Jump to content

Community

Designers Mode concerns


Recommended Posts

Quick summary: Just wondering if Designers Mode is absolutely necessary for simple tasks.

 

Feel free to move this topic if it isn't in the correct forum - wasn't too sure where to place it since it relates to 4.x feedback.

Unfortunately due to many complications with Designers Mode during the beta's, I haven't been able to dive into the new theme system enough yet, however I have a few concerns which may impact development times for theme designers.

The first being the fact that Designers Mode must be enabled to upload resources (via FTP) and add settings. I'm aware of the "Manage resources" feature in the admin cpanel, which I'm sure is fine for people who need to upload one or two files. However when a large quantity of images needs to be uploaded, it means Designers Mode becomes absolutely necessary. The same applies for theme settings - surely Designers Mode doesn't have to be enabled for settings to be added/modified..?

On a related concern, it's not uncommon for theme designers such as myself (who cater for a large number of clients) to have dozens if not hundreds of themes on a single development board. My current 3.4.x board has 218 themes, and I can't simply delete them since I need to keep them updated for clients. If this were a 4.x board, and if I needed to upload files (or create settings) for my 219th theme, I'd need to enable Designers Mode and wait a very long time for it to build the theme files for all themes, not to mention rebuilding before exporting the theme. Not a very ideal or user friendly situation at all..

I can only assume that no large scale changes will be made before the RC or final releases, but I feel as though there could be improvements made to make the theming system in 4.x much more user friendly. If Designers Mode is necessary to edit the .phtml and .css files directly (instead of via the admin cpanel) - that's totally understandable. But when Designers Mode is required to upload files and create settings, it seems like a massive - and almost unnecessary - hurdle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick summary: Just wondering if Designers Mode is absolutely necessary for simple tasks.

 

Feel free to move this topic if it isn't in the correct forum - wasn't too sure where to place it since it relates to 4.x feedback.

Unfortunately due to many complications with Designers Mode during the beta's, I haven't been able to dive into the new theme system enough yet, however I have a few concerns which may impact development times for theme designers.

The first being the fact that Designers Mode must be enabled to upload resources (via FTP) and add settings. I'm aware of the "Manage resources" feature in the admin cpanel, which I'm sure is fine for people who need to upload one or two files. However when a large quantity of images needs to be uploaded, it means Designers Mode becomes absolutely necessary. The same applies for theme settings - surely Designers Mode doesn't have to be enabled for settings to be added/modified..?

On a related concern, it's not uncommon for theme designers such as myself (who cater for a large number of clients) to have dozens if not hundreds of themes on a single development board. My current 3.4.x board has 218 themes, and I can't simply delete them since I need to keep them updated for clients. If this were a 4.x board, and if I needed to upload files (or create settings) for my 219th theme, I'd need to enable Designers Mode and wait a very long time for it to build the theme files for all themes, not to mention rebuilding before exporting the theme. Not a very ideal or user friendly situation at all..

I can only assume that no large scale changes will be mad is custoe before the RC or final releases, but I feel as though there could be improvements made to make the theming system in 4.x much more user friendly. If Designers Mode is necessary to edit the .phtml and .css files directly (instead of via the admin cpanel) - that's totally understandable. But when Designers Mode is required to upload files and create settings, it seems like a massive - and almost unnecessary - hurdle.

Hi Ehren,

This my response to few your concerns every time add new theme so far into admin cp then run designer mode looks to run only new theme as other stored into database i believe, but only test with six themes so little unsure how 219 would be like i also know how said images being uploaded into admin cp ? did get that correct if so using ftp fine i normal leave design mode on unless i am exporting the theme i not noticed any big issues doing this.

But i do like idea doing all in admin cp like before but also got used to new way to using ftp do all my work, all issues i have is custom html will it be changed on upgrades as not tested in new beta.

I do hope all make sense 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can empathize with the issue of synchronizing tons of themes - that sounds like a nightmare. However, once designers_mode is enabled, I don't get why you would ever need to disable it? (Other than to export a theme - in which case you can specifically synchronize select themes). 

​I guess keeping it enabled is the only solution at the moment. Personally I prefer working within the admin cpanel since I become familiar with the template locations (which is beneficial for me since my customers will likely be editing their themes via the admin cpanel). Even so, memorizing, synchronizing and exporting 30+ themes after each upgrade, which is roughly the amount I did last time, sounds terrible. And if I miss one during syncing for whatever reason, those changes are lost.

