I need help making my forum look like a forum. I know it can be done because it has been done on various sites.

One example is: http://gallery.menalto.com/forum

Before you point me to http://drupalart.org/phpbb , i have already tried that. It is a decent start, but only seems to work with drupal 4.6.x. I am using 4.7 rc2.

I have done the flatforum module and I can't get it the way i want it.

I know that a decent forum can be achieved with the drupal forum module, i have seen it on a handful of sites. But I have not been able to find any documentation on the subject other than the drupalart.org/phpbb page that is for 4.6.x.

I find it very odd that there is no "how-to" or handbook page addressing this issue. I have seen this question asked numerous times and only halfway answered.

What I have so far is at: http://ross.crickster.com/node/2

the theme is simply bluemarine wrapped up and centered. so all of the original css is still there (in case you think that might be why the posts are so plain)

any help I can get on this will be greatly appreciated. I plan to document each step I take as I make progress and then post a detailed how-to in the handbook upon completion.

Comments

wmostrey’s picture

All you need is the flatforum module. I even think the Gallery site uses this exact module for their lay-out. I use it myself on a couple of sites and am very happy with it as it's really easy to install and customize.

crick’s picture

I am already using the flatforum module as I stated above. if you think its easy to customize, could you please advise me on how to do so. I spent hours messing with node-forum.tpl.php and the css file and I got nowhere.

PakWaan’s picture

I think this is the best-looking Drupal-based forum I have seen yet:

http://www.mobilepokernow.com/forum

I am also looking for a good formatting option.... as are lots of people, it seems.

crick’s picture

I agree, this is the best one I have seen. that is the work of a member here, slayerment.

crick’s picture

Well I am SLOWLY getting it changed. I am starting to see why there isnt any good how-to's. theming this has been a pain in the ass.

progress so far is now at: http://www.tommyross.net/node/2

I am trying to not change any class names in the node-forum.tpl.php that is provided with the flatforum.module and i'm using only percentages to define widths, so when i get done, I hope to have something that could in theory be used with many different themes.... hopefully...

Strong’s picture

How do I post an Image in here?

andre75’s picture

I managed to replace all text links with buttons. Next thing is to improve the general look and feel of the forum.
http://www.opentravelinfo.com/node/340

I have posted my template here already:
http://drupal.org/node/56127

Hopefully this helps you to cut a few corners and work on further improvements and post them back again.

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

crick’s picture

yeah, i think getting the buttons looks fairly straight forward.

ive been mainly focusing on formatting the look of the posts. here is where i'm at currently: http://www.tommyross.net/node/2

andre75’s picture

As I said, mine is not complete either. I would like to pull resources with others to distribute the workload.
My intention is to come up with a forum that is virtually indistinguishable from phpBB or vB or SMF but is based on the Drupal forum.

Andre

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

crick’s picture

yeah i think it can be done. the only thing is that it will be hard to come up with a solution that will work for all themes. I'm currently using a combination of modified comment.module, template.php, page-forum.tpl.php, node-forum.tpl.php. I had to create a page-forum.tpl.php because I only wanted the first post to have a title(subject) since technically the replies should be of the same subject...

but I definitely realize now that the lack of documentation on this subject is probably due to the fact that once someone finally gets their forum the way they like it, they sure as hell don't feel like trying to retrace all of their steps in order to piece together a how-to.

I think this forum issue in drupal would be more simple if the forum module had its own "comment" system built in. but call them something different. The spring semester ends in 2 weeks. I'm going to try to really get inside the comment and forum modules and see if it would be possible to create a second instance of the comment system for specific use by the forum, it would call up totally different div classes and whatnot and be very simple to theme. I think instead of adding the css to style.css it should be added to drupal.css so that any theme will pick it up. Who knows, just some thoughts. I totally know absolutely nothing about php mysql html or css. this stuff just fascinates me

andre75’s picture

I know what you mean. I have made some changes in the quote.module. Maybe this is what you area looking for:
http://drupal.org/node/38830
I have to check this one out. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a converter for a current drupal forum.

Andre

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

andre75’s picture

Did you find out how to theme the Topics overview? Somehow all my efforts so far were directed towards the posts themself, but I haven't found out how to theme the overview section (showing icons for new posts and such things).

