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Old 03-01-2009, 03:35 PM
tradewise tradewise is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hervey Bay Qld Australia
Posts: 576
Exclamation The Component Broke My template

Too many times I see posts or get emails from people claiming the component broke my template. This has prompted me to write this article to try to set the record straight and guide you to finding a solution to the problem rather than complaining about it or implying the component developer is at fault.

Many of the components I've used seems to break some templates, I know because I've tried many. The fact is 99.9% of the time it's not the component or module that breaks the template, its the way some templates are written. Yet a lot of people are too quick blame the component saying "it worked before I installed this" and not taking the time to fully investigate all possible causes including investigating the template itself.

It is impossible for a component developer to be expected to support their program on the 1000's of free and commercial templates available to Joomla. In writing a program the developers write components to conform to general guidelines and as a result the component will display correctly in most templates - but not all.

So before posting a comment blaming the component developer ask yourself these questions and put yourself in the developers shoes:
1. If it displays right in one template and not another is it the component at fault?
2. As a developer, should I be expected to rework my code for every template available in the Joomla arena or one that has just been released or a template not written to comply with general guidelines or one that uses CSS Classes or Div ID's with names that may conflict because by chance we've used the same name or title?

If you answered yes to these 2 questions then Joomla wouldn't be where it is today, because developers simply wouldn't bother to try to do the impossible.

It therefore must be the web site designers job to find a suitable template or modify the template you want to ensure display of the all the components used on the site so they will display correctly. Sometimes you might need to try 10 templates over a few days til you find one that works for you (welcome to Web Design 101). This is the reason why most component developers, don't and can't offer support to site templates and individual design. Whilst they may offer some assistance, you just can't expect it.

Template Trouble Shooting
There's a good reason why Joomla installs with a few templates, these are generally written to conform to the general guidelines. So if you have a template that you installed and have issues you can quickly check what may be causing an issue by installing a control template. Take for example the JA Purity template on Joomla 1.58+, I use this on my demo sites it works very well without touching the template or CSS and thus JA Purity has proven so far to be a good control template. Also when testing, keep in mind that module placement can also affect components in different templates.

Generally speaking, if a component displays correctly in a control template then it should do likewise in many others. If it doesn't the Firefox add on "Firebug" can help in tracing possible CSS and template errors. Remember also try viewing the website in different browsers. Unfortunately most errors will be with some versions of IE, where as browsers like Firefox will display right (welcome to Web Design 102).

If the template is a commercial one try their forums, someone else may have encountered the same issue, hopefully with a result.

Above all, if you do have a problem don't go off half cocked blaming people or components, if you ask a nice question, generally you'll get a favourable reply. Whereas unfounded statements or abuse will get you no where fast.

Regards to all Steve!!!
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