News & Notes

Saturday July 24, 2010

by Patrick Malley

Moodle 2.0 FAQ

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about our products and services in light of the forthcoming Moodle 2.0 release. I’m going to try to openly answer some of them here.

Will my theme that you coded for 1.x work on Moodle 2.0?

Unfortunately not. The Moodle theme engine has been completely rewritten in 2.0 allowing theme designers like us much more freedom to change the way Moodle looks. A drawback of this freedom is that all old themes will not work on a 2.0 installation and will require upgrade.

Do you plan to offer an upgrade package to your previous custom theme clients?

Yes. It is our goal to setup a straight-forward upgrade package at a reasonable price. We haven’t yet decided on what that price should be because we’re not quite sure how much time each upgrade is going to take. We’re currently working on a bunch of new themes for the Moodle 2.0 core, which is increasing our understanding of the new theme engine and thereby decreasing the amount of time it takes us to create each theme. As soon as I’m able to accurately predict the minimum amount of time each upgrade will take, I’ll announce upgrade pricing. It won’t be long.

Will you be upgrading your current collection of Premium Themes?

Yes. We plan to upgrade all of our current themes for Moodle 2.0, but the upgrade process here will not be quick. Each theme has to be completely recoded from scratch to utilize the new Moodle 2.0 theme engine, and we are committed to creating a new set of attractive themes for the Moodle 2.0 core first. Once Moodle 2.0 is released, we’ll begin the process of upgrading our other themes.

Will the Premium Theme 2.0 upgrades be free?

No. Since Moodle 2.0 requires a complete rewrite of every theme, we cannot offer free upgrades.

Will your custom package pricing stay the same for Moodle 2.0 themes?

Probably not. Since Moodle 2.0 offers us an opportunity to do a lot more with your theme, we’re probably going to have to include a standard set of modifications at a package price with a menu of add-ons and customizations at an additional cost. Our goal will be to provide the same level of products and services that we currently offer for Moodle 1.9 at the same package pricing. Additional charges will only apply for additional products and services not available prior to the Moodle 2.0 release.

What is your role in the Moodle 2.0 release?

I am the Moodle Themes Manager. As such, it’s my job to find, create, and manage the themes in the Moodle 2.0 core. Right now, I’m working on twenty fresh themes that are completely different from anything you’ve ever seen in Moodle before. Once I’m finished with this, I’ll turn my attention to making them stronger.

Saturday July 17, 2010

by Patrick Malley

Theme Contest Winner

Over the past week, while the community has been rating the themes submitted to our Moodle 2.0 theme contest, we’ve been testing them out and looking over the underlying code. While we’re extremely pleased by the high quality of themes submitted by all of the contestants, this is a contest with a magical prize, so we’re going to have to declare one winner.

In the end, the Grand Prize winning theme is one that was highly rated by the community, is cleanly coded with few (if any) display errors, and makes creative use of the Moodle 2 Theme Engine. I’m pleased to announce that the winner of our Moodle 2.0 Theme Contest, and the proud new owner of a 16GB iPad, is Caroline Kennedy for her theme called Splash.

In addition to winning the iPad, Caroline’s theme will also be included in the Moodle 2.0 core along with other submitted themes that we’ll announce next week.

We’d like to again thank all who participated in our contest - both the theme designers as well as the raters/commenters. It’s always nice to see a positive community response to an event that strengthens Moodle overall.

Monday July 12, 2010

by Patrick Malley

Moodle 2 Theme Submissions Are All In

Theme ContestI’ve just put the finishing touches on a community review page for the twelve themes that were submitted for our Moodle 2 Theme Contest. Please head on over to have a look at what the contestants have done. While there, please be sure to rate all of the themes using the quick and simple rubric we’ve provided. There are a lot of great themes here that take advantage of just some of the new theme features that have been added to Moodle 2.0.

Don’t forget that we’re buying the developer of the theme with the highest community rating, the tightest code, and the most creative use of the Moodle 2.0 theme engine a brand new 16GB iPad. Plus, the best themes will all be included in the Moodle 2.0 core. The stakes are high. Please take your time reviewing these themes and ask the developers questions in the submission comment area if you have any.