If you could post your theme so far up I'll try to take a look at what you've done for you.
You may also find it useful to turn on debugging to see what error messages are shown.
A quick look at the fusion theme shows that fusion is using a settings file and some of those settings are used in the layout files.
A likely problem is that your, by using fusion as a parent, is not accessing these settings and is therefore throwing up the problems. Unfortunately, because these settings/renderers and so forth are identified through the config.php and are normally part of the theme, it is not quite as straightforward as simply naming a theme which uses these as a parent.
One solution would be, rather than using fusion as a parent, copy the theme (which uses canvas and base as parents anyway) and edit the new copied theme, rather than creating one from scratch using fusion as a parent. This does mean, however, that you lose the future updates/corrections that may be made to fusion.
First of all to set a parent theme you need to put the parent themes in the correct order in the array.
$THEME->parents = array('fusion','canvas','base');
Also with regards to your screenshot, the fact the side bar is evident, it looks to me that the text for the page is white. Check to see that there are no css rules in the custom setting for Fusion.
This is great info Mary - it seems counter intuitive though
I would have assumed that the theme processor would iterate up through the array values sequentially (0, 1, 2) and the values would cascade over one another.
e.g. load base (0), then load canvas (1) and overwrite values from base, then load fusion (2) and overwrite values from base and canvas.
I wonder why it's 'backwards'?
It's Moodle thing...I think it's called 'backwards compatibility'
Thanks for that tit-bit! I had been working under the same assumption as Daniel - no wonder they weren't working properly for me!!!
thank you , your advice were both very helpful.
My problem is solved , i did not use parents in the correct order :/