[ANN]: Easy way to create cpanel skins (alpha/preview release)

Amorya

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Apr 28, 2004
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As seen in this thread:

We've just made our first public preview of the Zen cpanel parser. Zen allows you to develop themes for cpanel using codes similar to PHPBB's templating system. It will allow you to form standards compliant HTML, and when cpanel is updated you usually won't have to change your themes, only the parser itself.

Best of all, it's free.

At the moment, we're just offering a preview (alpha) release. This is not intended for use in a live environment, but should let you get the idea of the sort of things we're working on. Included is a sample theme we've been using during development (called Blue Dot).


If you have chance, and are confident in using alpha software, we'd appreciate it if you could have a glance at what we've done and reply (either here or on our forums) with comments and suggestions. It's taken a long time, but the journey is nearly over... and the more comments we acquire now, the better the initial release will be.

Check out Zen at Point and Code.

Amorya
 
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rs-freddo

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2003
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Well I'm impressed....

That's a whole lot of work there.

I'm not so sure this won't need an upgrade though. Trouble is that cPanel might change something small like a <td> and then your parser would not be able to correctly parse the cpanel code.

Certainly you have opened ALL the options for formatting.

However cPanel DOES have a habit of changing things without telling anyone.
 

Amorya

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Apr 28, 2004
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rs-freddo said:
That's a whole lot of work there.

I'm not so sure this won't need an upgrade though. Trouble is that cPanel might change something small like a <td> and then your parser would not be able to correctly parse the cpanel code.
That's true. I meant that only the parser needed to be updated - the themes created with it would not. (Unless a drastic change happened and we had to add extra options.) I've edited my post to clarify slightly.

Since it's GPL, then it wouldn't just be putting all your trust in one company for updates. Anyone could release a patch if it stopped working, or submit it to us for inclusion in the actual product.

Amorya
 
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rs-freddo

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2003
834
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Amorya said:
That's true. I meant that only the parser needed to be updated - the themes created with it would not. (Unless a drastic change happened and we had to add extra options.) I've edited my post to clarify slightly.

Since it's GPL, then it wouldn't just be putting all your trust in one company for updates. Anyone could release a patch if it stopped working, or submit it to us for inclusion in the actual product.

Amorya
Good point!

Might actually be worthwhile to write a theme now!
 

Kaze01

Registered
Apr 14, 2005
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Love it...

Wow, that is really nice work there.

I really like the hard work put into this. But will it work with versions below 10.0.0-RELEASE 161? That would be great. I am just waiting to get my cPanel updated still.

Thanks for this. :D
 

Amorya

Member
Apr 28, 2004
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Kaze01 said:
Wow, that is really nice work there.

I really like the hard work put into this. But will it work with versions below 10.0.0-RELEASE 161? That would be great. I am just waiting to get my cPanel updated still.

Thanks for this. :D
To tell you the truth, I have no idea. I can't see how it'd hurt to try, but of course there's no warrantees as of yet. It depends how much cpanel have changed their APIs recently. Which version are you using?

When the software is finished, we'll try and get it tested on as many versions as possible. The reason we've only mentioned the one so far is that's what our development server runs.


Thanks for your interest :)


Amorya
 

Mike Peel

Active Member
May 1, 2004
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Kaze01 said:
Wow, that is really nice work there.

I really like the hard work put into this. But will it work with versions below 10.0.0-RELEASE 161? That would be great. I am just waiting to get my cPanel updated still.

Thanks for this. :D
We've been working on it since around version 9.9.9, and I can't remember seeing any major problems cropping up. The best thing to do would be to give it a go, and let us know about where it mucks up (if anywhere), and how.

(P.S. I'm co-developing the parser with amorya)
 

fusioncroc

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2004
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U.K.
works fine :)

Edit: Though There is a few pages missing and no support for fantastico but i can add that my self
 
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Amorya

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Apr 28, 2004
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fusioncroc said:
works fine :)

Edit: Though There is a few pages missing and no support for fantastico but i can add that my self
Great that you've had some success. We're working on the missing pages - things seem to get written in the order that we personally use them - hence MySQL support appearing before Postgre, for example. Mike's been hard at work since we released the alpha, so expect another build to surface soon. We're currently trying to make sense of the CGI Centre.

Fantastico I haven't looked into yet. Once we finish the main pages, I may have a gander at what's required to support it.


Amorya
 

Mike Peel

Active Member
May 1, 2004
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As a side-note: if you write any modifications to cpanel zen which you think will be useful to other people, please post them in our forums.

We will be adding a proper modifications section to our site once we've released the final version.
 

brentp

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Mar 11, 2004
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Ayr, North Queensland, Australia
incredible work. This might just be the best cpanel module ever developed, it certainly will open the door to more free cpanel skins. I've googled a lot for free skins and theres only that ckin one thats not even finshed ;). Once again, kudos.

Regards,
Brent
 

kosmo

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Verifed Vendor
Aug 12, 2001
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Great work!

kosmo
 

Amorya

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Apr 28, 2004
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Have uploaded the latest version of Zen.

Highlights in this alpha:

  • Rudimentary support for template and language switching
  • Further work on the file manager
  • Improvements to language abstraction
  • More pages are now templated
  • Things still not templated are coloured red on the index page.

Once again, alpha software, no warrantee, still under development, etc. Still nothing is documented, and things may change at any time. However, we're using this on our server without any major problems, so your milage may vary.

Don't start templates yet; wait until we finalise the templating language. Hopefully that'll be done soon!

Amorya
 

Jeff75

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Apr 11, 2003
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This script is awesome and I can't wait to use it when it's ready for templating. The biggest thing I hate about cPanel is the lack of control over all the code in the CP. The code is so 1997 and the areas that I can't change look like total crap in my nice looking (valid) theme.
 

craig1972

Member
Apr 3, 2005
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Why?

For people who REALLY want to change their WHM or CPANEL skins, the best way, IMHO, is to copy out the entire "X" folder from /themes folder and edit away. No?

I've got my own skin -- frameless XHTML et al -- with only 2-3 hours of work.

It's in my own folder (rename X to, say, X2) and that's all it takes. Cpanel recognizes it automatically.

I have a local backup because I designed it here, so if it ever gets deleted due to an update all I have to do is upload the folder.
 

Mike Peel

Active Member
May 1, 2004
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The problem with that approach is that you don't have any control over the way that Mail accounts are displayed, or the Databases page, or the File Manager, etc. So you build your wonderful, incredibly beautiful skin, and there's this mass of stuff stuck in the centre of it that you can't do anything about. That doesn't happen if you use Zen.

Also, cPanel has a real problem with language abstraction; a lot of it simply isn't there. When Zen's complete, we plan to have close to complete language abstraction.

I originally started off by trying to make a skin purely using cPanel's template variables, no PHP. However, I stopped after a fair time because of the problems above, and Zen was born. Mebbe I'm just a perfectionist, though, and most people are quite happy with cpanel skins as they are. At least Zen will give them a choice.
 

cyon

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Jan 15, 2003
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I look really forward for a stable version.
very nice work!!