The last weeks we spend some time on improving our Warp 5.5 theme framework which is the foundation of all our templates. With our new October 2010 template release we enhanced our framework to version 5.5.6 and added some nice features that you surely will enjoy. Let's start the roundup on the new features!
Did you ever wonder if you are running the latest version of a YOOtheme template on your website? Yep, you probably do! And to do a quick version check you would login to your YOOtheme account and browse to the current versions page were all template versions are shown together with the date of the last update. You will agree, this is a tedious task and it should be a lot easier. So we now introduce automatic update notifications for Warp 5.5.6. When you open the template settings in your Joomla! administration a message box will appear and notify you whenever a new version of your template is available. The update notifications use the default Joomla! messages so they integrate smoothly with the Joomla! look and feel that you all know. Notifications are smart and wont bother you with any messages unless an update is available for your template.
This new feature is a nice one! Usually after you download a template it will be customized to meet the requirements of your website. In this process you will change images, add some HTML or do CSS modifications here and there. When you are done, you upload the template and enjoy the website you have just build! But what about updating the template a few weeks or months later? Before applying any update you would need to know which images or files have been modified in order to merge them again with the files of the new template version. This is where the new "file verification" feature comes in! It quickly shows you all the modified and missing files in your template that differ from the version you got from our download section. Now you instantly know which files you have modified in your customization before you start updating your individual template with the new template version.
The update notifications and file verification features are included with every Warp 5.5 template we have, which by now are 22 in total! Today we have updated them to Warp framework version 5.5.6. But that's not all. We integrated some new, exclusive features into Warp 5.5.6 which only our newest Air template and future templates will make use of: New Joomla overrides!
New Joomla Overrides
Based on our famous Joomla template overrides we reworked them and created new ones. Why, you may ask? We developed our old overrides back in December 2008. Since then a lot has happened. We dropped IE6 support and HTML5 and CSS3 are around the corner. So we thought it was time for an update to match the latest web standards and capabilities of modern browsers. We optimized and squeezed the HTML markup, so it lost some weight. It is very lightweight and CSS classes are used advisedly. We also had HTML5 in mind so an update in the future with the new HTML5 semantic tags will be done smoothly. But the main part happened in the CSS. The system.css, formerly known as joomla.css, is completely rewritten from scratch. We make use of some new CSS 2.1 selectors, which are supported by all major browsers. This results in really lightweight and clean CSS. You will notice the improvements of the new overrides when you take a look at the details. For example the breadcrumbs are using the strong tag for the current page and the default Joomla pagination has a nice new style. But one of the real highlights is the completely rewritten new search box.
New Search Box
While developing the new overrides we came up with the idea to integrate our famous YOOsearch module into the Warp 5.5 framework by overriding the default Joomla search module. Now it is no longer needed to install the YOOsearch module. Instead you get Ajax powered real time search results just by using the default Joomla search module. So while typing your search query a result list will be displayed to you instantly right beneath the search field. To improve the usability of the new search box we've added keyboard support. You can now navigate through the search results using the Up and Down keys and hit Enter. Also the HTML markup is much lightweighter than in the old YOOsearch and we make use of a lot of CSS3. For example to give the search results a nice box shadow.
The new overrides and the new Ajax search are implemented in the Warp 5.5 framework like a library. So templates can make use of them but they don't have to. The new Air template and all future templates will use the new overrides while all the other Warp 5.5 templates are still using their own overrides. So you don't have to worry about anything!
Enjoy our new improvements to the Warp 5.5 framework and tell us what you think! More news about Warp 5.5 coming soon...