social site, I'd probably spend a ridiculous amount of time making that template work across all pages. Even if Elgg, in theory, has a very nice MCV approach.

Quite a number of open source CMS frameworks already tackled this issue, I think Drupal has particulary nice aproach to theming content. Typo3 also has an excellent way to map an xhtml template section to a type of content. I assume, given the history of Elgg core development, that 1.8 will deliver huge in terms of theming.

So my question boils down to this: am I anticipating too much, or 1.8 will really kick ass in terms of theming a site?



  • I did install it but as wild as this sounds I deleted it and went back to Version 1.5. Version 1.8 is good without the BUGS. It has some extra bonsus for Admins and I will not spoil the surprise on that. Other then that it is NOT any FASTER and I hate to say this is sort of SLOWER then the current version. This is one SIDE EFFECT I seen very clear when I first used another platform based on Twitter API Statusnet. With each update and upgrade the SLOWER it RAN! It got to a point that it would take around 5 Min. to login and almost 8 to 10 Min. for a New Post to complete and show up once you pressed ENTER.

    Now Ver. 1.8 does not load that SLOW but one clear thing folks like myself who are very well spend a lot of time in the SEO WORLD (my speciality) is if your SITE Loads SLOW you WILL be Penalized by Search Engines.

  • soldierone, I think you misunderstood my QUESTION. You should know that 1.8 is not a release YET, meaning it WILL be full of bugs, but that is just the natural course of SOFTWARE development.

    Going back to 1.5 is quite a harsh decision. I think you should give a chance for the 1.7+ releases as numerous features were introduced since 1.5.

    Anyways, thanks for not spoiling the surprise on the new admin features!

  • 1.5 is full of bugs and security flaws and has been EOL'd.  No one should be using it.

    1.8 is full of bugs and still in heavy development.  No one should be using it.

    In 1.8 we're striving for:

    1. Simplified and compliant markup
    2. Flexible and compliant CSS
    3. Logical and flexible core views (sometimes this means more granularity, sometimes it's less)
    We haven't made any drastic changes to the views system itself, but hopefully simplified view names and structures will lead to easier theming.
    If you're interested in theming, I suggest grabbing a nightly of 1.8 and giving it a try.  Now is the best time for any suggestions or comments!
  • in the way of making elgg ( faster ) i may suggest :


    making a Theming options in admin section which include :

    1- an optional of using 2 or 3 CDN Servers for the files, something like server for Scripts, server for theme image, and server for Users icons and other icons , which will parallel downloads during loading the pages and keep those file served from cookie-less domain which mean those files will not be load each time you reload the page instead it keeping them on the vistor PCs.

    2- minify the scripts and css files b4 sending it and/ or combined them take a look here:



    this will lead to a dramatic performance optimization for elgg , which is a main factor of a social wesites.


    you may take a look on this as will:


  • For whatever reason my plugin loaded site runs pretty darn fast on a VPS server.

  • @TahoeBilly what kind of VPS do you use?

  • I've been themeing as a distraction from the real work i need to do on my 'not-live-yet' Elgg based site and have come to work with & know the CSS.php quite happily - but I suspect the amount of time, effort and knowledge of this will go out the window when 1.8 arrives...?

    Here's hoping 1.7.4 doesn't become the new 1.5 haha...(bad joke - sorry)....



  • The last version of 1.8 I checked made drastic changes to the layout. No more widgets in profile pages, everything is tabbed using the standard elgg-h-t-n. From a theming point of view, I imagine the upgrade from 1.7.x to 1.8 will leave a lot of site admins with a mass re-theming & re-structuring schedule on their hands.

    I'm not sure if I like the new style in 1.8, but perhaps I'm just so used to 1.5-1.7x that I'm becoming traditional!

  • I plan to port a theme from 1.7 to 1.8 and see what is involved and do what I can to minimize the amount of work that it requires (at a minimum document what is involved). I also plan to implement a widget based profile page (not sure if that will be distributed with Elgg or available as a plugin).

    Elgg 1.8 will still use the same view system with the same basic structure. Knowledge gain from theming with 1.0-1.7 is still valid for 1.8.

    What 1.8 will change is the default HTML markup and CSS. There were issues with validation, verboseness, CSS specificity that made theming difficult. We're trying to address those problems.

  • My VPS is A2hosting.cpm

    Things were running a little slow then I found Vazco_URL was slowing things down, take a look at

    mypaintersplace.com if you like.

    Also Cash, I forgot whether the short URLs would make its way for groups and profiles in 1.8. This is a sorely needed top of the list function. The SE are picking things up nicely but the short URL's really help all around, especially for a business system like mine.

    FYI Zacher is supposed to be reworking his plugin for shorts URL's if you have an inclination to get this into 1.8 maybe Michal would help.

    We need this NOW!

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