AfterStep Themes Discussion

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Revision as of 08:46, 19 February 2008 by Speedy (talk | contribs)
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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...


  • a theme is a subject of composition and/or a distinct, recurring, and unifying quality or idea
  • 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 initself 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

  • Background
  • IconSet
  • Decor
    • Windows
    • Window Buttons
    • Menu
    • 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

What should be included with a theme?

This is just a topic starter, and nothing else.

Speedy's ideas:


  • Window Decorations MyStyle
  • Menu MyStyle (including MiniFolders)
  • Wharf MyStyle
  • Pager MyStyle
  • WinTabs MyStyle
  • WinList MyStyle
  • Color Scheme
  • Mouse pointer (?)
  • Background

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?

  • Wharf
  • Pager
  • WinList
  • WinTabs

Leave out:

  • Animations - seven types offered. Can these even be theme-specific? Can additional ones be added? If not, should be decided by user.
  • Menu - switching on and off: mini-folders, recent, texture, unavailable.