We are currently putting together a list of features that will start getting added to our Joomla template framework in the next few weeks - that is once the Joomla 1.6 version and templates have been released. So I thought this would be a good time to canvas for some features, changes, improvements or whatever you would like to see incorporated into the zen grid framework.

Some of the stuff thats on the list at the moment are:

Incorporating the JB Library effects into the template.

We currently utilise effects such as lazy load, ie6 warning, back to top etc via the JB Library plugin but we are planning on putting these features in the template interface itself, which will obviously save on going through to the plugin manager to adjust the effects settings.

Caching on the compressed js and css files.

This one has actually already been implemented for the new template due out today or tomorrow and will be made available for all other zgf templates in a week or so.

Multiple grids and layout options.

I've been playing with the 1140 grid, plus the fluid 960 grid and I certainly see a future for those layout options in the zen grid framework. They should work well across most of our current framework templates except for in the rare cases where we had to sacrifice a little bit of flexibility for the sake of design. If you are new to 1140 it handles mobile support by using media queries rather than needing to create a separate template for the platform.

Smarter loading of our own module css and js files.

Basically making sure that any of our extensions and perhaps any that you specify get thrown into our css and js compressor loop to reduce http requests.

More targetted classes for the font stacks

At the moment you can specify a font stack for the body, nav, headings and logo but I'd like to open this up a little bit more so you could specify a specific font family for a specific class or heading tag.

Better control over which fonts appear in the drop down list - especially relates to google font.

I think adding some acl to the options here will do wonders for those of you who give access to the template settings for your clients. The aim would be to allow super admins to control which fonts other users - non super admins - have access to in the template admin.

Better grouping and perhaps a preview of fonts in the font drop down list.

The fonts available in the google font directory have really consolidated and improved over the last few months and so I think it makes sense to group them into font types eg serif, sans serif, handwritten etc.

Better control over component switching and outputting the current view.

That will include a more fleshed out body class where we output the various views being generated. This would be controlled in the admin of course so you can decide on what gets output via enabling or disabling a few radio check boxes.

Also allowing for specifying different functionality based on the current view. This might mean you could control the layout or appearance based on the current component.

Updated and improved links to knowledgebase articles from within template panels.

This one has been on the list for a while and I think will be valuable as a quick reference guide.

Extra effects and features

  • Adding the query loader script
  • Adding a text resizer or colour changer
  • Add and consolidate the hidden panel options.

There are a few other usability improvements and small features we will be adding but they are the big ticket items.

Our aim is to keep it simple and continue to provide useful and powerful features on top of a flexible base. In doing so we really need to be lead by the end users so we would love to get your feedback on what you like and don't like in the framework.

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