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Latest Gantry News

01Mar2010

Gantry 2.5 Released

With this months template we are rolling out the next major version of our Gantry framework, Gantry 2.5. All along we have really tried to make Gantry be as template neutral and as flexible as possible for any of our own templates, or any custom templates you develop with it. With Gantry 2.5 we are trying to make it very easy to upgrade Gantry itself without touching the template. We are also providing even more power to your gantry template installs with some enhanced control of how you apply template stylings to your Menu Items. There are even some expanded advanced levels of overrides for those of you developing your own templates based on Gantry.

Gantry 2.5 keeps all the old features of the previous versions of Gantry and has some good bug fixes for those features, but it also brings several new major features to the table.

Gantry as a Stand-Alone Library

One of the first things we wanted to do with Gantry 2.5 was split the Gantry framework itself out from the template and make it a library. We found that most of the fixes and enhancements we were doing were to the Gantry framework itself. What having Gantry as a stand alone library does is allows you to update gantry separately from the template itself. This also means that you can have multiple templates all using the same Gantry library and update them all at once.

To do a stand alone library in Joomla 1.5 we have to implement it as a Joomla component. When Joomla 1.6 comes along there will be a way to install libraries separate so Gantry will become a true Joomla library.

Getting set up for the stand alone Gantry library is very easy. If you are installing the a template that uses it all you have to do is install the templates bundle file. This includes the template and the stand alone Gantry lib and will install both at the same time. You can install the gantry_joomla_framework file separately just like any other component if you want just the library. Find out more...

Cascading Per Menu Item Parameters

One of the things we introduced in Gantry 2.0 was Per Menu Item specific control. With Gantry 2.5 we have expanded that to so that we now support inheriting template parameters from parent menu items, not just from the default settings. For example, setting a parent menu items background color would cascade the background color to all child menu items.

You can see what parameters are being inherited from parent menu items by looking for the inherited tag in the parameter blocks selection group. This tag will only show after you have Saved or Applied the settings to the parent. Find out more...

Advanced Template Overrides

Joomla Template developers are always trying to add new features which sometimes need new custom controls for template parameters (Elements in Joomla speak). The basic template can only use the default Joomla elements or place those custom elements in one location. Gantry provides many custom elements itself, so it was not easy for a template developer to add new ones. One of the things we have added to Gantry 2.5 is a template elements directory where a template developer can place their custom elements to have them used with the Gantry template parameters.

As well we have added template specific overrides for the simple Gantry Ajax system thats in place. You can create ajax-models and admin/ajax-models directories in your template and have the ability to use template specific ajax calls as well as the standard Gantry ones.

Gantry Availability in Normal HTML Overrides

In previous versions of Gantry the $gantry global could not be used in the normal html template overrides for things like com_content or mod_login. With Gantry 2.5 as long as you include the following lines in your override files you can access $gantry from anywhere and get access to all of the template parameters, add scripts and css, as well as any of the other features the main Gantry core provides.

{codecitation class="brush:php"} <?php require_once(JPATH_ROOT."/components/com_gantry/gantry.php"); ?> {/codecitation}

As you can see Gantry 2.5 provides some really nice features for the developer and the end user. Deep custom control of your sites look and feel as well as easy customization for a developer. All this and easy upgrade for everyone. This really makes Gantry 2.5 the best framework for Joomla template development out there.