Hello -- good to hear from you.

I think there are two possible main approaches to this:

1.) As Tuan suggested, copy the Blueprint theme, and rework it, starting from the layout and working inward.

2.) See if there is a way to abstract the Blueprint theme into a base theme that uses view helpers to generate layout-specific markup.  Implement different versions of the view helpers to put in appropriate markup in different sub-themes -- one for Blueprint, one for your responsive design.

Option #1 is easier in the short term -- you have freedom to design however you want without restriction.  Option #2 is a harder design problem, and possibly not even practical -- you obviously would have to make some compromises to come up with a design where you can plug in Blueprint markup in one place and something more responsive elsewhere.  But if you could achieve this, then we could offer a variety of options without creating a huge maintenance headache in the code (i.e. most templates would inherit from a single base, so new features wouldn't have to be added in multiple places).

Perhaps one logical approach would be to start with option #1, trying to keep templates as close to blueprint as possible, and then move to #2 after recognizing common patterns.

In any case, I'm definitely happy to hear that you're thinking about HTML5 and responsive design.  Tuan's work on Blueprint is excellent and has served us well, but the web is already moving on from fixed-width layouts.  I'm happy to support your work in any way I can.  We'll just have to think about how to incorporate this as it develops -- I'm very interested in having this as a standard feature of VuFind, but if possible, I would like to avoid immediately falling back into the trap we had in 1.x with multiple themes to maintain causing redundant effort during development and slowing down progress.

- Demian

From: Brad Busenius [bbusenius@uchicago.edu]
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 3:28 PM
To: vufind-tech@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [VuFind-Tech] VuFind - Responsive Design Using HTML5 (questions)


I would like to introduce myself. I am one of the developers working on the VuFind installation along with David Bietila, Tod Olson, Bryon Czoch, and John Jung, at the University of Chicago. We are about to start working with the VuFind templates and are intending to implement a responsive design using html5. We are also considering using a responsive mobile framework, possibly twitter bootstrap.
  • Is anyone else is doing something similar?
  • Can anyone recommend a good starting point for this approach?
  • Is the best approach to modify the default theme with a child theme or is there a different approach we should consider?
  • We are also very interested in any suggestions on best practices for sharing our work with the community.
Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Brad Busenius
Web Developer
The University of Chicago Library