So, what do we do with these variants?
1.) We could completely get rid of them.
2.) We could put the alternatively colored stylesheets inside Standard as I've done for Nonzero and Ingenuous and let people decide whether or not to use them themselves.
3.) We could leave them as individual themes as they exist now.
- I like the idea of the second option, but it does clutter up the Standard theme beyond it's purpose.
I'm very interested in everyone's feedback on this.
I agree with Joseph, it would be better to get rid of them because as you say Patrick option #2 is clutter. Less is more : ) It would be easier for people to make a choice between clearly distinct themes.
And we should brush up the Themes documentation to teach people how they can easily change things like colors themselves.
I made a very first attempt at structuring the Theme scrapbook to make it easier to find a solution for a specific problem.
And I would suggest merging the two very similar tutorials Creating a custom theme and Make your own theme into one.
I agree with Frank that the documentation could do with being merged into one article. The scrapbook is coming along nicely too
Would there be any mileage in combining the scrapbook with the FAQs?
Unfortunately, I'm not a programmer so this work is a bit much for me. But, if anyone is up for the task, this would be a great feature since a lot of the themes I plan on rolling out are going to have 3-5 variants each.
I am not a programmer either but I promised to test such administration of theme settings when we discussed with Tim about moodle 2.0 themes some time ago...
Config.php is the easiest way to make that selection but permanent changes could probably be in database as well (or in moodledata if we prefer writable files). The files that are used for administration of themes(changing of settings of themes) can be directly available only for administrators but we can also store user theme settings for example to user profile (or cookies).
Different CMS systems have many good examples about editable settings and administration of most settings of themes - not only color variant - so if I have not too many irons in the fire during September I can still promise to give you some possible administration (demo) examples that Tim, you and other people working with moodle 2.0 themes can evaluate - or I am willing to help in testing any possible solutions and theme switchers that you others create...
In my opinion ideal themes in moodle 2.0 could have 2-10 style variants that administrators can edit and users can select with theme switcher or style switcher and users could be able to save this setting to their profiles (if user themes are allowed and different style options are given).
1. A nice default theme - I guess anomaly is the leading candidate for that at the moment.
2. 19 other nice themes to round out your 20.
3. The standard theme, whose purpose is as a starting point for people making other themes. That is, you would not expect anyone to use the standard theme for their site. However, it needs to exist for the benefit of other themes.
4. A simple theme the demonstrates how you make a custom theme based on the standard theme. Options here would be stadardlogo, standardwhite, or stripdown. The main purpose of this theme is to educate theme designers. Should be tied in to the tutorial on Moodledocs about how to make a theme.
In 2. You might like to have at least one theme that demonstrates how to use a parent theme.
It would be nice to have at least one theme that demonstrate how to do theme configuration options with a settings.php file, and some that demonstrate the new flexibility with layouts.
From that you should be able to conclude that I think option 1. is right.
have you implemented this theme settings.php to some lib file or themes in moodle 2.0?
I tested a rather special way to render and change test settings from administration menu of moodle - a filter - and added some test settings to file filtersettings.php... Basicly it seemed to pass all given variables for theme ok but are there some pages in moodle that don't catch settings from global filters?
2.) The majority of the themes I create will be simple and lightweight with 3-5 color variants for users to choose from.
4.) I personally think that this should be Stripdown (albeit under a different name that implies "to begin" - I'll work on that).
5.) During my conference workshops this summer, I made the point that Stripdown could (and should) be used as a child theme for modifying other themes based on Standard. I think that good documentation on this would certainly be helpful and will add it to my task list.
6.) I'd like at least half of the 20 themes to take advantage of the new layout flexibility. I have one more standard layout theme to get out before I get to coding the first one.
4. If sorted alphabetically in the theme selector a name that doesn't put the most basic theme near the top of the list would be good.
Here are my thoughts. I vote for getting rid of all the ugly themes.
You should have one theme that is the basic white stripped down theme that people can build upon. I think it still needs some design and usability intelligence built into the interface CSS.
You should have at least one high-quality out of the box theme that can be a default for people who do not code or are not able to customize. That would also be a theme that more experienced people could take apart and look under the hood, and build upon. This appears to be Anomaly.
Finally, only add other themes that are high-quality and offer something different from Anomaly as an install package. Your comments about improving documentation are great, also having some kind of most popular, star rating system, or "Moodle HQ recommended" (like Firefox does for their plugin download site) for themes would also help. I expect this would keep the Newberry theme and Julians near the top. Maybe some other simple but tastefully modified ones could also be recommended.
The reason I make these suggestions is that Moodle should be delivering the most professional looking product it can on install. Forgive me if the original designer is reading this, wood paneling is not a professional looking theme. Though, there may be some steel and panelling users out there that would disagree.
Bye bye wood and metal.
Let's have 18 *classy* modern themes plus standard and standardwhite.
I am a little late on this thread. #1, or some sort of template for #2. The default should be like the formal white or custom corners. Plain vanilla has some merit and is not distracting,
The wood theme is ...... but it is also the only one that has that kind of background. See Standard themes. Thus suitable for tweaking with granite or kola fur - backgrounds and gradients?
I myself liked the standardlogo approach, which requires absolutely no grubbing around with code or in the /theme files I was thinking of a clone of the base theme, with descriptions of the files to load to change the navigation bar and block heading backgrounds and the logo.
9 months later, I think there is a lot of good stuff on how to. My current thought about Theme documentation is organization. The "how to tweak" or "design a theme" is the most fun part, but not the only thing needing improvement Please feel free to give me a clue if I get too rowdy with any edits .