In a major change, we are getting away with multiple styles concept and implementation in JV-LinkDirectory from version 5.12. We will no more have multiple styles like default, modern and software. Instead we are replacing all of them with one single and global "Layout", which will render the front-end output for the directory. As in Styles, the layout will have specific CSS and PHP files that render it's output.
There are multiple benefits of this change to both customers and our technical team. For customers, you dont have to purchase additional styles if you like a certain link block style of default or modern or software. In 5.12 version, there are no styles anymore. Instead the layout provides an option to choose a specific link block design. 3 designs are provided of now. These include those that you had in default, modern and software styles earlier. So if you are a user who used modern style earlier, then you can visit the backend and select "modern" as the link block design for your layout. All 3 designs will be available for selection.
Similarly for the listing detail page, you can now decide if you want to use tabs (horizontal) or sections (vertical) sub layout. Tabs was the design used in default and software styles earlier, while the modern style had the vertical flow layout. With 5.12 you can now switch to whichever sub layout you want without having to buy new styles. As before you can continue to decide the order of tabs or sections.
Additionally, you can also decide the size of the star rating images for your link blocks and detail pages, which was pre-determined on the style you used earlier.
With this change, there will no more be options to duplicate a style or install or uninstall styles. These have been removed in 5.12. Instead we will have a "Layout Manager" where you can create overrides for php files of the layout, and also edit your custom.css which can host your customized css definitions.
This change is expected to simplify the usage of the product to a great extent. For us, it means no effort to maintain parity across styles, while still maintaining the ability to override the styles and allow customers to customize the output as they wish. This also means that we can introduce more new features much faster in the future.
We are eager to know what you think about this change. Do let us know with your comments. If you are an existing customer of JV-LinkDirectory and want to participate in the beta testing of 5.12 version, then you may please indicate so @ Blog