[V. 9] Theming is too complicated and is constrained to programmers. – Designers, Website builders, Agencies are left out

We are a small design agency doing small and medium sized websites. We have a good working knowledge of technologies like JS, CSS, PHP, mySQL etc. – building a theme and maintaining a site in version 8 was easy.

Now, with v.9 it takes a lot of technical skills to develop a new bedrock theme using webpack, npm etc. Everytime a theme is changed, SCSS and JS files need to be recompiled with a local development setup like WAMP. No more easy CSS editing or JS tuning on a remote site.

Users, such as graphic designers, website builders etc. who are not familiar with the entanglements of programming, loose the flexibility and therefore also creativitiy when creating a new theme.

We greatly suggest having an option of consolidating assets in the dashboard or a similar approach of making the design with concreteCMS easier.

The main reason leaving Drupal and using Concrete5 was having the maximal freedom in the design process.

I fear that concrete v.9 is leaving a bunch of designers out in the cold.

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@cedrey I have a lot of sympathy with your viewpoint.

We’ve just built our first version 9 theme and ended up making only minimal use of Bedrock and returning to something closer to our normal build process. The problem for us being the removal of CSS Javascript Cache - there’s a discussion on Github regarding this and I’m hopeful there will be a way to have this feature added back.

Perhaps you could add your views to the discussion here:

It’s worth remembering that version 9 is still at a very early stage. I’m sure that as it matures early issues will be ironed out, documentation extended/improved and best practices will evolve.

There are many improvements and great new features in version 9 and I certainly wouldn’t want to have to build and theme the sites we do now in Drupal!

Keep making your feelings known - it’s good to get a balance of designer and developer voices here.

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Hey Cedrey

Our Web Agency sounds very muck like yours. However, I think your issue is not CMS specific. I think improvement to your development process might be needed. Our agency has been using the SASS version of Bootstrap for all our custom build themes for years. So we switched to using task runners (Gulp/Webpack ) to do our SASS, JS and CSS compiling in Concrete CMS.

Our designers only needed to understand Concrete CMS and do basic site editing. Requiring them to do custom theme development would be a disservice to them. That been said after playing with V8 vs V9 the only major change I see in theme development is using Bedrock and the switch to SASS. But like @katalysis said voice your opinions in one of the threads for the core team to see. I’m sure it will be welcomed.