5.5 dashboard background leaf

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Having a look at the new version of Concrete, just wondering how do I remove or change the big background image of the leaf that appears in the dashboard?

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Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
In /config/site.php you can define this image:
define('WHITE_LABEL_DASHBOARD_BACKGROUND_SRC', '/path/to/new/image.jpg');

There's no way to disable it currently but you can find a "blank" image from the concrete/images folder you could define there:

I even requested that this option could set the image off like this but I guess they didn't want to listen to me:

Antti / Mainio
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
And by the way, that image changes every day, so it's not always the leaf.
abovecreative replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks for the quick reply, its a nice idea but I think some of my clients may find it odd. Think it would be better if it defaulted to something simple like a grey gradient but with the option to link to flickr or choose your own image.
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
or maybe having the ability to set it through the dashboard, so clients can easily change it.
apc123 replied on at Permalink Reply
I'd love it if these background images could be chosen from a file set.
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah, that would be great. In the dashboard some options like:

Dashboard Background Image:
- Disable
- Concrete5 feed
- External feed
- Image set
- Static image
- Static external image

That could be useful. I kinda had in my mind already that there would be really a whole lotta questions of this but I guess this wasn't #1 priority on the core team's list before the RC release.

Also, I think they kinda optimistically thought that 100% of the people would love this. I know that they were wanting to set people aside from the "horrific CMS software" thinking and lighten up the mood with some warming nature image. However, I (too) think that there still are people who find this very un-warming.

Well, first to prove my point I'd think that when updating clients' sites, it might be already quite confusing to browse through the dashboard if you've used to something different. Then, to have even a completely different background there that even changes every time, they must be thinking "where can I find this", "this doesn't look familiar", "yesterday, this didn't look like this".

What I've seen many commercial software do when they do a complete rethink/reorganization of their UI, they usually provide both versions of the UI for a limited time for their users. Then, they try to slowly integrate the old users into the new UI.

This is just a comment, I know this wouldn't be possible with C5 as it is distributed OSS and not a hosted solution. At this point it is just a question of using 5.5.0 OR depending of what kind of customers there are out there.

frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Andrew is working on a how-to for this white-labeling stuff today.

In short, all of this stuff is designed to be customizable by developers
such as yourself.
No, we're not going to add a bunch of fields to the dashboard itself to let
end users change it, but sure - we recognize agencies and whatnot have
their own needs and being MIT licensed we've always embraced that.

In 5.5 you can change the newsflow landing page and the welcome landing
pages as an admin. They're pages, built with blocks, etc...

With some tinkering around with PHP settings you can also replace our logo
with yours easily, override the background image, control where intelligent
search looks, etc.

No, we didn't think that 100% of people would like it. 100% of people never
agree on anything. Change is always greeted with discontent. There's a
great article about facebook's various changes over the years; They roll
out a change, people complain. They backup a little, 6 months later the
same change goes out with a new name, everyone loves it.

My personal take is the background image is iconic of the general shift in
thinking about community that is in 5.5. As such, it becomes the target of
some difficult to express reservations.

As mentioned in a totally random and in a blog post, we recently learned
that over 2/3rds the traffic hitting concrete5.org's server had never
actually been to our website. Their experience with our software was
limited entirely to the one-click install they got on their budget host and
their dashboard. Were talking about tens if not hundreds of thousands of
people here that are completely unaware that you could build an extranet
with concrete5 in about 3 minutes, or anything else you might learn if you
spent hours wandering concrete5.org

So our goal with 5.5 was to decentralize our community and distribute more
of its value to the actual customer base using concrete5 right through the
CMS. I think if you look at any one of the specific things we did, you'd
likely agree it is good:

o.. Intelligent search hitting the how-tos and marketplace? That will
improve know-how and drive sales, both great things for everyone.

o.. Browsing the marketplace in your site, and actually being able to buy
something securely from within your site as well? That's gotta make things
easier for the thousands of poor people who have had to figure out project
pages here in the past.

