Theming multiple web applications
November 5, 2008 11:34 AM   Subscribe

At my office we're running a number of different third-party web applications for things like blogs, ticket tracking, cms, and so forth. I would like to apply some consistent themes to these applications without having learn n different theming mechanisms. I'm hoping y'all can provide me with some suggestions.

I'm familiar with deliverance, which so far seems like the best solution, although it seems to have wandered away from xpath queries, which made a lot of sense, into the mists of yet-another-*ml-query-language.

Are there any other solutions out there?
posted by larsks to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't believe a generalized out-of-the-box solution to this problem is possible, since by definition different applications are going to have different templating mechanisms, and most of them are baked into the application too deeply to be abstracted away.

One approach I've used is to learn just enough about each application's templating system to hack most of it away, make the output as simple and consistent as possible, and post-process it using homerolled XSL templates (because I have drunk deeply of the XSL kool-aid and it is tasty and delicious) and (at the very least) a shared css file to control most of the design.

In practice this is kind of messy and involves lots of design compromises and lots of re-implementing of each application's existing templates, and if I had it to do over again I'm not sure I would. But at least when it's finished you can make changes just in your own templates without having to update each of the source app's stuff.

I'm not familiar with deliverance but based on skimming the docs it looks like they're taking a similar approach.
posted by ook at 1:49 PM on November 5, 2008

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