I hope it will be here for a long time as I am hating Boost theme!
To be honest I am not sure what the time line is for BootstrapBase, it may be better to ask this question in Moodle's Future development forum.
Second Mary's comment!
Boost is based on Bootstrap4 which is still in Alpha and going through significant changes itself e.g. the adopting of flexi as part of the grid layout, rather than as an optional addin, so (despite working on Boost child themes myself and trying to support it) I personally do not think it is production ready, let alone as a default theme. That's not intended to be a negative to the excellent hard work that's been put into Boost and the navigation changes etc, many of which are a great step forward, just a recognition of the work going on in the upstream bootstrap library.
I hope, therefore, that BoostrapBase (and therefore Clean/More and all the associated child themes) will continue to be supported for quite some time to come yet!
Richard, I agree totally with you. BS4 is still in Alpha when it should be in Beta so the upcoming changes will have impact in the existing Boost theme. They have many problems in development and will take much more time of the expected to get a stable version. Ans I still think was a big mistake develop Boost in BS4.
The question is if BootstrapBase will evolve to BS4 or will stay forever in BS2. Even all the existing themes based in BS2 will need some rewrite, I think would be a good idea to upgrade Bootstrapbase to version 4 (when stable of course). It will allow to have many more themes and not only based in Boost.
Not sure the mistake was developing Boost in BS4 as much as in making it default. I don't have any problems with HQ using BS4 for future developments, but if the upstream code itself isn't stable then as you say, there are too many upcoming changes to consider the resulting theme stable enough to use as a default, rather than a development project for future release.
Possibly BS3, which was already in use through Bas' theme and others, would have allowed more focus on how us 'themers' would deal with Mustache too, rather than throwing BS4/SASS/Mustache all into the melting pot at once! And allowed the navigation overhaul to take place in a development environment more of us were familiar with.
Perhaps, if HQ don't want to do it, a 'community' based BS4 parent theme, along the lines of Bas' might be a possibility?
I have always thought that if the main content of Moodle was strictly styled in core, then a theme would only need to be able to add extra settings and detail to make the user experience a pleasant one, Meaning Moodle should develop it's own CSS structure based on past experience. This could be a conglomeration of Bootstrap CSS, LESS & SCSS not forgetting jQuery.
That said the main problem with Moodle content now is that it is inconsistent, in that there appears to be no order to it in some places. I think that every page should render in a strict format, m\king it easier for a theme designer to work on that premise and beautify the pages and add a WOW factor to Moodle.
I think that moving to BS4 in 'alpha' for a production system was a big mistake. Better to have it it as a HQ contributed theme and use its development and feedback as a vehicle for improving the underlying API (including navigation) and have a rethink about the whole UI.
From what I've seen you can do most of what Boost does with tabs and navigation in BS2.3.2 - not sure about presets though. So, concentrate on the software engineering side of things (encompassing UI analysis) rather than thinking that another 'tool' ('framework') will magically solve the problem.
An excellent post showing what can be done is: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=347751. Let us remove the clutter, duplication (Moodle has both YUI and AMD jQuery), trim down the code, remove the out of date junk, analyse how the code works and how it can be more efficient, produce a cleaner, leaner interface. And that interface needs to be flexible enough to be configured to suit any workflow. Themes are not the full solution here, they just present the data they are given. Everything needs to be flexible enough to provide a basic working interface that a theme could if desired alter it. But that interface should not be so inflexible that a theme cannot change an element of it in terms of look and feel - so not including functionality here.
I realise I might get comments like 'Well are you going to re-write all of the YUI code?', well clearly being one person then the answer is 'no' as it would take me so much time that when I'd finished there would be no point as so much time would have elapsed. Therefore we all need to work as a community to make the changes needed.
Its time to be bold, brave and start on Moodle 4.0 as a new phoenix risen from the ashes of the past. Time is needed, so progress with M3.x and have a longer than six months development time for 4.0.
Richard, both were a big mistake in my opinion. You can't use an Alpha version to start a development. Maybe you can use it to play with it and to learn what you can do but never (and I repeat, never) to develop a script for a production and much less to be the default theme.
Jez question was related to your final comment. Probably will be worth to continue upgrading Boostrapbase (or even starting from scratch) to BS4 and follow the existing path and be open to other themes like Boost.