o.. The newsflow interface? A great opportunity to remind people that
concrete5 is the fastest growing open source community out there, and keep
that momentum going. Imagine someone who has used concrete5 on their
personal site and one day learns they could set their company intranet up
easily? They never even thought of using it that way because to them
concrete5 was so easy it must be geared for small projects. Now through
just a few seconds of scanning a case study they learn they can do so much
more. That's awesome stuff. More jobs posted to the job forum, more themes
and add-ons bought, more people mentioning concrete5 in the same sentence
as 'the big 3"

I believe that any of these decisions taken granularly adds up to net wins
for everyone.

I also understand that a certain mentality can add these decisions all up
and say "hey they're tracking the loads on this background image, throwing
interstitial news at me I don't want, and hawking their add-ons in the main
toolbar! wtf! where's my privacy? These guys are THE MAN!"

Even if it doesn't quite sound that paranoid in your mind, there's
certainly a kernel of truth in there. We are connecting people closer
together with this release. Not everyone is always comfortable with that
idea - even if they enjoy the benefits of the final product. I think that
background image is just the most visceral way to identify this newfound
unity, and as such I'm not shocked some open source developers are unsure
about it.

All I would ask that you don't underestimate your clients. I have found
people find the organic imagery in there quite calming.

Give it a chance to become comfortable over the next couple of weeks as we
head into the new year.

Think of this as the awkward moment at that holiday event where the hostess
stops everything to start a party game. Does it feel annoying and weird?
Sure. Did it get everyone off the couch and thinking of one another in new
and interesting ways? Probably.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
What would our impression of Microsoft be if the Window's desktop background image defaulted to a random image from their community, and then it only allowed people to override that if they figured out how to add that to some system file?
MrNiceGaius replied on at Permalink Reply
Sorry, but comparing Concrete5 to Microsoft is so unfair -- just the fact that I have to click on a "start" menu in windows is proof c5 is vastly superior :) and let's not even get into what c5 would be like if MS developed it haha
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply

Yeah, I think I'm then too stupid that I didn't understand that you're tracking how many loads on different concrete5 sites there are each day. :) Well, now I understand why you want to keep it as it is (although it could be done also with a blank image). I wasn't actually finding the other connecting stuff intimidating at all. Actually, when I first started to connect my sites to the community, I first thought out why it WASN'T possible to buy straight from the site. Now I'm a bit concerned about will my clients be able to use OUR account to make purchases because I've connected most of the site with this account (to make maintenance easier to me)...

I don't underestimate my clients, I actually like the image MYSELF after the confusion that I first got when starting to click around in 5.5. I'm also feeling that most of the new clients will find it very nice. My comments might therefore seem a bit of "complaining too much" to you.

However, I also have my existing clients and I also know that not all of them will like it. I even have some tech-savvy customers and I know I will get comments from them about this. "My god, where's our dashboard?!?!"

That said, I'm not actually that afraid of this. It will be a long time before I will be updating any of my clients' sites mainly because of the add-on compatibility issue. Also, maar posted in other discussion that good way to deal with the updates would be to ask your clients to decide for themselves. Maybe provide a demo of 5.5 and then ask to update or not...
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
And actually to add to this for frz:

If you're not adding this to the dashboard, I'm sure there will be an add-on for this purpose in few weeks available. So, if the main purpose of the image is to track loads, it would be actually better to add as configurable. But if you're fine with it, guess I'm wrong then. Maybe I'll just go and make a new folder in my dev concrete's /packages/ folder then to start with... ;)

Tracking can be done also completely without image, just hit some of your URLs with JS (although it might not be that obvious you're doing tracking if you do it through images). And yes, I'm sure you know this but just to add as a point there because what I got the main purpose of the image is to track loads...

frz replied on at Permalink Reply
mainio: Dont worry, you're not logged in as anyone by default. Even if you connect your site to the community with your own account, anyone wanting to purchase something will get to login on checkout. Your clients won't be buying things with your balance.

