QUOTE (LisaA @ Nov 13 2010, 12:30 PM)
Thank you both for your responses. I am finding that Avactis is very powerful and configurable but I would not consider it "designer friendly" at least to the "visual designer" as it is touted to be simply because everything is configured within the code not visually. Fortunately, I don't mind getting my hands dirty and getting into the code. It is said that you can use Dreamweaver or Expression Web to open the templates but that is misleading because all you really see is the code anyway so you might as well open it in notepad and edit the code from there... unless of course I've missed something.
I remember the frustration that came from having to re-learn how to best use Dreamweaver to edit the cart. The first thing I had to realize was that going directly to a template would not initiate the program, so even in Live view, there is no way to render the page. Dreamweaver CS4 will faithfully render all of the pages in the root in Live View. I've used it to track down the CSS cascade to make edits. CS5 is a big leap beyond CS4 in that it does a good job of identifying ALL of the related files used to render the page. A quick click opens the related file in split view. So, you can make edits and immediately see the impact in the live view rendering. Clicking on any navigation in live view opens that page with its related files, so you can continue with edits.
That being said, I have decided to take an existing template and modify it to look like my site rather than taking pieces or blocks of code and inserting it into my existing site for fear of missing needed blocks of code. I found that besides having to add <codebox><?php include('/home/user/public_html/store/init.php'); ?></codebox> to the top of my pre-existing php pages :Pyou also have to add <codebox><?php include(getTemplateFileAbsolutePath('/pages/templates/part.header.tpl.html')); ?></codebox> to the header so that the css files will work correctly. I don't believe this was in the manual, after much frustration I found this little tidbit in the forums.
If your existing pages are outside of the store's installation directory, you do have to tell the browser where to find init.php. The manual assumes that your pages will be in the store's root. In that case <?php include('init.php');?> is correct. The path that you gave may not be accurate for all server and hosting setups.
The part.header.tpl.html is used to combine all of the individual css into an array. It creates the style.combined.uniqueidentifier.css that you'll find in the css folder. The purpose is to increase the speed of page loads. Depending upon how your existing pages are structured and styled, you may choose to include only some of the theme's css files.
I don't have time right now to address your questions. I'll stop back when I have time.
Now for a few questions.
1) Cache - After modifing, uploading, using the admin to clear cache, I have several style.combined.00fa0738903e...css files in my css directory. I realize these are the combined css files, why do they continue to add up? Is there a setting that clears the css cache after a certain period of time? Can these be deleted? Also, speaking of cache, I read some place about the store/avactis-styem/cache directory... do we need to do anything with this?
2) CSS - Within the CSS files, in several instances I have seen the same exact css formatting repeated within the the same css file. I realize that the formatting can be in other files depending upon what is used but why duplicate formatting in the same file? What is the purpose for this?
3) Top Menu - Within the admin control panel under Content > Links & Menus there is the top_menu. I have created a new menu called top_menu_left but can't seem to figure out how to get this to display. I have tried adding <div class="top_user2">#top_menu_left#</div> but it doesn't work. How would I go about adding the new menu to my template?
4) Left Categories Menu - In the left column there is the tabbed categories/products menu and then the list of categories under that. If I want to display all of my categories as well as the products underneath those categories without having to click on the category name, is there a setting for this? If I would like to have multiple tabbed boxes, a new box for each category with it's products displayed underneath, instead of one tabbed box, with categories and then subcategories, is this possible?
Many more to follow, I'm sure