Forums | Mahara Community

Developers /
Selecting skin for view/page

Gregor Anželj's profile picture
Posts: 349

11 March 2012, 15:56

Hello Mahara Community.

I am working on integrating skin support for Mahara views/pages. Currently (if enabled) user can select a theme from drop-down select box when creating/updating view or page.

I'm not quite satisfied with that and was thinking how to allow users to select skin for mahara views/pages.

This is the mockup of the idea I've come up with. Please feel free to add yout thoughts, comments, feedback, etc.


Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

12 March 2012, 5:23

Hi Gregor:

This is certainly more visual and user friendly.

How would the gallery be populated? Would new thumbnails be created automatically when users create new custom skins?

Is there a limit to the number of skins in the system and would they be paginated in a particular way? (Stock, Other Users, Mine...)

Gregor Anželj's profile picture
Posts: 349

12 March 2012, 8:25

New thumbs are created automatically when the skin is created/edited. I think the thumb wil be paginated 3 each row and in 3 rows (9 per page totally).

User will be able to choose to display:

  • his/her skins
  • other users/ public skins (user can set the skin to be private or public)
  • institution skins (institutions can have institutional custom skins)
  • and of course all skins (all of the above combined)

I don't know if and how to include themes though (how the thumbnails for the themes would be generated).


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4381

12 March 2012, 14:44

Hello Gregor,

I like the preview of the skin because it's easy to see what you can expect. Also the sort possibilities sound good. Just thinking about when lots of people make their skins available for others to use: How easy would it be to find them? Could they have tags associated with them or could you search for the title / description of the skin (though these could have some strange names Wink)?

Another feature (for way down the road) could be to set certain skins as favorites so that they appear first instead of on page 20.




Gregor Anželj's profile picture
Posts: 349

12 March 2012, 15:03

I'm ahead of you with favorites - that's already implemented, just forgot to mention it.

Tags sound good, but have to see how they are implemented with artefacts - if time permits, will implement those for skins too.

Don't know about search though - I'll have to think about it...


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4381

13 March 2012, 14:28

Hello Gregor,

Hehe. thanks about the favorites. Smile

With search I only meant the search capability that already exists in Mahara at the moment. Therefore only then mention of title (potentially description) and tags as fulltext search is not yet implemented.



anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 808

19 March 2012, 16:20

Gregor, regarding your question about thumbs for themes: I wonder if there's really any need for page themes if skins are available.  It would certainly complicate things to try and include both, and skins do everything page themes can do (apart from perhaps changing the look of the header and navigation). 

So perhaps we could make skins and page themes mutually exclusive options in the admin settings, with a view to eventually removing page themes altogether in some future release.  What do you think?

Gregor Anželj's profile picture
Posts: 349

20 March 2012, 2:27

I think the themes are good for overall design for the site, specifically if one tries to create Mahara install for an institution to be a distinct one - so that their institution's Mahara install would be visually different than all other Mahara installs out there.

But at the individual page/view (or even collection) level themes are not needed. As you said skins can take over all of the themes functionallity on page/view level...

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4381

20 March 2012, 2:37

Hello Richard and Gregor,

Good question, Richard. I agree with Gregor that custom themes are probably usually used to create a common theme for an institution. Then either the institution allows changing the design or not.

If it allows changing the design, skins are probably going to be the choice of users as they can create their own. Maybe the existing themes could be refactored as skins and offered as examples (maybe 3 examples?).

If it doesn't allow its users to change the design but wants them to use the institution design, then the institution would not allow designs no matter whether they are called "themes" or "skins".

Offering skins optionally on the page level instead of themes sounds reasonable.



20 March 2012, 11:06

Hello there,

My point of view is they serve different needs.

As a webmaster or institution webmaster I want to give my pages a coportate look moreover if students have to present something outside the wall with the institution agreement.

But in certain cases, in certain groups, or in certain institutions (we should fix where the settings will be) I would like to be able to enable or disable skins, to provide user a way to modify the look of their page.

So for me, choosing a skin or choosing a theme is not the same, it has not the same level of right nor importance.


12 results