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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:52 pm 
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J!Kids has a home now! Visit the JoomlaCode page for the latest downloads and news :D

http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jkids/

Hello, my name is Shantanu Bala. I'm thirteen years old, a freshman in high school, and enjoy open source software, coding, and web design. I found out about Google's Highly Open participation program and decided that it seemed like a perfect opportunity to help the Open Source community while doing what I love - coding. I currently have a website, which is my design lab. I test new designs and ways to code while staying completely W3C Strict compliant.

Here are the details entailed in my task. I am very busy, and will probably need all four weeks to ensure the highest quality of my work. I plan on making at least a W3C Transitional compliant template, if not Strict.

An administrator told me the version of Joomla to code for is 1.5. I plan on using many of the features inside the Mootools library to make the template more visually appealing and usable for children.

Quote:
Create a template suitable for use by younger children
Description

Joomla! is designed to make easy for anyone to post content on the web. For
this task you will focus on the needs, abilities and interests of young
children. To make adding web content simple and rewarding for them you will
design a child friendly template. The design should be simple, visually
appealing and have appropriate non commercial focus. It should be styled so
that all text is readable by relatively new readers.


Reference Material:

See Kidzblog http://www.haranbanjo.com:16080/kidzblog/ as a kind of model
of how to make the web simple for young children.

Template tutorial: http://dev.joomla.org/content/view/1136/79/

Blank Template from Waseem Saliq
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,203166.0.html
Skills Needed

Understanding of Joomla! Strong html and css skills Graphic design ability
Difficulty

Advanced
Work Product

A complete template installation package
Licensing

Use one of these templates:


The document should comply with current Joomla! Editorial Style Guidelines
and guidelines for the Template Tutorials Project.

Documentation written for this task must be made available under the
Joomla! Electronic Documentation License. will insert both of the above

All code must be created using the GNU General Public License version 2.
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-license ... .html#SEC4 for code


Extra Credit (optional)

Begin work on a language pack for younger aged English (or other language)
speakers.
Time Limit

Four weeks


Claimed: Nov 28 Due: Dec 26

Google Code

[me=AmyStephen]Changed subject slightly for sorting all threads to match against Google resource  :)[/me]
[me=Shantanu]Added a link to the JoomlaCode project[/me]

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Last edited by mcsmom on Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:53 am 
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Wow Shantanu -

That is a very impressive plan!  8) I cannot wait to see some of your ideas emerge. What can we do to help you get started? Are you familiar with how to install Joomla! on a localhost so that you can work on your template?

Please let us know what we can do to help you be successful with your task. We are here to help, do not hesitate to ask!

Good luck with the contest,
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:40 am 
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Hi Shantanu

That sounds great! Please take the four weeks and do a great job rather than trying to rush.

You can also get help over at the 1.5 templates forum. The people there know a lot.

Elin

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Quote:
Are you familiar with how to install Joomla! on a localhost so that you can work on your template?


I'd rather not bother installing MySQL, PHP, etc. and setting that up. Instead, I have a website which I can both use as a testing ground (in a subdirectory) as well as a demo site once it's finished. Currently I'm planning the basic look of the template. Once the template is just a layout, then I'll add some CSS jazz and improve the general feel of it with some small Mootools effects.

I've actually run a few searches and found some good places to start with coding for 1.5. The templates (luckily) aren't too hard to make compared to previous versions. There is a lot less html code involved, and more CSS.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:06 pm 
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Sounds like you have things under control!  8)

Please let us know when you need something or want community review. Good luck with the contest!

Amy :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:10 pm 
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Sounds great.

Ah, i can't believe the kidzblog link is bad--I tested it before I made the task.

If you want I can post a screenshot of what they had since I believe I have it on my son's computer.