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

crick’s picture

the topics overview section? do you mean this page: http://www.opentravelinfo.com/forum

you can change the look of that by editing the css. some of its in drupal.css and some is in your style.css...

what i just decided i was going to put my focus on, is the fact that if a user decides to delete his/her post, every post that is a reply to that post is also deleted. so basically i'm going to change that so that every post is a reply to the orgininal comment. that way, users can delete their reply without taking out half the thread. Also, as with any typical forum, the thread starter will be able to kill the entire thread if he/she wants, by simply deleting their initial post.

i have seen the uieforum module. thats not really what i plan on doing. uieforum is completely standalone. what i'm going to try to do is basically duplicate comment.module and have two copies running. only one will be like forumthread.module or something. It's sole purpose will be to handle all forum "threads"(comments). the unaltered comment.module will continue to handle all the sites "comments". so basically i hope to modify forum.module so that it uses the new forumthread.module. keep in mind that i just came up with this idea today while i was sitting in church. I think its very much possible to accomplish though. And the end result will be functionality identical to a native drupal installation, the difference will be in the ability to customize your forum and it's threads, and leave your comment system unchanged. because I want "reply" buttons and "login" buttons in my forum threads, but I want "add new comment" on the page that shows a new album release... and also i just think its too damn confusing having the forum.module farming out most of its work to comments.module It would be really cool to actually have forumthread.module and forum.module be one in the same. but since i'm totally php/mysql/html illiterate I'm going to take it one small step at a time.

andre75’s picture

do you mean this page: http://www.opentravelinfo.com/forum

Yes that one. I don't want to change things globally, just for this forum.

what i just decided i was going to put my focus on, is the fact that if a user decides to delete his/her post, every post that is a reply to that post is also deleted.

The last time I checked the comment module, the delete link is not showing unless there are no posts in response to that one. Are you sure that this is true?

keep in mind that i just came up with this idea today while i was sitting in church.

LOL. Nothing else to do there?

I don't really think this is necessary. I may be wrong though, but the way I understand the phptemplate engine, you can overwrite all almost all functions in your template files. The only reason I did change my quote.module was lazyness. I did not want to create templates for all nodes where I don't want quotes to show. Either way, you should have a look at the phptemplate docu and see if you can overwrite those functions.

I want "reply" buttons and "login" buttons in my forum threads, but I want "add new comment" on the page that shows a new album release.

This can be done easily with the template. No need to mess with the code.
Keep in mind, the more you customize the code, the more problems you will have down the road when it comes to updates.

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

crick’s picture

Ah, I see. well I had missed that before. Now I'm on the right track. I was wanting for any changes to be applied to any new template, but I now see that the ideal solution is to create a good node-forum.tpl.php that simply has to be uploaded to the new themes folder. I was thinking I had to change the actual module in order to achieve that.

I have a snippet for node-forum.tpl.php that displays a Subject block above the first post. Don't know if you'd be interested but I thought i'd try to contribute a little so i'm tossing it out there.

node-forum.tpl.php:

<?php if ($type == 'forum'): ?>
<div class="topic-title">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b>Subject:</b>&nbsp;<?php print $title ?></div>
<?php endif ?>

style.css:

.forum-comment .topic-title {
  font-size: 1.5em;
}

here is the top part of my node-forum.tpl.php to show the location of the snippet:

<?php
 
if ($page == 0 && !isset($comment)) {
    include(
'node.tpl.php');
    return;
  }
 
$curr_user = user_load(array('uid' => $userid));
 
$rank = $curr_user->profile_rank;
 
$sig = $curr_user->signature;
?>

<div class="comment forum-comment comment-<?php print $row_class; print $comment->new ? ' comment-new forum-comment-new' : ''; ?>">

<?php if ($type == 'forum'): ?>
<div class="topic-title">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b>Subject:</b>&nbsp;<?php print $title ?></div>
<?php endif ?>
 

  <div class="comment-left">
    <span class="author-name"><?php print $name ?></span><br />
    <?php if ($rank): ?>
      <span class="author-rank"><?php print $rank ?></span><br />
    <?php endif ?>
    <?php print $picture ?>

    <?php if (module_exist('flatforum')): ?>
      <span class="author-posts">
        <?php print t('Posts:') . ' ' . $posts; ?><br />
      </span>
      <span class="author-regdate">
        <?php print t('Joined:') . ' ' . $joined; ?><br />
      </span>
    <?php endif ?>
  </div>

crick’s picture

hey andre, I figured out how to theme the forum table.

