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Author Topic: Themes and mods?  (Read 16114 times)

Offline wk38

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Themes and mods?
« on: March 19, 2008, 10:00:01 AM »
So it appears that current themes built to work with 1.1.4 and older do not work with 2.0. I have three highly custom themes that I paid to have done for me. I'm also using TinyPortal along with those themes. I'm assuming at this point I'll need to have those themes rewritten in order to work with 2.0?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 10:04:36 AM by wk38 »

Offline IchBin™

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 10:17:40 AM »
I can tell you that TinyPortal will not work with SMF2 for a while, at least probably until the RC releases. All mods and themes will have to be updated to work with SMF2.
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Offline wk38

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2008, 12:22:21 PM »
Why no backwards compatibility with themes, mods or TP? Isn't this going to cause havoc with people that have custom themes? It's going to cost me big time to have all my themes reworked. Either that or basically I can never upgrade to 2.0. I don't get the reasoning.

Offline Gary

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2008, 12:34:32 PM »
There's no backwards compatibility because the changes particularly in the sources for the database optimisation are too large. And for themes, practically every language string has been renamed (but the upgrader can take care of that for you) as well as a large number of new features having gone in.
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Offline leoedin

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2008, 12:43:16 PM »
Because making the software continually compatible with previous versions themes would stagnate development. If developers couldn't break any functions, change any menu layouts or adjust...well...anything.. on the front end, then they wouldn't be able to improve the software.

1.1 will continue to work, and security issues will continue to be patched for a while yet. If you want the new features of 2.0, you'll have to accept that you will need a new/reworked theme!

Offline wk38

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008, 12:55:20 PM »
Disappointing.

Sorry Leo. I don't buy that argument. As a 15 + year software development project manager I have some experience in that area.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 12:57:07 PM by wk38 »

Offline Gary

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 12:57:10 PM »
For themes however, the upgrader will make it so that you can use a custom theme on 2.0, but it wont have all the extra features that come with 2.0 though, you'll need to add those yourself, but the language strings will be updated.
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Offline IchBin™

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008, 01:10:24 PM »
Disappointing.

Sorry Leo. I don't buy that argument. As a 15 + year software development project manager I have some experience in that area.
Perhaps you should look at the source a little closer. Not to mention the view (templates) that will hopefully be completly overhauled to be more semantic. Database abstraction and security change A TON in SMF2. I don't see how your 15+ year dev experience can think that software shouldn't move forward in terms of security and usability. Sometimes the changes are so great you can't continue down the old path. If you don't buy that excuse thats fine, but its a living reality for any evolving software.
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Offline wk38

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2008, 02:05:55 PM »
I understand what what you are saying and don't get me wrong, SMF is great and I certainly want development to move forward. I also realize that SMF is free and the amount of effort and dedication it takes to keep it free.  However, when you are running a large commercial board especially for profit, you need scalability, compatibility and predictability. It's difficult for a large forum operator to also move forward when you don't know from one release to the other what will work and what won't or how long you will have to wait for it to work.

I have a fair amount of money invested in custom designed themes, not to mention the mods I have installed including Tiny Portal which is the best portal out there bar none. Now I can't upgrade 1. Because TP won't work and there's no time frame for a new version. My themes won't work unless I now hire someone at additional expense to rework them.

So where does that lead for the future? Every time a major feature release comes out I have to completely rework everything? Maybe, maybe not, who knows? Maybe for SMF it boils down to the data model, the template system or how it was originally engineered. Again, scalability, compatibility and long term predictability. Software companies do it all the time.

Offline IchBin™

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2008, 02:18:36 PM »
Companies do it all the time with the right type of software. Web software is subject to a lot more compatibility issues than most (php, mysql, web standards etc etc). Don't think that SMF doesn't do its best to keep backwards compatibility. As far as I can see, you shouldn't have to have a Major make-over on your themes to make them work. It should be just a matter of updating them. Which IMO, shouldn't take much.

Oh, and I agree about TP. :)
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Offline N0ctrnl

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2008, 02:21:47 PM »
It seems to me that you have to spend money to make money.  Running a commercial site means you're going to have to spend money when upgrades come along.  I'm sure you don't think you can just do it once and leave it alone forever, and I'm even more sure you wouldn't expect development to stop because of the custom+commercial reason.

I have several custom things on my forums as well.  Just seems to me it's a necessary evil in order to keep things moving in the proper direction.  Of course, the software is still beta, and it seems like now might be a good time to start working on updating your software to make it work - I know I am.