If all the interested in this development: Bas, Gareth, you, Jez, me and some other work in this way I'm sure that we could get it. I can't imagine to develop a theme similar to Essential or Adaptable or similars using Boost as a base (I mean spending thousand hours again).
Just for general information. In all the sites we created since m3.2 was published only one is using Boost. A value totally irrelevant.
I am in full agreement with you Richard. I also think that your original comment about the layout in Boost theme is proving to be true too. Where region-main shrinks to a calculated width rather than using the grid system, which ends up displaying some pages rather badly in my opinion.
I did not like the Boost Theme from the beginning.
In addition to "ugly", they did not use HTML5 TAGS correctly on all thema's sites.
The HTML of the menu is too bad to handle, for lack of ID or CLASS to differentiate the items and LI> LI chaining from the menus.
And, I think they did not like it either, because they did not even change it here (moodle.org) to Boost
This critique might be a bit harsh for Boost. The default bootstrapbase Clean isn't exactly knock your socks off pretty either, but look at what stunning themes came from it. It also wasn't perfect from the get-go. I think Boost is a huge step in a better direction. The three columns, block-loaded look was really outdated and a turn off for most teachers.
I like that Moodle.com is taking an interest in the user experience and making sweeping changes to get Moodle with the times. Looking forward to updating our site this summer and future improvements as we go.
I agree Chris.
While there are issues with Boost (and the background coding behind it is one of them) and I have said previously I don't think it is ready to be Moodle's default theme (as much because Bootrap4 isn't stable itself as anything directly related to the theme), the direction HQ are taking with it is making huge strides forward in terms of the user experience and I'm looking forward to Boost becoming more stable and people like Gareth and Fernando adding to your Fordson theme, as well as the number of presets being generated now (ideal solutions where look and feel needs to be changed but not functionality).
We wont be updating our theme to a Boost based one this summer - but that is primarily because I built a whole new theme for the upgrade I did when I got there last summer, so dont want to make another huge change for users only the next year.
This discussion is not about if Boost is good or bad. Most of the theme developers already agree that was not the best moment to move it to production and much less to be the default moodle theme. And this is a common sense deduction if you are in software development from some years and have enough experience to know that experiments are not for developers just scientists. The opposite is risky or just no idea of how development works.
But the question was about Boostrapbase. Will moodle HQ supporting BoostrapBase for BS4 in the future? Or all the themes development will move it to Boost based themes, which for the moment looks like is not the best way?
As far we can see the answer is no. Moodle HQ will not support BoostrapBase in the future. And only if some developers are interested, Boostrapbase could be updated to BS3 or BS4 and all those themes based on it (almost all the existing) could have a future.
Sincerely, I don't see themes based in Boost in the near future for many reasons. The future was Boostrapbase (and it is IMHO) and should be the path to follow because allow more flexibility. But looks someone wants this path dead soon.
I don't think its harsh, better to have positive pragmatic criticism as a vehicle for improvement than lots of pats on the back saying its great and then not improving.
I'm not saying that Clean is bad or that Boost is not an improvement, it is a new radical departure in a different direction to make things better. This is a good thing. For me this discussion is not about the user experience of Boost being bad or the wrong direction, its about how its been implemented. Using 'alpha' framework code is a huge risk and poses to detract from what Boost is trying to do. If Boost fails because of the underlying code then people will blame Boost and not the code, not good and gives it a skewed image. Especially when it could have been implemented in BS2.3.2 or BS3 which are stable.
Better to be confident that you are releasing good quality code than not release at all. If something does not happen then people are disappointed, if something happens and it breaks then they are annoyed. The latter is far worse to the quality reputation of an entity than the former.
Other than the code being alpha, is their a functional issue with any of the bootstrap features as implemented with the version shipped?
We only have m3.2 on two sites and will be upgrading our main production server in June.
I've not noticed any major issues as an end user using Boost or Fordson.
What are the functional issues we should be aware of with Boost?
Check the Moodle Tracker for bugs reported as that is a good indicator.
Another indicator is that when Moodle.org start using boost in the forums then I would say that's a sure sign that all is well and good.
Moodle tracker open bugs with text of 'Boost' = 120 -> https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-57369?filter=-5&jql=issuetype%20%3D%20Bug%20AND%20resolution%20%3D%20Unresolved%20AND%20text%20~%20%22boost%22%20order%20by%20priority%20DESC%2Cupdated%20DESC
Epic Boost tracker issue: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-56982 - you need to be logged into the tracker to see the whole list.