Introducing evoSkins

b2evolution 0.8 will come with blog skins (evoSkins).

What are blog skins?

Well basically if you've used any skin-enabled software (like WinAMP) you probably have an idea. ;)

Bloggers using b2evo will be able to select a complete look & feel for their blog by just clicking on the "skin" they like the most.

b2evo will come with a few selected blog skins from cool people who already allowed their design to be included in the release package. B) Hopefully, new skins will be made available in the community so bloggers not knowing or willing to design their own will have a great choice available... :D

The other benefit of evoSkins is that your readers can also choose, from a selection of skins you provide, which one they like the most! :D

(Of course, this is optional... in case you don't like the idea! ;) )

What about my current blog template? :?:

If you already have a b2 blog template and just want to upgrade, you can just reuse it without worrying about skins.

Alternatively, you can turn your existing template into an evoSkin (instructions provided) and take full advantage of the evoSkins skinning system.

What's the difference between evoSkins and a CSS style switcher? :?:

Good question! Why do we need evoSkins when we already have CSS? :)

As a matter of fact, a blog skin can be as simple as a custom CSS design. But evoSkins can also provide more variations than what you can do with CSS. Here are a few examples:

  • Some evoSkins may have popups for comments while others display them inline
  • Some evoSkins may have a very light HTML footprint for use on Palm and mobile devices and others may have a full-featured output
  • Somes evoSkins may use plain standard HTML/XHTML, others XML, others WML, others cHTML, and others even FLASH! (=> BTW, if you are a Flash designer and want to work on accessibility compliant Flash Blogging, please contact me! :) )

I'll put up a demo as soon as I have a minute. I'm a little overloaded by the upcomming week-end right now... :roll:

PHP oddities :(

Actually I had not really looked into PHP since early version 3 betas... I knew it had gotten better, but sometimes I wonder if I didn't overestimate this... :-/

Looks like PHP 4.3 still requires that you name a collection of checkboxes or a select multiple with a name ending with "[]" such as <input type="checkbox" name="collect[]" value="3" />. That [] makes it impossible to DOM-handle the objects with javascript... but if you don't include the [], you just won't get all the checked values, neither as a table nor as a list... only the last one! :!:

What year is this? 1995? :'(

As far as I remember, ColdFusion and ASP have been handling this elegantly since version 1.0!

Tableless Design: Not ready for prime time!

Here we used to have an article about how hard it was to deisgn an HTML page wihtou tables back in 2003.

Since the web browsers have evolved a lot since then I have removed the examples becaus ethey required custom CSS to be injected in the CMS running this site.

Here are still a few paragraphs from the original article that still make sense:

I will restrict my rendering tests to Internet Explorer 6.0.2800.1106, Netscape Navigator 7.02 and Opera 7.10 (build 2840) on Windows. I think everyone would agree that if something won't work with the latest versions of these three most used browsers, it is definitely not ready for prime time!

With tableless design - i-e with the use of CSS styles instead - you should theorically be able to not only preserve semantic intelligence and accessibility of your document, but you should also be able to improve the "liquid flow" of your design, that is to say, the second picture should go under the first one when the browser width is insuficient.

Well, at least, if it doesn't improve the liquid flow, you should be able to get the same layout. At least!

And you actually can get the same layout... sometimes!

Most browsers will not render CSS the same way depending on the doctype of your document. You need to watch that carefully to make sure you activate standards compliant mode in all browsers.

Then you can play... spend hours trying to get that damn thing to look like the intended design...

ooh! I like that one! ;)

“Talent… is most likely to be found among non-conformists, dissenters, and rebels.”

– David Ogilvy