Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

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ganar
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Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by ganar » Wed May 10, 2006 3:47 am

Hello Core Team:

One of the problems with the current Joomla is the amount of work that needs to be done in order to assign templates properly and how easy it is to bungle the whole thing by mistake.

For instance: I have this cooking website that has a template for each kind of recipe. ( look at the different templates here)

We had to set each content category in a different section instead of being able to set a section named "recipes" and categories for each kind of recipe in the same content section...

Then We had to use a known hack to get the templates to be assigned properly ( publish a hidden  section list menu item in order to get proper itemID when clicking on a link to a content item) This is a major drawback in Joomla– one that has not been solved still –that makes the tool very hard to use for must of our work. We have to use this hack in every installation of joomla that we do... we've been working with Mambo/Joomla since version 3.

We would like to have a simple way of doing away with the itemID issue regarding the templating system. We would like to be able to create a content section or content category and assign at once – if the admin wants to– one of the existing templates. This template should be assigned to all the content items within that content section or content category. The content category 's assigned template should prevail over the content section –because it is in a lower and closer to the content echelon.

What do you think?

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by rmd » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:14 pm

I second this request! It would be an awesome addition to the core.

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by Afters_x_ky » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:28 pm

Agree!

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by mcsmom » Fri Aug 18, 2006 5:07 pm

This would be so helpful.
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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by keveen » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:05 pm

Absolutely essential! The underlying content structure is Sections - categories - articles/content. I should be able to link a section with a template from either the Template manager or from the Section Manager. Each article would then open up with a different Template look-and-feel according to its section and so create the illusion of differrent sites. It is very unsatisfactory at the moment only to be able to do that by creating links in the Main Menu only (as I understand it). The problem with that system is that if I make the Section link available on top of the article/content item and a user clicks on the link to go to that section, he or she will NOT get the template that is assigned to the Menu link, so removing the usefulness of the "Show Category or Section" option when creating a content page.

Now I'm using Joomla more I feel frustrated that it is not simpler. Hope you programmer geniuses can do it!

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by Quoth » Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:59 am

Sorry for the bump but i agree that this is an essential change that needs to be applied as it will be so much better and easier to give different areas of my joomla website a unique look. Also while on this subject an ability to assign templates to Joomla users would also be great as then content by a certian autor/user could have their very own unique template directly after publishing.

[me=Quoth]wants this feature![/me]
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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by eyezberg » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:45 pm

There are many news possibilities reg. content templating in 1.5, I just don't know based on which parameters this is possible, and which exact parts can be styled individually..

Some good read by Louis here: http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,100792.0.html
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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by ganar » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:29 pm

eyezberg,

The link provided is very interesting , viz-a-viz other problems with the templating of modules and components. Nevertheless the problem stated is different and goes deeper withing the logic of the joomla core.

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The content is the king, give us back our item ID

Post by ganar » Wed Aug 22, 2007 5:31 pm

Nice title for a Joomla song. We should have it sung by Bruce Springteen to the tune of "born in the USA"

Somehow I missed the recent release of joomla and now I'm having the time of my life dealing with the way Joomla 1.0.13 publish the itemid

I think that we, as joomla users , should assert that our main priority with the system is to display content in an appropiate way ( this mean choosing the template and modules around at least a section or category of items): fixing the itemid to work exclusively with the menus and eliminating the section list hack is not a fix,is actually a huge problem for a lot of people that uses multiple templates and module positionsand that – like us– show the content in a different context from the blog or other pages leading to it.