Say I have a theme with a background image, and a customer wishes to change it to their own. I have to make a setting which defines the image, otherwise they'd need to enable designers mode just to replace one image, is that right? Or what if the footer on my theme has a subtle background pattern image, and they want to change it to something else? I don't want to saturate my settings area with small settings like that, but I'm not sure of other ways without forcing my customers to enable designers mode.. For 3.4.x, they simply replace the existing image via FTP and they're done.

IPS has always been my favourite product to design and code for, there's a reason why I focus on it over other software. The skinning system in 3.4.x is user friendly and super efficient, and has always been a pleasure to use over others such as xenforo (which also allows FTP uploading and settings). However the new method in 4.x seems to be a huge step backwards, and it's a shame to say I'm certainly not as excited to design 4.x themes as I was hoping.. Surely it's not absolutely impossible to allow FTP uploading and settings creation available without Designers Mode enabled?

Link to post
Share on other sites

​I guess keeping it enabled is the only solution at the moment. Personally I prefer working within the admin cpanel since I become familiar with the template locations (which is beneficial for me since my customers will likely be editing their themes via the admin cpanel). Even so, memorizing, synchronizing and exporting 30+ themes after each upgrade, which is roughly the amount I did last time, sounds terrible. And if I miss one during syncing for whatever reason, those changes are lost.

Say I have a theme with a background image, and a customer wishes to change it to their own. I have to make a setting which defines the image, otherwise they'd need to enable designers mode just to replace one image, is that right? Or what if the footer on my theme has a subtle background pattern image, and they want to change it to something else? I don't want to saturate my settings area with small settings like that, but I'm not sure of other ways without forcing my customers to enable designers mode.. For 3.4.x, they simply replace the existing image via FTP and they're done.

IPS has always been my favourite product to design and code for, there's a reason why I focus on it over other software. The skinning system in 3.4.x is user friendly and super efficient, and has always been a pleasure to use over others such as xenforo (which also allows FTP uploading and settings). However the new method in 4.x seems to be a huge step backwards, and it's a shame to say I'm certainly not as excited to design 4.x themes as I was hoping.. Surely it's not absolutely impossible to allow FTP uploading and settings creation available without Designers Mode enabled?

It's a matter of preference but coding within an admin panel over an IDE is completely illogical for me. Working through the file system now allows us to use GIT/SVN version control which introduces tons of benefits such as proper conflict resolution. We can now also use CSS/JS Pre-processors (Sass/Less/Coffeescript) etc all of which we couldn't use with IPB3x.

However, I do agree that the process of synchronizing seems convoluted especially for end-users wishing to make changes. I think that it should be one or the other - force us to work solely in the ACP like in 3x and upload files / assets via FTP etc OR work solely through the file system like Wordpress. I'm not going to complain though as I've been urging IPS for years to have some kind of implementation that doesn't completely re-invent how web developers work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Few things from my perspective here. . It just doesn't work for me either not only function wise but also in what I'd like to do and I feel many others with less coding skills will be extremely confused possibly. Why should others bother me with less coding experience? Purchasers of themes will need to know how to use designers mode for some edits. Could be cumbersome for theme designers in regards to support imo for one. 

Tom says:
However, I do agree that the process of synchronizing seems convoluted 
especially for end-users wishing to make changes. I think that it should be one or the other - force us to work solely in the ACP
 like in 3x and upload files / assets via FTP etc OR work solely through the file system like Wordpress. 

I say
This for sure and I've mentioned this in the past. 

What I like and how it's done and how I use it. For me when creating a theme I do not enter dev, I create my theme using manual. I do LOVE how I can edit from there and design my theme without ftp. At this point there's no reason for me to enter design mode for let's say a basic skin. I can at this point with my css, html and changes export and import the theme with no issues. That's how I like it. But if we move into a more detailed theme as mentioned above some tasks are more of a impediment than help. Being able to 100 percent manually create, export, import and edit themes should be a option imo.

Ehren says
Say I have a theme with a background image, and a customer wishes to change it to their own. I 
have to make a setting which defines the image, otherwise they'd need to enable designers mode just to replace one image, is that right?

I say
Right. Point I made previously and a good one to mention again. 

synchronizing tons of themes - that sounds like a nightmare
I seen the option to do this and need to make more time out to dig in and learn what's going on with this feature. From the look of what's there it would appear from upfront it does the same thing as turning off designers mode. Not the case I'm sure here but it's how it appears.

