Matt Thomas talks about the Construct Template Framework [VIDEO]

Matt Thomas talks about the Construct Template Framework [VIDEO]

In this video, Matt Thomas talks about his Construct template development framework for Joomla.

Matt won the J.O.S.C.A.R.S award at the J and Beyond 2011 conference for Construct.

Construct Unified is the first template development framework that works alike in Joomla! 1.5, 1.6, the Molajo Joomla 1.6 distribution, and Nooku Server, allowing for a seamless transition of your template. It fuses the power of Construct Pro with new features for unparalleled flexibility.

As with all versions of Construct, Construct Unified doesn't rely on WYSIYG editors or new interfaces. It provides a flexible and powerful foundation for the rapid development of one-of-a-kind templates. A few lines of CSS is all that is needed to create a unique template, expand it further by overriding the core layout and styles on a dynamic basis.

Matt says in the interview:

"A lot of template developers and designers are using Construct because in the past they’ve used other frameworks and they find themselves kind of tearing them down, and so the difference is with Construct is you build it up in your own personal direction so it provides a foundation for a development. It takes care of probably 95%, 90% of the general work we do every time with a template, so it leaves the fun stuff to you, like custom and creative stuff."

Below the video you will find a transcript of the video, created by the friendly people over at The Transcription People.

The images taken by David Deutsch are used with permission, thanks David!

Transcript

My name is Matt Thomas, I’m from Connecticut, United States.  I am more formally known as BetweenBrain – that’s the name of my company.  I’ve been doing web consultancy since the year 2000, discovered the Joomla Project in 2006; 2007 started getting involved in the Joomla community.  I’ve since then joined the Joomla Bug Squad where I became the Automated Testing Leader and work on patches and bugs and that kind of fun stuff.

I’ve also since then started development in January 2009 of the Construct template development framework and I also am part of the Molajo Joomla, now the Joomla based application since we’re going down a slightly different route.  

A lot of people are asking about what Construct does; the biggest thing is really more what Construct doesn’t do, and that’s what a lot of people are surprised about, ‘cause Construct is a template development framework – it’s really intended for developers and designers, people who are building one-of-a-kind custom Joomla templates.  It’s code based, there are no wizzy wigs, there are no customer interfaces.  However, the simplest implementation is you need to write a few lines of CSS that represent your unique styles.

Everything else is already taken care of by Construct; we’re talking browser resets, typography sizing, layouts, logic, the actual, the base layout of the template is 40 module positions using HTML5 inspired Symantec names, so everything is fairly intuitive like ‘Header Above’, ‘Header Below’, ‘Column 1, 2, 3, 4’ so you don’t need a visual map to figure out where everything goes.  And the way Construct works that you can write that custom style sheet with just the unique styles and you’re done or, if you want to take it further you can actually override the core layout and create a custom layout for the entire template globally.  You can also override the layout on a category level, component level, menu item and article level.  So you can have alternate layouts of the same template dynamically loading on these different levels.  You can also do the same thing with dynamically added custom style sheets, so on a category component, menu item, article level, you can have varying styles automatically loading.

Some other cool features of Construct is that it has built in mobile device detection and it will load a mobile version of the template as a mobile offline view; it all starts with a very basic CSS view with just the core essential page elements, and that is progressively enhanced with Jcrew mobile for modern devices, it also has tablet support.  The detection script is written by a gentleman by the name of Anthony Hand from the Mobile ESP Project and it detects a whole variety of devices, not just your standard modern devices, but it detects a lot of the outliers.  Google TV, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, a lot of the outliers, so they can all get the mobile view if you’d like them to.

Basically a lot of template developers and designers are using Construct because in the past they’ve used other frameworks and they find themselves kind of tearing them down, and so the difference is with Construct is you build it up in your own personal direction so it provides a foundation for a development. It takes care of probably 95%, 90% of the general work we do every time with a template, so it leaves the fun stuff to you, like custom and creative stuff. 

We’re currently working on some HTML5 versions.  One of the contributors, Babs Gösgens, she’s a Construct user, she’s working on a version for MageBridge.  Christina Solana is working with me on the HTML5 version, so we’re trying to make these different versions and everything is set up so we can just drop a file in place and you’re done.

So, it’s pretty simple to use.  I am overwhelmed and overjoyed to be a JAB 2011 J.O.S.C.A.R.S Winner.  I’m honestly, I find it hard to believe that it’s that calibre, that it could win that category, but I’m just thoroughly honoured and I really have to thank the Joomla community for that because it’s the feedback I get from everybody that makes it what it is; it’s my users and it’s the continual push from developers saying, “We love the feature set, don’t dare add another thing.” 

So thank you very much and you can find me online at BetweenBrain, on Twitter @betweenbrain.  Construct is available at joomlaengineering.com, it’s also part of the Molajo Joomla based application. The Molajo version of Construct is on GitHub, so feel free to fork it, do whatever you want, put in polo crests, collaborate – upstream contributions are always welcome – and go from there.  Thanks a lot.

matt-thomas-nicholas-johan-winners
Matt Thomas with Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos and Johan Janssens after the J.O.S.C.A.R.S. 2011 awards ceremony at Kerkrade, The Netherlands.
Read 5051 times Originally published on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:00
Last modified on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 21:56
 
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