The “Base” and “Canvas” themes have been with Moodle before the many changes that came with the adoption of the CSS Bootstrap framework. Moodle 3.2 will most definitely use Bootstrap 4, an upgrade for which Wiese thinks Base and Canvas are not well tested or maintained.
Choosing a default theme is not just a matter of aesthetics. Plugin developers use default Moodle installations in their duties, which means they might be testing compatibility with one of the two themes. Software testing should be theme-independent. This problem has already been acknowledged in the ongoing debate about Theme and Navigation in Moodle 3.2.
Other Moodlers seem to agree. The themes can stay in the Moodle Theme database and anyone who wishes could still download and install them. May Evans has even offered to support the themes, as she currently does with the “Afterburner” and “Anomaly” themes.
Wiese has submitted the issue to Moodle Tracker to gather other opinions. So far, everyone seems to be on board.
Some of the ideas about look and feel for Moodle 3.2 have already gone to a practical realm. Wiese has set up a demo site for what would be Moodle’s new look at prototype.moodle.net/theme/. The theme’s name for now is “Boost”, coined by Martin Dougiamas himself. Make sure to use the Theme Selector to compare. Boost is a work in progress.
Moodle 3.2 is expected to launch November 2016.
What are your thoughts on the Boost theme so far? Tell us in the comments below!