MozillaZine

Theme building

Discuss application theming and theme development.

Do you think that the lack of theme bulilding software is hurting the adoption of mozilla and netscape?

Yes
16
44%
No
20
56%
 
Total votes : 36

tmb

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 2:00 pm

I think that one of the greatest hurdles to getting mozilla accepted it the lack of a easy way to create themes. Not that modern or classic are <i>bad</i>, but think aboutit, if we had say two hundred themes or so how many users would we gain? <br> I would write a theme builder myself, but my abilities are limited to producing buggy HTML :roll:
Last edited by tmb on November 5th, 2002, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 2:13 pm

sorry, but i use a browser because of its capabilities, not because there are hundrets of themes available. mozilla is great, and it's very nice to have themes like orbit retro, but i don't think it's essential for gaining more users. think of ie - this *insert adverb here* piece of software isn't skinnable at all.

tmb

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 2:18 pm

well IE dosen't have tabs like mozilla but I still would not say that tabs detract from mozilla
Last edited by tmb on December 11th, 2014, 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 2:33 pm

you got me wrong..
i do not think themes distract people, i like themes myself and find them great!
i just said that i don't think that theming is the killer-feature for a normal user.
and needless to say, we have a lot of great themes right now, and i'm sure more are to come.

tmb

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 2:39 pm

However, lets remember that every little thing that adds a mozilla user is needed :) Plus, themes are something that will keep people using mozilla. We do not want to lose users like netscape did in the first round of the browser wars.

cdn

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 2:43 pm

well Hotbar and other add-ons allow minimal alteration, specifically the toolbar background, I assume the icons remain the same

tmb

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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 3:20 pm

I'm thinking of something like somebody pulling Chameleon out of its coffin :D

redvine
 
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Post Posted November 5th, 2002, 4:55 pm

I think an easier theme creation tool might result in a lot of small ISP's or other businesses that have a reason to distribute a browser and choose to take advantage of that distribution to improve brand recognition creating their own branded version of Mozilla to distribute to their customers. This might lead to a small uptick to adoption of Mozilla relative to IE. It is only a small effect, but a good theme creation tool could drive some user adoption.

Plus, there are people out their swayed by the prettier interface. Face it, in a lot of ways Mozilla and IE our pretty competitive in terms of browsing environment (especially for peopl who havn't browsed pop-up add free and with tabs and don't know what they are missing). One more small group of people that might adopt Mozilla if just the right (coolest to their eye) skin existed.

nicubunu

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Post Posted November 6th, 2002, 7:23 am

Is not hurting, but can be very good to have.

velociraptor

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Post Posted November 6th, 2002, 8:20 am

I don't think that the lack of tools to make theme building more easy hurts the Mozilla user base much -
the two default themes are very nice and useful and there are a few other themes out.
However I think that it is an awful waste of investment to have all that possibilities and not use them!
XUL and related stuff like themes and apps are a good thing, but I have the impression that apart
froim being used internally by mozilla developers nothing much is being done to make it easier
and more inviting for others to use that. Basic things I would like to see are not only a tool for
managing themes but the ability to pre-install themes system-wide in the main mozilla install dir and
conversely, the ability to optionally install apps in the user dir.


WeSaySo
 
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Post Posted November 6th, 2002, 10:59 pm

tmb wrote:OK but anything that could boost adoption is good, so why dosen't some programmer write a theme builder?


In part, because it is non-trivial. XUL uses CSS for styling and the cascading effect makes things complicated. I'm currently working on a theme and am hitting this problem. The benefits of cascading is that you can say "all toolbars will use this background" but later say "just the cookie manager toolbar will use this other background". Thus, the general styles give you lots of power to style many different parts at once. The drawback is that if things need to be different in one place you have to deal with that as well. This is easy without a cascade, but more complicated with a cascade of styles. And making a program will be difficult to keep track of the cascade.
Ad astra

tmb

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Post Posted November 7th, 2002, 10:02 am

It might be difficult to do, but think of all the themes that would result from such a program :!:

WillyWonka

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Post Posted November 7th, 2002, 10:31 am

If you look at the Chameleon Mailing list archives for sept 2002, the author says that to get it back to where it was when mozilla was at v0.6, it would take 4 weeks of programming. And that is coming from the guy who knows the code backwards and forwards. I decided to not attempt fixing it after I read that and looked at the code.

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