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Symlinks for skin development?

Discussion in 'User Experience' started by frankiejr, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. frankiejr

    frankiejr Member

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    Hello,

    First, I'd like to thank everyone in the cPanel.net forums for the wealth of information you've all provided here. I came here looking for a lot of things, and I've pretty much found all of them. Thanks!

    Okay, now to my question.

    From what I read here, I should be able to create a symlink to a theme. I do not want to keep the theme here for my customers to use. What I want this for is so I can easily develop a theme without all the uploading (I don't have root FTP access, so I have to upload the theme through WHM for every change to be tested). The link above is over a year old and I'm not sure if this is a good way of doing it.

    My questions are:
    1. Will this still work with cPanel?
    2. Is there an easier way to develop a theme? (Am I missing something?)
    3. Is this so insecure a method that I shouldn't use it, even for development?

    I have my layout and am about to insert all the necessary cPanel codes, but I'd rather not make a bazillion mistakes and not find out until the theme is uploaded for testing. If there is an easier way to test, please inform me...

    Thanks again for all the info here!

    .frankiejr
     
  2. Roy@ENHOST

    Roy@ENHOST Well-Known Member

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    I think the simple symlink method doesn't work anymore.
    You have to symlink each file to the theme directory now.
    Look at how X2 is symlinked to X

    There is no hard and fast way to develop a theme.
    It takes a little patience. Sometimes things doesn't work the way you wanted it to be.
    But you have the Cpanel community to rely on when you run into problems.

    As long as the directory you symlink to is secure, I guess it is alright. From a security perspective, it is not wise to link a theme to a home directory or any directories that are accessible to the public.

     
  3. rvskin

    rvskin Well-Known Member
    PartnerNOC

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    Latest test on cPanel 9.9.8-C72, you still able to create symlink to /home/user/THEME.
     
  4. frankiejr

    frankiejr Member

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    Thanks guys!

    You helped a lot. I learned all about symlinking today and I think I have it right. I'll let you know if I'm successful, and I'll post a link to my theme when I'm done.

    .frankiejr
     
  5. Roy@ENHOST

    Roy@ENHOST Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for being vague.
    What I meant by not working is that it doesn't appear on the menu when you try to change a user's theme in WHM. Try that.
     
  6. frankiejr

    frankiejr Member

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    No apology necessary...

    What I'm going to be using this for is dev only, I think. If it works and is secure (it will be outside the account's public_html directory, after all) I might end up using it in case small upgrades are needed.

    Otherwise, it'll just be for development to get all the cPanel tags correct. I'm still a bit confused about getting the popslisttable working the way I want it, but I haven't had a chance to actually play around with the cPanel tags yet. I'm still trying to work it all out in my head as I'm coding.

    Key points for my theme, which I really wanted to address in my design:
    • Usability: I've been seriously unhappy with all themes offered by cPanel in terms of usability.
    • BROWSER COMPATIBILITY! IE, Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, Opera. All must look identical. (I'm about halfway done and the only problem I've had is one border being 2px off on Opera...a documented CSS bug in that browser, no huge deal, doesn't break the page...so far, so good!)
    • Valid code (checked via w3c.org)
    • As few tables as possible (the only tables that will be present will be those generated by cPanel, and those for tabular data)
    • Some other goodies that I've been playing around with ;)

    What really bummed me out was that I had decided to make a custom theme, and started sketching/noting things. I built a layout, structure, framework...then started looking for help when I hit a wall. That's when I found more themes that had some of my ideas (that I had thought were somewhat original, as far as the application goes) already implemented. Oh well...I just hope my use of these ideas meets my own expectations.

    Thanks again!
    .frankiejr

    (BTW...this theme will be solely for my use on my dedicated server. I won't be reselling it because I don't think it's something that can compete with the themes already out there.)
     
  7. frankiejr

    frankiejr Member

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    Please excuse my ignorance if this sounds stupid, but it just crossed my mind...

    If what you said in the above quote is true, would this workaround work:
    • Create a "blank" theme (a tarball with a single, empty directory with the theme's name)
    • Upload through WHM (My reasoning is so that WHM would see it as a valid theme)
    • SSH into the /usr/local/cpanel/base/frontend/themename/ dir and create symlinks

    Does that make sense? Would it work? (Not sure I got the dir correct there, I have it written down in my theme dev notes though ;) )

    .frankiejr
     
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