The background image isn't just a hit counter. It does three things:
1) It creates calm in a place that used to be intimidating. It's always going to be organic real world imagery. You're going to see a lot of nature, some architecture, etc. You're not going to see macro shots of the insides of computers. This is the Ying to the Yang of explaining what cache settings are.

2) It changes every day. Every day people are doing new things with concrete5, and every day you have the exciting opportunity to see what the picture of the day is going to be. Your going to be subtly reminded that your part of something active.

3) It connects you to everyone else using concrete5. This is something I often lament is missing in the new way television is maturing. Sure its great I can demand Arrested Development whenever I want it, but there's something about watching David Letterman at 11:30 that is unifying. Sure I may not know my neighbor's name, but I know there are millions of people watching Dave with me. When I walk through the neighborhood I see the blue glow coming from windows and think "yeah they're watching Dave.." Am I having a conversation with them in a chat room? No. But there's still an emotional unifying connection.

So that's what's going on. None of that may resonate with you, but I thought I'd share that as there was a fair amount of thought going on about it..

and oh, Tony.. seriously dude? I guess my impression would be that I was at Bing.com. You're making this too easy. ;)
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
not trying to start an argument. it just doesn't seem to live up to the whole concrete5-is-intuitive thing when users have to set global variables for stuff
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I wouldn't expect "users" to change it.
I would expect shops that are whitelabeling concrete5 to change it.

A stand alone site operator who is using our software on bluehost and hates
figs? Bummer, tomorrow it'll be something else.

To me, intuitive doesn't mean you can change everything, it means the
experience was well thought out to be friendly. Generally intuitive has
meant less options, less control - not more. (Basecamp, Macs, twitter, you
name it.)

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
ok franz, it's not a big deal, forget I mentioned it
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I have an image of a junkyard dog in the corner, inexplicably protecting a
mountain of photo albums.. ;)

In all seriousness, I really do feel like this will become a second nature
afterthought to everyone in a few weeks, and you'll all be clicking that X
to gaze at the picture of the day in its full glory just like the techs
around here have started to do.

...and of course if ya don't - by all means use the config settings to do
what you want.. open source is keen.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply 1 Attachment
@frz no offense but facebook isn't really the bar of user respect. haha.

@Everyone who hates the background image

There's an app for that.

See attached. Install it and the background is gone. Uninstall it and the background is back. Push ti github in a few minutes.

I personally thought the background was a very elegant touch often forgotten by administration interfaces and I applaud the bold move.

But haterz gonna hate. And to prove that c5 is MIT LICENSED once again and you are free to change anything you don't like, feel free to use the attached package aptly name "Background Image Haterz"

EDIT: Updated with DIR_REL as per @Manio's helpful insight.
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
Whoah! Few weeks was a little pessimistic from my point of view :)

I do like it as well (the background image) but it's good there are options to choose from.

One point: you do not include the DIR_REL in the beginning there, so it might not work for sites served from subfolder... It disables the image also for them but browser console might throw a 404.
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply
Indeed. I updated it with DIR_REL
Mainio replied on at Permalink Reply
Ok, now I understand a bit more about the image. I also feel that it's something you get used to over time.

I think for new users it's not that big deal, their first impressions are probably positive about it (as I said previously). The problem is mainly with existing c5 users (or so I think).

Maybe we all need to give everyone a little more time to get used to it...
pvernaglia replied on at Permalink Reply
It's been obvious for a couple weeks that there are people who don't like the background images and don't want them imposed on their site. It is ridiculous that people need to create add ons or edit desktop themes to disable them. What's the big deal??? Put a check box in Site Wide Settings to disable them. Everyone will be happy!

