Extreme Drupal Theming with PHPtemplate

Drupal's phptemplate is the most powerful, simple, and flexible templating/theming system on the planet*. Yet, it seems that the majority of drupal themers, (and wannabe drupal themers) are ignorant of its true power.

More disturbingly, vast numbers of people still insist that Joomla!, typo3, and wordpress's templating systems are easier, sexier, and slicker. These people are either loony, or wrong.

As an expert in PHPtemplate (isn't that scary), I've decided its my duty to show the true power of PHPtemplate to world.

Consider these tutorials, a proper (and steadily growing) introduction to drupal's templating system.

An Introduction: Dominating the User Login Form

In this first tutorial, you will learn how to:

  1. override the default presentation of the user login form, and create a custom template for it.
  2. pass an editable node into the user login form
  3. alter the form’s values (such as text, and instructions)
  4. make the form available to page.tpl.php — as though it was something as simple as a footer.

Moreover, I will show you how bloody simple it is. Folks who follow this tutorial should already have:

  1. knowledge of PHP
  2. the ability to lie about a lack of knowledge of PHP
  3. some familiarity of the kindergarden basics of drupal theming
  4. Be working with drupal 4.7+

Step One: Override the deafult user login form

Overriding is always done in the theme’s template.php file (if you don’t have a template.php file, you may create a it now). Obviously, before you can override anything, you must first locate what you are trying to override. The best way to do this is to search a module for the $form variable.

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