From students and teachers I often get feedback on the Moodle forums that they look 'dull' and 'old fashioned'.
They want to have Facebook-style forums I guess (I hate Facebook, but that's a different story)
One thing I have to agree on: the forums do not look nice.
I'm pretty handy with CSS and willing to try to get them looking better. But does anyone know if there's already something available that looks better? Just better looking forums with more forum functionality?
I'm thinking of something like this:
I would agree that a number of things in Moodle are not really stylish, but it would seem that so many devs are tied up with "improving" the core code, making it more efficient or adding a new feature, or developing new plugins or simply displaying their own brilliance, that they do not have sufficient time to consider how things actually look. Besides, that's a theme thing and making themes is nowhere near as much fun, or challenge, or interesting as writing or fixing core code or displaying their own brilliance. Far be it from me to suggest that making things look better is anywhere near as important as making sure things work as they should or allow someone to display their brilliance.
Best bet, do what I foolishly didn't do and spend the time to learn how to make a new theme, then you will get the look you want. I suspect that is likely to be the only way it is going to happen.
PS. I completely agree with your vision of Facebook we would be far better off without with what is really anti-social media.
Hi Richard, my guess is that working with CSS can change the look of forums in Moodle. Quite honestly, my Moodle forums don't look all that different than what you have posted. In fact, if I wanted to make mine prettier, I could add a graphic or something else at the top. But I am more into function, and Moodle forums work quite well.
Thank you for your feedback.
The Theme and style of Moodle is really very important to us and we are actively working to improve things in that regard. You can see that exemplified by our upcoming work on both messaging, and the Dashboard, by the updates to the Boost theme in 3.5, the updated Calendar interface, and more. We also plan to introduce a new theme in 3.7 to replace Clean (built on Boost but with several key differences).
With regards the Forum things are a little trickier. It is one of the oldest parts of Moodle, and as a result it can be tricky to work with - especially regarding both DOM structure, and interaction with style and JS.
I'm mid-way through a huge restructure of forum which seeks to bring it into the year of the Fruitbat and make things much easier to work with. In short, this restructure will:
- Introduce a new subplugin for Forums to allow new types of forum. There are a number of long-standing feature requests to add new types of Forum, but the existing code structure makes this unrealistic. The restructure will allow for new types, and allow developers to contribute these in the plugins database
- Restructure the Forum code accordingly
- Move the output of Forum functionality to use Mustache templates
Once these steps are complete we'll be able to update the look and style of the Forums more easily, and themes will be able to make their own changes too.
I'm currently trying to keep the re-style separate to the restructure as the amount of change is already massive.
I've added a screenshot showing some of the changes so far to MDL-62675. I will add others as and when I have a chance to finish more of the work.
Andrew, thanks for the update.
I am one who believes that the current Moodle forum activty's functionality far surpasses the other LMSs, so as you continue to develop forums, don't remove any of the current functionality. Yet, there are many ideas and ways to continue improving forums.
My current most important request is MDL-31355, which currently seems stalled and (Shamin is) waiting for you to do something. I also have MDL-58043, MDL-41730, and MDL-29517. Somewhere, I thought that I added an MDL for searching forum posts that are "not rated."