eCommerce construction > Templates

Illustrated guide for custom AbanteCart template development

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abantecart:
Thank you for taking time and posting your observation. I think you have slight misunderstanding how template system is working in AbanteCart.
We will be happy to clarify. It will take some time, so please stay tuned here.

As a concept, nothing changed in AbanteCart within v1.2. These manuals are still valid.

AbanteCart is not dead and gaining more popularity than before. 

I agree we need better manual for the template development, I hope with your help we can make it happen.

DCS:
Summary:

I made a clone template extension - Clone1.

Design>Templates - I chose the Clone1 as the Storefront Template.

Design>Layouts - I used the dropdown menu to select the Clone1 template.  Click Save. 

I made changes to Home and Default Page Layout, and I clicked Save. 

My changes do not show on the front end. 

When I return to Design>Layouts - the selected template has reverted to Default.  It will not stay on the Clone1 template. 

I had no other option, so I followed the josmun map:  I made another clone template extension - Clone2.

On Design>Template - I select Clone2.

I go to Design>Layouts, and when I arrive, I see that the Clone1 is the chosen template!  This is new! 

Only by cloning the Default template twice is Clone1 able to become the chosen template in Default>Layouts. 

Test Results:
I have one storefront, and 3 templates: Default, Clone1, and Clone2.  I am working on xampp on windows.  Here are my test results of this problem:

1 - In Design>Template, I select Default template.  Then I go to Design>Layout and I choose Clone1, then Save, then navigate away, then return back to Design>Layouts:  the chosen template has reverted back to Default.  Repeat test, but choose Clone2 on the Layout page; same outcome. 

Conclusion:  If you select Default template on Design>Template, you may only use Default template on Design>Layouts.  It does not matter if you make another choice from the drop-down template selector on Design>Layout, your changes will not be seen on the front end, and the Layout page will revert back to Default template every time you return to the page.

2 - In Design>Template, I select CLONE1 template.  Then I go to Design>Layout and I choose Clone1, then Save, then navigate away, then return back to Design>Layouts:  the chosen template has reverted back to Default.  Repeat test, but choose Clone2 on the Layout page; same outcome. 

Conclusion:  If you select Default template on Design>Template, you may only use Default template on Design>Layouts.  It does not matter if you make another choice from the drop-down template selector on Design>Layout, your changes will not be seen on the front end, and the Layout page will revert back to Default template every time you return to the page.

3 - In Design>Template, I select CLONE2 template.  When I go to Design>Layout, the template selector says Clone1 when I arrive!!  This is new!

I check my front end, and suddenly all of my earlier changes to Clone1 Home Layout are now visible on the front end!  I made all these Clone1 changes before I created the Clone2 template!  I could never see the Clone1 changes on the front end until after I created Clone2 and selected Clone2 in the Design>Template.

In Design>Template, if you select Clone2, it will cause Abantecart Layout page and system to use Clone1 instead of Default when building each page.

I'm pretty sure that if I create Clone3, it will use only Clone2 files "by default". 

I'm pretty sure if I create Clone4, it will only use Clone3 files. 

Etc.

I name this problem the Look-Back problem, or LBprob for short. 

Other stuff I did:
I started customizing a storefront. 
I opened clone css files and tpl files and made changes. 

Example:
On the Design>Template page, I selected the Clone2 template, but I edit css files from the Clone1 directory if i want to see the changes on the front end.:  \xampp\htdocs\site_name\extensions\clone1\storefront\view\clone1\stylesheet\style.css

When it is time to upload this site to a live host, I will have fear and loathing again.  I guess I'll upload all templates.  The Default template cannot be stripped away, and the Clone2 template cannot used without the Clone1 directories.  It will be scary.  I'll probably get drunk.

I have confidence that my AbanteCart friends will be able to fix this problem, so I'm not worried about it. 

I'm building a site.

DCS:
I wrote all this crap as though I was spanning a massive language barrier, and I've been telling myself that I need to post questions before I quit at night so that someone sees them while I'm sleeping, and then i realize that you guys aren't in Russia, you're in Jersey. 

fuhgeddaboudit

abolabo:
is something in error log after message about switching to default template?

DCS:
Hello.

I deleted everything and created a fresh install without DemoData. 

The Look-Back problem did not occur on the fresh install.

Comments:
During my 1st AbanteCart install last week, I created a check-list of steps.  This is how i work with all new content systems, frameworks, whatever. 

Yesterday, for the fresh install without DemoData, I followed my checklist, so the 2nd install was done exactly the same as the 1st.  Completely new database, new folder, new everything. 

The only difference was unticking the DemoData box. 

So, if you want to pursue the Look-Back problem, DemoData may be a place to start. 

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