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Deeply confused, please help! 
 
soundsystem
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  1
Joined:  2008-10-21
 

Hi,

As an excercise, I am trying to integrate the following free template with my Magento installation running on a local XAMPP server: http://www.freewebsitetemplates.com/preview/hardwarestore/

So far, I have created a new directory called hardwarestore in app/design/frontend and another in skin/frontend/

I then copied the default theme directories from app and skin into my hardwarestore directories, and created an additional hardwarestore directory in each as another theme.

I put the images and stylesheet from the template in the appropriate skin/frontend/hardwarestore/hardwarestore/ directories.

I created a skeleton template in app/design/frontend/hardwarestore/hardwarestore/template/page/2columns-left.phtml

I copied page.xml from the default theme into app/design/frontend/hardwarestore/hardwarestore/layout/ and it’s here that I’m geting confused!

I’ve figured out to change the line <block type="page/html" name="root" output="toHtml" template="page/3columns.phtml"> to use my 2columns-left.phtml template instead.

I’m guessing I can get rid of the stuff within the <block type="page/html_head" name="head" as="head"> and just have <action method="addCss"><stylesheet>css/style.css</stylesheet></action> as I only need the one css file that came with the template. Is this correct?

And I’m confused about where to go from here. Is there a list somewhere of the available block type attributes and what they mean/what they do? Why do some (eg. store_language) have a template attribute and others (eg. topLinks) don’t? Why do some blocks close themselves (eg. breadcrumbs, content, right) and others have stuff within them (eg. header, footer)? What does the <print> bit do, and is it compulsory?

Sorry if these are stupid questions but the design guide doesn’t go into much detail about how the XML layout files work. If someone could post a line-by-line explanation of at least the page.xml file it would really help me to understand.

Having used osCommerce in the past I can see that the Magento way of doing things is much better and clearer, and I’m sure I will find it very straightforward and easy once I’ve got my head around the initial learning curve… but right now I could use some help!

Cheers,
Dan

 
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Voot
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  261
Joined:  2008-03-20
Long Beach, CA
 

Have you checked out the designers guide? I’m afraid there’s really no documentation to go off of since Magento is so new. However, the Wiki as well as Magento’s screencasts pretty much taught me the structure of Magento. Sorry I don’t have a real answer.

If your a CSS wiz, I would suggest downloading Magento’s Blank theme and design your site off of that.

 
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Voot
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  261
Joined:  2008-03-20
Long Beach, CA
 

Oh and in regards to why some blocks are closed and some arent, I think Magento did this for ease of moving elements around in the template files (3-columns.phtml, 2-columns-left.phtml, etc.). For instance, if I wanted to move items around in the header section all I would need to do is edit the header.phtml file and not the 3 template files. It works like “include” files I guess.

Good luck!

 
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Loic_LC
Sr. Member
 
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Total Posts:  194
Joined:  2007-12-19
Paris, France
 

you also might want to check this fantastic 192 pages PDF that sums up everythings there is to know about magento to get started.

Good luck

 
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