More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

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More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby AyaneSensei » August 24th, 2009, 6:20 am

I was wondering, for those who make layouts. Will there ever be more layout variables too choose from.
I personally would want a {NEWS} variable, since most people don't look at the first page and if they don't want to put a huge news comment on a comic page within the authors comment, there could be a spot on there layout that lets them add in part of the news on every page of their layout that updates every time they do to the news&welcome page...kinda like this: (It could either have the entire news [which could work if it scrolls and doesn't contain any large images] or just some of it, stop around the first 50 words and say "more.../read more..." [{latest_news.URL}]to go to the actual news post)

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With the same basic Idea as above, I was thinking there could be a {SUMMARY} variable also, to have that on every page of the layout too, 'cause I personally forget to look at the summary sometimes when I look at the comic profile and I'm sure I would (and maybe others like myself) would notice it if it was on every page, like on the default Smackjeeves template.

I can't think of anymore now, but I'm sure other people who make layouts might have other ideas, to make their templates more creative. :]

[EDIT] Something also came to mind. I was thinking we could do layouts in more of a PHPinclude sort of way.
We could have: a "Header" "Content" "Author Comment" "User Comments" and "Footer" section. Not so much as variables, but like this: (has the actual codes; you have the option of adding a layout the old fashioned way [Overall Layout/Normal]or a way where you can have all the coding separate[Advanced];

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Code: Select all
Overall Layout Header:

HTML HERE

Overall Layout Content:

{CONTENT}

Overall Layout Author Comments:

{AUTHOR_COMMENT}

Overall Layout Reader Comments:

{READER_COMMENTS}

Overall Layout Footer:

HTML HERE
Last edited by AyaneSensei on August 24th, 2009, 7:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables?

Postby Pyroman » August 24th, 2009, 6:51 am

I like the sound of news snippets on the overall layout, though this sounds like it would need a bit of setup so we could set how many words to display before 'read more' is displayed. For example, I imagine it would get frustrating if I couldn't set the size of the box because it has to display a certain amount of words (and god forbid I would scrollbar it).
But yeah, this could be a cool idea. I can't help but think I've seen it somewhere on SJ, though it could have been some fancy JS thingo.


AyaneSensei wrote:With the same basic Idea as above, I was thinking there could be a {SUMMARY} variable also, to have that on every page of the layout too, 'cause I personally forget to look at the summary sometimes when I look at the comic profile and I'm sure I would (and maybe others like myself) would notice it if it was on every page, like on the default Smackjeeves template.


From your description I think you're referring to this switch:
{SITE_DESCRIPTION}


AyaneSensei wrote:I can't think of anymore now, but I'm sure other people who make layouts might have other ideas, to make their templates more creative. :]


Haha, my desired variables were already added in the last update.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby AyaneSensei » August 24th, 2009, 7:41 am

Pyroman wrote:I like the sound of news snippets on the overall layout, though this sounds like it would need a bit of setup so we could set how many words to display before 'read more' is displayed. For example, I imagine it would get frustrating if I couldn't set the size of the box because it has to display a certain amount of words (and god forbid I would scrollbar it).
But yeah, this could be a cool idea. I can't help but think I've seen it somewhere on SJ, though it could have been some fancy JS thingo.


Yea, that sounds like that would work out best! :3

Pyroman wrote:From your description I think you're referring to this switch:
{SITE_DESCRIPTION}

I never even noticed that! xD
Though, like the how we can limit the amount of words for the news variable, we could do the same with this. O:
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby Pyroman » August 24th, 2009, 7:51 am

I'm not hip to the sort of PHP you're referring to, could you give me a run down on how editing the system to work that way would help or hinder? Right now it's pretty solid but for a few frustrations that often have ways around.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby AyaneSensei » August 24th, 2009, 8:15 am

Generally, PHP is used by people with graphic sites or large sites in general, so that they can easily change the site layout, without having to edit EVERY html page (pages will end in .php instead of .html/.htm, but this isn't important, since we wouldn't really be using php, just organizing in a php manner). I learned this about 4/5 years ago, so the site I learned it from isn't around anymore....(maybe this site could explain it: http://www.w3schools.com/PHP/php_includes.asp)though, the basic concept of this suggestion is just so things are more organized when coding is all, things will look more neat and not as cluttered.


I'll use a layout a made a few months back as an example.

Header: (where the code leading up to the content ends; for the most part, authors don't mess with this unless stated otherwise)

Code: Select all
<html>
<head>
<title>Your Site Title Here</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<style>


</style>
</head>
<body bgcolor="#D0BEC4" leftmargin="0" topmargin="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0">

<table id="Table_01" width="900" height="310" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" align="center">
   <tr>
      <td>
         <img src="http://sadpanda.us/images/24403-QLLTP3D.jpg" width="900" height="90" border="0" alt="" usemap="#tempimages_01_Map">
</td>
   </tr>
   <tr>
      <td BACKGROUND="http://sadpanda.us/images/24404-9QE7Y5Q.jpg" width="900" height="54" alt="">
               <div align="center">
<font face="Broadway" size="6" color="#A68D95">

