Theme marketplace outline

Status: Tracker and pages added

The tracker has been added for submitting/listing the themes, and the associated wiki pages were also made. These pages are:

Theme_page_TPL Contains the HTML layout for a (single) theme information page, including the tracker field IDs for the theme name, screenshot, links, and so on.
Theme_thumbnail_TPL Contains the HTML layout plus tracker field IDs for a (single) theme "thumbnail" which in a grid div and holds the screenshot and basic information, to be displayed in rows of four (desktop screen).
Theme_page_content_template The content of this page is a trackerlist plugin that filters for the theme name and uses Theme_page_TPL. This wiki page was saved as a wiki content template. There's a by-hand process to make a page for a newly listed theme: a new page is made with the new theme name, the content template is applied, and the wiki="THEME NAME" placeholder argument in the plugin is updated with the theme name for the page. This can be changed to use page type field for unique theme name and to automate the process using auto-page creation at the time of the submission.
Marketplace Themes This page is to hold the thumbnails (small image plus basic info) in a grid for all listed themes. It links to each theme's information page via the info in the thumbnail for the theme.

The first theme to be listed - Dark Velvet - was added for testing purposes. The download package for this theme isn't quite ready so there's no download link yet.

The process for listing and displaying the theme information is pretty close but not completely in place yet. I need to make a form for submitting the theme so the tracker doesn't have to be accessed directly.

The theme-submission process does need some human involvement on the administrator side. The single-theme information page is made manually as described, but it's quick because of the content template which just needs to be updated with the theme name. I understand there's a way to produce a wiki page automatically when a tracker item is submitted but I haven't done that yet so didn't go that route, and also I didn't know if it would produce the desired page. More info on this would be appreciated. (I can handle that and I am volunteering to prepare it for the auto-page-creation process — .) Also of course the theme and its files need to be checked for safety, valid links, and so on, so these two activities can be tied together.


  • Make the submission form
  • Fetching and displaying the theme creation date and last-update date needs to be added. At Zukathemes I used the date field for these and entered the info manually. I thought about using the tracker item creation date and last edit date but didn't see yet how to display these in the page.
  • The theme status information at Zukathemes I used a checkbox to manually confirm a theme is valid. The tracker item status property is used here but I haven't checked yet to see how that will work.
  • Add the trackerlist plugin on the homepage to display a row of the most-recent themes (thumbs + info/links)

I basically implemented the same process here as at my themes site so there are obvious similarities. Hopefully that's not a problem. Probably I'll make some visual/layout changes so they aren't so similar.

Planned themes.t.o site changes

  • Homepage
    • More or less split the homepage to give equal visibility to the marketplace (new) and to general theme information (existing + expanded)
    • Showcase and link to new/latest theme submitted
    • Invite submission of themes
    • Link prominently to marketplace top page
  • Marketplace top page
    • Introduction, etc. including info for theme seekers and theme authors
    • Individual theme thumbnails + info - generated dynamically
      • Image
      • Theme name
      • Brief description
      • Tags (for example: retro, flat, material, skeuomorphic, dark, business, admin, etc.)
      • Link to theme's page
    • Installation instructions
    • Link to information page for theme authors
  • Individual theme pages
    • Produced dynamically from tracker info
    • Display theme details, screenshot, etc.
    • Live demo and download links
    • The demo could display in an iframe, but having the link open in a new tab/window would be simpler.
  • Information page for theme authors
    • Invitation to submit
    • Requirements to have the theme listed
    • Tiki theme construction details (link to existing/new pages describing theme code, etc.) for designers/coders new to Tiki

Screenshot Localhost 8080 2016 06 15 16 09 32

Theme submission

Objective: Implement a theme marketplace.

  • Theme files are downloaded from themes.t.o (in the case of free themes), but are demonstrated at the author's site.
  • Themes are "registered" by submitting a tracker form.
    • Authors submit the theme for presentation, including
      • Theme name (to check if it's unique, as a kind of registry)
      • Theme files are submitted and stored in the themes.t.o file gallery, to be checked and validated.
      • Description
        • Type (visual characterization, use case, etc.)
          • Light on dark
          • Dark on light
          • Retro/One-page/Feature emphasis (blog/gallery/wiki/etc.)
          • ?
        • Special features
          • Scroll effects
          • Plugins included
          • Layout modified via custom templates
        • Tiki version minimum compatibility
        • Screenshot (1200px by 900px for use on theme's page, scales down responsively for thumbnail use)
        • License type
        • Free or premium?
        • Author's name
          • Probably the author should be registered at tiki.org.
        • Author's email address
        • Demo site URL
        • Rating (if we want to let people rate the themes)
        • Etc. (compare industry precedents)
    • What standards do we want to maintain? What do we require of the theme? Probably there should be a checklist. For example:
      • It isn't "broken". That is, there's no exposed HTML, the content is visible, etc.
      • It isn't just a simple color variant of an existing theme (this is subjective, depending on the degree of variation, maybe).
      • It isn't a ripoff of a commercial theme or other proprietary IP.
      • Not sure what to say about CSS validation given the validation results of current themes.
  • The theme tracker item is "pending" until the files are checked and other standards are met; then it is listed.
  • One issue is whether to install the theme to demo at themes.t.o, or just have a screenshot and refer to the demo at the author's site? The second option is more typical, also easier for themes.t.o admins.
  • The theme needs to be compatible with a currently supported Tiki version (LTS or current release).
  • No longer current-version themes could be moved to "archives" or just tagged/categorized; they could still be a match for some sites.