This problem has brought us so many problems with a recent upgrade from a Joomla 1.0.10 to Joomla 1.0.13 – 2 days already wasted trying to fix this mess – that we are seriously giving a thought to switching back to Mambo if this is the direction that Joomla will take in the next versions and, as said in another thread, a solution won't be here till V 2.0

This problem with the itemid has to be fixed, and the way chosen is not the answer. Shoould anyone knows of a way to get this problem fixed in the current stable version I would appreciate very much to have pointers on how to deal with it

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by mcsmom » Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:49 pm

Did you set the preferences for the itemid to work in the pre 1.0.12 way?
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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by ganar » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:08 pm

Yes: erdsiger suggested that aproach but for some reason it did not work either way. I can not tell you how severe this problem is to us: it means loosing all the control that we had over the presentation of the content

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by marvanni » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:10 pm

And if you assign several css files based on section id in your template?

if ($option == 'com_content' && $sectionid == '1'){
template_css1.css
}


if ($option == 'com_content' && $sectionid == '2'){
template_cs2.css
}

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:00 pm

I consider this to be the #1 design problem with Joomla!. I believe the real problem relates to not having a permanent URL for each article and component. We have a permanent URL for menu items but that's not enough.

The problem stems from Joomla!'s flexibility. You can use each article in unlimited menu items. So, when an article is presented outside of the menu item structure (ex. search results or latest news module or the frontpage component), the obvious question becomes "What *is* the permanent URL for the article?"

The answer to that question makes a big difference internally to Joomla! because modules and templates are dependent upon the result. That is what I understand to be Ganar's point. Template solutions are often proposed, unfortunately, however, these proposals only partially remedy the issue.

A permanent URL might even be more important "outside" of a Joomla! website since social networking tools, like Digg and del.icio.us and Twitter, and extensive linking between blogs, etc., require a permanent URL. This is perhaps *most* important for frontpage content, and yet that is another area where a lack of permanent URL hurts Joomla! websites. If a blog gets Dugg or bookmarked from a Joomla! frontpage, it may not be accessible when the content rolls off of the frontpage. Obviously, that's not good. What good is a Frontpage teaser designed to pull someone deeper into the website, if it doesn't link into the section desired?

Eventually, I believe a data architecture change will be required to "truly" fix this problem. I am a proponent of getting rid of sections and categories all together, instead using tags and the emerging node based architecture for both menu designation and content categorization (and the ACL). But, I don't think this should wait until then. I personally think it is important to fix the problem before 2.0.

The permanent URL could automatically be assigned with predefined rules, such as these (or others), listed in order of precedence:
  • A menu item for an article link (more than one? Then, the lowest ItemID "wins" - how does an end user change the default - delete and recreate menu items. Is that nice? No, but it works. Now, we can't even do that.)
  • The URL resulting from a category blog or table menu item, drilling down into the article. (more than one? lowest ItemID "wins").
  • Same, except for a section blog or table.
  • If the article was published, but never linked to from a menu item, then Joomla! could use a predefined URL standard (perhaps a "blog type URL" with the published date and the article name) for such pages and allow end users to treat that default just like a normal menu item and decide whether modules display and what template is used, as if it were a menu item.
The permanent URL should be used in all situations where a URL is needed outside of a menu item, like the Frontpage component and any other component that uses articles; and in all modules, like the "most popular" or "recent news", and in search results.

I also realize that adding the logic needed to determine the URL will either slow down the article/menu item creation process - or - the creation of the link process. It would be better to slow down the content development than a visitor experience, but doing so would require the addition of a new column to store the URL at the article level. (And, also for each unique component.)

The SEF URLs are absolutely great in v 1.5. Resolving the permanent URL issue will provide another enormous improvement on the old code base. For me, this is the wish list item above all others. Not necessarily the fun one, but the one that will improve reduce many of the challenges we have all faced using Joomla! and for those who used Mambo before it.

Thanks for considering,
Amy :)

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by ganar » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:52 pm

marvanni wrote: And if you assign several css files based on section id in your template?

if ($option == 'com_content' && $sectionid == '1'){
template_css1.css
}


if ($option == 'com_content' && $sectionid == '2'){
template_cs2.css
}
The possibility of choosing the itemid of the content , at least until J! 1.0.10 – wich was an interim trick for a solution that never came– is now been eliminated by recent decisions that place the menu way above the content in the level of importance. This basically cancels the use o Joomla for large sites, there is no way to make this system works as it should on a large scale.