Happy Holidays
Alexander replied on at Permalink Reply
Great solution - Thanks!
tallacman replied on at Permalink Reply
two cents here but…

I like the picture. gives me a reason to get out of bed and log in so I can be (insert your emotion here).
frz replied on at Permalink Reply

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
NBardales replied on at Permalink Reply
Loving the pictures too... Of course, it's a bold move, but that's what life's all about: Change!

Having this new Dashboard interface makes me relate more to the CMS, I feel like it's made for humans, not for robots... and this comes from someone who has edited core .php files as much as the next person.

Congratulations on this new release, I've been following EVERY update, and when I finally saw the announcement... I felt happy again! This is the BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT ever... =D
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks! It's great to hear that emotional connection expressed and recognized as important.

The feathers today are fabulous, no? ;)

Best wishes,
(Pecked out on a mobile device...)
TheRealSean replied on at Permalink Reply
If the background image is the thing that we are all discussing, then I think you have done well. I came here looking for 5.5 bugs and instead found a healthy discussion about the new images.

Im in the "I like the images" boat but will have to use the background_image_haterz package for some clients.

Don't get me wrong I will be trying to push the background images, but it has split the office here and no doubt that will in turn force me to remove for some of the clients that prefer a more vanilla look.

It will be interesting to see what opinions are like in the middle of next year once this has settled down.

But either way image or no image, I really like the new look, the new dashboard, Favourites, stacks, global areas. Great Job to the core and anyone else that has been involved with 5.5
foiseworth replied on at Permalink Reply 1 Attachment
In a way this whole conversation slightly misses the point for me because the background image is just part of the dashboard template therefore if you don't like it just change the template via an override?

Mkly's option is definitely simpler and the one I would recommend to use for quickness. However, for me, one of the beautiful things about C5 is overrides.

So, with that in mind, copy the dashboard theme (concrete/themes/dashboard) to the root themes directory and in the header file (elements/header.php) remove

lines 67-77
$backgroundImage = Loader::helper('concrete/dashboard')->getDashboardBackgroundImage();
<script type="text/javascript">
   $(function() {
       $.backstretch("<?php echo $backgroundImage->image?>" <?php  if (!$_SESSION['dashboardHasSeenImage']) { ?>,  {speed: 750}<?php  } ?>);
       <?php  if ($backgroundImage->checkData) { ?>
          ccm_getDashboardBackgroundImageData('<?php echo $backgroundImage->filename?>');
      <?php  } ?>

lines 82-88
<?php  if (!$_SESSION['dashboardHasSeenImage']) { 
   $_SESSION['dashboardHasSeenImage'] = true;
} ?>
<?php  if (isset($backgroundImage->caption) && $backgroundImage->caption) { ?>
   <div id="ccm-dashboard-background-caption" class="ccm-ui"><div id="ccm-dashboard-background-caption-inner"><?php  if ($backgroundImage->url) { ?><a target="_blank" href="<?php echo $backgroundImage->url?>"><?php  } ?><?php echo $backgroundImage->caption?><?php  if ($backgroundImage->url) { ?></a><?php  } ?></div></div>
<?php  } ?>

(or use attached header.php)

Not the easy/quick/efficient way but the C5/beautiful/proper way to do it?

Please tell me if I have got this completely wrong... and of course if you upgrade and things aren't as they should be you should disable the override.
tallacman replied on at Permalink Reply
The feathers are beautiful. My wife saw it and remarked at "my" beautiful design.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply
This thread rules.
fastcrash replied on at Permalink Reply
So, what is the best way to remove the leaf? hehee.. just kiding <img src="http://images.forum.idws-static.com/images/smilies/onion-08.gif" />
andrew replied on at Permalink Best Answer Reply
I wrote up a quick how-to detailing the various PHP constants that 5.5 has available for white labeling, and an introduction to some of the new stuff in 5.5 that makes concrete5 more attractive for those who want to cobrand/rebrand it, and manage the entire experience (including dashboard home page customization, dashboard background image customization, various global options, marketplace integration, etc...)

