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Frequently Asked Question #176. What are the different style layer types?

S2 was designed from the ground up to allow a much-increased level of flexibility when customizing your journal. Because of this, the structure of a custom style in S2 is different from that of S1.

S2 styles are composed of "layers". Each layer in a S2 style deals with a different aspect of the style, including color, translation, and HTML options and settings. A complete S2 style is the result of putting its different layers together for use.

See a basic list of definitions that are used in S2
To become familiar with the various layers available to you in S2, go to the Advanced Customization area and click on "Public Layers". You will be presented with a page that lists all of the available system layers, starting with the Core Layer.

Core Layers

The Core Layer is the center of S2. This layer defines all of the most commonly used data types (such as integer, string and boolean variables), properties (colors, text, and presentation options), classes (pages, journal views, entries, comments) and functions. All other layers inherit the functionality of the Core Layer.

The Core Internationalization Layer defines how text properties and date/time formats, among other things in the Core Layer, would be displayed in a different language.

Layout Layers

A Layout Layer combines the functionality from the Core Layer and the relevant Core Internationalization Layer to create the pages people see when they visit your journal. A single Layout Layer controls all of the views of your journal: the Recent Entries view, the Friends view, the Calendar view, the Day view, the Month view, and your individual comment pages.

You can define a custom set of properties in your Layout Layers, which can then be configured via the basic Customize Journal area. Because of this, once your Layout Layer is completed, you may never have to change it again — you can change your customizations by altering your Theme Layers and your User Layers.

Each Layout Layer can have up to three different types of child layers. For examples, click on any of the "children..." links on the Public Layers page.

A Layout Internationalization Layer performs many of the same functions as the Core Internationalization Layer, but it is specific to your personal Layout Layer. This allows you to make your Layout available in different languages to other users. For example, if your Layout Layer has an Internationalization Layer beneath it which converts everything to German, then users who have selected German as their preferred language on the Display tab of the My Account Settings page will see your navigation links, custom text, etc. in German, without any additional configuration on their part.

Theme and User Layer

A Theme Layer is used to set properties or override functions from the Layout Layer. Any defined Theme Layer "children" can be chosen from within the Customize area. → Using a theme layer

The User Layer is the layer in which all Layout-specific options, configured via the Customize Journal area, are saved. A layer of this type will automatically be created for the user upon saving their Individual Customizations. Although User Layers can be created manually, they should not include functions or properties other than what is available in the Customize area. If you create a User Layer that contains additional properties or functions, this additional information will be lost the next time you customize your journal. Instead, you should use a Theme Layer for this type of customization.

Further Reading

Last Updated: November 15th, 2011

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