The coolest thing, if you are into javascript, was that the kids could just draw a picture and have that be the post.

update:

Here's a site with some screenshots:

http://kidzblog.en.softonic.com/

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Last edited by mcsmom on Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:49 am 
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GHOP Contestants Please Read: Task Process Start to Finish for important updates on the contest.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:38 pm 
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Hi shantanubala,

as you may have guessed I'm the fella that wrote the blank Joomla 1.5 template :)

If you need any guidance or help on how to make your design work within Joomla 1.5 then I'll be happy to help out, just post your questions here and I'll do my best to help.

Waseem

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:05 am 
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Shantanu -

Is there anything we can do to help you with your task? Is there something we might be able to review, and provide feedback? We would appreciate contestants updating us on the status of their tasks every few days, if at all possible.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:31 am 
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Oh, sorry, I kinda left you guys hanging ;)

Ok, there's one thing I wanted to know. Because of the larger text size in the template, some of the admin functions Joomla has spill over 800px width. Would it be acceptable to have a template with a width greater than 800px (some smaller screens may have horizontal scroll bars)?

I also cooked up a decent header image/logo with the GIMP which matches the light blue background and overall colors in the template.

Image

Currently I have a "bare-bones" template with a little bit of color, but needs a lot of work (I will post up some screenshots and a .zip file in a few days once I smoothen the CSS). I am currently working on the CPanel. Since Joomla's regular CPanel has a bunch of unneeded and confusing stuff, I stripped it down to nothing, and decided to use some icons from FamFamFam to help add to the simplistic CPanel interface. I also changed the word "Administration Center" to "Manager Center" - it seemed to be an easier word to both understand and read.

The current ideas I have for the CPanel include:
"What do you want to do?" in big bold print

and the following with both an icon and text describing the link ---
Go To Manager Center
Go To Website
Logout

Add Post
Manage Posts
Manage Links

I also am researching about development of a language pack. I plan on making not only just a template, but also a "J!Kids Usability Pack" with simpler words instead of "alias" "administrator" and other things which can easily perplex a kid with a lower vocabulary level. Hopefully I could find other ways of improvement to this pack and keep it updated even after the competition ends. Since I use mostly open source software on my computer, I know how crummy it is to use software that is never updated.

Language packs seem simple after taking a look at a few. How would I make a language pack into an installable package?

-Shantanu

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Last edited by shantanubala on Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:03 am 
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Alright, I've got a good working mockup of the CPanel interface. Please tell me if this is too simplistic, or just right.

Image

I'm planning on making a smooth animated help page to guide someone who wants to know more information about what they can do using the CPanel (hence the "Do You Need Help?"). If there are any links/features that I'm missing (that a kid would use) please let me know. I did not want to complicate things by adding too many links - since initial configuration should be done by adults anyways.

Should I include a the template manager? It would be a nice feature for kids to change the look of their site, but I'm not exactly sure if I should add it in. Please give me feedback on the overall color aesthetic. Do the colors match? Is it visually appealing? Are the icons good?

Thanks for any and all feedback!

-Shantanu Bala

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:17 am 
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Shantanu -

You are blowing us away, dude. Very, very, very impressed.

I think that you have a vision much broader than we could have ever hoped for.

Please, take a few minutes every few days, to share with us where you are at. We are very interested in your work.

Thanks for joining the GHOP and for choosing to perform a task for the Joomla! community. This is going to be very special.

Amy :)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:09 pm 
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Thanks!

I'm making a lot of progress on the language pack! (finding synonyms is a lot harder than I thought it would be)

The template is almost finished, so I'll post the code up in a day or two to get some constructive criticism. Then I'll modify the template to a "beta" and then get some more opinions. Once its final I'll probably be done with the other components of J!Kids anyways.

Another idea I had was modifying the TinyMCE editor in Joomla and making it slightly more simplistic (remove the source view, and simply allowing bold, italic, underline, and hyperlink). What do you think?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:01 pm 
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What do I think?  :o

Just to reflect here, a moment, your assignment was basically to make a cool template for kids to enable them to more easily publish content.

