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Way to edit skins locally, best skin editor?


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There are several approaches to solve your questions.

Viewing skins locally:

Install PHP, MySQL, and a web server on your personal computer. There are several all-in-one packages that will get you this.

Skin creation:

This is tough. It absolutely comes down to how your personality melds with the application's behaviors. There are plenty of WYSIWYG web page designers (Dreamweaver, et al), but I do not know of any application that has an internal engine to make decisions about how to paste the various files of a template package together.

I'm sure there are other types of applications that can simulate putting the pieces together - such as Photoshop with it's layers, giving views of the pages when parts of the image changes.

There are a number of programmer's text editors that have FTP built-in. There are a number of FTP applications that can associate files to external applications, such as editors. Thus, in the same amount of steps it takes to open a local file for editing, a file can be retrieved by FTP and opened for editing, then saved right back to the remote location. (Personally, I use UltraEdit.)


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From previous posts in this thread, I am led to believe that you can, in fact, get files onto and off your server using an FTP program. So, server file/folder permissions should not be the problem if that FTP program can do it's job.

You imply that Dreamweaver can access files/folders other than that custom skin folder.

I must wonder of Dreamweaver is trying to access that folder using methods not strictly the same as the FTP program.

As an aside, I hope the version of Dreamweaver you use can accommodate the Smarty syntax. There is a lot of layout decision making that affects the final appearance of the page.

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Well, this is an issue with using Dreamweaver - which I couldn't help you with - on or off the forums.

The templates are suffixed with .php, and there are two things to consider:

1. The template names can be anything. The Smarty template rendering engine is given the template filename to compile and Smarty does not care what the filename is or it's suffix. (Why the CubeCart programmer's decided to change away from templatename.tpl, I don't know. I don't know how Dreamweaver would interpret .tpl anyways.)

2. When the web server is given a filename to send back to the browser, the suffix does come into play: .html files are sent right away, .php files are sent to PHP to be executed. However, unless and until the .php file starts with <?php, the PHP processor treats the contents of the file just like regular text, to be sent straight back to the web server, to be sent straight back to the browser. Realizing the content of the template files do not start with <?php, it stands to reason all you see is what the browser is able to understand as HTML markup and the rest is text - including the {$Smarty} syntax.


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I had MAMP running as the 'test server' for Dreamweaver but dreamweaver would only show text and not actual live view. I have UltraEdit installed on my mac...

I am wondering if there is a situation outside of the programs. Using UE, I am working with the foundation skin, and I have moved some box locations around in the main.php file, uploaded the file (From within UE) and there has been no change to the skin. I downloaded and used another program to verify that the changes were uploaded correctly, and they are there. Erased cache and refreshed store skin and no changes visually on a test store. So I am wondering..... am I doing something wrong? I mean obviously I am, but what?

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You said, "Erased cache and refreshed store skin." Which cache?

I recommend while editing skins, the Cubecart cache system be disabled (admin, Store Settings, Advanced tab, "Enable Caching": Disabled).

Smarty will still create compiled versions of the templates and put them in /cache/skins/, but won't use them. Thus, any changes to the templates should be immediately realized.

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Cache is disabled. Cleared cache from within Cubecart admin and Firefox browser. Checked in another browser, nothing is updating.


EDIT: For example, in main.php, I just removed the entire section and uploaded the file back. All the boxes are still there.

This is what I removed:

<div class="large-3 columns show-for-large-up" id="sidebar_left">
                  {include file='templates/box.featured.php'}
                  {include file='templates/box.popular.php'}
                  {include file='templates/box.sale_items.php'}

Resolved.... it was something from within my admin. My custom theme would revert back to the original foundation theme. Removed the theme I was working on and reuploaded it, changes are now visible as the theme isn't reverting back. Strange anomaly. I did start getting a "server running slow" error in one of my browsers so it very well could be my host screwing with me again. LOL Sorry!

Edited by djcaseanova
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