A new theme for Moodle 2

This might seem like a bit of procrastination preventing progress on BIM 2.0, but it’s part of the whole Moodle 2 familiarisation process and also checking out the work of a friend. What follows is an attempt to install the universite theme for Moodle 2 onto a local instance.

Zip files and mac GUI users

So, am unpacking the theme zip file into the right place and discover Rolley is still suffering from us Mac GUI background. Apart from the expected universite directory, I also get the good old __MACOSX directory. There’s got to be a switch that turns that off.


Okay, so the theme appears in the right place in the Moodle 2 admin settings. Let’s choose it and configure it. Okay, have to read a file on from the desktop. Is this common for Moodle themes? Or do they more often use online/web-based help? Should they?

The header is up and it all looks nice. So, I get to choose colours. Given I’m illiterate around colour schemes, I’ll leave the defaults.

So, that’s it. Not much there. Must need to read that config file. Mmm, not a lot of information there. Did I have the right file? Ohh, can’t check again. Time to trawl the files. Ahh, and I quote

ses the JQuery theme roller to allow the administrator to re-skin the background images. For instructions/notes please see the config.php file

No instructions in config.php though. Am at a loss, my ignorance of things CSS and JQuery is showing. Would like to put in some custom images. Not sure how.

Ahh, appears I have to use a jQuery theme roller

This is what it looks like

Universite Moodle theme

So Rolley, what have I missed/screwed up?

More testing for Moodle and BIM versions 2.0

Continuing on with playing with Moodle 2.0 and in particular its external blog syncing and integration of SimplePie. The aim here is to test the problem with special characters in feeds and what it does to PostgreSQL databases.

The problem

This is the biggest problem I’ve had with BIM and only really appears to be a problem with folk using PostgreSQL. Though I’m wondering whether there is some sort of option in PostgreSQL to solve this.

In summary, the problem is:

  • Student creates a blog post by writing the content in Word.
  • Then copying and pasting from Word into the blog engine’s text box.
  • This creates posts that contain special characters.
    e.g. this one, though this was not the student’s fault. The teacher created directions that included special characters that were copied over by the student.
  • When BIM tries to import these posts and Moodle is using a PostgreSQL database, it won’t insert into the database.

Important: I don’t have this problem on the MySQL database I typically use.

So, can I re-create this problem on Postgres.


Well there’s an executable PostgreSQL ready for install, download that. Oh dear, need to change a kernel configuration and re-boot.

Now, let’s create another Moodle 1.9 install and get BIM working on it with some “bad” feeds.

  • Moodle installed and working.
  • Bring in a copy of BIM
    I’m always forgetting this as I don’t use git often enough now, so a bit of documentation

    sudo git clone git://github.com/djplaner/BIM.git

    Go to http://localhost/mp/admin and the install runs and success.

  • Let’s backup a course from my MySQL Moodle 1.9 install and import it here.
  • Okay, nothing showing, some problem with BIM.
    Note to self, BIM needs to be installed in a directory with lowercase bim, not uppercase.
  • Create some student accounts, allocate them to groups.
  • Allocate markers in BIM.
    Opps, debug error.