I don't really know what i'm doing, but it seems to work.
in page.tpl.php below:   <?php print $styles ?>

I added:

<?php if (arg(0)=="forum") { ?> <style type="text/css" media="all">@import "/themes/bluesteel/forum.css";</style> <?php } ?>

then my forum.css:

#forum table {
  width: 100%;
}
#forum th {
  background: url(title_bg.png);
  border-bottom: 1px solid #85b8f5;
  color: #fff;
  font-size: 1.3em;
}
#forum a.active {
  color: #fff;
}
#forum td {
  padding: 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em 0.5em;
}
#forum td.forum, #forum td.posts {
  background-color: #eee;
}
#forum td.topics, #forum td.last-reply {
  background-color: #ddd;
}
#forum td.container {
  background-color: #ccc;
}
#forum td.container a {
  color: #555;
}
#forum td.statistics, #forum td.settings, #forum td.pager {
  height: 1.5em;
  border: 1px solid #bbb;
}
#forum td .name {
  color: #96c;
}
#forum td .links {
  padding-top: 0.7em;
  font-size: 0.9em;
}

examples are at:
http://ross.crickster.com/community
http://ross.crickster.com/community/off_topic/sample_topic

andre75’s picture

I checked it out. It really is starting to look good.

I don't really know what i'm doing, but it seems to work.

Who cares. At least you are getting somewhere. Thanks for sharing your code. I have been fairly busy getting people to sign up and stay on my forum, but I am going to have to try this out.

Thanks again for sharing! I appreciate it. Most people guard their themes very well :-(

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

crick’s picture

Most people guard their themes very well :-(

this i have noticed. I'm all for the community, and I consider myself a very green newbie. so i know what its like to read all these great things about drupal and what it is capable of, and then not be able to figure it out. so when i do get something working, i'm eager to share.

one thing i will tell you about the little trick i came up with. it only loads forum.css when you are on the main forum page or a forum category, i couldnt get it to stick around for the actual thread/"comment(s)" so you'll need to leave the css for that in your style.css.

Oulegulas’s picture

hi everyone,

it's nice to read this, because I have the sam probs.
the forum I use should more look like a BB - my boss says so.

I tried to follow the nodes posted here - but the important ones are all gone.

I played a bit with the node-forum.tpl.php and I thought I got it - but this file is parsed in a loop - so my table has split in many tables(as you see here: http://www.cashfloh.de/node/38)

please, can anybody help me out there?

andre75’s picture

I am not sure whats wrong with the node? Did you fix your problem?

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

Oulegulas’s picture

nothing wrong with that - I an idea but it worked not properly. And I forgot to back up the file - so the link above isn't right anymore ;)

I don't get a structure with div's as I have with tables

---------------------------------------------------------------
|              |                                                              |
|              |                                                              |
|              |                                                              |
|              |                                                              |
---------------------------------------------------------------
|              |                                                              |
|              |                                                              |
|              |                                                              |
|              |                                                              |
---------------------------------------------------------------

it should look like this - but I dont get it :/

andre75’s picture

Now I am even more confused. Isn't that the way the flatforum module looks like by default?

Andre

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

Oulegulas’s picture

but there is a space between the postings and I don't have the seperation lines between the user info and posting.

andre75’s picture

I see. I don't have my code here (so I can't be specific), but it should be very simple to find the section in the node-forum.tpl.php, identify the css class and then change your css to have the apropriate borders. I don't think you have to do anything with your php files.

Andre

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

crick’s picture

here is my entire node-forum.tpl.php:

<?php
 
if ($page == 0 && !isset($comment)) {
    include(
'node.tpl.php');
    return;
  }
 
$curr_user = user_load(array('uid' => $userid));
 
$rank = $curr_user->profile_rank;
 
$sig = $curr_user->signature;
?>

<div class="comment forum-comment comment-<?php print $row_class; print $comment->new ? ' comment-new forum-comment-new' : ''; ?>">

<?php if ($type == 'forum'): ?>
<div class="topic-title">&nbsp;&nbsp;<b>Subject:</b>&nbsp;<?php print $title ?></div>
<?php endif ?>
 

  <div class="comment-left">
    <span class="author-name"><?php print $name ?></span><br />
    <?php if ($rank): ?>
      <span class="author-rank"><?php print $rank ?></span><br />
    <?php endif ?>
    <?php print $picture ?>

