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Author Topic: smartphone-compatable themes  (Read 45434 times)

Offline Angelina Belle

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smartphone-compatable themes
« on: August 16, 2011, 05:44:36 PM »
The Wedge project has not yet made a release, but their website (though it shows an SMF RC4 copyright line) is already showing off a new theme.  According to the developers (in msg265925)
Quote
Wedge's default theme is optimized for any kinds of resolutions.  The sidebar is moved aside on the fly, font size is bigger, things like that.
And it is. You can see the sidebar drop to the bottom the first time you load their website from your smartphone. Even if you turn the phone sideways.

Does this improve the viewing experience?
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Offline 青山 素子

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 06:05:08 PM »
I note that this fork isn't under an open license, so discussion on it wouldn't fit here.

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* This board is for discussion of open-source forks of SMF 2.
* You may showcase your fork here, if it is an open-source fork of SMF, and if you have followed the requirements of SMF's license agreement.
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Offline Angelina Belle

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 06:11:58 PM »
* You may discuss, analyze, compare, contrast, and post benchmark results comparing SMF and any SMF forks.
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Offline Angelina Belle

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 06:41:50 PM »
Nao, one of the Wedge authors, replies:
Quote from: Nao/Gilles
Thanks for the thumb up. :D However, Angelina, the code you see on Wedge.org is *not* running Wedge. It's specified in the FAQ. But lucky for you, it is true that the resizing code that is in Wedge, is taken from the code I wrote for Noisen.com (the website that served as the starting point for the Wedge.org website, NOT for the Wedge project.) So, yes, Wedge.org pretty much already demoes that for you.
I improved it, nevertheless, like I always like to do -- made it even shorter, slightly faster, and a bit more dependable.

Still, the font size is too small in Wedge.org when viewing it on a smartphone. And avatars are still on the side. Font size changing is done in Wedge (it only takes one line of code), but I'm also planning to move avatars and userboxes to the vertical flow, i.e. above the posts themselves. The point here is that topics should be very readable on smartphones, out of the box. I can't take bets for the other forum pages, though -- my focus was on topic pages really.

PS: permission to reproduce this post on sm.org if need be.

Nao, The copyright line did tip me off that Wedge.org is not running Wedge yet. :)
So the default Wedge theme will be bit different, then.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. -- Hanlon's Razor

Offline 青山 素子

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 07:01:47 PM »
I personally would prefer a mobile-optimized version of the theme, even if done with CSS only as opposed to special tricks to make the theme fit both worlds. With the later, you get a mediocre theme on both sides instead of something that takes advantage of the uniqueness of each platform.
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Offline Antechinus

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 07:27:33 PM »
Yup. Switching themes based on sniffing mobile browsers would be the way to do it. Dragoon's mobile mod does that. Better to also change the markup as relying just on css changes isn't really the best option. In fact TBH, on SMF you can't really do a good smartphone theme without Sources edits.
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Offline Oldiesmann

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 03:22:20 PM »
I am hoping we'll see a smartphone-friendly theme in future versions of SMF. Dragooon's mobile theme is a great start in my opinion, but it's something we definitely need to focus on for 2.1 in my opinion.

Offline Angelina Belle

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 03:23:33 PM »
SMF 2.1.  Is that another fork of SMF 2.0? :)
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Offline Oldiesmann

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 02:30:32 AM »
Nope. That's the version that comes after 2.0

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 06:14:56 AM »
I personally would prefer a mobile-optimized version of the theme, even if done with CSS only as opposed to special tricks to make the theme fit both worlds. With the later, you get a mediocre theme on both sides instead of something that takes advantage of the uniqueness of each platform.
Agreed. The benefits of a separate template is many - and its not necessary to provide for every theme, the default one could rely partly on the normal styles. Although a smart.css would be preferable still, as the index.css is so darn big.

In my bwTheme project I went with a smart.css + index.css, as smart.css contains the unique styles for smartphones. Index.css is only 1/5th of default theme index.css too so it isn't so big a hit. The smart template use primary index.css with its normal styles, like titlebg etc, and any smart styles from smart.css. IMHO thats a good way to go, since themes can then actually change the smart template too, with css only, but never needing to touch the HTML.

Really, smartphones are one thing, but IPads/tablet device are middle-ground between phones/pcs. Ideally they should have a separate template too. In SMF there are just too many templates for all sections IMO, so the aspect of making 3(4 with WAP2) versions of every one is a daunting task. The template system needs to distinguish more between frontend and backend templates, and provide some common interface functions, so you don't repeat identical template parts so much. THEN its trivial to provide 3 or 4 versions, which of course for smart/wap2 would be much simpler coded as well.

This is a direction I like to explore..though I am not sure I want to jump on the "forking train" thats going around atm lol, to make it happen. :)

Offline Angelina Belle

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 08:05:57 AM »
Well, one of the reasons the team established this board was to discuss everyone else's good ideas that could be taken right back into a future version of SMF.

I like the idea of simplifying theming by using common interface functions and re-usable low-level templates.

