Elgg Blank, clean and minimal theme for Elgg

Open source networking platform Elgg has been used in CET for some time now, probably since version 1.1. Several successful projects are still running on it and future plans are promising. Although for most of the project Elgg is providing stabile platform for prototyping, one of the live-sites running on Elgg has over 1500 registered users and as a platform it has proven its strengths.

For my own personal reasons I’ve been working on usable (and visually clean) Elgg theme that could be use as a starting point for developing a new theme. Elgg Blank is clean theme for Elgg 1.7.2, tested on Firefox 3.5 and latest Safari. Doing my best to test it on IE 8.

Elgg Blank theme, sneak preview

Do not hesitate to give any feedback on it. Checkoutl the latest Elgg Blank from here.


Elgg 1.5 and missing message board

For some weeks now, open source social networking platform Elgg has been offered new version of the product. Version 1.5 came right after 1.2 which seems to be pointing out that there has been more updates in the code than just few added lines.

I shouldn’t complain but the visual side of the new version is a bit disappointing. Although rounded corners and grey schema is very 2009 (like latest WordPress admin panel), overall feeling is very miserable. Like walking in a dusty city just before the rain. Grey is everywhere. But hey, maybe this will push users for creating fancy themes and looks for Elgg more faster than it has happened so far.

Anyway, I’m more or less related to four different projects that are using Elgg as their social platform and last Friday was the date when update from 1.2 to 1.5 took place. First impression was that everything works – all the users created data was in the place and so on. Only the upper menu was messed up.

Elgg 1.5 has actually some useful features too. I mean really useful – “toggle all” possibility, dashboard loading time has been reduced magnificently, frontpage content management etc. And those ARE more important than the visual, just the first impression was not so pleasant.

Back to the upgrading process. Only part what I’m concerned about is themes and quite decent coverage of this topic can be found here. By following this page, you can be pretty sure that your old theme will be running on new core as well.

Some parts are still missing after the last step. Like message board on the group page. Its gone! Or almost gone because its still in the code but invisible to users. And the reason is here (Elgg community forum, Dave Tosh):

It was removed due to the confusion it was causing most users. Many ended up not knowing where to discuss group items – on the messageboard or in the discussion area – so we removed it.

But I still need that feature. Further reading helped me out – by adding one line of code to the start.php located at:


Missing line:

//extend some views
extend_view(‘groups/right_column’, ‘messageboard/group_messageboard’);

And stylesheet, because there is no sign of the message board in the new groups stylesheet:



#right_column .input_textarea{

#right_column #mb_input_wrapper {
background: white;
width: 320px;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;



Elgg, showing more latest updates (discussions) on group page

By default, Elgg’s group page shows 4 latest discussions from the group forum. For getting better overview about actions in forum it might be good idea to increase the number from 4 to…50, for example:

Navigate to Elgg installation folder / mod / groups / views / default / groups / forum_latest.php on line 5, where stands:
$forum = get_entities_from_annotations("object", "groupforumtopic", "group_topic_post", "", 0, $vars[‘entity’]->guid, 50, 0, "asc", false);[/php]

Number 50 is the one.