Over all I feel the IPB skin capabilities are top notch and I like everything with the exception of designers mode. I really hope someone gets me to liking design mode soon :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of Ehren's concerns are the same for me. I feel that the manual mode needs more flexibility.

I am of the old school of designing and the new IDE systems are a foreign language to me. That is the

reason I liked to code IPS because the ACP- Mode was so simple, but now they have stepped up

the learning curve to a level that may be beyond my abilities.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

All of Ehren's concerns are the same for me. I feel that the manual mode needs more flexibility.

I am of the old school of designing and the new IDE systems are a foreign language to me. That is the

reason I liked to code IPS because the ACP- Mode was so simple, but now they have stepped up

the learning curve to a level that may be beyond my abilities.

 

​I would doubt it's past your abilities :) If we were talking about myself I wouid agree.. :D however to hear you say that goes miles for end users that may not know so much and need to make edits.

I also forgot to mention above using a custom ckeditor theme. That too needs to be associated with and ran through Design Mode for the theme and edits

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am of the old school of designing and the new IDE systems are a foreign language to me. That is the

reason I liked to code IPS because the ACP- Mode was so simple, but now they have stepped up

Perhaps you learnt to code using IPB in which case I can empathize but ​IDE's and text editors have always been the standard way to code websites. IPB1/2/3's method of coding through a textarea in an admin CP is absolutely not how web developers should work and is absolutely awful for many reasons -

  • No version control
  • No Syntax highlighting
  • No Search (except browser)
  • No Awesome IDE/Code Editor features (emmet,projects,themes etc)
  • No CSS/JS pre-processing

The fact IPS have kept it the way they have for so long doesn't surprise me that a lot of people consider it the normal way of coding. I absolutely guarantee that if you spent a little time getting used to this method, you'll never look back :).

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

  Just for information I also design several different web sites and use IDE software to maintain them, but in the case of

IPS, the easy of the old system was the main reason to be creative for their themes. In order to keep up I would have to

begin learning a new IDE system, which would keep me behind in the support of new themes. I have several variations

of my old skins ready. I'm still waiting for fixes in bugs to complete the work, but for the more complicated themes

I will have to learn, and at 60yoa that can take time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom

  Just for information I also design several different web sites and use IDE software to maintain them, but in the case of

IPS, the easy of the old system was the main reason to be creative for their themes. In order to keep up I would have to

begin learning a new IDE system, which would keep me behind in the support of new themes. I have several variations

of my old skins ready. I'm still waiting for fixes in bugs to complete the work, but for the more complicated themes

I will have to learn, and at 60yoa that can take time.

You only need one IDE / Code editor (eg- Sublime Text). After that, it's exactly the same as editing within the admin cp, but you're working with actual files. There's nothing extra to learn that you wouldn't already need to learn by working within the ACP. The template structures are identical whether you're in the ACP or the file system.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Management

We're open to suggestion here. Tom has been posting bugs and issues and I've been keen to get the resolved ASAP.

We do feel that working with the actual template and CSS files - exactly as we do when developing IPS4 - is the easiest and fastest way to develop themes. It might take some adjustment, but I'm sure you'll find this the same too.

Ehren, 200+ themes is pretty niche - do you have any suggestions to help with that?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ehren, 200+ themes is pretty niche - do you have any suggestions to help with that?

Yeah, ​I understand I'm in a super niche group.. I haven't had any problems managing this many themes in 3.4.x, it just seems as though it'll be an issue in 4.x due to the constant enabling/disabling of Designers Mode, and syncing of files.

Just to be clear, working with the html and css files isn't the issue here - it's the fact that DM must be enabled to perform what should be relatively simple tasks. While a "you'll learn to adapt" approach is understandable from some, it doesn't really apply when the new approach introduces extra workload to both the creation of new themes and supporting existing customers with their own modifications. 

As for a solution, whether or not this is achievable.. Having the ability to upload resources via FTP and add theme settings without enabling designers mode would ease all of my concerns, and the concerns of others by the sounds of it. Having these fundamental features restricted to DM just seems like a huge step in the wrong direction when compared to the current 3.4.x system.

I just don't want to see the theme system for my favourite forum software fall back inline with other competitors, that's all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt

I echo ehren's  ideal, having the Manual mode more in-tune to the 3.4x. If you ask Brandon he

has been working on my demo site and I have a special issue because of my host company.

