I’m preparing a talk for JoomlaDay NYC on Alternative Layouts and Custom Menu Item Types. There had been so many posts on the joomla.org forum about these new capabilites of Joomla 1.6 and 1.7, and so many were complaining that the “feature” simply didn’t work, I was getting a bit worried about the presentation. I had proved them working back in the spring for a presenation at Joomla Day New England, but had things changed in the subsequent versions?
Finally last week I had a chance to put them all through their paces and the good news is that Alternative Layouts and Custom Menu Item Types DO indeed work — for all kinds of Joomla items: articles, contacts, weblinks, and category displays like blogs and lists.
The ONE Joomla entity where my template overrides (which worked) could not be turned into Alternative Layouts OR Custom Menu Item Types was the com_content layout for Categories.
I was trying to demonstrate using the sample data and the Parks Photo Gallery which is a demonstration of using regular articles to create a photo album of sorts. I didn’t like that the Categories layout said “Article count” for each sub-category and wanted to change that to “Image count”.
In the sample data, the menu item for the Parks Photo Gallery was set as a Categories list. When that didn’t work, I changed it to a Category list menu type and then applied my changes there. Since there was a menu item to the top level category I had to take the further step and create the custom menu item type and then use that for the menu. All well and good. A parameter allowed me to skip the verbage “There are no articles for this category” and proceed directly to listing the sub-categories with their Image counts.
It’s had me thinking about when you would ever need the Categories layout, since I was able to get the same results with the Category layout. Any ideas anyone? Please email me!