More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

A general technical discussion area for patTemplate.
Locked
User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:23 pm

This is an open question to the core developers of Joomla.

We have been looking forward to a more granular implementation of templates within the core of joomla for a long time. When Pat Template was implemented we thought that we would be able to change the rendering of the elements of com_content and com_frontpage, among other components.

It seems that the presentation code of com_content and com_frontpage are not being handled by pat template. We would like to know if this solution exist as a hack to the core or if it has been contemplated in a future release. We think it would be much more easier to adapt our templates if we could work with pat template in the way that Daniel Ecer does with his menu system "extended menu".

Warm regards to the core team!

User avatar
ianmac
Joomla! Virtuoso
Joomla! Virtuoso
Posts: 4784
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ianmac » Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:59 pm

Hi!

I am not on the core team, but I do have some experience and knowledge of the core as part of the documentation team.

I was in a similar discussion at one point, and it was mentioned that there is a possible alternate solution.

It isn't quite as simple as patTemplate, but it is still fairly versatile and I believe that you can obtain similar effects.

If you look at the mosMainframe class, you will see that in there is a _setAdminPaths method, which is used by components to get the paths to various files.  This includes the .html.php files.  (i.e. content.html.php).

Now this is probably fairly common knowledge.  What seems to be less known is the directories that are searched.  If you look at this method, will see that it looks for these files in the following order:
1. $basePath/templates/$this->_template/components/$name.html.php - that is, if it was the content component, it would look for templates/madeyourweb/components/content.html.php

2. $basePath/components/$option/$name.html.php - that is, if the above file does not exist, it would look for components/com_content/content.html.php.

Although it perhaps is not perfect, I think most of the output/rendering of the content component is handled by this file.  So if you want to change the rendering of the content component, you can copy this file, place it in the template directory and modify the copy that is in the template directory.  This will override the original file, and you do not need to make modifications to the core.  In this way, it is possible to 'skin' components (which are properly written using the $mainframe->getPath to get the html.php file) with the template.

I hope that this comment is helpful, and again, I am not a core developer, but I do some custom development work and it seems like this is the way to approach it.

Ian

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:47 pm

Hello Ian,

Thank you so much for your reply.

We do use the method you mentioned in a number of sites, The only problem with it is that the changes to the files of the core reproduced in the template work has to be done each time that a modification to Joomla or to the components is done.

The main problem we are facing with the current system is that it is not easy to fish the code that display items in com_content and com_frontpage. For instance: I've been trying to add a div definition around the content tools – send an email to a friend, print this page, pdf of this page– to no avail. I'm a graphic designer who knows mambo/joomla since version 4.0.13. I've implemented multiple templates in a Mambo installation since that version– a fairly difficult task at the time for a non-programmer – and modified core files since that time to get exactly what I want. Each new version has brought bigger changes in the core , more OOP and bigger hurdles to jump each time we want to get the features that we need from joomla in order to style the items properly in our templates.

here are some of the sites we have done:
http://www.encasadekristina.com
http://www.hyundai-motor.com.ve
http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com.ve
http://www.topincompany.com
among others

Each one of them has modifications to the core that we would like to forget about.... Pat Template sounds like the way to go. I wonder if anyone has been able to do this with the core components or if this has been contemplated for a next release. From a designer point of view it is easier to work with a pat Template to add or remove styling from the core than with the current system.


Regards!

User avatar
ianmac
Joomla! Virtuoso
Joomla! Virtuoso
Posts: 4784
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ianmac » Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:06 pm

Hmmm...

beyond that, I'm not sure...

I know that there were some concerns with using patTemplate for thecore because of performance issues.  I don't know what the long term plan is in terms of its implementation.

I know that there are lot of changes being made to the architecture of all the components for 1.5, so with any luck there will be a stable API through which something like this could be easily abstracted...  The move is towards a Model-View-Controller architecture, so that the views will be more abstracted.

