Challenges with Columns in Hubzilla & Redbasic
After playing with Hubzilla and the default redbasic theme, I have noticed that it forces you into a certain layout (unless you want to rewrite the whole thing).Column 1 (sidebar)
- Appears on the left for desktop, and slides in from the left on mobile. It cannot be switched to the right side, since it breaks the mobile view. You also cannot resize this column because it breaks mobile.Column 3 (rightsidebar)
- Appears on the right for desktop, and is completely inaccessible on mobile and tablets. Column 2 - Main Content
- Appears in the middle of the page, to the left of the sidebar.
So, when I tried to create a theme with a narrow bar on the left side, and tried to move the main sidebar to the right, it messed everything up, and I found that I would have to rewrite a huge chuck of functionality just to get it to work. (This is why the Neuhub Red Dash Theme is taking so long, if you are wondering.) That, and the learning curve that came along with learning Hubzilla and theming.
Since I am right-handed and am building content-focused websites, I prefer the content to be in the first major column, and the navigation to be on the right of the content.
Another challenge is that the notification widget can only appear once on the page. If you are designing different mobile and desktop layouts, this makes it harder to move around. You can't just say "on mobile, appear in column 1, and on desktop, appear in column 3" using Bootstrap's display properties
, for example.
I am sure there is some fancy CSS that allows this, and the latest version of Bootstrap added a new feature where content can become an offcanvas sidebar on mobile
. This would solve that problem, but, again, would require rewriting the basic functionality that redbasic provides.
There are work arounds though. Since I can't move the sidebar column from the right to the left, I could design it so that the widgets and content appear in different places based on whether you are looking at mobile, tablet, or desktop.
In a way, it is too bad that the first theme that I wanted to create was a right-side main sidebar theme. Since redbasic is not compatible with this layout, you have to rewrite almost everything to get it to work. Whereas any left-side main sidebar theme would be relatively easy to make using redbasic as its base.