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Plugin and Theme Directory

Theme: Patrick v1.0.4

By Dan Wolfgang
Posted January 8, 2013, in Theme: Personal site.


Patrick is a theme for Melody (and Movable Type), sure, but it’s also more than that. With over 100 Theme Options, infinite color schemes, and “callback” fields, Patrick is a flexible theme framework that makes it easy to create a unique site from this one design.

  • Integration with Pictaculous to create a unique color palette. Within Theme Options > Color Palette, supply an image URL to the Source Image tab of the Pictaculous Palette field. Select an extracted palette then assign palette colors to named locations of the theme, creating a unique look for your blog.

  • Further individualize your site with fonts from the Google Web Fonts directory. In Theme Options > Design you can select a different typeface (the font name), variation (regular, bold, italic, bold italic), and size for the body text and headings.

  • A variety of design options to help individualize your blog: one, two, and three column layouts; control element transparency; Entry and Page meta display position; and home page carousel (with the jQuery Cycle plugin).

  • Facebook and Twitter integration. Facebook Commenting, Like button, and Recommendations social plugins along with Open Graph meta are included. The Twitter retweet button is also included.

See some screenshots! of the configuration options and examples, and see the theme in action on Dan & Sherree & Patrick.


Patrick works with Movable Type Open Source and Movable Type Pro 4.2+.

The version of jQuery supplied with Movable Type at [MT_HOME]/mt-static/jquery/jquery.js is old. So old, in fact, that the color palette picker and font picker in Theme Options won’t work. To resolve this, update the copy of jQuery. An updated copy of jQuery is supplied with Patrick; simply copy from plugins/Patrick/static/js/jquery.js to [MT_HOME]/mt-static/jquery/jquery.js.

This theme publishes some templates through the Publish Queue, so you’ll want to have run-periodic-tasks configured and running.


  • Config Assistant version 2.2.2 or greater (note that this version is newer than what comes with Melody 1.0.2)
  • Custom CSS
  • Theme Manager version 1.1.10 or greater (note that this version is newer than what comes with Melody 1.0.2)


The following plugins are required for the ability to publish other web site activity to entries:

The CleanSweep plugin is required to catch 404 File Not Found errors on your site and appropriately redirect them. This plugin uses the 404 page that is created when you apply the Patrick theme to a blog.

The following plugins are not required, but are useful plugins that I use to run


The Patrick theme is installed just like any other plugin in Melody. The [Easy Plugin Installation Guide][] provides detailed installation instructions.


Once Patrick is installed, create a new blog or assign the theme to an existing blog (go to the blog and choose Design > Theme Dashbaord, then Apply Theme).

Patrick has many, many Theme Options. Refer to the Theme Documentation (found in Theme Dashboard > Theme Documentation) for details of the options and how they interact with each other.

Designer and Developer Options

(Just want to use Patrick? Ignore this section. These capabilities are built in to Patrick and are documented for others to use.)

Patrick includes some new config types for Config Assistant that other theme designers and developers can use. The following is information for developers only; users of the theme don’t need to worry about the details below. The Patrick theme introduces two new Config Types:

  • pictaculous: Uses the Pictaculous service to create color palettes from a user-selected image. The user can then select a color palette from the returned palettes, then they can order the colors to customize a theme.

  • font: Users can select the typeface, size, and variation of a font (or any of those three options) from a predefined list.

Examples of these config types are shown below. Of course, you can also investigate this theme’s config.yaml to see these in action.


The pictaculous config type creates a field with three tabs of options:

  • Source Image: provides a text field where the user can paste the URL to an image.

  • Choose Palette: after specifying a URL to get colors, the found palettes are displayed. Here the user can select which palette they want to work with.

  • Order Colors: the selected color palette can be “mapped” to any named options to apply the colors from that palette. The user can simply drag and drop colors to create a unique look for their site.

A pictaculous field is created similar to how any other field is created:

    label: 'Pictaculous Palette'
    hint: 'Use the Pictaculous service to create a color palette from the image listed here.'
    type: pictaculous
    color_names: 'Background,Header,Column Background,Accent'
    default_colors: '#FFFFFF, #000000'
    tag: Pictaculous

The color_names key is unique to the pictaculous field type. This key should contain a comma-separated list of the named options a user can apply colors to, and are displayed in the Order Colors tab. A color palette from Pictaculous will provide five colors; color_names can contain any number of values, giving the user a chance to re-use colors, for example.

The default_colors key gives you an opportunity to supply some colors that the user may find useful, regardless of the colors found in the color palette they select. Obvious choices are black (#000000) and white (#ffffff).

To publish this field’s contents, notice that the tag has been appended with Palette, which gives access to the named colors found in a palette. The named colors are “dirified,” which means they are changed into something more “computer readable”: non-word/space characters are removed, spaces are changed to underscores, and the entire string is converted to lower-case, as in the following example:

    Background: <mt:Var name="background">
    Header: <mt:Var name="header">
    Column Background: <mt:Var name="column_background">
    Accent: <mt:Var name="accent">

Each variable outputs a hex value with a leading “#,” such as “#eba56a.” If the user has not explicitly set a value, then white (“#ffffff”) is output.

Alternatively, RGB values can be output using the format attribute, as in the example below. Valid values are rgb and hex.

<mt:PictaculousPalette format="rgb">
    Background: <mt:Var name="background">

When outputting RGB values, a comma-separated list is published (as in 123,123,123). This makes it easy to include alpha transparency values if required.


Specify font as the field type. You will also need to specify three other keys: typefaces, sizes, and variations, each of which contains a comma-delimited list of values. This field is actually storing the data as JSON. You can supply defaults, but you’ll need to carefully craft the JSON default text (note the escaped quotes).

    label: 'Body Text Font'
    hint: 'Select a typeface and variation to use for body text.'
    type: font
    typefaces: 'Arial, Georgia, Tahoma, Verdana'
    sizes: '14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28'
    variations: 'Regular, Bold, Italic, Bold Italic'
    preview: 1
    default: '"[{\"typeface\":\"Tahoma\",\"size\":\"15\",\"variation\":\"Regular\"}]"'
    tag: BodyText

Note that any combination of typefaces, sizes, and variations may be used. If you want to give your user the ability to adjust only the typeface and variation, for example, simply do not supply the size key.

The preview key is optional; include it to show a preview of the font selection. Note that the preview relies upon the selected font being available to the user.

To publish the selected values, use the field’s tag followed by Font, as in the following example:

<mt:BodyTextFont><mt:Var name="typeface"> <mt:Var name="size"> <mt:Var name="variation"></mt:BodyTextFont>


Movable Type versions: 4.3


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Dan Wolfgang

Dan is an engineering creative and uses his vast knowledge of the web to solve unique client problems with specialized solutions. Complex or straightforward, his focus is to find the most efficient, functional, elegant, and stable solutions for each project. 10 years in web engineering and 14 more in the print publishing industry give him a special insight to the needs, restrictions, and workflows of content publishers, both traditional and new media. Dan is an active Movable Type community member who has written and contributed to countless plugins including some of the most popular: More Custom Fields, Poll Position, and Asset Image Quality.

Twitter: @danwolfgang