There is also a trend in the core towards the ultimate goal of having components be much more swappable.  This would mean that the 'core' components would only be core in so much as they are included with the system.  I believe (I could be mistaken) that the eventual plan is to have the components completely interchangeable, so that there may come a day when say even the com_content component could be switched out for a custom one.

Come to think of it, I wonder if this could be done in 1.5, since I recently say an article that would allow one to make custom menu types...  This might provide you with some pretty powerful options in the long run...

Not sure really what else to suggest...

Ian

P.S.  your sites look really great!  I assume ve is venezuela?  They look really sharp and really well done!

Best of luck!

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:05 pm

hello Ian,


Performance issues... bad karma indeed... Mambo 4.013 feels much faster that the subsequent versions. A performance hit would not be good. Still the separation of the presentation code is a necessary thing at the moment or the template design gets stale ( you know: the cms look that everybody has this days)


Thank you so much for the nice comments about our work. We are located in Venezuela. Mambo/Joomla has truly been a godsend for us.

Alejo
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:28 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by Alejo » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:00 am

I use patTemplate extensively in jReviews to modify the layout of com_content (including blogsection and blogcategory views) , com_frontpage. Using a mambot I override the $row values which are used in com_content. It might not be perfect, but it works.

If you look at the source of this page:

http://demo.reviewsforjoomla.com/index. ... 2&Itemid=9

You can see several nested templates being used, quite a few actually and it is very flexible.


   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Also take a look at the frontpage component:

http://demo.reviewsforjoomla.com/index. ... e&Itemid=1

And the com_content with blogsection view:

http://demo.reviewsforjoomla.com/index. ... 0&Itemid=9

Saludos,
Last edited by Alejo on Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
JReviews • Directory and reviews extension https://www.jreviews.com

User avatar
Jinx
Joomla! Champion
Joomla! Champion
Posts: 6569
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:47 am
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by Jinx » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:04 am

Hi ganar,

There doesn't exist a hack to implement patTemplate in Joomla! 1.0, even for Joomla! 1.5 patTemplate will only by used for the actual site templates and not or the seperation of content and output. Not only is a full implementation of patTemplate out of the scope of Joomla! 1.5, it also generates a significant preformance hit. The performance problems need to be solved first before we can integrate pT throughout the whole system.

At the moment, the core team will not be pushing patTemplate's use to the developer community.  It is an available tool, but we don't go so far as to say it is even necessarily recommended... its just available.

Does this mean  Joomla! 1.5 still has hardcoded html and is as unflexible as 1.0 ? Offcourse not, for Joomla! 1.5 u will be able to change every little bit of html the system outputs, only not using patTemplate but using very simple php templates.

Johan

PS. A discussiing about pT can also be found in this thread
Johan Janssens - Joomla Co-Founder, Lead Developer of Joomla 1.5

http://www.joomlatools.com - Joomla extensions that just work

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:35 pm

Hi Alejo, Ian,


Alejo, thank you so much for your comments and examples. Would you be willing to publish here the steps leading to change com_content using pat templates in Jommla 1.0x? ( in a generalized manner in order to not hurt the sales of your system). THis can solve our problems on this version of joomla.

Ian, thank you for your comments and the link. This are very good news for us indeed. Do you know of a timeframe of delivery of the new joomla 1.5? Just a rough stimate will do.

User avatar
ianmac
Joomla! Virtuoso
Joomla! Virtuoso
Posts: 4784
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ianmac » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:49 pm

Hey Ganar...

1.5 is still in alpha2, with the beta coming when it is ready, followed by stable...  I really can't give you too much more than that.  The core team has made a couple of estimates in the past, but currently there is no guess as to when it will be completed.  Progress is being made, and by the looks of the task tracker on the forge it looks like we are getting there, but for volunteers it is hard to guess exactly how long things will take.

I guess the answer to your original question is, it isn't really that easy currently to do what you are aiming to do, but a solution is in the works, and with all things, it takes time...

