Nicholai noted that “I’m just not very happy with the BEEZ template. IMO it destroys / removes the professionality of J1.5”.
Let’s take a quick look at exactly what this template is for.
Is the Beez template intended for actual use?
Its long been realized that Joomla had some inadequacies with respect to producing a fully standards compliant website. I have blogged before about tableless Joomla and what makes a good designer that the problem of Joomla 1.0 is that presentation (tables) is locked in the core output and not separated from content. This causes many problems, not least that it makes it difficult to achieve an accessible standards compliant Joomla site but also has the potential to make your SEO efforts more difficult. Google, after all, is blind (see Usability, Accessibility, Web Standards, SEO and You).
The functionality developed in Joomla 1.5 templating will open the doors to allows designers to solve these issues and more. It effectively puts accessibility in the hands of the right people, the template designers, and out of the core.
The accessible Beez template was born out of the reorganization of the Design and Accessibility group into to two smaller groups; design (focusing on a new design for joomla.org) and accessibility. The second group were charged with developing a proof of concept that would demonstrate the new features of templating in Joomla 1.5.
Stage one, while the beta templating was still in development was a very simple demonstration, a new template tutorial for 1.5 and a tableless template. You can see a live demo of the Joomla 1.5 template, and if you have the dev FF tool bar (and if not, why not), you’ll see that it is table free. Included in the tutorial were some guidelines about how the new templating system worked and how you could use it for your template design.
The second step was the development of a full accessible and standards compliant template. Developed by the excellent folk at Run Digital, the final product is the Beez Accessible template. If you grab a download of the nightly Joomla beta you see in full glory the wonder of the html override folder.
What does templating overriding open up?
Now, quite apart from allowing designers to create an accessible template, an astonishingly good thing in itself, the new templating functionality will allow so much more.
One example is the oft quote site of Porsche Brazil. Its an eye popping design that is difficult to believe it uses Joomla.
Here is the dirty little secret though, a chunk of the core had to be hacked to get the presentation as you see it. WIth the development of template override of the core, these type of sites can be developed much much easier. You want to have a definition list to show images on the home page, you got it. You want to be able to overhaul the forms outputted by Joomla, hey, all yours. Whether its for accessibility, design reasons, or SEO, the template designer can control what he or she needs to.
Good bye .contentpaneopen!
You can download the free 1.5 template tutorial in our library.
Oddly enough, an interview I did with JoomlaJabber got posted a few days ago. More about Joomla and design there. Good timing!
JoomlaJabber.com – Show 9 – Guest Barrie North of the Joomla Working Group and Joomlashack.com