Technical points:

  • Tracker and wiki template output or plugin_list (dogfooding) display of theme information.
  • Proposed tracker fields:
Field name Field type Description
Theme name Text Field The "official" name of the theme. This may be a variant of the theme's file system directory name and CSS file name.
Valid Radio Buttons (yes, no) This has "Restrict visibility to administrators" set and is to control listing the theme or not. Could be switched to "no" if, for example, a bad link problem occurs, if there are problems with the theme temporarily, etc.
Author User Selector or Text Field The name of the individual, company, or studio that created the theme or adapted a non-Tiki theme in the creation of the theme. (Maybe user selector field type is better, for accountability, identity, etc. purposes.)
Website URL The website of the individual, company, or studio that created the theme or adapted a non-Tiki theme for use with Tiki.
License (Tiki theme) Multiselect (GPL, LGPL, MIT, CCA, Other) Normally only one option should be selected, unless the theme is distributed under more than one license.
Screenshot Files A 1200px-wide image to show the appearance of the theme. This image will be scaled to use as the theme thumbnail, etc. Try to minimize the file size by using an optimized jpg or png8 file type (but not so much that the image has compression artifacts, etc.).
Description Text Area A brief description of the theme, including things like its best use case, color characteristics, origin or motivation for creation, special features, etc. This can be up to several paragraphs. (1000 words maximum)
Description (brief) Text Field A sentence or some short phrases to use in places like the thumbnail caption area. (64 characters)
Tiki version compatibility Multiselect (Tiki 12, Tiki15, other) Indicate the Tiki version(s) the theme is compatible with.
Live demo URL Link to a website or page where the theme can be seen and tried out.
Download URL Link to the file that is a compressed archive (.zip, etc.) and is either just the actual files used for the theme or also includes "source" files such as Less files and original graphic resources and so on.
Price Text Field Either "Free" or "Premium" (monetary amount). Shopping cart, purchase function, etc. would be set up at the author's site.
In the case of a theme adapted for Tiki Header Indicate a section for information on an original, source theme, if one was used.
Source theme author Text Field The individual, company, or studio that created the theme in its original form, in the case of a non-Tiki theme adapted for Tiki.
Source theme website URL The website of the individual, company, or studio that created the theme in its original form, in the case of a non-Tiki theme adapted for Tiki.
Source theme license Multiselect (GPL, LGPL, MIT, CCA, Other) Normally only one option should be selected, unless the theme is distributed under more than one license.


(This is an edited version of an October 1, 2015 post to the developers mailing list.)

The idea is to revamp themes.tiki.org by giving it a focus as a themes marketplace (in addition to theme-related documentation, etc.). This would facilitate contributing themes to and finding themes for Tiki. At one time there was quite a bit of activity at themes.t.o, with new "aftermarket" themes being made and people posting in the forums about how to use themes and so on, but for several years it's been pretty quiet. The reasons are probably that questions about themes have been posted at the community site instead and, due to time constraints in the past (at least in my case), the flow of new themes slowed to zero.

Situations have changed now, though, so it's a good time to give the site a new mission. These are tentative ideas (feel free to give input):
• The site will be a marketplace for Tiki themes, as well as a theme docs site.
• Trackers will be used to store and display theme information.
• Themes will be listed with screenshots, specs, and other information, but not hosted (that is, not installed at themes.t.o).
• To see a demo of the theme, there will be a link to the author's site.
• Both free and commercial themes can be listed.
• There should be minimal requirements/standards for the theme.
• Themes (file packages) could be simple (just a bootstrap.css file with new values) or complex (CSS and Less files, icons, fonts, and templates, etc.).
• Since the "simple" themes are actually bootstrap.css equivalents, the site could also be a source of Bootstrap themes for general use (I don't know if this should be promoted, but it could be a way to expose people to Tiki).
• The license is up to the author, in contrast to themes for some platforms.
• Other suggestions?

To compare hosting/demoing approaches, for Drupal, theme authors are strongly encouraged to host their theme at drupal.org
(https://www.drupal.org/node/14208). On the other hand, the WordPress site has a themes area but themes can be hosted anywhere (https://wordpress.org/themes/getting-started/) and linked to from the directory.

To have some inventory when the marketplace opens, there are at least a dozen or so themes in the pipeline, including new versions of a few themes that were previously available for Tiki, like Tikipedia, and some adaptations of Bootstrap themes that are pretty different from what's in Tiki now. Anyone wanting to have a theme listed there to promote your own business or to add to Tiki's theme selection, please plan on doing that, as well as giving your suggestions about the site.

(From https://tiki.org/forumthread57267.)

Page last modified on Friday 05 of August, 2016 07:15:09 GMT

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