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Copilot Lvl 2
Message 1 of 2

GitHub Pages course: point of confusion on themes

Hi. Greetings from Canada.

So far I think that the GitHub Learning Lab courses are a pretty good introduction to GitHub. Thanks for setting them up and for providing feedback and for fixing reported bugs so quickly!


I would like to report an item in the GitHub Pages course that tripped me up quite a bit.

Step 5 here says:

5.1. On the Code tab, click the _config.yml file
5.2. Click the pencil (✏) icon to enter edit mode and change the theme: to minima


Now the theme that I had initially chosen via the GitHub website GUI, in accordance with Step 4 of the lesson (again, see the PDF linked to above), was "Midnight" - which was translated into text, in _config.yml, as "jekyll-theme-midnight".

It was not entirely clear whether I was supposed to edit that "theme:" text-entry to just "minima", or whether it needed to keep the prefix and so become "jekyll-theme-minima".

I guessed the latter.

Which, as it turns out, is incorrect; it really should have been just "theme: minima".


The github-learning-lab[bot] did not catch the mistake, and the only indication I received - later, when I happened to check my email - was an email (one of many that I received about the activities in that repository), stating:

You are attempting to use a Jekyll theme, "jekyll-theme-minima", which is not supported by GitHub Pages.
Please visit for a list of supported themes.


Incidentally, that /themes/ page lists a theme called "minima" AND another theme called "minimal", which is confusing enough if one is not reading carefully.

Even worse: The GUI theme selector (per Step 4) lists all of the same themes as that /themes/ page *except* for "minima".


Please, please specify a different theme in Step 5. ALL of the other twelve themes listed on the above /themes/ page - and so ALL of the ones shown in the GUI - include the "jekyll-theme-" prefix. (I recognize that the prefix is not a technical/logical requirement, but it is semantically clearer. And it seems really odd, to me, for Step 5 to specify the sole exception to that convention.) I guess that the idea behind choosing "minima" was to be certain that everyone would be forced to actually do Step 5, since no one could have chosen that theme in Step 4. That's good thinking, and I applaud that sort of foresight. But, again, please, please choose a theme the *does* require the "jekyll-theme-" prefix, just for the sake of consistency (and to avoid confusion among those, like me, who overthink everything). And while you're at it, please use a theme name that is more distinct!

Many thanks, much appreciation,

1 Reply
Message 2 of 2

Re: GitHub Pages course: point of confusion on themes

Hello Edward from Canada! Greetings from Briana in Germany.


Thank you for taking the time to post this. I think you're right, the current explanation isn't clear, and it's difficult to tell exactly what you're supposed to edit. I'm going to start working on a fix now. Unfortunately we don't have control over how the themes are named, but we can definitely try to make it more clear in the instructions. Smiley Happy