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Proper Theme Installation, Upgrading, and Usage

Good organization makes for easy managing and less headache!

  1. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Audentio submitted a new resource:

    Proper Theme Installation, Upgrading, and Usage - Good organization makes for easy managing and less headache!

    Read more about this resource...
    Russ likes this.
  2. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Not that I need it but more screenshots would do.
  3. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Yeh, I hear ya. But this is more of a guide than a tutorial. Like a way to do something, not necessarily how.
  4. Russ

    Russ Well-Known Member

    Great guide Mike,
    Not sure if you've thought about yet Mike but have you put any thought/testing into exporting your child styles of UI.X as independents and releasing just the styles themselves with UI.X built in for a release?

    We've done a bit of testing but nothing in-depth yet so we're somewhat on the fence, would be nice for to be able to skip a step by including the framework into the style release itself, but it is a newer feature.
  5. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Right when we updated our license structure, XenForo released this feature. So, we were kind of stuck between two ways. We ended up keeping things the way they were since we had JUST updated everything to the new method.

    That said, it is something we might do still. It makes a lot of sense (and as an aside, this method still works for it). Less confusion. We have had a small amount of people buy one of our sub-themes and not buy the required framework and wonder why the theme didn't work correctly. Most people thought did their research. So I don't know what to do. One way is better for people who buy more themes, but the other way is better for people who just want to buy a product, install it, and not worry about reading through our framework documentation or anything.

    But its definitely a concern we have weighed on heavily.
    Russ likes this.
  6. Mouth

    Mouth Well-Known Member

    I think a paragraph on how (or if) an admin with existing style(s) can 'fix' their system to align with your guide would be a great addition.
    For example (if this is possible?); i) install the base theme again as a separate style (don't overwrite existing), ii) copy the 'butchered' base theme to be a child theme of the style installed in step 1, iii) go through your child theme and remove all unchanged templates and dictionary entries.
  7. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Good idea. It comes down to similar to what you said:

    1. Install the third party theme fresh (suffix it with NEW so you know its the new one, just temporarily at least).
    2. You can either:
    • a) redo your changes by references your current, older version of the skin that has your changes applied directly to the third-party resource
    • OR b) make a copy of the old style (export it) and then reimport it as a child of the NEW third party installation. You'll have to remove much of the customized components as so the only changes made to the NEW sub-theme is JUST your changes.If you know what you're doing this can work, but it is best to go with option a to keep everything CLEAN.
  8. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    When you want to change an image, do not overwrite the third-party theme's images. When an update is released, the author's image will overwrite yours and you will have to redo all the work you did.

    Instead, create a new folder, such as /styles/your-forum-name/style/. Put everything you create in the /style/ or root folder for this. Doing it this way will allow you to extend your theme. Say you want to continue with your design and make it your own, you can simple drag in a blank /xenforo/ folder and now you have your own independent style. Not important unless you plan to heavily modify your theme though.

    As an example, switching out a logo. If the author created a logo for the purpose of displaying the product, you will not want to overwrite that logo. Instead, follow the above, and create a completely new file. Now, you just go change the path to that logo variable (which is found in Appearance > Styles > Third Party theme > Your Sub-theme > Style Properties > Header and Navigation > Settings > Path to Logo
  9. Liam W

    Liam W Well-Known Member

    I have a default style as a parent. That way I can add global changes such as adverts without editing every style...

    Probably not recommended but it works for me :p

    Nice guide!
  10. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

  11. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    There is 2 flaws in this method, but they address more of a XenForo design flaw.

    Style Properties.

    IF the developer updates the code (template) and also changes a style property, the code (template) will transfer over (as it should), but the properties do not. Nor does XenForo have any system to tell you what properties are outdated.


    As you noted, the more styles the more resources. So let's say I really want 4 styles. That's not much. Yet with this method I would technically have 8 (doubling it).
  12. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't call the first one (or the second one) a flaw because this is something XenForo currently lacks, you'd have this issue no matter what you did.

    Yes, you'd have 8 styles. 4 are unedited, 4 child themes you edit. Whats the problem again?
    Adam Howard likes this.
  13. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    So we agree... Because that's sort of my point. It's a design flaw with XenForo and not your guide, per say (yet is subject to that flaw).

    The resources and the time it takes to apply things.

    (Is there an echo in here? lol :p )
  14. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    As I would expect any tutorial to do, I wrote this guide using the tools XenForo has access to. But yes, it'd be great if you could upgrade style properties too.

    Well, I guess. I mentioned it in the video. The more themes you have the more time it'll take to re(parse/cache). But not sure what you mean by time to apply things. Apply what?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
    SneakyDave and Adam Howard like this.
  15. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    As you said, re(parse/cache). This process is done anytime you add/update styles, as well in part with add-ons.

    Please do not misunderstand my need to comment on your guide. You did a wonderful job with it. I merely meant to comment of the issue that is still current in XenForo and how it applies here.

    I'd like to think in a future version this all will be resolved. ;)
    Mike Creuzer likes this.
  16. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    Thanks Adam I appreciate it!
    Adam Howard likes this.
  17. BassMan

    BassMan Well-Known Member

    I already edited my default style and didn't create a child of it before editing (my first mistae when I start using XF!).

    So, how can I get a clean XF default style and make it parent of my currently edited default style?
  18. Mike Creuzer

    Mike Creuzer Well-Known Member

    With the default theme its ok as I do not call that third-party. This is only for things for other THIRD-party vendors (not XenForo or yourself) are creating.
    BassMan likes this.

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