On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 16:49:47 -0800
Rich Robinson <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> At this point, the site is great for managing content via
> the  database.  However, as far as I can see pretty much
> all the content  needs to fit into templates, with the
> result that there appears to be  little room for setting
> up a more free-form looking page that can  incorporate
> graphics in a freer, more visual way. 

Well, *ANY* system that generates a web page is going to
have that problem.  Yes, you *CAN* make it more "free form",
but freedom carries responsibility -- the code will be much
more complicated.  And of course, Humans are smart. Your
readers will eventually figure out the "trick" no matter how
smart your code is (that is, they will be able to predict
its behavior, thus find it unsurprising, hence "dull"
compared to pages designed by Humans).

That's just life, really.  "Hand crafted" is recognizeable,
and "machine generated" is never going to be it.

> Sure, we can add 
> images and any HTML we like, but they are confined to the
> areas  designated by the templates.  In other words, the
> site tends to "look  like" a database-driven website - not
> unpleasing by any means, but  I'm wondering if Zope lends
> itself to more "creative" looking pages  that departs from
> the templated look.

*However*, the layout of the page can itself be database
driven (whether we are talking about an external RDBMS or
the ZODB within Zope).  It is entirely possible to design a
page in which the structure itself varies according to the
content. But, as I said above, this is more complicated.

I have pulled background images from a randomly-ordered
list, based on the date or time of viewing (this is much
more scalable than picking randomly on each pull, because it
means that ALL people viewing the page at the same time will
need the SAME image, so it can be cached).

I have written markup structured to build words out of
images, based on the content of the words (an alternative to
using special fonts, which is a bit more wasteful of
bandwidth, but allows *any* kind of font).

I have written Zope table-layouts that cascaded in a zigzag
pattern down the page, distributing the content in an
apparently "out of square" layout (actually it really is in
squares, but they partially overlap).

I wrote a table layout generator that makes "clock" patterns
with 12 table cels arranged in a circle.

And of course, you can always intersperse "hand crafted"
pages" with data-driven content pages, or combine both on
the same page.

Terry Hancock ([EMAIL PROTECTED])
Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com

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