AfterStep Themes Discussion

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Revision as of 10:21, 19 January 2012 by Born2late (talk | contribs) (typo)
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The whole terminology of themes/skins is full of misunderstandings, so everthing needs to be clearly defined, feel free to correct anything...

Part of Discussion

so far users born2late and speedy0 have joined the discussion


  • a theme is a subject of composition and/or a distinct, recurring, and unifying quality or idea
  • a theme is a set of default settings, which may or may not be overridden by a user
    1. stuff that does not make "sense" to be changed (this is "decided" by the themer) can be forbidden to be changed
    2. user may enforce his settings though (replacing theme settings with his settings as a whole), to keep him in control if he still needs to. so either: merge gracefully and trust themer to make good decisions for you or discard that theme-aspect (module, menu, whatever) as a whole.
  • a skin (Look in afterstep terminology) is a way to decorate elements a user has set up to be on his desktop, as such a skin is a subset of a theme

Entities involved with theming

  • user (what he wants and doesnt want to be changed)
  • theme (what themer wants so theme is an experience rather then simple cosmetic changes)
  • theme engine (helps integrate user whishes and themer whishes)

Theme objectives

  • it defines where stuff lies on the desktop (as such any personal config is in itself a theme)
  • how it reacts/interacts
  • it defines how stuff is decorated
  • other toolkits/apps to be themed

Atomic Elements that cannot be further reduced that are part of a theme

  • Background
  • IconSet
  • Decor (look -> MyStyles)
    • Windows
    • Window Buttons
    • Menu (including MiniFolders)
    • Modules
      • Wharf
      • Pager
      • Winlist
      • WinTabs
      • banner
  • Feel (FIXME : break down more)
    • Keyboard actions
    • mouse actions
  • Module Decor
  • size and orientation of windowbox (problem here: how to make that look independant)
  • Animation settings
  • Mouse pointer (?)

Atomic Elements that cannot be further reduced that are´nt part of a theme

  • Color Scheme
  • Mouse speed and buttons

Things that are ambigious

This seem to be problematic sections for one of us:

  • Background -> by definition a very personal setting... 3 settings at least : dont_touch, theme(keep picture just make matching frame),replace
  • Menu - switching on and off: mini-folders, recent, texture, unavailable.
  • Feel - Not sure if this should be included or not. Very user-specific. What's the gain for the user?
  • Sounds - based-on events, could have a sci-fi theme, Halloween theme, Simpsons theme, Elmo theme, etc.
  • Modules - Should these be modified? These are very user-specific, and loading them can disrupt an existing setup. Should there be a warning when installing these? ...should be user definable imo...
  • Animations - seven types offered. Can these even be theme-specific? Can additional ones be added? If not, should be decided by user. since the Animate Module is the right one to put opengl/bling support into this should stay in somehow.