Journal : Archive : January 2007

6 Jan 2007

Building a Symphony Theme: Part 5

Symphony is an application that is built on web standards: XML, XSLT, XHTML, and CSS. Symphony accomplishes this using open source scripting and database software: PHP and MySQL, respectively. Up to this point, we haven’t really touched on CSS or Cascading Style Sheets other than to apply some style to a link with a class of “current”. Primarily we have been concerned with content: using Symphony’s XSLT templating system to transform XML data, stored in the MySQL database, to HTML.

At this point, we should have a better understanding about how XSLT works and how we can use Symphony to build a basic HTML page structure. If we know anything about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), we understand how easily we can separate the presentation of a web page from the content of the page. We can create XSLT templates that output HTML pages that use inline styles, embedded style sheets and/or external CSS files. Before we try adding any additional functionality to our site, let’s add some style to our pages with CSS.

4 Jan 2007

Building a Symphony Theme: Part 4

The series on Building a Symphony Theme has touched briefly on several concepts to make sure we understand the basics before we get into the more complex areas of developing with Symphony. You may realize by now that building a theme in Symphony really means building an entire site from the ground up. But once we have built a theme, the same templates and database structures can be used to easily build other types of sites that may have an entirely different style with very different functionality.

Every site tends to have some basic similarities. There needs to be some way to manage the static content of your site. It may not change much, but it is good to have some way to update these areas, such as the About and Contact pages. Here is where we go beyond the default parameters and data sources to actually creating content. We will start by creating a Section and creating Custom Fields for entering content.

2 Jan 2007

Building a Symphony Theme: Part 3

Continuing on in the series on Building a Symphony Theme (see Part 1 and Part 2), I will start to introduce some dynamic elements.

Just to review, we have set up a virtual host, installed Symphony, set System Preferences and Author Settings, installed and enabled a Campfire Service, created a Page template and a Master template, and looked around the ?debug interface to view the XML data, XSLT templates and XHTML Output.

Before we start integrating our XHTML structure and CSS files, let’s get aquainted with the basics of working with Symphony and XSLT.

Bauhouse Design

The Bauhouse is the digital sandbox and personal portfolio of Stephen Bau, Professional Member of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada.

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