*Your Site Title Here*


</font></div></td>
   </tr>
   <tr>
      <td>
         <img src="http://sadpanda.us/images/24405-ITHO8JF.jpg" width="900" height="118" alt=""></td>
   </tr>
   <tr>
      <td BACKGROUND="http://sadpanda.us/images/24406-ASPPANR.jpg" width="900" height="100%" alt="">
               <div align="center">

<div id="navcontainer">
<ul id="navlist">


Content: (This is the section where the author edits themselves)
Code: Select all
<!--START NAVIGATION HERE -->

{MENU}

<!--END NAVIGATION HERE -->

</ul>
</div>
<br>


{CONTENT}

<br><br>
</div> </td>
   </tr>
   <tr>
      <td BACKGROUND="http://sadpanda.us/images/24575-ZF88KMQ.jpg" width="900" height="39" alt="">
               <div align="center">

<b><font face="tahoma" color="#A68D95">
|Site Content: <a href="http://siteurlhere.com">YOURNAME(s)HERE</a>|Template By:
<a href="http://www.smackjeeves.com/profile.php?id=38833">AyaneSensei</a>
|Best Viewed in Opera <a href="http://www.opera.com/browser/"><img
src="http://sadpanda.us/images/24400-W9PWH4G.png"
width="94" height="15" border="0" alt="Opera" /></a>|</b></font>



Footer: (where all the </_> are located; generally not messed with by author unless stated otherwise}
Code: Select all
</div> </td>
   </tr>
</table>
<map name="tempimages_01_Map">
<area shape="rect" alt="Template By: AyaneSensei"
coords="710,7,891,16" href="http://www.smackjeeves.com/profile.php?id=38833" target="_blank">
</map>

</body>
</html>
Last edited by AyaneSensei on August 24th, 2009, 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby Pyroman » August 24th, 2009, 8:22 am

Sorry, that came out wrong. What I mean is, I know how PHP works in that I can put in standardised sets of code, what I was asking was how this would help clear up the template coding section. In essence we would still have all the same areas needed. I'd still want to be able to edit the content of each individual page as I can now; and although yes I think it's a cool idea to make things separate so that non-coders aren't massively confused, I get the feeling that this would only serve to compound that confusion with more and more sections.

However, I could be completely misunderstanding. Right now it seems like all that would be changed by your suggestion is the Overall layout being split into three sections.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby AyaneSensei » August 24th, 2009, 8:29 am

Hmm, I guess that would some it up. xB
Though, for people who would be confused, they could just use the
normal option and others who do know, could have everything in sections.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby Pyroman » August 24th, 2009, 8:53 am

You may be right. So I'm just going to rattle off what I'm gleaning, and perhaps changing a bit. The idea would be to have a secondary system in which templates are incredibly simplistic. Advanced features are essentially hidden, and users can edit backgrounds/links/fonts and so on, without the hassle of a full makeover.

This would be awesome for a bunch of reasons, in that predefined setups can be put in place for the comic/news/archive pages that determine the specifics, and then we have highly commented code that allows non-coders to be able to find, say, the body background colour and change it with ease. Then we have the option for users to swap to the normal, fully featured 'mode' which would let them edit everything.

The cons of this system are sort of in the preparation though, and they are fairly steep obstacles.
1. We need to know if this is even possible. I'm not sure if SJ could handle mixing up the template system like this, or if it is much simpler than I'm imagining.
2. We'd need to create a few stock templates that can be edited quite innocently, and still run with different colours and fonts. So things that the user cannot change must be very adaptable (eg, images must be transparent to match changing BGs, borders must be neutral enough not to clash with fonts/colours etc etc)
In addition, some sort of restriction would have to be put on templates that can't have this treatment. For example, an image-heavy template that if you changed the BG to blue, all the images would go crazy because they were set up for a black BG. Nearly all of the premade templates, and my own templates, would not stand up to colours being randomly changed (not to mention fonts and fonts-sizings messing up my beautiful positioning :( )
3. These templates would have to be very heavily commented, or a separate FAQ would need to be compiled alongside the more complicated normal template coding help. This is so that users do not confuse what they can and can't do with each system.
4. Other things that I just blanked on.

I like the above idea, and hope that it was sort of what you were getting at, but I have no idea if it is feasible.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby AyaneSensei » August 24th, 2009, 9:07 am

Since the Admin has been doing a good job at basically doing every update known to man xD, I'm sure if it is possible he could do it, I would hope anyway. O: Yeah, I think this is where topics for a specific template comes in(FAQ). Everything could be explain on how to edit a template, so the author can know what they can and can't edit and how, so even if there isn't much to change they still can do the little things that make the template their own. Hmm, I was thinking...for layout that do contain a bit of images, the coder can add a .psd file to the specific layouts FAQ topic, so that authors can change the color/add links if there is image mapping/add in a image with there character in it, if the layout has a space for it/etc to make the template match there comic more.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables? [UPDATE]

Postby Admin » August 24th, 2009, 2:52 pm

Interesting stuff here. I think adding a latest_news block to the global variables would be relatively easy enough.

As for revamping the whole template system, not as easy, but I like the ideas you guys are coming up with.
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Re: More Overall Layout Variables?

Postby AyaneSensei » August 24th, 2009, 3:08 pm

That's good to here! I look forward too it! :]
-hopesitendsupbeingeasierthenfirsttought-
I kinda wish I could think of more stuff! xD
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