Vine Type Content Management with Standards in Mind

17 Oct 2005

Customizations

Vine Type allows content management customization in three major ways:

  1. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  2. The Vine Type configuration file
  3. Vine Type Templates

Each of these content management customization methods are possible within a wide range of skill levels - from simple to advanced. Try a simple change first, then when you're comfortable with that, try something a little more daring.

My challenge and goal for this section is to provide comprehensive information, but not to overwhelm the content management administrator or newcomer. Vine Type provides a myriad of content management options so there's a long list of buttons to press and dials to turn.

But Vine Type always provides a default so you don't need to turn dials until you're interested in changing a setting.

Cascading Style Sheets

Cascading Style Sheets provide an amazing number of layout and design customization capabilities. Here's where you can customize the look and feel of your site, such as fonts, borders, and backgrounds. With Vine Type and CSS, you gain the ability to create a wide variety of looks without any alteration to the underlying XHTML template.

Configuration File

Everyone will need to adjust a couple of the settings in the vinetype.config file. Installation step 3, creating a password, required editing the configuration file. Hopefully, the configuration file didn't seem too complicated. It's just a series of variables that begin with a dollar-sign and a value - the two separated by a colon.

The important point is to use a plain text editor such as Notepad to edit this file. MS Word or other word processing program should not be used.

Template Files

Template files, employed by many modern content management systems, provide the skeleton structure of your website. Templates define the order that your site contents are displayed and points to CSS files to use.

Template changes are an advanced topic and geared primarily for designers who already have a working knowledge of and understanding of XML, XHTML, and CSS layout techniques.

If you understand some XHTML you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the simple yet powerful content management system employed by Vine Type.

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