Anything that makes it easier to provide for different display types (size & resolution) and connection speeds will make it more likely that modders and themers will provide a better experience for users of all devices.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. -- Hanlon's Razor

bloc

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2011, 09:09:01 AM »
Oh, don't get me wrong - forks are a good way to bring a somewhat stagnated software(you may disagree ;) ) forward, I am just referring to "everyone" now wanting to fork it. Thats a monumental task really, if you want to do more than any mod could do.

They may be off on many levels, Nao and Arantor, but at least they are people IMHO that will see through their plans. Not so sure about others so far(and it doesn't matter either, time will show what will come out of it), hence my expression of the "forking train". :) Can't say i am too fond of Wedge so far tbh, but I am impressed by their momentum, and sticking to their vision. 


Yes, the templates  have gronw in size and complexity since 1.1..even since 2.0 RC2 really. But not much have been done to try and reduce them to more common ones. No theme designer today changes beyond index/messageindex/profile/display and perhaps a few others. The rest is ripe for changing to a set of simply calling general routines. GenerciMenu and Generic List go some way..but they are too basic so far. Forum layout is very specialized, but the elements are highly common. For example, the PM tempalte..you would think that a private message template would look quite different from public discussion template - but in SMF they are almost the same lol. :) if not very imaginative, it does suggest that you could have used the same layout for both, only changing the texts and data.But instead it clones the display template, save for the subject list.

Just one example, there are many more.

Offline Justin se

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2011, 09:17:56 AM »
i an also from the one who prefer a mobile-optimized version,
but still, nice work man

Offline 青山 素子

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2011, 10:54:58 AM »
Really, smartphones are one thing, but IPads/tablet device are middle-ground between phones/pcs. Ideally they should have a separate template too.

In my experience using this site on a Galaxy Tab 10.1, the full template is quite fine on a tablet. About the only thing I'd change is to make the text a slight bit larger for easier targeting, but I can override that in the browser.
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Offline ahrasis

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2011, 01:43:46 AM »
Hei, why don't I hear about you buying Galaxy Tab 10.1? I really haven't decided to own that but they said that it is awesome if compared to iPad 2.  :P

By the way, Bloc, I couldn't agree more with Motoko. The full template works just fine even in my SGS. I've been testing with Opera Mini & Mobile, SGS Internet Browser, Dolphin & Firefox (all for android).

Yes, the templates  have gronw in size and complexity since 1.1..even since 2.0 RC2 really. But not much have been done to try and reduce them to more common ones. No theme designer today changes beyond index/messageindex/profile/display and perhaps a few others. The rest is ripe for changing to a set of simply calling general routines. GenerciMenu and Generic List go some way..but they are too basic so far. Forum layout is very specialized, but the elements are highly common. For example, the PM tempalte..you would think that a private message template would look quite different from public discussion template - but in SMF they are almost the same lol. :) if not very imaginative, it does suggest that you could have used the same layout for both, only changing the texts and data.But instead it clones the display template, save for the subject list.
Yes. But help or request for good features had also been denied or ignored when posted. I guess they don't really bother about it until now.
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Offline 青山 素子

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2011, 02:39:26 AM »
Hei, why don't I hear about you buying Galaxy Tab 10.1? I really haven't decided to own that but they said that it is awesome if compared to iPad 2.  :P

I didn't mention it because I didn't think it very important.

The Tab 10.1 is nice if you like Android. I was looking at the iPad, but several things stopped me from choosing it: the dependency on iTunes to do anything (I run Linux primarily, I don't want to reboot just to sync the darn thing), the lack of ability to install outside programs if I really want to (I know about jailbreaking, but you lose the ability to upgrade the OS if you want to keep it), and the heavy control tendency of Apple.

My only major complaint with Android 3 has been the reliance on MTP. Support is great on Windows (Microsoft created MTP), so-so on OS X (Google has a special tool), and completely broken for the most part on Linux (I tried the latest libmtp with Galaxy Tab 10.1 support, it didn't work all that well). I just found other ways to transfer what files I need to.

Overall, both tablets are nice. I can do the same things: watch Netflix, view local videos, read books (Nook app and Aldiko work great), browse sites, etc. Heck, I can even use SSH to connect to my servers.

But enough off-topic stuff...


By the way, Bloc, I couldn't agree more with Motoko. The full template works just fine even in my SGS. I've been testing with Opera Mini & Mobile, SGS Internet Browser, Dolphin & Firefox (all for android).

Yeah, even with smaller screens, if you have enough resolution you can handle desktop-style sites just fine. It would be nice to have slightly larger targets for some things due to the imprecision inherent with touch input.

Smaller smartphone screens are the problem simply because of the low-resolution and small physical size. They require a much different interface because of those constraints. Re-working how the information is displayed and presented is important.
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Offline Kindred

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2011, 07:33:36 AM »
Yes, the standard template works fine on the iPad....   On the phone sized screen, though, I find myself having to zoom to read and especially to hit the line targets.
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Offline Gargoyle

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2011, 08:47:41 PM »
Raises the question why SMF doesnt purchase Dragoons mod... It works very well.

Offline Kindred

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2011, 11:34:33 PM »
Because we are open source and do not purchase mods...
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Offline Gargoyle

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Re: smartphone-compatable themes
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2011, 11:47:25 PM »
Oh.... Seems kind of limiting but I am sure there are reasons.. ;D