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-   -   Troubleshooting a Joomla Template (http://p2p.wrox.com/book-joomla-start-finish-how-plan-execute-maintain-your-web-site/78596-troubleshooting-joomla-template.html)

jbennett March 17th, 2010 02:32 PM

Troubleshooting a Joomla Template
I've working with a custom template, which I built following the directions in Chapter 13.

The template includes some custom module positions, such as:

<jdoc:include type="modules" name="footernav" style="xhtml" />

When I try to place a module, though, I'm not seeing these custom positions. Instead I'm seeing the positions (e.g., user1, user2) found in the milkway template, even though that template isn't active. I'm not being given the choice to place a module in the positions I've defined.

Anyone have any ideas? Is there something I'm overlooking?


jbennett March 17th, 2010 02:57 PM

<position> tag
I think I figured out the problem. In addition to the other content described on pp. 260-262, the templateDetails.xml file should include a <position> tag for each position defined in the index.php file. Details are here:


jen4web March 29th, 2010 11:06 AM

Yes, that's right
The module positions dropdown in Joomla is populated by the positions you specify in the XML file.

NOTE: Even though it's a dropdown, you CAN type right in the dropdown and specify a new module position that may not be in the XML file. That's some of the worst usability out there... but there you go!

ALSO NOTE: Creating module positions is done by the jdoc:include code, NOT by anything having to do with the XML file. You could create 10 positions in your template but not specify anything in the XML. The result would be that the dropdown may not be populated with any positions (assuming this was the only template in use on your site). However, you could type them in as they occur.

If you add a module position to your template later (either by editing your template or via the loadposition plugin, pages 175-177), you do NOT need to re-edit the XML file to include that position.

Hope this helps clarify.


jbennett April 8th, 2010 05:07 PM

Template Disabling Editing Functions in TinyMCE
Hi Jen,

Thanks for your answer to my earlier question about the templateDetails.xml file.

I've built a pretty simple template to support a main horizontal navigation bar, along with section-specific navigation bars on the left.

Problem: When I load this template, then log in to the front-end of Joomla, TinyMCE loses all its WYSIWYG buttons, and when I click on Save in TinyMCE, nothing happens.

When I switch back to the MilkyWay and log in, TinyMCE works fine.

Any idea what I'm doing in my template that could be disabling TinyMCE this way? I've looked in the main Joomla forum, but haven't found much.


jen4web April 8th, 2010 05:17 PM

I haven't seen that particular problem before, but my guess would be that you don't have a link to the Joomla built in stylesheet:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="/templates/system/css/system.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/templates/system/css/general.css" type="text/css" />
Try that and see if it works. My thinking is that it's the formatting of TinyMCE that's broken rather than any actual TinyMCE functionality itself. (The functionality works since it works in MilkyWay.)

Let me know how it turns out --

jbennett April 8th, 2010 05:47 PM

TinyMCE issue

Thanks for the quick response. I've was calling the general.css file, but not the system.css file. I'm now calling both. Alas, no luck.

(By the way, the code examples on pp. 256-259 don't mention the system.css file.)

Here's the code for my main text area:


  <div id="mainContentColumn">
  <jdoc:include type="modules" name="user2" style="xhtml" />
  <jdoc:include type="message" /><jdoc:include type="component" />
        <!-- end #mainContentColumn --></div>
        <!-- This clearing element should immediately follow the #mainContent div in order to force the #container div to contain all child floats --><br class="clearfloat" />

Everything look OK there?


jen4web April 8th, 2010 07:52 PM

Do you have the URL for the site?
Probably time to look at the site -- either post the URL or email it to me. Go to www.4webinc.com and send it to me on the contact form.


jen4web April 9th, 2010 02:22 PM

For those of you following this thread...
... John sent me his login info for the site and I took a look around.

This was a neat new problem I've never seen before, but caused by such a simple, innocuous mistake!

Instead of:

<jdoc:include type="head" />

He had:

<jdoc:include type='head' />

Anyone see the difference? It should be double quotes, but he had single quotes.

The single quotes blew up all of the TinyMCE editing on the front end, but TinyMCE still worked fine on the back end.

So -- double quotes!

Thanks for a great question, John.

jbennett January 13th, 2011 03:53 PM

Extra space on home page
Hi Jen,

I have one follow-up question regarding a template I asked about before.

On the site www.sierrainstitute.us, why is Joomla adding extra white space above the first article on the home page?

There's less space below the breadcrumbs on other pages on the site. Same template, of course, for all the pages. I can't figure what's creating this gap on the home page.

Any ideas?


jen4web January 13th, 2011 04:05 PM

John -- looks like on the home page only, your right column is showing up:

<div id="sidebar-right">

Not sure if you have something enabled for the home page? Double check your modules and make sure they're all disabled for the home page of the site.

If you put a (debugging) border around the id of sidebar-right, you'll see that div pushing the content down the page on the home page. It's not present on your other pages.


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