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?



  • Juipo

    It's just little different but like Cash said "Knowledge gain from theming with 1.0-1.7 is still valid for 1.8." Most rules apply when creating theme for any version as stated at http://docs.elgg.org/wiki/Themes 

    I did play with v1.8 and Blackpod (http://elgg18.juipo.com/) few months back: changed background, tabs color and added rounded bottom of white content holder. Just a simple changes.

  • Although we share the need for better theming, we do find it highest priority for incremental steps in functionality and, most or all performance. The page load is currentl way too high, even though our system has great performance, although with very limited number of users.

    If the step up to a new version is too big for sure we will loose part of the community. I have seen it with MODx CMS...they went for a revolution approach with a complete new 2.0 release... and... splitted the community in half - very bad for a growing OS project...

    So, we share your idea for better theming, but with a keen eye to make every upgrade smooth to keep all 'Elggies' together.

  • 1.8 is primarily about HTML mark-up/CSS/theming. 1.9 will focus on performance. At this point, I do not know how difficult the upgrade will be to 1.8. The upgrades from 1.5 to 1.6 and 1.6 to 1.7 were easy. I expect the upgrade to 1.8 to require more work.

  • Just had a look at 1.8 and would like to give the styling a try.

    The default view has changed so the menu is now on the right side. Can that be set in the adminpanel?


  • Cash can you comment on which version you might address the short SEO URL issues? I am using Vazco_URL but it clearly slows performance substantially and may cause other bugs. This issure is a real problem for sites like mine where profile and group and URL's are so important they need to be printed on business cards and picked up by SE's. While Elgg is always interesting and a challenge, this is what I can see for me as the first true "roadblock" in the system for me.

  • By short urls, you mean getting rid of the 'pg'? I'm not really aware of any SEO issues with the current URLs besides some of them not using content titles (which I've been slowly fixing on each dot release on 1.7).

    There has been discussion on adding a routing system in either 1.9 or 2.0. This would allow much more flexibility in the set up of the URLs. Certainly nothing for 1.8.


  • Where is the setting that move the sidebar to the left side? Anybody?

  • @gillie - it is theme based. Change the float on #elgg_sidebar to left and change the background image for elgg_content sidebar.

  • @Cash: "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)."

    This is really great news! Will sure help a lot of us. Please share your experiences.

    "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."

    Exactly therein lies the problem today. Again, this is great to know that you're addressing it. Thanks.

  • Cash, it would be very important to keep widgets in profiles in Elgg 1.8 . Hope you can get them work again. For example, to have HTML and RSS ones are critical for my Elgg installs, to customize profiles and relate them to other sites properly.

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