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View Themes


anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

08 August 2009, 8:02 AM

Hi guys. I was bored, so I implemented View themes. I know this is a feature a lot of people are asking for, and it seemed easy enough to do, so I did it instead of going outside and playing on my Saturday Wink

Please, if you have a few minutes, try it out here: http://view-themes.dev.mahara.org/

That site uses the default theme, I changed the admin user's profile theme -  http://view-themes.dev.mahara.org/user/view.php?id=1

You can change the theme for any of your views, including your profile view. Anyone looking at your view will see it using that theme.

I think that I want to develop another set of patches to get rid of much of the "noise" at the top of a view. E.g., the navigation. Perhaps just cut it right back to a narrow bar at the top of the screen that basically says "you are looking at a view on [sitename]", with a button to go back to wherever you were. That way, maximum space is provided for the view content.

Any feedback is most welcome! 

Craig Eves's profile picture
Posts: 104

09 August 2009, 4:56 PM

Hi Nigel

Looks good, summer is coming!

There is also noise directly under the menu that goes across the whole page.

The mahara logo, menu, search and heading filler could be combined on one line to save a bit more space.

Simplifying the menus appearing for views  is a good idea.

cheers

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3671

17 August 2009, 3:16 AM

Sounds great, Nigel. You wrote "You can change the theme for any of your views, including your profile view. Anyone looking at your view will see it using that theme." Is that only generally speaking or can anybody do that on the development system? I registered, but I don't see any buttons in my profile or the views where I could change the theme. Am I not seeing the forest for the trees?

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

17 August 2009, 6:56 PM

Anyone can do it, but I think you have to do it when you're looking at the View (as opposed to editing it).

I originally implemented it so you could change it on the View Edit screen, but that had some behavioural issues we didn't like, so Richard moved it around a bit. But it doesn't seem to matter where we put it, we can't make it have the behaviour we're looking for Frown. As a result, I'm not sure this will get into Mahara 1.2.

The problem is that we don't like how when a profile view has changed the theme, this changes the theme of the entire page, including the navigation. We'd rather that the navigation stayed with the same theme, while only the View changed style. The problem is, we tried implementing that with an iframe and ran into height calculation problems.

Currently, our thoughts are that when we reshuffle the menus as part of the usability work, it'll make the top of the page a lot cleaner, which will make changing the theme less of an issue. So maybe we can include it for 1.3 instead.

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3671

18 August 2009, 1:25 AM

Hi Nigel,

Now I saw it. I would not have expected the theme changer to be on the regular view page because I  think of changing themes from the creator's point of view and not from the viewer's. I liked the small "Edit" button. Less obtrusive and very elegant.

However, the theme would not change. :-( The page seemed to have finished loading, but was still looking for some non-existing feedback. Maybe that is the problem why the themes are not loaded.

It would be great to have such a theme changer as that goes into the direction of what we would like to see with our "personalization" of the design of portfolio views: allow students to choose the colors / design templates for their views.

Question: Would the owner of the view be able to make a specific theme "stick", i.e. specify a certain theme for a view and then no viewer would be able to change it?

Kristina

Sam Taylor's profile picture
Posts: 59

18 August 2009, 3:00 AM

"However, the theme would not change. Frown The page seemed to have finished loading, but was still looking for some non-existing feedback. Maybe that is the problem why the themes are not loaded."

I have the same issue Cry

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

18 August 2009, 5:33 PM

Yeah, I liked it better on the view edit page too Smile

I think the theme may have been changing, but it only changes inside the iframe, which is much harder to spot. To be honest, I think I'd rather the entire page changed. I'll talk to Richard about it again and see what he thinks.

Regarding the view theme sticking - yes, that's exactly the behaviour it has. If the owner sets the theme to X, then everyone sees it in theme X. 

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3671

19 August 2009, 7:13 AM

"Regarding the view theme sticking - yes, that's exactly the behaviour it has. If the owner sets the theme to X, then everyone sees it in theme X."

I think I misunderstood you earlier, Nigel, when you wrote "Anyone can change it". I thought, as the button was implemented in the regular view and not the edit page that really anyone, thus also the tutor, other students etc. with access to the view could change the design. However, I now see that you only meant anyone as in any owner of the view. That definitely makes more sense, but then the button should go into the edit mode if somehow possible so that all the edit functions are there. Wink

Kristina

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 1643

19 August 2009, 11:45 PM

Yeah, "anyone can change it" was meant to mean "any owner of a view" - my mistake. 

I have now reverted the view-themes demo site to where I left it, with the selector on the view editing screen. So when looking at a View, you don't see the nice bar at the top that Richard did, but the selector is back. Thoughts welcome.

I had a discussion about this with Richard yesterday. Over the weekend, I'm going to try a new change to it - I'm going to make it so that people's profile views display just like normal views. This will take away some of the issues with the navigation changing, and it will suggest changes we could make to the bar at the top of views in terms of more navigation. I'll also make the ability to change themes a site wide setting, a nod to those who want the old, bland portfolio look back Wink

Once I've done that, I'll update this thread, and see what everyone thinks. 

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3671

21 August 2009, 5:40 AM

Hi Nigel,

Having the theme selector on the View page is better in my opinion. And: It works there for me. Smile The implementation of a site-wide theme selector for each person would be great (we had talked about that briefly in what I called "personalization"). Thus, the students could change the theme of their entire portoflio, but still override that general theme with a special theme for individual views if they wanted.

An issue comes to mind now that I saw the theme selector on the "Edit this view" page: When I saw the selector there, I briefly thought it should go in the "Edit view details" page because you change it once and then it is done with. However, that does not make sense because all design issues (also number of columns) are handled on the "Edit this view" page. But that actually prompted me to think about "Edit view details". Is that a good description or would something like "Edit view properties" / "Edit view description" be more precise?

However, "Edit view properties" may pose a problem because the "view access" is separate from the metadata.

Maybe I see something where there is nothing amiss?

Kristina

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