Because the site description can be arbitrary HTML this would allow one to display arbitrary things in the center of the site front page. Currently the only way to do that is to set the front page up to show the news items in the center and then to put the description in the news item. That is not always satisfactory.
It is working nicely on one of my sites, so I could commit if this meets with approval. As always, by default the behaviour will stay as usual.
Actually, I've been thinking about it for some time, so I'd be grateful if this was possible. This would be a fourth page display option, right?
Can I have a look at your site which uses this layout?
I have tried both: having a fourth site display option or having a yes/no toggle option. I settled on the later (giving me alltogether 6 options). It is sometimes nice to have the news or the course list below the site description.
Unfortunately it is currently only running on one of my development sites on my own machine, so there is nothing to look at. I was going to transfer it over to a production site but I thought the easiest way to do that would be via the Moodle CVS. (My proposals to contribute to Moodle CVS are always out of self-interest )
In a horribly named $CFG->frontpagecentersummary in the config table. I am sure one could come up with a better name.
I could not locate this in a v1.4DEV installation about 4-5 days old,
7. OTHER MISCELLANEOUS SETTINGS (ignore these for new installations)
Was this added to a more recent nightly build?
The "numsections" field seems to be up for grabs (currently it's always zero).
So, we could change the approach to allow the inclusion of a new section there at the top of the center panel (complete with section description and the possibility of adding activities under it - just like the top section of courses). This would be separate from the site description, allowing the possibility of a side panel with HTML as well as a top-center panel. It also nicely steps around the possibility of having the site info displayed twice (in a block and in the center).
The Site Settings page could have an option "Include a topic section" with values 0 (no) or 1 (yes) which just sets the numsections field.
Only a spur of the moment idea ... how does that sound?
I've seen some people occasionally using if ($course->id == 1) ... this should not be used as it's not reliable.
I have implemented this. It is in the latest development code.
Currently the topic section on the front page looks exactly like the top section in the courses because it is using the same styles. This should probably be changed so that front page designers have more control over the appearance through the theme.
Having this topic section will make it even more tempting to add activities to the front page. We should introduce some mechanism for preventing people from adding modules that don't work well on the site. I was thinking of introducing an extra field "site" in the "modules" table that is set by those modules that are certified to work on the site page.
It is sometimes nice to have the news or the course list below the site description.
Absolutely right . But... what do you have in the right column in that case? Or is there no right column?
on one of my development sites on my own machine, so there is nothing to look at
A screenshot, maybe?
This is what I would like to see in reference to this.
I was just thinking that it might be nice to have an area on the front page at the top & bottom of the News (Course, Categories) middle block that would allow for alerts and other messages.
If these areas are "toggled" they could be turned on and off by Admins when necessary.
In this new theme I have been playing with, there are areas that can be customized. One of the areas is at the bottom of the page where I placed a "Missing Child" java banner. This had to be done manually. But, I think it would be a nice option if it could be controlled from the "Site Settings" page.
You can see what I mean at,
is this not an extension of blocks? That is your centre pane is just another block column. So if you want your courses, or your topics, scrunched up in a column at the right then you can. Equally well, if everything where blocks, the site or course description could just be moved to the centre 'column'.
And while I'm on a role - include the ability to 'size' the column widths.
Ask me another
Howard, the idea is not mad at all. It is just a little bit more difficult to implement.
If it ever gets implemented then I think the central panel should get a different set of blocks from the left and right panels. Blocks that look good in the narrow panels are unlikely to look optimal in the center panels.
Once such a block system exists we could get rid of the differenct course formats.
Having some "basic" course formats will be helpful to "newbie" Moodlers. It will provide a place to "jump off" from and come back to if necessary. So I hope Moodle decides to keep them
Figures. I go away for a day, and look what I miss...
I've been doing this for a while, but I modified my main index.php file to do it. Having a configurable way to do this would be one less customization I need.
It's two weeks later, so this reply might be obsolete before I send it.
I managed to do the equivalent of what you are talking about in 1.4Dev by turning on the 'topics' setting on the site page. That gave me a place to put arbitrary text in the center panel. I even cloned that nice block bar by just copying the html and pasting it into the html editor for the topic.