Whew…not only did I take a big leap today, I had to recreate the entire site. Yikes! Hopefully I won’t have to do that again. Tweaking the look is really not that hard; just have to know where to look. And the macros are pretty interesting…a lot of potential power. No doubt I want to set my kids up with departments and portfolio type links. My new quest is going to be to build the standard template. Just have to figure out what I want to have in it.

From Brian’s e-mail today, it seems much of it could be done in terms of the macros:

First, regarding your concern about getting a theme with the features that you want. I have really appreciated the customization that Manila offers. I think that you will see with the links featured below that Manila can be used for many different kinds of sites. Discussion is something that we have not wanted to spend time teaching our teachers how to use. We really want to be focused, first of all, on encouraging them to simply get content posted online. Even if I can get some to move to more of a “weblogging” method, Discussion may or may not be a part of that. Manila’s flexibility allows me to easily add or subtract that feature from any one site easily. I have removed the [Macro error: Can't evaluate the expression because the name "discussLink" hasn't been defined.]
macro from all of the themes that I have created. If a teacher gets interested in that feature, I will put it back in for that individual teacher. If I started getting a bunch of teachers wanting that and it became the norm, rather than the exception, I would create a theme that had that built into it and build sites using that theme instead. I’m very happy with the way that it works.

Hope so!