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Custom Theme Enhancements

With Service Pack 14, the existing tools for downloading, uploading and customizing a system theme include all style sheets for all features, regardless of whether the feature resides in the Learn core or in a building block delivered by Blackboard. Building blocks delivered by third-party vendors of building blocks can participate in this capability, but may need to revise their building block to conform to the file naming conventions for style sheet files required by the feature.

  • Restructured Package Themes - To successfully include all style sheets that are in building block “payloads” in Learn, the theme packages were restructured to distinguish core style sheets from style sheets that are specific to building blocks. This change directly mirrors the existing behavior of the Learn Language Pack Editor.
  • Easier to Locate Files for Customization - Theme packages downloaded from Learn now include a ‘core’ subdirectory, as well as subdirectories for each building block that contains its own tool-specific style sheets. A text file in the top level of the theme package provides a list of subdirectory names and the corresponding natural language building block name.
  • List of Style Sheets  - Information about whether a building block contains tool-specific style sheets is available for any building block in the Administrator Panel. In the Building Blocks section, select Building Blocks, and then select Installed Tools. Access the contextual menu for any building block listed and select View Components. If the Building Block contains tool-specific style sheets for any of the themes that ship with Learn, the theme handles will be listed on this page.
  • Theme DIFF Command Line Tool - The existing command line tool for comparing two themes is updated to work with the new package structure. As a result of this change, the tool returns an error message when the packages that are compared have different package structures. The tool can still be used to compare two packages with the same structure, whether the structure is before SP 14 or after, as long as the structure is the same between packages.
  • Building Block Installation Custom Theme Check Reminder - When installing a building block containing its own style sheets on a system that has at least one custom theme, you receive a receipt that recommends checking the feature against your custom theme, just as you do when upgrading Learn.

To Learn More

To learn more about the enhancements to custom themes, see the Custom Theme Enhancements release notes and Using Themes.