Andreas06 Theme released for Serendipity

I'm very pleased to announce the release of Andreas06 to the Serendipity community. Andreas06 is a conversion of the very popular OSWD template by Andreas Viklund. The theme features a breadcrumb trail, and a disappearing right column in detail view. Read more and download Andreas06. It will be added to Spartacus, and should be available over the next 48 hours.

And the winner is...

Carl Galloway

After a very intense "default theme competition" and voting period the last weeks, the winning theme has finally been found.

Carl Galloway has won the competition with his theme. He got 28 votes (5 extra votes through "commenting") and placed first. Second place is David Cummins with 20 votes (3 extra), and scoring last but not least is the proud myself with 19 votes. One vote has been cast on the old default design, for the record.

All three themes will be put into the final Serendipity 1.0 release, with Carl's theme being elected as the default theme. I think a wise decision has been made which puts Serendipity's look more up to par with what it can technically achieve.

Many, many thanks to the contributors of the themes for their enormous efforts complying with the harsh rules. Many thanks for the voters who took the time to constructively criticize the elected themes.

A small "elite group" consisting of Carl, David, Judebert, Jannis and me will now be going through the template and checking minor details and making some adjustments to the design before we release the 1.0 final release. We will not be able to uphold the February 15th release, but keep your heads up for a soon release.

The winning theme can still be seen on

Have fun, Garvin

Theme Contest Closed! View the submissions!

The Serendipity Theme Contest has closed the announced deadline.

Three templates were submitted, by Carl Galloway, David Cummins and Garvin Hicking. They can be viewed for public display (frontend and backend) on

You can VOTE ON THE FORUMS, if you are a registered user to that forum. If you are not, please just drop your vote there as a reply to the entry or as a comment on the blog above. I will collect votes on all three places. You MUST post either your realname or your blog URL for a vote to be officially cast, to prevent duplicate votes. A statement like "I vote for Carl Galloways Design, my name is John Doe" or "I vote for David Cummins Design and my blog is" will suffice.

Several participants of the contest mailed me privately that they were unable to meet the deadline anytime soon, and to have the same chances for everyone, the contest has not been delayed. I hope, those announced themes will be put online in the future.

The theme with the highest vote count will be used as the new default template. If vote counts for two templates are the same, a run-off ballot will be made.

Have fun browsing through the submissions. Your oppinion is highly appreciated!

New Template: Ladybug

Ladybug is a Search Engine Optimized, content-first template. It is built around a ladybug theme, as the name implies, so expect lots of pink, with red and black splashes.

Besides putting the content before the sidebars (so search engines give your content greater value), Ladybug includes some nice finishing touches: drop shadows, themed archive bars, and rounded corners for Mozilla FireFox users. I like it, but of course, I made it.

Ladybug is available through SPARTACUS.

Theme Contest!

Hello fellow Serendipity Users!

The time for releasing Serendipity 1.0 is coming close. What we are now in desperate need of, is a pretty and nice looking new default theme to make Serendipity more distinct and pretty, to visually underline the flexibility and large featureset of the Serendipity Blog. This theme shall replace the current "Serendipity v2.3" Theme that is shipped with Serendipity.

Because of this, we want to have a Serendipity Theme Contest. Designers can submit their designs to us, and we will display them to the public for voting on them. Since Serendipity is an Open Source project without any funding, we cannot offer commercial benefits. But we will of course fully credit your work for display within the Theme, and publically announce the winning theme properly.

We want to schedule the release of Serendipity 1.0 for February 15th. Designers will have time until February 7th, and then the voting starts until February 14th. Once the theme is chosen without dispute, we will include it for the release. If there are any technical problems with the winning design, the release date might get rescheduled, though. Our primary goal is to have a stable and nice Serendipity, so we will bend any scheduling to adjust to that.

Having said this, these are the the "rules":

  1. The new theme must be unique. It may not be a 1:1 port of existing themes. It must be BSD licensed.
  2. The new theme should create a visual distinction of Serendipity, but preserve the template association with Serendipity. People who see that theme should not confuse it with themes that are distinct for other blog applications.
  3. You are free to choose whatever colors are fit. Beware though, that the somewhat etablished colors of Serendipity are blue-greyish.
  4. The new theme should consist of a Frontend and Backend visual style (or play well with the current default Backend style). Frontend customizations can be done using any technique you like (Smarty, JavaScript, CSS). Backend customizations can only be done via CSS styling (themes/default/admin/style.css).
  5. Creating a new logo for Serendipity is not yet part of the deal. We are looking for a default theme to be distributed with Serendipity, so it should be a style that people can use on their own blog without giving the impression that it is the official Serendipity Blog.
  6. The new theme shall pay attention to be accessible and not require JavaScript for important operations. It shall be cross-browser compatible (MSIE, Firefox, Opera, Safari) and validate as XHTML (Transitional at least). The main CSS should also validate; any additional and browser specific CSS codes are not required to be validatable.
  7. Many Themes depend on the default theme, so it needs to be considered that important HTML selectors (.serendipity_entry, .serendipity_entry_date) etc. are only changed in a way that is backwards compatible. You are allowed to change the Smarty .tpl files any way you see fit.
  8. Plugins that output HTML (like: Categories, Syndication, Calendar, Static Pages...) should still work fine in the new default theme.
  9. Standard HTML styles such as code, acronym, bold etc should be supported in the stylesheet if the browser default isn't acceptable (in particular the code tag is often reduced in size to become unreadable)
  10. All images including media manager images, emoticons, xml buttons and just plain images inserted into posts or the sidebar should work as expected - the danger is in assuming the browser will adequately deal with images but often margins and paddings change and if this isn't tested weird results can show up after the theme is released.

We know this are certainly many rules listed, but when reading through them you will find most of them very clear. The Serendipity Project has always well cared about backwards compatibility, integration and valid markup - and so it shall continue in the future.

The future goal of the new default template is to create a unique variation that will be used for the official Serendipity Blog, and to apply a similar theme to the Serendipity Wiki.

But for now: Let the fun begin! Questions will be answered here. Send your final designs in ZIP or TGZ format to Garvin: serendipity{@}supergarv{.}de. It would be nice that if you intend to submit a theme, that you tell me via mail about that, so that we can see how many people are working on it and if the deadline is sufficiently set.

Technical help about theming can be found on our Forums or in the Technical Documentation.

Update #1 - Rule #7 has been bent a little. It was formerly suggested to only make minor modifications to the Smarty files.