theming without templating


2006-8-14

Theming a webapp usually entails a combimation of (HTML( templates and a little CSS. But why this heavy lean on the HTML building blocks? Maybe this is because people stull haven't fully grasped the idea of structural (semantic) HTML, where the markup has only minimal direct relation too the was things look later on.

One might argue as much as one does about the CSS zen garden. But it is a very good demonstration of what can be done with CSS alone. All these designs use one and the very same HTML page. THat's what I'd call theming without templating. The HTML that comes out of the CMS is totally unchanged. Obviously that requires far more pre-thought and generalisation on the HTML structure. You define that ONCE, way befire you can even guess what it will be used for later on. So you need to be totally display agnostuc. JDs or CLASS definitions like "right-nav-border" will simply not cut it. Who's to say the actual layout will even HAVE it on the right?

If I find the time I might write some more about this, and I even have some nice real-worl examples to show :)

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