Ian

Alejo
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:28 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by Alejo » Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:59 pm

ganar wrote: Hi Alejo, Ian,

Alejo, thank you so much for your comments and examples. Would you be willing to publish here the steps leading to change com_content using pat templates in Jommla 1.0x? ( in a generalized manner in order to not hurt the sales of your system). THis can solve our problems on this version of joomla.
The mambot:

Code: Select all

// no direct access
defined( '_VALID_MOS' ) or die( 'Direct Access to this location is not allowed.' );
$_MAMBOTS->registerFunction( 'onPrepareContent', 'ptContent' );
function ptContent($published, &$row, &$params, $page=0) {
	if (!$published) return;
        include_once ($GLOBALS['mosConfig_absolute_path'].'/includes/patTemplate/patTemplate.php');
       // Initialize and send output to template
      $t = & new patTemplate();
      $t->setRoot(dirname(__FILE__));
      $t->readTemplatesFromFile( 'com_content.html' );
      $t->addVars ('com_content',array("title"=>$row->title,"text"=>$row->text,"author"=>$row->author));
      $row->title = ''; //So it does not appear twice
      $row->author = ''; //So it does not appear twice
      $row->text = $t->getParsedTemplate('com_content');
}
The template:
filename: com_content.html, in this case placed in the same directory as the mambot.

Code: Select all

<patTemplate:tmpl name="com_content">
<h1>{TITLE}</h1>
Written by {AUTHOR}
<p>{TEXT}</p>
</patTemplate:tmpl>
I have not tried this exact code, but it is a starting point. You can see all the variables available for content if you print the $row variable in the mambot. You also have access to the content parameters through the $params variable and you can use it to alter the parameters. For example, if you wanted to prevent to regular ratings from showing you can do something like this:

$params->set('rating','0');

And then you can actually use the $row->rating variable and send it to the template and display it anyway you want.

One thing that is important to note is that the $row->text variable contains both intro and fulltext and is the one processed by the mambots. You can also use separately $row->introtext and $row->fulltext with no mambot processing.

I hope that gets you started (and boosts sales of jReviews!). In jReviews the mambot only does its magic for certain content categories and it is possible to assign a different template to each category.

Suerte!

Alejo
JReviews • Directory and reviews extension https://www.jreviews.com

User avatar
eyezberg
Joomla! Hero
Joomla! Hero
Posts: 2860
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:48 pm
Location: Geneva mostly
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by eyezberg » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:31 pm

There's two other modifications you could look at to maybe at least partially solve some layout problems:
Flexcontent http://www.knopf-consulting.de/index.ph ... Itemid=103
JX Content XTD http://www.joomlaexpert.com/Products/Ma ... -_Overview
which is a mambot/plugin which looks very cool..
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. AE
http://joomla15.[URL banned].com for J! 1.5 screenshots
http://www.eyezberg.com

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:49 pm

Alejo, Eyezberg:

Thank you so much for the through and useful answers. I will begin in earnest to study them and try them out.

BTW I'm also using mos-late to design some of the elements within the pages.

For the nexts releases of Joomla –certainly not 1.5– I think that the architecture of the templating system must be like a tree that would allow you to make modifications  from the list or blog level to the pages down to the individual elements. This changes can be centered in the template manager and use the template directory to assemble all of the needed files. In that way you can easily modify not only what the  content page show but how it is rendered and even add structural elements within the content (multiple columns, templates for a particular set of data within a content category, the list goes on) . You can even use something else to render the page, flash or [url=http://www.%20openlaszlo.org]openlaszlo[/url] for instance, like we did in encasadekristina.com were we basically duplicated com_frontpage as a text set of variables for flash...

Eyezberg has done some work on the subject of flash and Mambo/Joomla integration on his blog.

This can make Joomla a much more flexible CMS, one that could traverse multiple media: Phones, web, interactive TV etc...

User avatar
eyezberg
Joomla! Hero
Joomla! Hero
Posts: 2860
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:48 pm
Location: Geneva mostly
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by eyezberg » Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:33 pm

I'd be very interested in
we basically duplicated com_frontpage as a text set of variables for flash
!!
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. AE
http://joomla15.[URL banned].com for J! 1.5 screenshots
http://www.eyezberg.com

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:26 pm

Hello Eyezberg


it is basically a quick hack, not very through. We adapted the code of com_frontpage and did a lot of –uninformed– reverse engineering specifically for this project, it has no comments at all  :-[  let me know if you are still interested and I will PM the file to you.