However, you have:
- changed the backend Administrator so it is "big button" easy;
- created your own images that are fun and pleasing to look at and picked out some cool icons;
- envisioned some "CSS jazz" and "small Mootools" effects to make it fun for kids;
- created a "J!Kids Usability Pack" language pack to better communicate with people that age.
- are considering a template manager for kids to change the look of their site;
- providing an animated help page.

And, now you are asking US (mere mortals that we are), if it's a good idea to simplify the TinyMCE editor for kids?

Who ARE you? And, how did we get so LUCKY to have you choose to contribute to the Joomla! community?

I am very excited to see what you have done! VERY!

Thanks for the update.
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:22 pm 
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I really don't know what to say at this point, but thank you for all the compliments.

Well, after doing some research, the tinyMCE editor has a nice theming system and after a little tweaking the simple editor will be ready.

I'm a few days away from posting code for whole J!Kids "Suite" - If you guys can tell me what to improve, I'd gladly appreciate it and tweak it further.

I just need to add a link onto the template so people can change out of it just in case they need to do some advanced work.

Sadly, the language pack doesn't change as much of the words as I imagined it would, but there's always room for future improvement... I guess that's what open source is about.

I documented the CSS and I'm also documenting the PHP files for the template.

I created a "README.txt" file with the GPL as well as credits to FamFamFam for the icons.

-Shantanu

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:58 pm 
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shantanubala, very impressive!

It would do the "license" job if you add the original license to the icons folder too. However you might want to look at some kde iconsets (if you haven't):

http://kde-look.org/index.php?xsortmode ... mode=22x27

I am very excited. I'll try to use a best tester than me once you release it: my 8 yo niece!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:07 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestion! I looked at KDE icons, however I really like FamFamFam simply because the icons seem simplistic, smooth, and matching with the overall look and feel of the template. I also like their small size - allowing them to fit the the tightest of spaces.

I generally don't like using icons as the GUI, but rather a visual aid depicting what the link does.

As for beta testers, that'd be great. I'd love to see what your niece thinks and stumbles with. The one thing which bugs me about a Joomla! template is that it cannot modify the components themselves (I can't make a component's layout different), so it is still complicated to a certain degree.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:14 pm 
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shantanubala wrote:
it cannot modify the components themselves (I can't make a component's layout different), so it is still complicated to a certain degree.


Actually, you can! The template overrides allow you to do that. The easiest way to get started is to copy the html folder from the BEEZ template into your template folder.

Then, you can find the layout file you want to change by drilling into the subfolders.

So, if you wanted to change how the article is laid out, you could modify the: "your template/html/com_content/article/default.php" file.

Just copying the BEEZ's html folder into your template folder is helpful since Joomla!'s table output is overridden.

HTH,
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:16 pm 
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Yes, you can using overrides (but I am unsure) and it will add a lot of work and, IMO, you are going further than anybody could expect.

About the icons: that's nice, I love FamFamFam icons. It was just a suggestion because kde iconsets use to be GPLed (or compatibles) and you have more styles to pick the set that fits better.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:49 pm 
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Lol. I'm not afraid of too much work, it's more of the deadline in ten days that's scaring the heck out of me... Not to mention my final exams.... I'll try and work on it as timely as possible.

I'd much rather do the work to get the job done late, than turn in something I didn't feel was a complete work. Especially considering there is a TON of crap that needs to be de-cluttered from the admin pages.

So Beez huh... I'll check template overrides out. Hopefully I can cook something up.

Icons aren't my biggest worry right now (especially since I have the icon.css file modified to fit my template) since I just have to copy, rename, and paste in files.

Would it be better to have GPL licensed icons? I thought creative commons and the GPL were *generally* for the same purpose, except the GPL seems to be specific to software.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:52 pm 
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shantanubala wrote:
Lol. I'm not afraid of too much work, it's more of the deadline in ten days that's scaring the heck out of me... Not to mention my final exams.... I'll try and work on it as timely as possible.


