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VIVO and Vitro use themes (which in turn use templates and css) to render information into HTML for presentation to users through web browsers.

Users of VIVO have expressed a strong interest in having a new theme that a) reflects current web design principles; b) is responsive, that is, the theme responds to the size of the display in a mature way, presenting results well on tablets and phones.  This is sometimes referred to as "mobile first" design; c) emphasizes use cases in the UI design, and de-emphasizes lists of entities.

Symplectic has developed a new theme for VIVO that addresses these user concerns.  Symplectic has made the new theme available as open source.  In developing the theme, several issues were uncovered that will need to be addressed to provide the theme to the VIVO community.



  1. Phase I
    1. A new, responsive theme for VIVO, based on the Symplectic VIVO theme.
    2. Enhancements to VIVO and Vitro to improve the relationship of the theme to the rest of the code.  Themes should be capable of completely controlling the look and feel of the application.  These enhancements may require changes to the existing VIVO and Vitro themes.  No functional changes in those themes are expected as a result.
    3. Enhanced documentation regarding templates and themes for the purpose of customizing a theme or creating a new one.
    4. Enhancements to VIVO and Vitro to provide simple configuration of a theme for support of institutional colors, name, and logo.
  2. Phase II
    1. Re-evaluation of core technologies (Freemarker, Java, Solr)

Suggested schedule

Develop charter, assemble task force

4 weeks

week of TBD

Begin regular meetings

week of TBD

Develop action items, assign to team members

2 weeks

by week of TBD

Task force development work

12 weeks

complete by TBD

Revise deliverables, final review

4 weeks

complete by TBD


Ralph O'Flinn - task force lead

Mike Conlon - facilitator

Simon Porter  - member

Benjamin Gross - member

Looking for additional members and developers

Meeting Times

TBD (to restart in Feb 2018)

Communication Channels

  • Please join our new slack channel - contact Ralph O'Flinn for information

  • Updates from the task force will be available in VIVO Updates

  • Child pages to this page will contain meeting notes

Agendas and Notes