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Custom Layouts - Demo

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

20 December 2011, 5:56 AM

Hi all,

I have put together a prototype of Mahara with custom layouts, after the discussion at the last developer chat.

It extends what was already there, adding rows to the existing column options. Before I do any more work on it I would appreciate any feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Please note that it is unfinished. There is no dynamic column adding/removing or theme switching. But these could be added with a bit more work. Also I have not tested it in any version of Internet Explorer at all. It seems to be working in up-to-date versions of Firefox and Safari though. You are recommended to view in those browsers to get the best idea of how it works.

EDIT - video players not tested at all yet and probably won't work.

A final warning - the test server seems very slow. This is nothing to do with the layouts code. It runs at normal speed on other systems. It's just a slow server. So be patient when adding new blocks to a page or editing them.


The site is here:

Log in with any of these 10 accounts:

user1 : user1pass
user2 : user2pass
user3 : user3pass
user10 : user10pass

If you log in with different accounts you will be able to see how custom layouts are saved per account.

Thanks in advance for any feedback or comments! I don't have access to the test server now until new year, so if anything breaks, I will fix it in January :)


Wullie's profile picture
Posts: 252

20 December 2011, 7:53 AM

I have to say Mike, I love this and think it will be a great feature (definately something that will enhance the look of the created pages and the options available to students).

Gregor Anželj's profile picture
Posts: 348

20 December 2011, 8:59 AM

Love it! Fantastic!!

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

20 December 2011, 12:01 PM

Thanks for the comments, Wullie and Gregor.

Juan Ezeiza's profile picture
Posts: 31

20 December 2011, 12:53 PM

I'm working with Mahara in a Secondary School and I'm sure my students would love this feature.

Thank you very much!

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3866

20 December 2011, 2:11 PM

Hello Mike,

This is awesome and very flexible. Smile

Just something small: I think a help file should be added as there are now so many options and some allow you to have rows others, e.g. if you only have two rows blocks get stacked below each other as usual.

Really cool and it would be great to see that in core.



anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 808

20 December 2011, 3:03 PM

Very impressive, Mike, this will be a great improvement!

Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

20 December 2011, 4:01 PM

I love this, particularly for the idea of the "knowledge portfolio". Great work! I can visualize the newsmagazines...

Now some quibbles and questions:

1. I don't seem to be able to copy a multi-layout page (tried with User2: Testing...):

Mahara Layouts: Site unavailable

A nonrecoverable error occured. This probably means you have encountered a bug in the system

2. Are custom rows possible? Maybe that would complicate things too much. Perhaps just more options for each row. My particular hobbyhorse is a 2-column row of 20:80 (or even 15:85)

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

21 December 2011, 4:28 AM

Thanks for the feedback everybody!

Kristina, I am hoping this or something similar can make it into core - it's one of the first things our students asked for. If people think the demo is the right general approach I will do some more work on it. I think you're right that there should be help links to clarify the layout options.

Ideally in the future I would like to see a Page Design tab which contains both flexible layout options and Gregor's custom theme options.

Don, I haven't done any work on page copying yet. It's on the todo list. In theory, custom column layouts are possible, but I do feel that it will make the interface quite complex, and I've tried to avoid that. It might be simpler to just add 20-80 (and 80-20) as another column option.

I did think about having a more graphical interface for the custom layouts, where the column widths could be draggable when designing the layout. But that might be overkill. For the moment I have just concentrated on getting something up and running.

Sigi's profile picture
Posts: 103

21 December 2011, 6:40 AM

Mike, this is really cool and hopefully will find its way into the next release. I had askedf or this feature before and am glad it made its way to developers. Having a single column on top makes it easy now to cretae WP like headers for views, excellent!

Greetings from Germany


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