NearDawn Template

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NearDawn is a 'drop-in' alternative for Template 8 that provides a more interesting color palette, more legible fonts, conserves space better, and comes with a number of useful features that support customization without changing any PHP code. Mom and Dad Side links from Template 8, surname clouds from Template 12, and scrollable content sections can all be customized in template settings or turned off entirely. The template is internationalized and supports Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish out-of-the-box.

The designer's own genealogy site, Lindell-Herndon Genealogy, uses a variant of NearDawn that incorporates ad banners and his own custom footers.


Bill Herndon


v12.0.0.3a for TNG 12.0 through 13.0.
v10.1.0.3a for TNG 10.1.0 through 11.1.2.

An incompatibility exists between the NearDark and NearDawn templates and TNG versions after 13.0 (i.e., 13.0.2 and 13.0.3). Named, rather than numbered, templates that use the pre-TNG 12 naming style for their root directory, are no longer loaded by page admin_templateconfig.php. Consequently, those templates cannot have their parameter values changed, and cannot be activated. Please page down to the Compatibility section for a temporary fix.


Installing in TNG 12

TNG 12 makes a change to how template configuration parameters are stored. Rather than using a file, parameters are stored in the TNG database. Consequently, a method of loading template data into the database is needed. The Template Manager mod is used for this purpose. NearDawn for TNG 12 also requires an appropriate version of the NearD Support mod. To install NearDawn in TNG 12 follow these steps:

  1. Download and unzip NearD Support v12.0.0.3 (or later) and install it using the the Mod Manager.
  2. Download and and unzip the Template Manager and install it using the Mod Manager.
  3. Download the NearDawn .zip file (v12.0.0.3a or later) and unzip the template to your TNG templates folder.
  4. Using the administration screen Setup => Templates to choose NearDawn in Templates Available and click Load.
  5. Choose NearDawn and activate it.

Upgrading to TNG 12

TNG users upgrading to TNG 12 from previous releases can continue to use NearDark and NearDawn by following this procedure:

  1. Copy your templateconfig.php to a location outside of the TNG directory prior to the upgrade.
  2. Uninstall the NearD Support mod. (This may require a 'cleanup', but since you'll be restoring the templateconfig.php file momentarily, it doesn't matter.
  3. Copy the templateconfig.php file you saved in step 1 back to the TNG directory.
  4. Continue with a normal TNG 12 upgrade. (The TNG upgrade will read the templateconfig.php file as part of the upgrad and install all of the template parameters, including parameters from NearDawn and NearDark.)
  5. Install NearD Support v12.0.0.3 (or later). This version of the support mod will add the appropriate template functionality without making changes to the templateconfig.php file.

Installing in TNG 10.1.0 through 11.1.2

The support mod NearD Support makes all the required changes to templateconfig.php and the language support files without editing. Left-side icon/link clustering, which used to be supported by the Icon Gravity mod, is included as part of NearD Support. Follow these installation steps:

  1. Download the NearDawn .zip file and unzip the template to your TNG templatesfolder.
  2. Download and unzip NearD Support v10.1.0.3 and install it using the Mod Manager.
  3. Using the administration screen Setup => Templates to choose NearDawn and activate it.


Mom's Side / Dad's Side Links

This is same feature supported by Template 8 but with the ability to turn it on and off from template settings. The heading for each can also be set in template settings.

Surname Cloud

This is the same feature supported by Template 12. The number of surnames displayed can be set in template settings, and the feature can also be turned on or off. When turned off, the template will recalculate distances so that the home page maintains the same approximate size. The default number of surnames is 40, and the template is sized to handle up to 50 surnames when scrollable content (see below) is turned on.

Scrollable Content

By default, this feature is turned on and causes the index page's three main content sections to scroll their content while maintaining a maximum size. Turning the feature off in template settings will cause the page height to accommodate all content without scrolling.

Three-part Headers

Three-part headers from Template 8 are supported.


NearDawn is fully localized for Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish out-of-the-box, and many page items can be changed by the user. For example the 'Site Menu' has default settings for each of the supported languages, but these can be changed by the user in template settings.

NearDark Palette

For a color palette that more closely resembles Template 8, but with all the features, check out NearDark.



NearDawn-home.jpg   NearDawn-indi.jpg

(Click for full size views.)

Template 8

Template8-1.jpg   Template8-2.jpg


  • A working TNG installation (10.1.0 - 12.0).
  • The support mod NearD Support for functions supporting icon clustering and internationalization (TNG 10.1.0 - 12.0)
  • The mod Template Manager for installing the template's parameters in the TNG database (TNG 12.0).


TNG v9.0 and Earlier

Unlike the previous version, this version of NearDawn probably won't work with TNG r9. The template should, however, be mobile compatible, but if you find any issues, especially on mobile devices, please let me know.

TNG v13.0.2 and v13.0.3

A short term fix for the compatibility issue between the NearDark and NearDawn templates and TNG versions after 13.0 is to modify line 27 of file admin_templateconfig.php from:

	if( is_dir($cms['tngpath'] . "templates/template" . $row['template']) ) {

... to:

        if( is_dir($cms['tngpath'] . "templates/template" . $row['template'])
            || is_dir($cms['tngpath'] . "templates/" . $row['template'])) {

A more permanent fix may be available in a future TNG release.

Notes and Caveats


Revision History

Version Release Date Comments
v12.0.0.3a 19 May 2018 Incorporates mobile site enhancements introduced in TNG 11 and adds the local template configuration file for use with the Template Manager mod. Users installing NearDawn for the first time with TNG 12 must use this version of the template.
v10.1.0.3a 26 Mar 2018 Corrects a global variable issue in footer.php that can cause a memory leak when TNG is run on PHP 7.0+.
v10.1.0.3 20 Jun 2017 Added language support for Dutch, Danish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, and Swedish. Also updated default values for configurable page titles and menus (all languages) and tested with TNG release 11.1.1.
v10.1.0.2 30 Oct 2016 Makes some minor changes to the index page to align menus and photographs. Adds built-in support for Spanish and German. Now supports turning off scrollable content in template configuration, and has been tested to work with the new installation mod, NearD Support.
v10.1.0.1 2 Mar 2016 This update adds additional contrast to menu items but also darkens the blue used for text and backgrounds. New features include the ability to turn the Mom's Side and Dad's Side links on or off from the template settings, in addition to the Surname Cloud feature from Template 12. The default font has been changed to Tahoma for readability, and most emboldened titles have been removed.
v10.1.0.0 17 Jul 2015 Initial release

Sites Using NearDawn

If you download and install this template, please add your TNG site to the table below.

URL User Notes Template Version TNG Version Language(s)
Jordan - Harding Family Tree Robin Jordan Private site 12.1 EN