    <?php if (module_exist('flatforum')): ?>
      <span class="author-posts">
        <?php print t('Posts:') . ' ' . $posts; ?><br />
      </span>
      <span class="author-regdate">
        <?php print t('Joined:') . ' ' . $joined; ?><br />
      </span>
    <?php endif ?>
  </div>

  <div class="comment-right">
    <div class="content">
      <?php print $content ?>
      <?php if ($sig): ?>
        <div class="author-signature">--<br /><?php print check_markup($sig); ?></div>
      <?php endif ?>
        <br class="clear" />
    </div>

  <div class="right-lower">     
<div class="submitted">
  <?php print $submitted ?>
</div>
<div class="links">
  <?php print $links ?>
</div>
  </div>
   
  </div>
<div class="spacer">&nbsp;</div>
</div>

The corresponding css (add it to your style.css):

.topic-title {
  background-color: #304157;
  color: #fff;
  font-size: 1.3em;
  border-bottom: 2px solid #fff;
}

.forum-comment {
  float: left;
  width: 100%;
}

.comment-left {
  width: 14%;
  float: left;
  margin-left: 5px;
  margin-top: 5px;
}

.comment-left .picture {
  float: none;
}

.author-name {
  font-size: 1.2em;
}

.author-regdate {
  margin-top: 3px;
  font-size: 0.8em;
}

.comment-right .title {
  font-weight: bold;
  font-size: 12px;
  display: block;
  float: left;
}

.comment-right {
  float: right;
  width: 84%;
  border-left: 2px solid #fff;
 
}

.content {
  padding: 1%;
}

.right-lower {
  border-top: 2px solid #fff;
}

.links {
  float: right;
  margin-right: 5px;
}

.submitted {
  float: left;
  margin-left: 5px;
  margin-top: 2px;
  color: #000;
}

.comment-light {
  background-color: #eee;
  border: 2px solid #fff;
  margin-top: -2px;
}

.comment-dark {
  background-color: #ccc;
  border: 2px solid #fff;
  margin-top: -2px;
}

.spacer {
  width: 100%;
  font-size: 0.4em;
  background-color: #a7b9c6;
  border-top: 2px solid #fff;
  border-bottom: 2px solid #fff;
  margin-bottom: -2px;
  float: left;
}

let me know if this helps you out or confuses you even more. What version of drupal are you using? my forum theme was built on 4.7rc3 with the flatforum module's template.php (which i have not altered)

http://ross.crickster.com/community/off_topic/sample_topic

all width's are percentages so it should fit any theme. i have used this forum theme in a few different sites just by changing some of the colors, it works great in variable and fixed width themes.

Oulegulas’s picture

thats quiet good :) thank you - it helped a lot.

I scripted until now and I thought I was ready - until I switched frome firefox to the IE. and I'm annoyed...

see it at: http://www.cashfloh.de/node/38
it looks almost as I want it to look - but without a seperator between username and post - because IE does not support the min-height- attribute from css2.

here my node-forum.tpl.php

<?php
 
if ($page == 0 && !isset($comment)) {
    include(
'node.tpl.php');
    return;
  }
 
$curr_user = user_load(array('uid' => $userid));
 
$rank = $curr_user->profile_rank;
 
$sig = $curr_user->signature;
?>

<div class="post">
  <div class="right">
     <?php print $content ?>
       <?php if ($sig): ?>
         <div class="author-signature">--
           <br />
           <?php print check_markup($sig); ?>
         </div>
       <?php endif ?>
  </div>
  <div class="left">
    <?php print $name ?>
    <br/>
    <?php if (module_exist('flatforum')): ?>
      <?php print t('Posts:') . ' ' . $posts; ?>
      <br />
    <?php endif ?>
  </div>
  <div class="bottom"><?php print $links ?></div>
</div>

and my flatforum.css

.post {
padding: 0em;
margin: 0em;
border-width: thin;
border-style: solid none none none;
float: box;
}

.left {
padding: 1em;
margin: 0em;
border-style: none none none none;
border-width: thin;
width: 12%;
}

.right {
padding: 2em;
margin: 0em;
border-style: none none none none;
border-width: thin;
width: 78%;
float: right;
}

.bottom {
padding: 0em;
margin: 0em;
border-style: dotted none none none;
border-width: thin;
clear: both;
text-align: right;
}

has anyonean idea why it does not work with the IE?

and I reckognized that no styles are working - even if I put them as a attribute into the div-tags. except the links I need for the layout of my table...

