Home Classroom Joomla Creating a website using Joomla – Part 14

Creating a website using Joomla – Part 14

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Blog style view – Daily blogs

This Joomla layout override article shows you how to modify the blog style views for articles to show the “day” date above all the articles posted in the same day. After that, each article on the same day will just display the time they were posted as shown in the screenshot.

The steps are easy to follow or you can just download the files via the link at the end of the article.

We are going to do our layout override example on the “category” view in com_content – that’s the component that controls the way all your articles display on your site. We don’t want to modify the original files because we risk losing our changes each time we upgrade the Joomla source files. So what we do is copy the original blog layout file to a layout override folder in the default template you are using for your Joomla site, as follows:
Copy: /components/com_content/views/category/tmpl/blog_item.php

to: /templates/rhuk_milkyway/html/com_content/category/blog_item.php

Open the new blog layout override file, blog_item.php, in your favourite editor and change the top of the layout override file to the following:
<?php // no direct access
defined('_JEXEC') or die('Restricted access');

// Set up some variables
$fDate = JHTML::_('date', $this->item->created, '%B %d, %Y');

// Remember which dates we have used
if (!isset($this->usedDates)) :
$this->usedDates = array();
endif;

// Have we already shown it?
$showDate = !isset($this->usedDates[$fDate]);

// Now set that we've used it
$this->usedDates[$fDate] = true;
?>

What we are doing in this block is storing a new, formatted “day” date in the variable $fDate. You can change the way for date looks by changing the third argument. See the PHP Manual for strftime for other things you can add to the formatted date (you want to concentrate on the table with all the letters with a %-sign in front of them – it’s a bit weird but just go with it).

Next we are setting up an internal view variable called userDates to track the dates that we have displayed. After that we work out if we are to show the date and put that in a variable called $showDate.

To start putting this together, find <table> tag a few lines down. If we are displaying the date, we will be adding a new row to the table, as follows:

That will display the “day” date above the first article in the “day”.

Lastly we want to change the article date that is displayed to only show the time. Go down one hundred or so lines in the override file and find this line:
<?php echo JHTML::_('date', $this->item->created, JText::_('DATE_FORMAT_LC2')); ?>

You need to change it to this:
<?php echo JHTML::_('date', $this->item->created, '%H:%M %Z'); ?>

You can adjust any of the code in the layout override outlined above to suit your own requirements or your own template. Most templates won’t be displayed with in a table (generally considered bad form nowadays) so you won’t have to worry about putting the “day” date in a table row. Place it in a div or whatever other tag you are happy with. Likewise, change the h3 tag to whatever suits.

The Joomla “section” and “frontpage” views can also be altered in a similar fashion with separate layout override files. For best results you would use a single column display. It might look at bit weird in two or more columns. I’ve zipped all the Joomla layout override files for easy download. To install them, unzip the files into the /html/ folder in your default Joomla template. Remember to backup any files and folders that already exist (just in case).

Your valuable comments after reading this article will be highly appreciated. Also, if you have any issues in joomla you could email to harsha@vishmitha.com or Supporting Forum to get the assist.

The next article will discuss about Database in Joomla.

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Harsha Gomes is the Managing Director of Vishmitha.com and Winhost Inc. He is a past employee of CINTEC, Ministry of Economic Reforms&Science&Technology, Pathfinder Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, and Sannasa Media (Pvt) Ltd. He has experience in PHP,AJAX, Flex, HTML,CSS, Javascript, MySQL, Joomla, Payment Integration, Smarty, PHPBB, Magento, OS Commerce. He is an expert in developing websites using the CMS tool Joomla.

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