Approaching Template Frameworks

http://betweenbrain.com/talks/frameworks

Scope

  • Discuss the two types of Frameworks.
  • Points to consider when evaluating one.

In the beginning...

...there was code, and lots of it.

Two Scenarios

Which lead to the frameworks of today.

Club Template Scenario

End user wants to customize their template.

Support provides files to edit, which lines of code go where.

After 12 forum posts (each), support and client gives up, support fixes the misplaced semi-colon.

Custom Template Scenario

Clients needed one-of-a-kind templates.

Not uncommon to reuse 80-90% template code.

A reusable code-base naturally evolved.

Two Outcomes

  • Club template frameworks for configuration over coding.
  • Template development frameworks for faster, better development.
  • Pros and Cons...

    Club Template Frameworks - Pros

    • Potentially faster/easier to configure.
    • Safer for non-coders, hand-off to clients.
    • Potentially more complete starting point.

    Club Template Frameworks - Cons

    • More complex solutions are needed for configuration.
    • Limited to available options.
    • Potentially difficult to customize beyond available options.

    Template Dev Frameworks - Pros

    • Less prone to code-bloat.
    • More precisely customizable to spec.
    • Tend to have "unique" features.

    Template Dev Frameworks - Cons

    • More difficult for end-users/client to change.
    • Potentially more time to develop.
    • Less likely to be commercially supported.

    All Frameworks

    • Are different.
    • Have some degree of a learning curve.
    • Improve your process once mastered.

    Considerations

    Are you a coder?

    
    <?php IF CODE_IS_SCARY {
    	echo 'A Template Club Framework is a good choice'; }
    ELSE {
    	$template_development_framework = TRUE;
    }
     

    Available Options

    Does the framework provide the necessary features? If not:

    • Some Club Template Frameworks allow for some code-level customization with varying difficulty.
    • Template Development Frameworks are more likely to be extensible and overriden.

    Upgradability

    Can you modify/override it and still upgrade it without loosing customizations?

    Joomla Convention

    Does it follow standard Joomla conventions?
    (i.e. template overrides)

    Complexity

    Is it just a template, or

    1 component, 2 plugins and a complex template?

    Added functionality

    Does it add any new, unique functionality beyond standard Joomla templates?

    In Summary

    It depends!

    Thank You!

    http://betweenbrain.com/talks/frameworks