Daniel O'Connell said the following on 02/02/2010 08:18 PM:
> Hello to all,
> I'm still trying to get my head around designing a website with
> Radiant in mind. The biggest problem for me seems to be figuring out
> how to write the layout html so that Radiant "knows" where the
> content will go. For instance, with a multi-column layout how do you
> determine where the body or other page part will go in the layout so
> that it makes sense in Radiant.
> Could any of you seasoned veterans explain the process you use to
> design a website with Radiant in mind. How do you create a theme?
> Create 1, 2 or more column layout?

I started to write this up but I rapidly found that explaining it was
about 20-30 times as much work as doing it.

Lets see it I can get it done quick.

1. Go to Andreas Viklund's site http://andreasviklund.com/ and
   download a FREE template.  Get a zip file and unpack it.

2. Put ..
        The HTML a named template
        The CSS in public/stylesheet
        The images in /public/images

3. Go to the template.
   Go the <head> section
   Edit the reference to the stylesheet to match where you put
   the stylesheet.
   Go through the <body>to find references to images and edit them to
   match where you put the images.

4. Create the "/" page.
   Set its template to be named template you created in #1

5. Test by pointing your browser at the base of the site.
   It *should* look like Andreas' example.
   If it doesn't, then you've made a mistake in #2 and #3

6. Create some dummy content of you own in "/"

7. Go to the template and find out where in <body> the example
   content is.  Leave all the menu stuff alone for now.
   Replace Andreas' wordage with
        <r:content />

8. Test.
   You should now see your won content.

9. Gradually replace more of the basics in the template with your own

I strongly suggest doing this:

a) take the main menu stuff from the template and put it in a snippet
   called "mainmenu" and replace it in the template with
        <r:snippet name="mainmenu" />

b) test

You can do that with other chunks of stuff.

With a bit of practice you can do that in less time than it took me to
write this.

Now, based on hard earned experience,
I suggest your template has bits like this in it ...

        <div id=sidebar>
                <r:content part="sidebar-hi" inherit="true" />
                <r:content part="sidebar" inherit="true" />
                <r:content part="sidebar-page" />
                <r:content part="sidebar-low" inherit="true" />
        </div> <!-- end sidebar -->
        <div class="clear">&nbsp;</div>

You'll soon figure out what to do with the "hi" "low" and page-specific
parts :-)

You might also want to use this as your template's core

   <div id="content">
        <r:unless_url matches="^/$">
            <h1 class="headerstyle"><r:title /></h1>
        <r:content />  <!--  page main content -->
        <p class="insidelink">[ <a href="#top">Back to top</a> ]</p>
        <r:if_content part="extended">
           <div id="extended">
                <r:content part="extended" />
           </div> <!-- end extended -->
           <p class="insidelink">[ <a href="#top">Back to top</a> ]</p>
        <r:if_content part="extended2">
           <div id="extended2">
                <r:content part="extended2" />
           </div> <!-- end extended2 -->
           <p class="insidelink">[ <a href="#top">Back to top</a> ]</p>
     </div> <!-- end div.content -->

If you don't see it at first, trust me, you'll soon find out why :-)

I've also found it useful to have this like in the <head>

        <r:if_content part="head">
           <r:content part="head" />

> I know that Radiant is only at 0.8.1 (stable) But there really needs
> to be better theming ability, and more documentation for those who
> struggle as I do with the programming end of things. 

I'm not happy with the idea of introducing "theming" the way WordPress
or Joomla does into Radiant.  Its too restrictive.  If you just try
converting the nine free examples that Andreas gives you'll find that
they have awkward fits.

I'm working on a site based on his '03' example.
The top part has two extra bit, the "logo" where it says "speed and
accessibility" and the "caption" where it says "Presentation ..."
You need page-parts for those.  You may -or may not- want them inherited.

So "Obviously" the "theme" has to dictate what page parts you can or
cannot have.   If you develop with andreas01
and then move to Andreas03, you're in a mess - you've moved from two
sidebars to one and you've got slots for two page parts that didn't
exist before.

What's the solution?

Well, OK,  0-sidebar, 1-sidebar and 2-sidebar types of "themes".
Uh-oh!  Someone isn't going to like that!

Perhaps you need to use Joomla after all ...

> I would also
> love to see a "Radiant CMS for dummies" or other instruction geared
> for beginners offered for sale.

I think the real problem with Radiant is that it *IS* so simple and
straight forward.
People have become used to intricate, complex, rococo things like
WordPress and Joomla, so they keep expecting Radiant to be equally rococo.
It isn't.

All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is
not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.
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