MrGrowBizz replied on at Permalink Reply
Andrew, Thanks for the quick response write up. Do agree with Tony on this as to his windows comparison.

Sure is a lot of chit chat on something in my view would be better served on the finer points and achievements of the team. "I have found people find the organic imagery in there quite calming" Funny :) considering all the work done by the team to have developers and clients spend less time there, guess its for those who need to be calmed when trying to find a way to change it?
Promark replied on at Permalink Reply
Thank you for this.

Not reading the whole thread because the first few posts seems like a rev up to an epeen contest but my peanut gallery 2 cents is this: as a design company, if I want to show my clients graphics, I will, and forcing them on me, without knowing me or my clients, just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

ADDED: Also having to remove them adds time to my already over-strained workload and TBH if I knew they were there before install, I wouldn't have upgraded.
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
Do you get so bent out of shape by the Google logo that changes daily? What about the bing.com background image? This is an honest question. I certainly don't need the dashboard background image for its "calming" effect: we tried to introduce some attractive element to enliven what was a pretty monochromatic experience. .

The new version of concrete5 is actually much, much easier for people like yourself who want to white label and customize it. It's much more flexible in that regard.

We have listened to people who dislike it, though; in 5.5.1 (and currently in github already) there is a new dashboard interface settings page where you can control the behavior of the new blue quick nav and the dashboard background image. The white labeling are still valid and can be set in config/site.php (or in an installation .xml script) but you can also change the dashboard background image through your site's dashboard.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
At this point, I do need it for its calming effect.

I don't actually approve each pic before it goes live. I just glanced
at a years worth over the designers shoulder once to make sure there
wasn't anything too offensive. So I wake up each morning with the same
sense of wonder and anticipation that I'm sure you all do. I have
found that even when I don't like the picture (wtf was with that kitty
on saturday?) I enjoy making fun of it with the other people in the
office. It is like network TV - even when it sucks we're all watching
it together. Community is important.

Anyrate - as Andy mentioned, never let it be said we don't "listen" ..
(well that's said all the time, but there's a difference between
listening and mindlessly obeying every direction given.) Grab the
latest version of out GIT and you can pick no image, or your own.

Tangentially, from a philosophical standpoint I feel compelled to
share we are all surprised at the level of focus on this issue.
There's a lot of stuff we did with 5.5 that we thought people might
have serious concerns about, but the background image - and
particularly the X in the dashboard meme was certainly never something
we expected would draw so much debate. This has completely proven the
bike shed theory beyond a shadow of a doubt to me:


best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
mkly replied on at Permalink Reply
@frz lol at linking to wikipedia today.
Promark replied on at Permalink Reply
I don't use google as a tool to build websites for my clients. And please calm down, I'm not bend out of shape, I am a simple user giving you my opinion and my feedback.

And after your hostile response Andrew, the bad taste just made me have to spit.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I think you misread the tone of Andrew's response.

In all honesty we're completely flabbergasted that this background image is such a polarizing issue. In general people's feedback on this feature has been love it or hate it - and the haters seem to be really passionate in their phrasing. From our prospective there's plenty of places/things on the web that take this centralized community content approach (Google logos, bing backgrounds, etc) so when people tell us we're "unprofessional" or they can't believe we would have done this and "wouldn't have upgraded" if they knew - it's kinda bewildering. That is all.
Promark replied on at Permalink Reply
If its so bewildering then simply to ask me to clarify my feedback, don't insinuate that I am "bent out of shape". Honestly, its personal attacks on a nobody user like me that causes questions of professionalism, not what you choose to do with your software.

