Free Themes for Plone 3
There are several tens of free Themes available in Plone, all gathered on plone.org under visual themes category. Although the number of Plone themes is rather big, their quality leaves much to be improved. Most of these themes seem to be too simple and not nice enough. There even exists a perception that the only thing that can be done to a Plone site theme is to change the color of the tabs.
Besides, most of available Plone themes were developed for previous Plone releases and they are not compatible with the latest Plone 3 release. The reason of such small number of Plone 3 themes is that their development in Plone 3 became a bit more complicated than it used to be in previous Plone releases. This has slowed down theme development process. As a result, the amount of themes, available for Plone 3, decreased to only 13, three of which are not stable releases, just in alpha development state.
There are such Plone themes developed for Plone 3 by:
- Oberon / Tom-Wilkin Martinussen
- Alexandr Limi / Cornelis Kolbach
- David Convent
- Grieg Medialog / Espen Moe-Nilssen
- Alteroo / David Bain
- Busy City Theme (alpha)
- redomino / Fabrizio Reale
- Italian Skin (XHTML Strict) (alpha)
- Simon Kaeser
- Plone Tableless (alpha)
One more thing worth mentioning is a great number of Plone themes done for commercial purposes. It is natural that a lot of Plone development work is done for certain clients, thus a lot of nice and sophisticated themes are not available for Plone users for free. So, most Plone skins are more client-specific and are less able to be shared to the general downloading public. In this way Plone is a step behind other open source projects/communities.
These and other Plone 3 themes problems, raised by Veda in his Thoughts on championing OOTB themes, should undoubtedly be solved. The major suggestions concerning Plone themes improvement are the following:
- plone.org visual themes category should be restructured, a dedicated theming section should be created
- available themes should be divided into 2.5 and 3.0 only, while a link to other theming resources should be in the docs section
- visual change should be done, so
that thumbnails illustrating what the skins look like appear
There was a special project initiated on OpenPlans - OOTB Plone Themes, aimed to increase the number of themes that ship with Plone and track additional ideas that might improve the Plone Theme story for implementation at the same time or a later date.
We hope that the situation with Plone themes quantity and, that is even more important, their quality will improve soon.
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