Reduced Maintenance Burden#

A large amount of effort is currently involved in upgrading client themes from one release to another. Getting consistent styling across all pages is a pain and requires significant manual QA.

One of the aims of this project is to work towards a new comprehensive theming system for Open edX that significantly reduces the maintenance burden for updating themes across releases. The target is to achieve a 90% reduction in the effort involved in maintaining themes across releases.

Deeper Customisation#

Since the largest amount of maintenance is required for themes that have the most amount of customisation, another goal of this comprehensive theming system is to allow deeper customisation. For instance it should be possible to modify the learning frontend to support a sequence navigation UX where the next unit load automatically on scroll instead of needing to click back / next.

Open Source UI for Theme Customisation#

Out of the box, Open edX doesn’t include any UI that allows customising the theme. There are a number of proprietary solution, and OpenCraft has an open source tool that is integrated with the OpenCraft Instance Manager (aka OCIM an automated Open edX deployment and sandbox tool).

OpenCraft Instance Manager customising button styles OpenCraft Instance Manager customising button styles

As part of this project we’d like to help create an open source standalone theming UI that allows customising different aspects of the platform using a friendly interface. It can be based on the existing code we already have in OCIM.

Near-Real-Time Theme Previews#

Currently, the time between applying a theme change and seeing it live is too long and this discourages experimentation. With MFEs there is a great opportunity to support a much quicker preview workflow.

We would like to support a automated system for quickly building and deploying themes for preview such that users can see results quickly, and experiment more before applying their desired changes to production.

Quick Deployment of Theme Changes#

Once users have a preferred theme style ready, we’d like to support an automated deployment mechanism that redeploys all MFEs with the theme changes. This deployment system will ideally be agnostic of whether it is running on Google, Amazon or some other infrastructure.