I think I got crazy :)

PakWaan’s picture

I tried it out on my site, and it looks great. But I'm having 2 problems that I haven't been able to figure out.

1. I like the reply links on the right - it looks perfect. But this change also moves the links on my main site to the right, and a little too low - not sure how to specify that this should only affect the forum links and not the main comment links.

2. IE will not open any of my forum threads (at all) - works fine in Firefox.

Oulegulas’s picture

what theme do you use?

can u post a link?

crick’s picture

1. I like the reply links on the right - it looks perfect. But this change also moves the links on my main site to the right, and a little too low - not sure how to specify that this should only affect the forum links and not the main comment links.

I think I see what is causing that, I'll fix it and repost. and as already suggested, a link would help out. Keep in mind this forum theme is still a work in process, i'd like to eventually come up with something that would be friendly to just about any phptemplate theme. I apologize if its not working right in IE, I use Linux and thus IE is not available. I'm going to install windows as a guest OS with vmware on my box so i can do testing with windows.

edit:
I just got windows xp installed and I see what you're talking about. that is very weird, the forum tables are fine, but when try to go to the thread, it totally locks up IE. on mine, IE completely locked up and I had to close it out completely. IE sucks. I'll work on it, this is a bad problem because unfortunately, many people out there are still using IE.

I'm going to scrap it and start over. I'll post what I come up with.

crick’s picture

Sorry for that bug before, but I thank you guys for making me aware of the problem. There is no telling how many days would have gone by before I got to a windows box.

Here is an updated node-forum.tpl.php and CSS that I have tested with IE (windows xp w/sp2) and Firefox. I feel like this is a good start for a great drupal forum.

node-forum.tpl.php:

<?php
 
if ($page == 0 && !isset($comment)) {
    include(
'node.tpl.php');
    return;
  }
 
$curr_user = user_load(array('uid' => $userid));
 
$rank = $curr_user->profile_rank;
 
$sig = $curr_user->signature;
?>

<div class="comment forum-comment comment-<?php print $row_class; print $comment->new ? ' comment-new forum-comment-new' : ''; ?>">

  <div class="comment-top">&nbsp;&nbsp;
<?php print $submitted ?>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
<?php if ($comment->new) : ?> < <?php print $new ?> > <?php endif ?>
  </div>

  <div class="comment-left">
    <span class="author-name"><?php print $name ?></span><br />
    <?php if ($rank): ?>
      <span class="author-rank"><?php print $rank ?></span><br />
    <?php endif ?>
    <?php print $picture ?>

    <?php if (module_exist('flatforum')): ?>
      <span class="author-posts">
        <?php print t('Posts:') . ' ' . $posts; ?><br />
      </span>
    <?php endif ?>
  </div>

  <div class="comment-right">
    <?php if (check_plain($comment->subject)) : ?>
    <div class="subject">&nbsp;Subject:&nbsp;<?php print check_plain($comment->subject) ?></div> <?php endif ?>
    <div class="content">
      <?php print $content ?>
      <?php if ($sig): ?>
        <div class="author-signature">--<br /><?php print check_markup($sig); ?></div>
      <?php endif ?>
        <br class="clear" />
<div class="comment-bottom">
<div class="links"><?php print $links ?>&nbsp;</div>
</div>
    </div>
  </div>

</div>

CSS to add to style.css:

.forum-comment {
  float: left;
  width: 95%;
  border: 1px solid #000;
  margin-bottom: 0.5em;
}

.comment-light {
background-color: #eee;
}

.comment-dark {
background-color: #bbb;
}

.comment-top {
border-bottom: 1px solid #000;
}

.comment-left {
  width: 10%;
  float: left;
  font-size: 11px;
}

.comment-left .picture {
  float: none;
}

.comment-right {
width: 89%;
float: right;
border-left: 1px solid #000;
}

.comment-right .subject {
border-bottom: 1px solid #000;
}

.comment-right .content {
  float: left;
}

.comment-bottom {
float: right;
border-top: 1px solid #000;

}

.comment-bottom .links {
float: right;
}

This isn't yet complete in my opinion, but I think we're getting close. At least it works in IE now, haha.

http://ross.crickster.com/community/off_topic/sample_topic

PakWaan’s picture

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

/*end enthusiastic praise*/

This works great. You fixed the issue with the links on non-forum nodes, and now it works in IE.