In the 3.4x mode with FTP access designing was a breeze, but with the new DM and my

host issue DM is not working. Asking the host to change my settings is not going to

happen, for corporate reasons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to the large number of bugs which have plagued Designers Mode in the beta's, I think it would be beyond beneficial if these two tasks could be performed outside of DM. I'm still experiencing issues in b8 and despite reporting all of my bugs, I haven't been able to get started on any themes due to how fragile DM has been, which has become increasingly disappointing and frustrating over the past few months.  :unsure: 

My original goal was to have all of my themes ready during RC and available immediately after the "final" launch, but it seems as though that deadline has come and gone unfortunately, purely due to Designers Mode.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to the large number of bugs which have plagued Designers Mode in the beta's, I think it would be beyond beneficial if these two tasks could be performed outside of DM. I'm still experiencing issues in b8 and despite reporting all of my bugs, I haven't been able to get started on any themes due to how fragile DM has been, which has become increasingly disappointing and frustrating over the past few months.  :unsure: 

My original goal was to have all of my themes ready during RC and available immediately after the "final" launch, but it seems as though that deadline has come and gone unfortunately, purely due to Designers Mode.

​What issues you facing in DM Ehren ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I think it would be beyond beneficial if these two tasks could be performed outside of DM. 

​And here's the problem, themes require database interaction and ftp will not update the database. What it would take to get the database to interact with the ftp'd files I'm afraid could bring more issues and development. I can't see personally how this would go down.

ehren says
but each beta I've had issues with missing css

I don't think anyone has worked with IPB more than me on this particular subject. Every single beta this was reported in by myself  As far as I knew they got the last issue with logo transfer corrected when I reported it so that should be a wrap on that? This bug alone has caused and has been the major show stopper every time because without it you need to re-create every theme in the next version. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

​And here's the problem, themes require database interaction and ftp will not update the database. What it would take to get the database to interact with the ftp'd files I'm afraid could bring more issues and development. I can't see personally how this would go down.
ehren says
but each beta I've had issues with missing css

I don't think anyone has worked with IPB more than me on this particular subject. Every single beta this was reported in by myself  As far as I knew they got the last issue with logo transfer corrected when I reported it so that should be a wrap on that? This bug alone has caused and has been the major show stopper every time because without it you need to re-create every theme in the next version. 

 

​Are you guys editing on an actual live server? Have you tried working locally using a MAMP or WAMP setup? I've experienced none of the big show stoppers listed in here since Beta 3.

Link to post
Share on other sites

​Are you guys editing on an actual live server? Have you tried working locally using a MAMP or WAMP setup? I've experienced none of the big show stoppers listed in here since Beta 3.

​Tom the big issue is that the DM is not working on a live server for most of the designers, and the main ideal is for the code to work for everyone.

If power users can't get it to work on a live site then how is the every day user going to. Using a localhost is good to start theme designs as I do

but then being able to refine the code for live use you have to have the full DM working or an alternative mode.

Link to post
Share on other sites

​Are you guys editing on an actual live server? Have you tried working locally using a MAMP or WAMP setup? I've experienced none of the big show stoppers listed in here since Beta 3.

​I only work from a live environment Tom. I understand locally is the preferred method but for me it doesn't bode well due to limitations hosts, servers and 3 party software cover. A lot of people are reporting bugs found local but a lot are also reporting bugs in live situations, I fall under the latter

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ csm sorry did i miss this bit 

I don't think anyone has worked with IPB more than me on this particular subject. Every single beta this was reported in by myself  As far as I knew they got the last issue with logo transfer corrected when I reported it so that should be a wrap on that? This bug alone has caused and has been the major show stopper every time because without it you need to re-create every theme in the next version. 

sorry i must been very confused there i believe your statement little wrong i have been providing many bug reports of the DM, but that little off topic i believe to get DM to work great people need work together i believe few cases that been correct and people have own views how to build themes in 4.0.x at moment i believe few more issues need be fixed but not as bad have been.

I would like if IPS staff checked more live then local but that my own view on the topic or if reported error look at the issue directly as reported few issues that still not fixed because can't reproduce the error well maybe few reason why but why not look directly might solve it better. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We use technologies, such as cookies, to customise content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic to the site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. See more about cookies and our Privacy Policy