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Thread: Templates

  1. #1
    techgeek201
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    Default Templates

    Hi,

    I'm having a very difficult time trying to understand the path to adding a template to oscmax. No templates exist for oscmax so we have to look to oscommerce templates. The challenge is oscmax changes the way templates integrate, which in my opinion, makes it even more difficult to integrate an oscommerce template into an oscmax site. I have integrated templates into oscommerce before but never oscmax. Maybe I'm missing something but it seems BTS is not supported anywhere and I don't see how it's of any benefit to use unless creating your own custom template. So I guess my question is; what's the best way to integrate an oscommerce template into oscmax? I'm not interested in switching templates or having multiple. Just want to integrate one good oscommerce template.

    Alternatively, if there is someone out there that can do wonders with css and the exiting BTS template method your hired. Give me a buzz we have work to do.

  2. #2
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    Post Re: Templates

    You have to step back a bit and look at the history of osCommerce: up until recently, there was no such thing as a template for osCommerce. The numerous so-called templates that are both free and commercially available, make direct changes to the core of the software, in order to change the look of stores. It doesn't take much investigation to discover hundreds of "templates" that are in fact complete osCommerce installations. Basically, they just muddy the waters.

    BTS abstracts the core of the software and (in the main) leaves only visuals to sort out, when changing the look of a store. Even after years of working with osCmax (and to a lesser degree osCommerce), it is very easy to see the benefits of BTS. The reason that there is a lack of pre-configured BTS templates, is that it is so (relatively) easy to create your own, that it isn't commercially viable for the big players, to design and sell them.

    A couple of years ago, the "plain Jane" fallback template received a vast overhaul, which gives much more versatility to what a store owner can do "out of the box". The now (mostly) obsoleted other templates that are included with osCmax show how basic some of the old ones were - fallback-html is an exception, as that was a fork, if you like, of the template structure.

    With the assistance of, for example Firebug, it is very easy to look at a CSS element and change it's properties, such as color and width. With reference to the wiki and manipulation of module elements in Admin. it should be straightforward for most shop owners to at least have a change of colour and slightly different look.

    In the past, I have converted a few osCommerce templates with some based on commercial ones. Comparing the files of a standard osCommerce download with those of a template, is sometimes neccessary. Recognising that not everything can/should be replicated is a good starting point but, in the main, most templates can be converted. I have managed to convert osCommerce 2.2 and a few later version templates. some of these I have made freely available, either here, or on my websites. Others, I have kept exclusively for my hosted clients and, in the past, ad-hoc clients. I am not a web design specialist (to perhaps state the obvious) but can compare files, with the use of Meld, for example.
    Caveat: it can be very time consuming to refine every single element, when coding "by hand". Those people who have mastered software web design tools should get on better/progress quicker.

    (Not much help to you, specifically, but should give you some background, without trawling past forum threads.)

    Anyway as a "techgeek" it should be a piece of pi$$ for you to sort something out.

    Templates | osCmax - osCommerce Maximized
    Last edited by ridexbuilder; 09-07-2015 at 06:19 AM.

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  3. #3
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    Lightbulb Re: Templates

    I discovered this:
    wiki.oscdox.com/adapting_an_ms2_site_template_to_oscmax
    The gist is right but a bit too simplistic.

    Michael_S's original is much more like it i.e exactly how to do it for the versions of 'max prior to 2.5 but slightly out of date, with new features. I haven't fully proof read it.
    converting_osc_template [osCmax Documentation Wiki]
    The information is there but you might need to adapt instructions slightly, to account for software updates.
    v2.5:install_a_new_template [osCmax Documentation Wiki]

    I'm considering a short video tutorial, using screen capture, to save me typing. What annoys me is that there are bound to be many people out there using 'max, with a customised template that they can offer to the community. C'mon community, give something back.
    Last edited by ridexbuilder; 09-08-2015 at 01:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Templates

    Quote Originally Posted by ridexbuilder View Post
    The numerous so-called templates that are both free and commercially available, make direct changes to the core of the software, in order to change the look of stores.
    That is not true. There are osCommerce templates available that make zero changes to core code.
    As well as that, osCommerce has hundreds of addons that make no changes to core code.

    Historically, yes - your comment is correct.
    Since the last 2 years, your comment is out of date.

  5. #5
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    Arrow Re: Templates

    I should've added/emphasised In My Experience.

    Burt, as you well know, I am familiar with the efforts of bootstrap (which is ongoing) and not finalised, last time I looked. Apart from BTS, STS and the framework on the contributions page, I haven't come across any other (true) templates/template systems. I may well be ignorant of others, so please do enlighten me/us. Please note, that I was really referring to osCommerce 2.2.x, due to osCmax's close ties to it, even though templates from later versions may be ported to 'max.

    Now, if more people became involved in the bootstrap version of 'max, then there might be much more scope for intermixing osC and 'max templates.

    Did I mention addons? (Rhetorical)

    (Good to see you still "floating around").
    Last edited by ridexbuilder; 09-11-2015 at 09:17 AM.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Templates

    Personally, I like BTS as a concept - it just needs a lot more work to improve it from the base install and even as it stands now is better than stock osCommerce header/footer "template" concept.

    My thought is that fallback should contain all of the "core" modules/classes/functions/etc. and the templates simply override them ... ideally they would only override the parts that need to be changed ... see the one OpenCart version.

    I like Burt's approach to having all modules as installs even more ... trick is how to back port the configuration for all the addons ... hmm ... may start small by getting bootstrap into osCmax ... once we have that at least we have a workable modern template ...
    Last edited by pgmarshall; 09-11-2015 at 11:29 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Post Re: Templates

    Yes, a case of priorities.

    I envisage a day when the new bootstrap will be the default i.e. fallback. A combination of a mobile first default store with the easy structure of BTS. I believe that most of the groundwork has now been set and what has been done so far will allow an easier transition for existing stores.

    Modular installs would be a good thing to have but a mobile-friendly 'max will be of far more benefit to shop owners and their customers.
    Last edited by ridexbuilder; 09-11-2015 at 01:24 PM.

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    Default Re: Templates

    Bootstrap has not enabled the mantra of "dont touch core". The "new" (well 5 years old, supercharged in the last 2 years) modular approach has done that.

    All development is based on modularity, not on Bootstrap.

  9. #9
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    Arrow Re: Templates

    Quote Originally Posted by burt View Post
    All development is based on modularity, not on Bootstrap.
    TBH, if I had the health, time, (software) tools, motivation and financial benefit (once operational), I'd create a new 'max based on the latest osC 2.x. That is/was the basis of my mothballed oscmore.com project.

    As it stands, osCmax still wins favour - just. We only need more community effort to get a working mobile template.

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    Default Re: Templates

    Understand 100%.

    In fact, my previous post had an extra paragraph in which I asked why "you" (not you personally but all those coders in oscmax), continue to code for it. And why not to make oscmax-reloaded based on more up to date code using modularity rather than core changes all the time. But I removed it as i did not want to creates an unsettled sea.

    I'm not able to devote any effort to oscmax while it is based on outdated code.

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