This is really starting to look like a forum!

http://www.thecommercialbroker.com/forum

THANK YOU!!

crick’s picture

hey i'm just glad i have been able to help out, it's not finished and i have not actually done any work on actually theming it yet, i'm just trying to get the structure and functionality laid out.

so feel free to change the colors and whatnot, i just used #000; (black) for all the borders and a light gray for the comment-light and dark gray for comment-dark. if you don't want the post backgrounds to alternate just set them the same color.

I'm going to keep looking at various forums across the internet and try to come up with the basic structure and layout based on what seems to be the most seen trend.

crick’s picture

I have decided to make a website for this topic. you can download the theme package and talk about it in my forum, muwahahaa.

for some reason yahoo and hotmail email accounts block mail from my server, so if you can't register because you didn't get your password, then just use your drupal.org account.

www.crickster.com

crick’s picture

I noticed that you were able to disable the page title from being displayed on the forum comments page. would you mind sharing how you accomplished this. I was able to achieve the same results by adding a variable to template.php that defines $forumstyle as a separate stylesheet for the forum comment page. then i simply add

<?php
 
print $forumstyle
?>

below the

<?php
 
print $styles
?>

in the head section of page.tpl.php.

then in forum.css I simply have h1 display: none;

currently the forum.css only loads on the the forum comments page, I am going to keep working on it so that it will load for the /forum pages as well, with the ultimate goal of being able to design themes for the forum section of a drupal site that simply have to be uploaded to themes/forum and will change the appearance of the threads and the forum listings.

I feel like we are on our way to providing a way to quickly change the theme of your drupal forum in much the same way you would with phpBB and you will not disturb your site's main theme.

http://www.crickster.com - Come and make your drupal forum look like phpBB.

PakWaan’s picture

I'm excited to see that it's well on it's way. But between the forums, the lack of attractive themes and a whole host of other things I just couldn't do, I have switched my site over to Joomla and it looks fantastic. Of course, there are things that it can't do that Drupal does better, but I really needed something that looked more graphically professional than I was able to do in Drupal myself without being a programmer.

Good luck with everything!

crick’s picture

yeah I noticed you switched to joomla. There are some nice themes available for joomla. I'm actually using the theme that you chose on a joomla site that I made a few months ago. I think I have decided to just spend the summer fishing and making a lot of theme's for drupal. haha.

PakWaan’s picture

They both have their strengths and weaknesses - in the long run, I think Drupal's power is it's "building block" style. CCK will make a huge difference once it's done - the ability to design your own custom database nodes is huge. Joomla has nothing similar.

On the other hand, Joomla kills Drupal when it comes to available themes and the overall "look" of a site. Sites like The Onion show that Drupal can be themed successfully to be graphically appealing - but they also have a large full-time professional web programming department. For non-programmers it's very difficult to make Drupal look as good. With over 600 modules and thousands of attractive templates, it's easy to drop in pre-designed features that make Joomla do what you need.

I re-did the front page of http://www.TheCommercialBroker.com yesterday, using a "magazine" module that allows you to create monthly editions, and makes the front page look fantastic.

I spent a month doing my site in Drupal, and re-created most of it in Joomla in 3 days. There are still some pieces I haven't been able to do - they don't have a decent module for limiting access to certain nodes by group, and there are 3-4 modules for Drupal to accomplish this. I have been unable to re-create my private access area for one of my clients to access private data from the main site that no one else knows exists.

With CCK still being unfinished, the best I could do for a "download" reviews section in Drupal was Flexinode - great for designing the data any way you like, but little support for getting it back out again. CCK will change all that - but I can't delay the site any longer waiting for it. In comparison, see the "download" section in my Joomla site - it allows users to vote and rate software based on a bunch of criteria. ( see http://www.thecommercialbroker.com/content/view/22/32/ ). They also have a great web links module, which Drupal still lacks.

Check out my recipes site - http://www.JustTheRecipe.com - I love the look and the recipes component was off-the-shelf.

Joomla also does not have a good Amazon module. The Drupal one is outstanding - just plug in the ASIN/ISBN number, and it automatically pulls the photo from Amazon along with the price, etc. There was a similar module for Mambo but the developer hasn't updated it in a couple years so it died off. The support for multi-user blogging is also not as good as Drupal's by a long shot.

