Paul Howson’s Website

Design and Publishing Notebook

Blog Templates Not Quite Right Yet

The recent addition of separate templates for blog posts in list and detail views is a small but useful improvement. At last we have a way to distinguish the context in which a blog post is being presented.

Prior to this change, exactly the same overall page template, overall blog template and individual blog post template were applied in both the list and detail views. This meant it was impossible to customise the appearance of blog posts in either context. If you wanted to have a social networking widgets appended to each post when viewing the detail of an individual post, then you had to have the same widgets visible on the page listing all posts. There was simply no way of detecting the different context (amazing but true).

Now at least there is some respite. We now have separate blog post templates for list and detail views. So you can, via contextual CSS, change the appearance of a blog post in list and detail views, including adding of such things as social networking widgets.

When this was announced, I thought “Great, now all those problems with blog presentation will be solved”. Not so. Because the system still limits you to using the same overall page template and the same overall blog template in list and detail views. The overall blog template is a wrapper that goes around the entire page content in either list or detail views.

Consider this problem: You want to include an introductory explanation about your blog on the list view (i.e. the “home page” of the blog), but you don’t want that introduction to appear on the detail view for individual posts.

Under the current system this can’t be done, because content which should appear once at the top of a page must occur in the overall blog template or the overall page template, and these are the same in both list and detail views. Another BC brick wall. In the ended I resorted to some JQuery to hide these introductory elements on the detailed post view. But that should not be necessary.

What’s needed?

Separate overall blog templates for list and detailed views. Surely this should not be difficult to add? How about it BC?