In the end what you do is your choice, but its also my choice to use your product for my clients or to suggest your product to my colleagues. I gave you my feedback and my opinion, that is all, what you choose to do with it is up to you. But also how you (or in this case Andrew) responds to that feedback speaks volumes for where my recommendations will go.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm disappointed to hear we offended you. Hopefully the fact that the feature now exists will make things better.

best wishes
Promark replied on at Permalink Reply
All said and done, I think we all just need another cup of coffee today, at least I know I do.

I would like to say, again, which I think Andrew may have missed the first time, thank you for the How-to.

I hope that the new 5.5.1 feature will help those who are not code savvy make the changes that are required to tweak the interface as needed.
MrGrowBizz replied on at Permalink Reply
Believe the C5 team has made good progress on improving things in 5.5. Andrew was especially great in responding quickly early on to supply an easy solution to remove the forced imagery. However, agree that this should be accomplished within the dashboard.

There is a big difference from Google changing their logo (which I personally rarely notice) and shoving images in one's face that cover their entire workbench. I am bewildered why there is so much resistance in putting a dashboard switch on it. Why would you want alienate anyone on this, you guys are in the business of working towards making C5 a world class CMS, not selling photos or making people look at what they don't want to see. What may be calming for some (?) is certainly not calming for all.

It's nice to be able to apply a custom background, why not just make it easy for all and let them have a choice?
LucasAnderson replied on at Permalink Reply
As mentioned by Andrew above, this is already in place for 5.5.1.

"We have listened to people who dislike it, though; in 5.5.1 (and currently in github already) there is a new dashboard interface settings page where you can control the behavior of the new blue quick nav and the dashboard background image."
MrGrowBizz replied on at Permalink Reply
Lucas, Thanks for pointing out!
sherri333 replied on at Permalink Reply
Just my two cents, at first I didn't like the background image but now I do, though I really appreciate that you now provide the option to have it or not.

Then again I did not want to upgrade past v4.2 for the longest time when I was first using Concrete5 but now truly appreciate the newest version(s).

In fact, regarding the images, I am wondering about the source of one of them. More clearly, the location of the photo, a lovely mountainside scenery shot. I also liked the Thanksgiving ride blurred photo. Do you provide info about the images, or is it all completely random and anonymous?

I am very enthusiastically appreciative of Concrete5 and thanks for all of your hard work at creating and maintaining it!
frz replied on at Permalink Reply

Actually when you first load any page in the dashboard, look at the
bottom of the page. There's a little black bar with a link and a title
in it you can click on to goto the source. It's typically on flickr.

Just gotta catch it before it fades away.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
MarshaB replied on at Permalink Reply
To turn off the background image:
1. Go to your Dashboard and click on System & Settings
2. Choose Interface Preferences
3. Choose: Background Image - None OR choose your own background image by choosing "Specify Custom Image".
If you are a visual person and need to see it, take a look here:
Templates in Time
adaptik replied on at Permalink Reply
I would really appreciate if anyone could add the same feature to C5 for the front-end (for example for html' body tag). I am aware that one can relatively easy set pages' backgrounds via Page Attributes, but it will be much more convenient to have the ability to setting a global background directly from Dashboard. That might save me a lot of tweaking :P
Best wishes,
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
there's a few themes that use photos for backgrounds. I like clearview

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
adaptik replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah, I know:P But that's a chit-chat, right? I just thought that maybe someone will share some hints or a tutorial how to get this thing works.
Unfortunately it seems that I will have to invent a wheel again unless you know a free theme (in terms of money;) and I'm not a scrooge I simply can't afford it right now) that offers background swap directly from the C5 back-end. It'll be a real time-saver for me.
Best wishes,
digitmaster replied on at Permalink Reply
on my clicking that "Interface Preferences" gives no popup window.
I did the modding by commenting a line in /concrete/config/base.php as follow:
//define('DASHBOARD_BACKGROUND_FEED', 'http://backgroundimages.concrete5.org/wallpaper');

it works.
NOTE: Simply ovveriding this file does not work, so a core modding was necessary, no way also editing the /config/site.php as Andrew wrote.