MoodleDocs is in need of some help around the topic of Themes. This has not been obvious because the Themes forum is terrific, where questions are answered quickly by any number of active users. And I think it is an intimidating task to work on MoodleDoc theme pages because of the potential volume of information that deals with this robust topic.
I am going to try to come up with a plan to make the Themes pages more user friendly. Towards this end I have created a temporary page for NotesNewOutline concerning themes. Moodle is collaborative and anyone wishing to make comments in the drafting phase, please do. Either here or on any of the talk pages.
Initially, I (and anyone else who wishes to) will be associating existing pages with user types in some sort of outline. Then we should look for gaps or new pages to act as transitions/summaries. This should be influenced by the rich history of posts in this forum.
Once the drafting has been done, we should come back to the forum with another thread inviting more comments or calling attention to pages that need help.
Just thought I would gives a heads up and thanks to all for their posts which have helped me tweak a theme from 1.5 through 1.9 .
Many thanks for your work on this. Recently I have been working on including static HTML pages within the Moodle interface, which is something that doesn't appear to be well-documented.
Your post about reorganising and improving Moodle documentation started me thinking (yes that is dangerous I know ; ).
You make the point that the Themes forum is very active and supportive and I completely agree with you. With regard to getting more people involved in theme documentation I think there is an issue in accessing the documentation. It took me almost 5 minutes to find the theme area.
I started from here:
I figured to contribute to theme documentation I should choose 'developer'
However, once here it is not clear from the contents list as themers are defined using a negative construct!
- 4.1 Make a new plugin
- 4.2 Change core code
- 4.3 Ways to contribute that do not involve PHP programming
So rather than clearly stating 'theme developers' or 'theme designers' ie giving us a meaningful name we are referred to as the people who are not involved in PHP programming ; ).
In my opinion this is not clear as a label and if I were to perhaps be a touch controversial I would say it perhaps also indicates the low priority given to designers / themers working on Moodle interface design. I appreciate that this is changing and am trying to contribute in this area as best I can.
I would suggest changing 4.3 the contents list to be clearer and more user-friendly. In fact all four items listed within 4.3 are valuable and should be given more prominence in the contents.
Thanks again for your efforts on improving the documentation.
Thanks for your comments, I will be pondering them because as expected, I have some huge blind spots.
I also considered the "entry" to themes, without trying (yet) to take it from the main page. I thought a new site administrator would want to change the look at the time they saw the Front Page for the first time. Themes are just part of the matrix which impacts the look of Front Page (authentication, role, blocks and Front page/course settings). You have suggested a few other areas for entry to themes.
I will use your post as a checkoff when I get back to entry points (cross links into Themes). Some of them are also influencing the way I am thinking about organization of Theme pages and the Theme template.
With appreciation, Chris
First of all, would like to say you are doing a Great Job!! Now accept my two cents below.
I think it would be great if we organize it taking into the consideration the kind of traffic that comes to Moodle site looking for Moodle Themes and info on it.
Unlike Thomas, I never look for entry point, I personally google "Moodle themes" and then hit the first link that pops up :P
"There is too much logic involved in finding theme pages" as quoted by one of the professor moodler's i know.
Many people come looking for downloading themes and then support forums than looking for how to tweak it; which I believe is done mostly by developers/designers who I think would still have a fair knowledge of what to look for and where.
Second thing, which I found evident was how we look for it. Moodle themes, Moodle templates or Moodle skins. A random user who is relatively knew can opt for any of these keywords. Would be helpful if they find em.
Another thing that can be added right on top in the entry page is FAQ section so that people know where to look for what.
Then we can have how to manage and administer themes and related issues.
1. how to change your moodle theme
2. theme settings
3. how to setup course wise themes, user-wise themes etc.
In the moderate section we can have how to tweak themes with minor changes
1. how to add logos, icons, images, colors etc.
2. how to add menu
3. how to change header
4. how to change footer
5. how to change the layout
and so on
In the advanced section we can have how-tos and links to do major changes in themes or even create them from scratch.
1. Theme directory listings
2. CSS related stuff
4. Chameleon (i prefer to use my theme engine though :P)
and so on
I think this is absolutely neccesary to have before Moodle 2.0 because with Moodle 2.0 themes the possibilities are endless. There will be designers and end-users who would want minor changes and may get lost in jungle. And I believe with the endless possibility of doing things in Moodle 2.0 themes the advanced users will create more and more complex layouts and functionality into themes. Those concepts can be in the advanced section.
Thank you once again for your remarkable efforts!!
I agree with, and would like to second the comments which Navin has just posted.
He couldn't have said it any better.
Many thanks for the work you are putting into this.