User avatar
eyezberg
Joomla! Hero
Joomla! Hero
Posts: 2860
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:48 pm
Location: Geneva mostly
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by eyezberg » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:32 pm

If it can be used with Flash, I sure am :)
Just to take a look anyway..
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. AE
http://joomla15.[URL banned].com for J! 1.5 screenshots
http://www.eyezberg.com

User avatar
sosokeys
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:24 pm

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by sosokeys » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:32 pm

ganar wrote: Alejo, Eyezberg:

Thank you so much for the through and useful answers. I will begin in earnest to study them and try them out.

BTW I'm also using mos-late to design some of the elements within the pages.

For the nexts releases of Joomla –certainly not 1.5– I think that the architecture of the templating system must be like a tree that would allow you to make modifications  from the list or blog level to the pages down to the individual elements. This changes can be centered in the template manager and use the template directory to assemble all of the needed files. In that way you can easily modify not only what the  content page show but how it is rendered and even add structural elements within the content (multiple columns, templates for a particular set of data within a content category, the list goes on) . You can even use something else to render the page, flash or [url=http://www.%20openlaszlo.org]openlaszlo[/url] for instance, like we did in encasadekristina.com were we basically duplicated com_frontpage as a text set of variables for flash...

Eyezberg has done some work on the subject of flash and Mambo/Joomla integration on his blog.

This can make Joomla a much more flexible CMS, one that could traverse multiple media: Phones, web, interactive TV etc...



i agree

User avatar
absalom
Joomla! Ace
Joomla! Ace
Posts: 1199
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:37 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by absalom » Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:16 am

sosokeys wrote:
ganar wrote: Alejo, Eyezberg:

Thank you so much for the through and useful answers. I will begin in earnest to study them and try them out.

BTW I'm also using mos-late to design some of the elements within the pages.

For the nexts releases of Joomla –certainly not 1.5– I think that the architecture of the templating system must be like a tree that would allow you to make modifications  from the list or blog level to the pages down to the individual elements. This changes can be centered in the template manager and use the template directory to assemble all of the needed files. In that way you can easily modify not only what the  content page show but how it is rendered and even add structural elements within the content (multiple columns, templates for a particular set of data within a content category, the list goes on) . You can even use something else to render the page, flash or [url=http://www.%20openlaszlo.org]openlaszlo[/url] for instance, like we did in encasadekristina.com were we basically duplicated com_frontpage as a text set of variables for flash...

Eyezberg has done some work on the subject of flash and Mambo/Joomla integration on his blog.

This can make Joomla a much more flexible CMS, one that could traverse multiple media: Phones, web, interactive TV etc...
i agree
Would it be okay if the template themselves for this sort of ouput were managed via XML / XSLT ? (As you are talking essentially about the semantic areas for each part of the output)
Design with integrity : Web accessible solutions
http://www.absalom.biz
http://twitter.com/absalomedia

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:37 pm

Hi Absalom,

It could be done via XML. There should be something like moslate's tagging built in in administrator/com_content in  order to be able to assign structural propperties within the page ( multiple columns, effects, more content parameters etc)

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

AJAX // Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:10 pm

Ah!

The sweet smell of a good industrial grade cleaning product!

Our new site breaks away from joomla's com_content straight jacket in order to get a multilayered feel that seems easy to read and navigate. We could not remove the limitation in com_content, but at the very least we did try to go around them.

Don't miss it!

http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,164329.0.html

Your input is deeply appreciated

dynedain
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by dynedain » Wed May 02, 2007 12:40 am

Glad to see you worked out a solution to your com_content display problems. On one of our sites, we went the route of building a Flash-based site that pulled everything via XML-RPC from the Joomla database. That way we had simultaneous Flash and HTML versions of the site with all the power of Joomla to run it.

