Thrown in the deep end

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  stu_rader 4 years ago.

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  • #240

    jeffw
    Keymaster

    After creating a new child theme I clicked the new theme name in dashboard menu and was taken to Runway > Options Builder > New Admin Page. At this early stage of using Runway I’m not sure why I am being shown this page. I think I am being told that I need to create a new admin page for my theme, but rather than just dumping me on this page, would it perhaps be better to put up a message and link telling me what I need to do next? I’m not sure. It’s just that what it does now feels a bit like being thrown in the deep end before I’ve learned how to swim.

    #242

    Andy
    Keymaster

    I see what you’re saying. I suppose a solution might be to generate an default theme options page and drop it into the Theme Options for newly created child themes. This way clicking the theme name (theme options menu) will take you to that page filled with information, descriptions and even examples uses of the Options Builder and possibly other features of Runway?

    I’ve been thinking about adding a new Data Type to the Forms Builder* called “Information” which would allow you to add just text/HTML to an options page. This could be used to generate introduction text for a page or section of inputs, help text for explaining options (beyond the labels and descriptions on fields) or many other uses. I like to have these types of information blurbs in my themes, but right now it’s not possible with Runway. I think having this field would make it very easy to create a simple “Welcome” page in the theme option for each new child theme. The page could later be deleted.

    Another thing this might build towards is an idea I have for assigning “templates” to the child theme’s interface. I every developer has their own structures they like to use as standards and starting points. If you could create/save templates for the initial child theme structure it would go a long way towards saving a lot of time and create an awesome resource for the community to share with each other. An example might be, if I like working with Bootstrap as my base theme structure and I’ve created a “starter theme” that has the Bootstrap CSS, JS and my own base styles and functions. If I saved this starter theme to my “templates” it would then be available as an option for each new child theme I create, simply selecting it would save me a lot of time by not having to copy those things over to my new child theme each time I start a new project. This basically possible now by by clicking the “Duplicate” link for any child theme installed on Runway. It still seems like it would be nice to have an option to “define” and “select” a template for new themes rather than just duplicating one every time. I’m still giving this some thought but I do like the idea. It wouldn’t be that hard to add another link to each existing child theme for “Save as template” that copies the theme to a “templates” directory in your Runway install then makes it available to select for any new child theme. It might be best to develop this as an Extension also.

    * Forms Builder is the name of the new engine that generates the drag and drop interface used in the Options Builder. It provides the tabs, sections and fields features as a reusable element and can be called by any Runway add-on. This was done to extend the UI building capabilities of the Options Builder to other Extensions and admin areas. The first places we’ve used it are the Layout Manager and Content Types extensions. Now you can also add custom inputs and fields to the Header and Footer sections of your layouts when designing your site or generate custom meta boxes for pages, posts or custom post types. This is a big step forward making any Data Type developed for Runway, or custom created one for your own theme, available to add to an edit screen for Pages/Posts, a theme options page, a header or footer and a lot more eventually.

    #244

    jeffw
    Keymaster

    I think most WordPress website designers* will be looking for a base camp to start from. In my experience most WordPress website designers* don’t enjoy having to read documentation and start from scratch, they like to have it handed to them on a plate so that they can rearrange things the way they want them. It’s all about speed. The faster they can do it the cheaper they can sell it, the cheaper they can sell it the more business they’ll get.

    Providing WordPress website designers* with tools that enable them to build themes that have features they could never code for themselves is a great selling point. I think it will attract many WordPress website designers*. But ultimately it will come down to cost to client, and that means speed of delivery. Fancy features will be of no use to WordPress website designers* if it means a big hike in cost to the client because of the extra time involved in “developing” those fancy features.

    I think the market is primarily driven by price. If Runway can provide fancy features and also increase speed of delivery (and thus reduce the cost to the client) I think it will be unstoppable.

    * Experience limited to installing a theme and then using that theme’s admin dashboard options to set up a website for their client.

    #280

    stu_rader
    Participant

    I understand the deep end Jeff. I’m over here treading water:P Digging today into the advance copy of Incentive Andy so nicely provided for testing. My first impression was a huge “Gulp”… that this was the most minimalist thing I’d ever seen… but I know well the feeling that it takes a lot of bashing stuff around before you become handy with any of these things. So far so good, I have my installation on 12Flat.com, my sandbox.

    I’ve found 2 glitches, and will happily go buy the theme as I see the big picture coming together. Since Andy just released it, I believe what I found may come up in the forums which is another reason I will buy. I have a new client I have a mind to drop this in, which always is good “Incentive” to get the job done.

    In the layout settings page it says to put do_action('output_footer'); at the end of footer.php, and that it’s commented out at the top of the file. I saw it and put the code within the php at the end in two places with no error’s, but no joy either. Firstly if this is actually the case for new buyers to have to do… it’s a bit janky or I’m so far off… please set me straight if that’s the case but I don’t see many folks finding that fun if it’s a necessity. Anyway I couldn’t get a footer established with the provided sidebars either for what it’s worth.

    Also, in the layout settings page I assumed checking the boxes for enabling was correct?

    Layout Sections
    Headers
    Enable Layout Headers
    Footers
    Enable Layout Footers
    Layout Options
    Enable Layout Options

    OK, then back to the layout manager. When you create a new footer, it simply asks for a name, not slug so I figured a 2 word name is ok?

    Then a glitch, in `layout-manager&navigation=edit-options&option=footers’ – editing anything in there throws a grayed out popup that’s totally malformed in content slid off to where you cannot see the pickers and checkboxes. Checked in chrome and FF. Had it worked I probably would have been stumped anyway, as many will who delve into that are beyond the scope of middle of the road WordPress site owners.

    My installs are good, and the big question I have now is there no way to use static blocks for the footers how we’ve done in Razor and Moxie, since it’s also a part of Incentive? Maybe I should have asked that first.

    That’s my rant for tonight. Big plans for this next half of 2013, more clients to secure and relations to forge. Thanks all for a great community here and in the forums of Parallelus.

    Cheers
    Stu

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