Creating a Responsive PHPBB

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hanakin
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Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by hanakin » Mon May 06, 2013 10:01 am

Issue:

This is a project I am working on in partial response to this viewtopic.php?f=108&t=43425

Inorder to bring PHPBB into the device centric world, their are a vast number of things that would need to be addressed. Most likely more than anyone really realizes, at least until we would actually begin this effort. We need to first define what we want to serve so that we can fix/improve/repair what needs to be inorder to make this happen. With this in mind the first step is to build a new theme thats focused on being responsive and providing the user with an interface for the different types of devices which provides them with the exact tools for that environment. Once we have this we need to determine what is required to make this work with PHPBB. Most likely several changes/improvements to the template system as well as the structure.

Requirement:
Being that its a new theme it should be maintained completely separate from the core as its own project. This I think is a better approach than the way its currently handled, as the theme requires a faster release schedule than the backend/core would and this would allow for this. When their is a release of the core, the current stable version of the theme could be merged. This would provide mod authors the ability to provide updates to their mods to account for theme changes more easily.

Why do this:
This would elevate the constraints on the theme changes that need to be made on a more rapid bases. (Average time between major core releases 5-10 yrs. Average time between major theme redesigns 1-2 yrs)
This would bringing more of the front-end community to help work on the project, ultimately freeing up the devs time to focus on back-end.
This would provide the separation of programing and aesthetic that we see on the job at most companies.

Approach:
I started working on a new theme that I will be releasing on its own. One that will be completely from scratch, mobile first responsive semantic the whole nine yards. When finished I will submit it as a normal theme to the styles team. From their they can approve it and release it on PHPBB.com as an alternative theme. Down the road when the next version of PHPBB core is released it can be decided from their weather or not to include this theme at that time. By that time their should be plenty of support for such a theme.

Conclusion:
This is not something that will be done quickly. Their is a lot involved in this undertaking. While I am already about 95% done with the planing and mock-up for the theme, I have not touched any code. This will also involve adding in and writing any jQuery to handle all the mobile device specific functionality as well as rewriting any of the current functionality to fit the new theme as needed. Also keep in mind that I do not have ample tim to dedicate to this project solely as I do have a life and a Job. I will of course submit and rework into appropriate RFC s needed. This is just meant as a sort of heads up to spark input and ideas & discussion from the community to help drive this. Keep in mind that regardless I will be completing this if not for anything else but my own use. As when I get requests for forums this would drastically make my life easier.
Last edited by hanakin on Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ger
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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by Ger » Mon May 06, 2013 10:25 am

Check this RFC: Responsive layout
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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hanakin
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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by hanakin » Mon May 06, 2013 10:08 pm

Already did this is where, why i started this. I thought I had that linked in the original post but must have forgot that as I wrote this before going to bed. Problem is that that RFC is even though labeled RFC is more of a question than an RFC to stir discussion. Also as I stated this would need to be several smaller RFCs done the line to culminate if fruition.

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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by Pony99CA » Wed May 08, 2013 1:20 am

If you must create a separate topic for this despite the one that Ger pointed out, you should at least post in that topic and link to this one.

I'm also not sure that this needs to be completely separate from the core as you maintain. The way styles are done today seems to isolate them from the core sufficiently, or am I missing something?

Regardless, if you want it adopted by phpBB, it will become part of the core (the core package) by default unless the phpBB starts to decouple the default styles from the core package.

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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by Arty » Wed May 08, 2013 7:27 am

I'm working on that.

Problem is, it requires additional RFCs to make style ready for responsive design that fix/modernize different parts of prosilver, which takes time to approve/merge. First one was created more than a month ago and still waiting approval, if it will ever happen. With development being extremely slow I don't see this happening by 3.1 release.
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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by hanakin » Wed May 08, 2013 9:04 am

Pony99CA wrote: I'm also not sure that this needs to be completely separate from the core as you maintain. The way styles are done today seems to isolate them from the core sufficiently, or am I missing something?
What your missing is the release schedule of a theme, even if its is completely separate which will not happen until full 3.1 is merge as it would require the use of some of these RFCs. It still would be reliant on a PHPBB release as apposed to a release of the theme itself, uness the team decided to just do release on a more rapid deployment schedule for theme enhancements and changes which I do not see happening. Also they are not completely separate from the core yet but its in the wrks as Arty has pointed out.

Arty wrote:I'm working on that.

Problem is, it requires additional RFCs to make style ready for responsive design that fix/modernize different parts of prosilver, which takes time to approve/merge. First one was created more than a month ago and still waiting approval, if it will ever happen. With development being extremely slow I don't see this happening by 3.1 release.


I understand this as I stated in the first post, while trying fix these before hand is notionally good the theme itself should at least be developed along side to further point out all the issues even those that you inherently might have overlooked or were having trouble figuring out how to handle. Essentially providing another way at looking at the problems.

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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by Oleg » Wed May 08, 2013 1:20 pm

I will not be accepting prosilver redesigns into 3.1.

I will consider a barebones theme, or progress toward one, for 3.1. The idea would be to create a theme that someone else can build on, including a responsive style, without altering prosilver substantially.

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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by hanakin » Wed May 08, 2013 2:30 pm

This is not meant for 3.1 to reiterate again so everyone is clear. Its still in early stages and would not even make the cut for for a Beta even if you did. This is meant as a separate theme for now to be included when if the team deems it ready as it will require several other RFCs before it will function fully... If you would like to see/follow the progress of this as well as get a better understand of what it is you can see it here https://github.com/hanakin/Mino

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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by keith10456 » Wed May 08, 2013 3:07 pm

Oleg wrote:I will not be accepting prosilver redesigns into 3.1...
Why (out of curiosity)?

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Re: Creating a Responsive PHPBB

Post by Oleg » Wed May 08, 2013 5:25 pm

Because I am trying to ship 3.1, and a redesign is likely to create breakage, lead to half of a style being done one way and half of the style a different way, etc. which is not helping with the goal of shipping.

A barebones theme will not be usable by users anyway therefore if it is unfinished or does not work right 3.1 is not affected.

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