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Thu May 03, 2007 2:03 am

Hi Dynedain,

We did a flash integration between flash and Mambo with a site published sometime ago:

http://www.encasadekristina.com

in the end we tought the xml route generated too much code. We digged a little and used AMFPHP to handle the connection between flash and php in http://mitsubishi-motors.com.ve. In this way we managed to get a much faster communication –due to the binary connection stablished– and security for the site. We developed a service that pulled only one of the menues (the showroom menu )

We would like to experiment to get a new way to handle content, we would like to break away from the page metaphor as much as possible. With an APP like google mail the designers just have toa copy an existent app, but with content there still a long way to go till we find a more responsive way to display it...

Please do show us the site that you developed using XML-RPC, we would love to see the implementation
Last edited by ganar on Thu May 03, 2007 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dynedain
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by dynedain » Thu May 03, 2007 4:45 pm

We digged a little and used AMFPHP to handle the connection between flash and php in http://mitsubishi-motors.com.ve
That's exactly the same route we used (I'm not sure why I said XML-RPC... except I think AMFPHP is built on that and does basically the same thing, but in Flash's weird encrypted format instead of plain-text XML)


The site is http://www.kaadesigngroup.com


The 2 biggest drawbacks are
  • That we have to reverse engineer the front-end functionality of any component in Flash/actionscript, and recompile the FLA every time
  • That formatting WYSIWYG content is a real pain because of the limitations of Flash text boxes
In the end I had to put togethor a mambot that would pull out extra formatting that Flash needs and the HTML version doesn't, and in my AMFPHP functions I added things to strip out some of the formatting that the HTML version needs that would screw up the Flash version.

Basically I came up with my own API in Flash that does page handling very differently than Joomla. I have 5 or 6 page layout templates in Flash, and then wrote AMFPHP methods to grab the appropriate data from the Joomla database

I have 6 AMFPHP methods exposted to Flash -
  • 3 functions which just get the data for Static Content but for 3 different templates
  • 2 functions which pull for a custom portfolio component, for 2 different templates
  • 1 function to pull the menu information, which is fed into a customized Flash tree component
  • 1 function to pull data for a 3rd party component which we ended up deciding not to use because visually it didn't tie in well with the HTML version
Overall it's a very customized, one-off solution... but it worked and it gave me some good ideas for what to do differently the next time I need to do a site like this.

I'm really interested in the idea of structuring togethor some kind of framework of standard AMFPHP functions for Joomla! Perhaps a plugin for 1.5 that starts to duplicate the Joomla! API... but I don't even know where to begin.

dynedain
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by dynedain » Thu May 03, 2007 5:19 pm

dynedain wrote: I'm really interested in the idea of structuring togethor some kind of framework of standard AMFPHP functions for Joomla! Perhaps a plugin for 1.5 that starts to duplicate the Joomla! API... but I don't even know where to begin.

Well.. actually I do know where to start...

Step 1, registering a project:
http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jamfphp/

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Thu May 03, 2007 11:16 pm

dynedain wrote:
That's exactly the same route we used (I'm not sure why I said XML-RPC... except I think AMFPHP is built on that and does basically the same thing, but in Flash's weird encrypted format instead of plain-text XML)


The site is http://www.kaadesigngroup.com
Hello dynedain,

Let me start by congratulating the whole development and design team that worked on this site:
  • Great overall user experience
  • Great content depiction, very concise
  • Clear Information Architecture
  • Responsive interface
  • Beautiful design( great use of white space, tipography and pictures)
  • Fast server response
  • Great HTML implementation
There are some items that I don't like but, my concerns are more technical in nature and should be considered as constructive criticism:
  • Splash page to select either flash or non flash version– we managed to eliminate this step. The site and its changes are more easily searched by google. Most of the sites we made receive at least a third of their traffic Through google
  • Flash version in a window (not my coup  of tea)
  • On certain galleries –landscape, for instance– items are repeated to fill the void. This is confusing from an user perspective: there should be a gap at the beginning of the repetition to mark it
  • The first page of the site in flash is confusing, The logos to the left and the images below seem clickable – or at least I feel they should be, given that reflect other parts of the site– it is annoying that they are not.
Overall a big thumbs up, really nice results–above all considering the fact that all of this is easily updatable (is it?).