Offline leoedin

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2008, 02:30:38 PM »
I understand what what you are saying and don't get me wrong, SMF is great and I certainly want development to move forward. I also realize that SMF is free and the amount of effort and dedication it takes to keep it free.  However, when you are running a large commercial board especially for profit, you need scalability, compatibility and predictability. It's difficult for a large forum operator to also move forward when you don't know from one release to the other what will work and what won't or how long you will have to wait for it to work.

I have a fair amount of money invested in custom designed themes, not to mention the mods I have installed including Tiny Portal which is the best portal out there bar none. Now I can't upgrade 1. Because TP won't work and there's no time frame for a new version. My themes won't work unless I now hire someone at additional expense to rework them.

So where does that lead for the future? Every time a major feature release comes out I have to completely rework everything? Maybe, maybe not, who knows? Maybe for SMF it boils down to the data model, the template system or how it was originally engineered. Again, scalability, compatibility and long term predictability. Software companies do it all the time.

Perhaps you're using the wrong forum software. In terms of user support, scalability and probably backwards compatibility, vBulletin is the leader in the field. SMF is by far the best free forum software, and IMO quite close to vBulletin in a lot of areas (and the SMF admin panel is better than vBulletin's one), but in terms of scalability and support, vBulletin is the best.

Offline ibookdb

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2008, 02:56:50 PM »
I understand what what you are saying and don't get me wrong, SMF is great and I certainly want development to move forward. I also realize that SMF is free and the amount of effort and dedication it takes to keep it free.  However, when you are running a large commercial board especially for profit, you need scalability, compatibility and predictability. It's difficult for a large forum operator to also move forward when you don't know from one release to the other what will work and what won't or how long you will have to wait for it to work.

That's why I use almost no Mods. The upgrade upgraded my custom theme. Only things missing are minor things like button images etc. in the Admin section. My theme is not "heavily customized" but it is customized. PM me if you would like to see the forum I'm testing with.

I have a fair amount of money invested in custom designed themes, not to mention the mods I have installed including Tiny Portal which is the best portal out there bar none. Now I can't upgrade 1. Because TP won't work and there's no time frame for a new version. My themes won't work unless I now hire someone at additional expense to rework them.

Every version seems to break mods so I don't use any :) You should probably have known that before jumping in. If you develop your own mods, you'll probably be able to recreate them. If you run a large forum you should have the budget to do that everytime SMF upgrades versions. It's not that frequent. You really don't need to upgrade now, you know. Just wait until TP releases a version for SMF 2.0 - it's still beta software too.

So where does that lead for the future? Every time a major feature release comes out I have to completely rework everything? Maybe, maybe not, who knows? Maybe for SMF it boils down to the data model, the template system or how it was originally engineered. Again, scalability, compatibility and long term predictability. Software companies do it all the time.

But inspite of my comments I do agree with you. SMF doesn't have a very clean separation between presentation and content so a lot of stuff that shouldn't be in the themes is part of the themes. But it is the best free forum software out there.
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Offline Spaceman-Spiff

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2008, 03:27:22 PM »
It's quite normal that major release of a software will break its old add-ons and themes. It's always the case for Firefox releases. This is also the same with vBulletin, or other BBS software.

Offline wk38

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2008, 03:45:58 PM »
Regarding vBulletin, perhaps you are right. Frankly I wish you weren't as I don't want to change my forums over. Most likely two of my smaller forums will remain SMF 1.1.4 probably forever. My larger one will have to move to vb.

How much to port TP over to vB?  ;)

Offline Kender

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2008, 03:50:55 PM »
why are you concerned with upgrading a working, money making forum to a BETA?  most likely it will be several months before its in final, and you shouldnt use a beta for production site anyways
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Offline wk38

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2008, 06:30:16 PM »
I'm not concerned for the moment. I'm looking at what I'll need to deal with in the future with a 100,000 + member site.

Offline Kender

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2008, 07:07:34 PM »
by then i am sure a good portion of the mods will be reconfigured to work with 2.x, and also from the way talk is going the theme changes wont be too awful hard once they get down to it (you could probably get someone who is a mod designer to configure your custom mod for a lot less than whatever you paid the original designer)
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Offline IchBin™

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2008, 07:35:29 PM »
Regarding vBulletin, perhaps you are right. Frankly I wish you weren't as I don't want to change my forums over. Most likely two of my smaller forums will remain SMF 1.1.4 probably forever. My larger one will have to move to vb.

How much to port TP over to vB?  ;)
I think you misread his statement. vB has the same problems as anyone else when upgrades come out.
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Offline ibookdb

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Re: Themes and mods?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2008, 04:36:58 PM »
I'm not concerned for the moment. I'm looking at what I'll need to deal with in the future with a 100,000 + member site.

Do what I do. Don't use mods. Whatever mod you need, develop yourself and don't modify smf_ tables for them, create your own new tables.
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