Thank you very much for your help! I think it would be a great help to others, 
if you could add your method to the 
Radiant docs wiki. I'm still going through the steps you gave, but so far so 
good. This "nuts and bolts" understanding 
of how to work in Radiant has really been eluding me. Thanks for the link. 
Andrea's website is really a great resource 
for ideas. So is Right now I'm working from the Lazy Days 
for a semi-fluid layout that scales well and can be 1 or more columns. The 
template is very well documented throughout. 
Very clean nicely laid out code too.

> 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 ...

Joomla...Oh that almost gave me nightmares. Radiant is so much better than any 
of the CMSes I' am aware of, Rails or 
otherwise and i've researched/tested dozens of them. Pure genius in it's 
simplicity and I am looking forward to the 0.9.0 release.
I really like the new UI. better extensions management etc. But I do hope that 
some kind of internal templating engine that 
uses the all of the Radiant conventions, snippets, page-parts etc., will be 
developed at some point that

Always Victory!

> 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 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
>   material.
> 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:unless_url>
>        <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>
>       <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>
>         </r:if_content>
>     </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" />
>       </r:if_content>
>> 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.
>    Sun-Tzu
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