The problem is much deeper than a template assignment, it goes to the core of the itemID issue. The modules are set with this system as well...I think that the solution given by Amy is much more logical: we need a way to have a final URL for a given piece of content. We also need some sort of cascading template&module style assignment  (CTMSA) and a way to set the rules of its application.

This , above all , should be easy to do

Were and how we control this CTMSA within the interface is open to debate and need to be worked out. I find that the separation between the content and the menus is good, but not enough thinking has been given to how this affects the presentation of the content in the different levels. this means that a lot of work has to be done in weird and unexpected places within the admin interface to get a proper design online. I think that many of this problems come from deep below in the architecture of the system.

I don't agree with Amy regarding the elimination of the section-category-item distinction. I find that this is a valuable solution to design, produce, organize and search data. It also allows for very fast publishing or unpublishing of a large quantity of items in an easy manner. If the new system ask us to define the position of the content with tags every time that we create a new article we will end up with quite a mess in our hands... many clients don't care about clouds and that sort of things, they need something simple to work with. Amy: could you give me some pointers about this "node architecture"?

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:05 pm

Enno's Google Summer of Code Project is entitled Extending the Nested Sets Model with "Hardlinked Nested Sets. Essentially, it can be thought of as breaking Joomla! free from the two layer section-category structure.

Regarding the ItemID template trick - we can certainly still use that in Templates, just like we did in 1.0.10. And, that can cover MOST of what is needed. There are a few exceptions, as I noted, but, largely, this technique works.

We are in a Wish List area, here, so, that's why I described a broad look at this. It's not an easy problem, as you know, but for now, the template "tricks" are still helpful.

I did not see we were in an archived wishlist, so, these posts are also probably ignored! But, this is not an issue that is ignored - it is one that is frequently discussed.

Amy :)

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by ganar » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:32 pm

Hello Amy,

We would'nt be bothering the community with this problem if the listsection menu item trick worked...It does not, at least not for us. This has profound implications in the way we design, produce and maintain our sites and those from our clients.

My reasons for posting in this particular thread –even though is archived– is to show that the issue has not been solved, that it's been on the table for many years (from the mambo days) and that the development has brought it – at least for us– with a vengeance to the forefront again. There are many aspects of the development of Joomla that have been put aside – XHTML compliance for instance– and this has been one of them .

I hope to be wrong about this, I hope to have made a big mistake on a recent upgrade of a site in development but I have not found the reasons and solutions to solve the issue at hand, and what I read in the forum does not give us many clues on how to solve it or if the next version of joomla will solve it or make it worse..

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:18 pm

Ganar -

Here's what I am going to suggest since I am starting to feel like we are spreading ourselves across the forums.

I will repost in the "real" wish list my post - cleaned up a bit. Then, I will send you the URL if you want to add to it.

I'm not going to address anything related to how long this has gone on and development set aside, and yadda, yadda, yadda, and I'll tell you why. It's because they have been working. It's because it does no good to go backwards and try to figure out why. It's because that discussion doesn't solve any problems, anyway. And, it's because we've had enough stress in this community to last a lifetime. So, let's just get down to business, okay?

So, I'll post in the wish list. I'll send you the link. You can add your comments, as well. It will be later today, though.

I'm going to finish my post on this topic to you in the v 1.5 thread you started on the Search. Then, let's keep talking about v 1.5 there. See if we can document specifics and get really detailed and factual. Whatever we say, let's be clear on exactly how to reproduce the issue and why it's a problem.

Then, you have a v 1.0.13 thread, too. Later today or tomorrow, I'll look at that, too, and post what I might know there.

Anyway, that's a start. That's all we can do! So, let's get after it.
Amy :)

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Re: Setting templates on a content category or content section basis

Post by ganar » Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:47 pm

Thanks Amy, I'll be waiting for the link


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