We are interested in your work. Rafa is absolutely correct - you are going well beyond expectation. Continue to focus on your vision of what you think would be good. We'll work with you.

Good luck with your finals.

Amy :)

PS - your CC icons will be fine.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:04 am 
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Yep, don't be worry at all about the icons, it has any relevance and you only need to do what you said (adding the readme.txt to the icons folder).

You always can work on your template even if the contest is finished. And anyone willing to help or improve could! That's Open Source. Well that and that, even when some people try to show it as a process, is a spirit and in an Open Source community a person counts. Don't take more work if you can't or you don't want, your education is very important for you and for the community. The more you have the more you can share. Finish your current work: now you know that overrides will work. I f you have then free time, there's a challenge for you to be solved.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:34 am 
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Ok, just a question about overrides - If I want to remove the sidebar of the com_content "Create new Article" page, what file would I have to create/edit/link to in the directory structure?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:43 am 
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Do you mean remove a module when editing or adding new content?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:49 am 
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Yes - Removing a module from the backend when adding new content.

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Last edited by shantanubala on Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:57 am 
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You could do it with a conditional, something like this but I am not a designer and its abit late here. I'll take a look tomorrow to the overrides system.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:00 am 
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I'm looking into overrides and there doesn't seem to be much info on backend. All the things I find are related to the frontend display.

AmyStephen wrote:
shantanubala wrote:
it cannot modify the components themselves (I can't make a component's layout different), so it is still complicated to a certain degree.


Actually, you can! The template overrides allow you to do that. The easiest way to get started is to copy the html folder from the BEEZ template into your template folder.

Then, you can find the layout file you want to change by drilling into the subfolders.

So, if you wanted to change how the article is laid out, you could modify the: "your template/html/com_content/article/default.php" file.

Just copying the BEEZ's html folder into your template folder is helpful since Joomla!'s table output is overridden.



The Beez template is for the frontend, so the confusion I'm having is with the backend components. Is it possible to use overriding on the backend templates? If so, how would I modify "/administrator/components/com_content/" because the backend directory and file structure is completely different from the frontend, not to mention the modules used in the backend pages.

Do you know any person who knows administrator template overriding and can help me out with the backend?

A huge thank-you to both of you for helping me out on this.  :)

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Last edited by shantanubala on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:21 am 
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I was just going to post in, letting you know that the template overrides are for the frontend, not the backend.

Do you realize that the frontend can also be used to add content? That might be a better approach. Then, you can control the output using  template overrides and create a very simple interface.

I do not know anyone, to be honest, with good templating skills in the backend. Typically, most people use the backend, as is. The only ones who I know that would have deep knowledge are likely the developers. Right now, they are getting RC4 ready. Gaining access to them will be difficult at this point in time, I fear.

What if you had a basic blogging structure for kids that was configured in the backend? Maybe this structure would be for a classroom of kids - managed by the teacher. Then, your job would be to create a frontend environment for students that was easy for them to use to upload scanned content and to add their writings.

Would approaching this task in that way work? Anyway, some ideas to think on.
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:54 am 
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Ok, well, now that I know that I cannot really do much without cracking away at Joomla's source, I'll just finalize the template as-is with the other things I've cooked up. The problem with coding this is the gap between frontend and backend. My target is to make the backed usable by kids, so I shall stick to that for now. Maybe in the future I can make modifications to allow for an adult-supervized/run site, but my goal was to let kids do things with little adult intervention (only the initial setup of Apache, MySQL, and PHP with Joomla! on a webserver would be required).

I guess that'd be two different scenarios, but it's a little too complicated to cater to both at the moment.

Thanks for the help and advice.

-Shantanu

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:02 am 
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Makes sense, my friend. Plus, glad to hear you talking about your future developments in this area.  :)

Later,
Amy

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