Their search engine-friendly URLs suck compared to Drupal. Nothing else comes close to Drupal when it comes to that. They have a couple add-in modules that are OK, but they clash with certain add-on modules making them useless for a full-featured site. Thankfully, search engines are now pretty good at indexing dynamic web sites, unlike a year or two ago.

Oh well - nothing is perfect. My belief is still that Drupal will be better for what I need to accomplish with the new site, but I ran out of time. What I wouldn't give to have the best of Drupal and Joomla in one package - it would rule the world!

crick’s picture

Yes, that hybrid package would be impressive. I think drupal is headed in the right direction though. In time I feel like it will be good at everything joomla is good at plus it will still be good at everything drupal is good at. One thing that I absolutely love about drupal is the phptemplate theme engine.

stoltoguzzi’s picture

hi crick,

is this still the version you use on our page? would like to do something like this.

1. I have to install flat-forum
1.1 add some code to the template.php
2. copy your code to node-forum.tpl.php
3. add your css definition to the style.css (or you use still a separat css-file you described earlier?)

thanks for some help!

kind regards
stoltoguzzi

doodikopf’s picture

when a user previews his new forum post, drupal displays the forum post like a normal node.
the function _is_forum() added by template.php returns false when previewing a new forum post.

to fix this, you can add the following code to the top of node.tpl.php

<?php
   
if ($node->type == 'forum') {
        include(
'node-forum.tpl.php');
        return;
    }
?>

then you must change change the first php-block in node-forum.tpl.php to the following:

<?php
 
if ((!_is_forum()) && ($node->type =! 'forum')) {
    include(
'node.tpl.php');
    return;
  }
 
$curr_user = user_load(array('uid' => $userid));
 
$rank = $curr_user->profile_rank;
 
$sig = $curr_user->signature;
?>

another gimmick is diplaying the number of total replies in the opening post of a thread.
just add the following code to node-forum.tpl

<?php
   
// compute comment_count
   
$ncc = $node->comment_count;
   
$reply_word = t('reply');
    if (
$ncc > 1) $reply_word = t('replies');
    if ((
$node) && ($ncc >= 1)) {
    
$comment_count = '(' . $ncc . ' ' .$reply_word . ')';
    } elseif (
$node) $comment_count = t('No reply yet').'!';
?>

then add something like the following to display the info

<?php if ($comment_count): ?>
  <p align="center" class="small"><?php print $comment_count ?></p>
<?php endif ?>

byebye

andre75’s picture

I got mine looking pretty good now too:
http://www.opentravelinfo.com/node/380
I am still on the 4.6 version of Drupal and I dread the update since I have so many modules installed and worked on my theme a while.

Andre

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

TheDarkFlop’s picture

Hey there everyone,

Well I recently tried to work this in to my 4.7 site, and it still doesn't seam to work.
I have tried it with bluemarine and pushbutton themes.
I have made sure to change page.tpl.php but it still seams to give me problems.

I know this is a very general question, but I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas.
Thanks so much.

andre75’s picture

I think the spreadfirefox theme comes with a customized forum. That was my starting point way back when. Anyways, if they have a 4.7 version, you could check their code and see what the difference is and how to implement the changes in this thread there. Don't forget to share your insights.

Andre

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

-------------------------------------------------
http://www.opentravelinfo.com
http://www.aguntherphotography.com

brashquido’s picture

Would anyone be insterested in contributing financially so we can pool our funds to hire a developer to do this properly for Drupal 4.7? Ultimately I would like my Drupal forums to look (presentation) and act (administrative functions/permissions/etc) like "real" forums, and it seems that there are many others wanting the same thing judging by the amount interest threads like these attract. I am not a coder (which is why you use a CMS isn't it), but I do value having things done properly. When it comes to coding, for me (and I guess most non coders) that means either asking/begging a developer to do it in their free time, or hiring a developer so they can afford to give it the attention it needs.