We would like to participate in an effort to bring more interactivity to the joomla front end. But AMFPHP is just a small step in that direction, there are so many and complex issues that steam from the way that Flash handle interactivity that I think that another route is called for. AMFPHP is just a program to link flash to php in a binary way but afterwards the amount of work that needs to be done to finish the interface is staggering.

We are toying with the idea of working with http://www.openlaszlo.org/, developing something that can reach more platforms and be more easily expandable. this way we could end worrying about developing so many widgets –basically reproducing a complete browser within flash– and dealing with the bugs and limitations of the current state of the art in flash.

What do you think?
Last edited by ganar on Thu May 03, 2007 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dynedain
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 7:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by dynedain » Thu May 03, 2007 11:33 pm

Thanks for the comments, I handled all the development and one of my coworkers handled the majority of the design. Some of the the the things like the repeating strip were intentional, and others (like the inability to click on the images on the front page) stem from a limitation in how we linked together the functionality inside of Flash.

That OpenLaszlo you pointed out looks very interesting, but it appears to be mostly a framework for web-based applications. A competitor to AJAX solutions, so to speak. Which is fine in it's own right, it just isn't the kind of work that my firm does.

Like the Google AJAX framework, it seems to be centered around the idea of writing everything in Java and then compiling (DHTML or Flash for the front end, and Java on the backend). Again, very focused for application development, but too much overhead for simple websites IMHO. I wouldn't be suprised if OpenLaszlo even uses AMFPHP for hooking Flash into it all.

You have inspired me though to actually push forward on adding AMFPHP support to Joomla. I don't think I'm going to go all the way of trying to duplicate Joomla's front-end functionality in Flash, but at least exposing the API will get Flash developers halfway there.

User avatar
ganar
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:19 pm
Contact:

Re: More flexible com_content and com_frontpage using Pat Template

Post by ganar » Fri May 04, 2007 1:52 am

Hello dynedain

Kudos to the team! it is very impressive that you managed to do all this by yourselves. On our side the Mitsubishi's site required a team of two designers/developers/xhtml coders and 3 production persons, the client side took a lot of effort as well

What did you use to handle the galleries? I particularly like MGM joomla Gallery manager, but it is no longer supported and broke down on me recently because it is not able to handle MySQL 5

Your comments about Open Lazzlo are appreciated, still I would advice you to read a little bit more. You would be surprised as to how easy is to do a number of things that flash just sucks at. To us the whole thing about content is not "simple websites" (BTW no offense taken  ;) ) Is just that all of our clients are long term relationships and content to us is king, we have a ton of work as it is.

We would like to break free from the page metaphor and get a much more interactive presentation of the content. We are sure that this can be done but need a team to take com_content , com_frontpage, mod_menu, mod_newsflash, mod_latestnews and their integration with flash seriously. It is just a lot of work.


We would love to participate making a flash template to demonstrate the use of jamfphp and helping to develop some basic widgets.
  • preloaders
  • transitions between content items
  • Animations
  • Title and text boxes
  • Advertising
  • Menu
  • Information Architecture of the back end to allow the control of the flash template variables. This has t be done somehow: either by an XML configuration file or by an interface in joomla to control this file
In the end we would like very much to be able to develop something like this:

http://www.ep3.es/

they do take the content seriously  ;)  it is all they do....

... And one last thing! :D consider that to build a new metaphor a certain number of elements will fall outside the scope of the current implementation of joomla: transitions, content background, typography, video and a long etc.Maybe in Joomla 1.5 another tab can be added to the administrator/com_content interface? Can you imagine that !

We would like to help, it would be great to have some kind of meeting.

Regards


Locked

Return to “patTemplate”