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Themeframe for WPMU


  #1  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 05:55 AM
paulae's Avatar
paulae
 
1,333 posts · Feb 2009
Wordpress 3.4.1, Atahualpa 3.7.7
Flynn, as I struggle setting up a Wordpress Multi-user site, getting the right kinds of themes in place to give my users a good experience, I'm thinking: "Wouldn't it be cool if I could supply Themeframe, and only Themeframe, to my users? They could essentially create any kind of theme they want using its building blocks."

Do you see any issues using it that way? I'm supposing most of my users will have zero Wordpress experience, and very little technical knowledge or desire to learn more. They'll just want a theme that does what they, individually, need.

I'm finding very few themes, for instance, that allow the user to upload a new header image. WPMU users don't have FTP access, so it has to be a browser upload. Could you build that into Themeframe? I would be happy to test this in this MU environment.

Another question: are you building Themeframe with WP 2.9 in mind?
  #2  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 05:40 PM
thetravelchronicle
 
88 posts · May 2009
It might be years before I have enough traffic to consider a multi-user WordPress blog, but I've been struggling with what I believe is a similar structural concept within Atahualpa. My plan was to make pages that were major subtopics of the site, so comments on each page would be mini-sites relevant to the context I created. I would add new pages as suggested by the topics developed by readers - or perhaps by developing a "starting" page for a particular author. An author would have "Author" privileges on a page beginning with their first comment, and that would be nearly the equivalent of a blog - except for Editor and Admin privileges. So far, so easy.

I added WP Super Edit to give my potential authors some editing tools, but it all fell apart when I discovered that the tools were only available to new pages or posts, not comments.

You can't give up Editor privileges site-wide* just so that users can create a new page, and new posts aren't displayed in relation to a particular page. (I was stunned to learn that posts can't be assigned to a page - at least I never found a method. Without the ability to assign new posts to a page, the "Category" organizational approach would be to have something like "Posts on Page 3", but those posts would display separately from Page 3 itself.) Comment boxes attach to the page they are on, but don't have editing tools (I don't think the note that "You can use these HTML tags" works for most users), at least not that I could find.

For my purposes I'm curious as to whether the WYSIWYG features of ThemeFrame could be an Atahualpa "Center Column" plugin for all new pages, posts, and comments, at least for one of its incarnations.

If ThemeFrame features could be used just as a plugin for creating new content in page, post, or comment boxes they could be, rather than just the starting point of a new string, the visual equivalent of a new blog. If you start new contributors at the New Page level, you would essentially be creating "Page" anchored blogs within one site. For these outside authors, you'd still have to set up the starting page according to the "bloggers" ThemeFrame preferences, after learning them somehow, in order to maintain control of the content of the site*. They would then have "Author" permissions with their first comment, and visual control if Themeframe editing could be used at the comment level. Even if authors could only use Themeframe options starting at the New Post level, so that category listings for each individual author or "blog" title would become the organizational option, it would be useful. This might also be a way to capture their preferences if you wanted to transfer them to a new page.

No need to spend much time on this if I'm totally missing the point, but as part of my ongoing effort to figure out the structure of all these options, someone might have some insight.

My primary interest in Themeframe will be its development, as I expect it's going to get a lot more attention than Atahualpa from here on. Wish list:
User defined sizes for image containers within the center column, (or wherever else you might want to place them).
Fluid (resizable) Header images combined with the rotate feature.

*It would really be nice to be able to restrict "Editor" privileges to a particular page - as I assume you can do for a particular blog in an MU environment - but I guess that would be a WordPress issue.
  #3  
Old Nov 23, 2009, 06:13 PM
paulae's Avatar
paulae
 
1,333 posts · Feb 2009
Wordpress 3.4.1, Atahualpa 3.7.7
It does sound like what you need is MU.

You could use it sort of the way you describe, and control how it looks by allowing only one theme, I suppose. Setting up MU isn't hard, but I've run into a few problems that I'm sure I'll solve soon.

I expect no more than 50 or fewer blogs on the MU I'm planning, but they will be all different sorts of subjects, unified only by geography.
  #4  
Old Nov 24, 2009, 05:22 AM
Flynn's Avatar
Flynn
 
3,768 posts · Oct 2008
Munich, Germany
Themeframe could be ideal for WPMU although I am not focussing on WPMU right now. The first Beta may not work right with WPMU but I'll fix that later on. There will be some upload feature.

So there's no way to upload in WPMU? I thought WPMU users had an upload folder and could upload to that, but I haven't used WPMU for a while.
  #5  
Old Nov 24, 2009, 05:49 AM
paulae's Avatar
paulae
 
1,333 posts · Feb 2009
Wordpress 3.4.1, Atahualpa 3.7.7
There is an upload folder in MU. But the average user won't have an FTP program or know how to use it, and many themes don't have an "upload your custom header image" function in their options. In fact, many have no options at all, or just the ability to change the font and background colors of the header area.

I'm finding as I work with some guinea pigs....er, beta testers, is that people get confused if I offer too many themes, yet they do want choices. They just need for the choices to be easy to manage, which is where Themeframe might be perfect.

I was at Wordcamp NYC a couple of weeks ago, and the head of web development for WNET.org, the big NYC public t.v. station, talked about how they were using Wordpress now for all of their websites, over 500. The use MU as well, and of course have custom themes but an overall "look" for their sites. Themeframe would be perfect for them, I would think.....maybe you should talk to this guy. Or if you like I can email him.
  #6  
Old Nov 25, 2009, 08:26 AM
Vidal
 
11 posts · Oct 2009
London, UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetravelchronicle
....new posts aren't displayed in relation to a particular page. (I was stunned to learn that posts can't be assigned to a page - at least I never found a method....
I don't think I can help with the entire challenge that you set out but some time ago I wrestled with exactly the same bit about posts on a page and I found a way to address that part of it. You CAN display posts on a page and select posts only from a certain category.

It's sometimes a little fiddly and isn't provided by Wordpress 'out-of-the-box'. You need to set up a separate custom page template, usually just by copying the theme index.php file and customising it to suit your needs. You then need to add some code both inside and outside the 'wordpress loop'.

How to do this is set out in the Wordpress codex on the 'pages' page here - scroll down until you get to the section entitled 'Page Templates', the bit on 'A Page Of Posts' is the key bit.

There is also some other reading at the following links which I found useful to get this working:
http://wordpress.org/support/topic/227905
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/page2cat/
http://aralbalkan.com/wordpress

Hope this helps.
  #7  
Old Nov 25, 2009, 09:07 AM
thetravelchronicle
 
88 posts · May 2009
Thank you Vidal, very nice of you to share your work.

I promised myself starting out that there would be no mucking around in the code for fear that would start eating up more time than content production. I reasoned that I couldn't possibly need options that hadn't already been developed, so my plan was to limit my sites to available tools. Oh well.

Once I've had a chance to see what can be accomplished with ThemeFrame, this will be the exception, as I really want as much editing (Styling) capability as possible for contributors. New Posts assigned to pages seems like it should be the least messy option.

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