From looking at the Drupal forums at MobilePokerNow we (non coders) know that Drupal is capable of producing forums that presentation wise look the part. I am also very confident that when teamed up with other modules (flat forum, simple access, privatemsg, nodevote, userpoints, profile, notify/subscriptions, image, image_assist, TinyMCE, etc) that the Drupal forums would also be able to come very close to offering the same (if not more) functionality as the more popular forum packages out there. Of all the popular CMS's Drupal has got the weakest forum offering in terms of presentation/functionality out of the box, and it really doesn't have to be that way. There is even a fork of Drupal called vbDrupal that aims to bring the best of Drupal and the vBulletin forums together in one CMS. The only reason I can think of that such a fork would exist is that comparitively speaking the default forums in Drupal are well under par.

So anyway (rant over), is anyone willing or at least willing to look into putting forward some cash to get this done properly? I'll start the ball rolling and pledge $250USD. You don't have to pledge that big, just what you can, be it $20, $50, $100, even $1000 if you like. Just so long as you are fully prepared to follow through on your pledge. If there is sufficient interest shown in this, then we can start looking at what actually needs to be done (templates, dependent modules, new modules/functionality, etc) and then seek out a Drupal developer prepared to take on the job.

----------------
Dominic Ryan
www.it-hq.org

----------------
Dominic Ryan
www.iis-aid.com

Heine’s picture

A 4.6 'forum' distribution has been made before. It lacks in looks, but has a lot of the required functionality.

You can find the demo at http://drupalforum.ustilago.org . For an overview of features, visit http://drupalforum.ustilago.org/features .

I plan to update to 4.7 in the near future, but that depends on free time. I have to update some modules (comment mover) before I can do this.
--
The Manual | Troubleshooting FAQ | Tips for posting | Make Backups! | Consider creating a Test site.

brashquido’s picture

Looks like a great start! Let me know if you would be interested in giving this a little more priority in return for payment.

----------------
Dominic Ryan
www.it-hq.org

----------------
Dominic Ryan
www.iis-aid.com

Heine’s picture

I never saw your post. Apologies.

We probably skip a version and go for a Drupal 5 install profile. See the group at http://groups.drupal.org/drubb.
--
The Manual | Troubleshooting FAQ | Tips for posting | How to report a security issue.

robclay’s picture

Great idea Dominic, I will add $100 if we can make it act / look / feel like phpbb...

Heine’s picture

A group of people wants to use the new Drupal 5 capabilities to create a 'forum' distribution / installation profile.

See http://groups.drupal.org/drubb.
--
The Manual | Troubleshooting FAQ | Tips for posting | How to report a security issue.

pwolanin’s picture

You might be interest in this proposed change to phptemplate: http://drupal.org/node/65706

It should make it simpler to have different themes for sifferent sections.

---
Work: Acquia

dahli.llama’s picture

I'm looking to get a good looking forums on my site and do away with the phpBB2 forums that I currently use.

I see some of your sites are looking quite nice, is there any chance you could share your final code for your forums?

Thanks

ckeo’s picture

im working on that im using the phpbb theme subza for. its not finished yet tho... its looking good... but your more than welcome to it.

Craig.

dahli.llama’s picture

That would be great.

I really want to convert my phpBB2 forums to drupal, and a good looking theme is really the last hurdle I have. Could you either post here, or email me the info you have to dahli.llama(AT)gmail.com

Thanks a ton

ckeo’s picture

login to my site and select the aquasoft2 theme first and go to the forums and tell me what you think....
And i'lll get together the files and instructions.

Craig.

dahli.llama’s picture

I saw your link from another post of yours and I really like the site. It looks great.

By the way, where did you get the overall theme? Is that home made? It's really nice looking.

ckeo’s picture

My main theme for the site is the aquasoft theme.
the forum theme is from the phpbb subza theme.

Craig

nk126’s picture

Hi

I'm working on a new site that will utilize forums of some sort, and we're trying to suss out if Drupal's forums are good/easy/themeable-enough to use. Other front-runner is PhpBB.

I stumbled upon this thread just now. Craig, I saw a reference to your site and a PhpBB theme.

Can I look? What's your URL?

Thanks,
nk

ckeo’s picture

my site is www.newfoundnews.com

but i never did finish theming it yet... something i need to get to.

Craig.

ckeo’s picture

?

j0k3z’s picture

Any progress on this yet?

MobilePokerNow.com looks STUNNING and I want to create a similar thing on my website.

DJmk’s picture

Actually i do want to make my forum like phpbb but i couldn't do it until now :(

Summit’s picture

Hi,

Is there node-forum.tpl.php Drupal 5 update?

greetings,
Martijn