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Theme compatibility with Android

Discuss application theming and theme development.
Zigboom

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Post Posted May 25th, 2012, 3:17 am

Hi guys,
Does anyone know how to make a theme compatible with Android (phones or tablets)?
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mcdavis

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Post Posted May 26th, 2012, 3:23 am

Hi Zigboom. Without having certain knowledge, I think the answer is there's no way to do that. The only actual data point I have is that you can't mark uploaded themes on AMO as compatible with mobile platforms. I have the impression that newer versions of mobile Firefox aren't even using XUL-based widgets .. they're using native mobile-platform widgets. I once saw NNL running on Maemo-based Fennec, but I think that's way in the past now. Everything else I've seen points to this too.
Last edited by mcdavis on May 26th, 2012, 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Zigboom

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Post Posted May 26th, 2012, 4:34 am

Hi mcdavis, Thanks for the info!
Seems that Mozilla doesn't make it easy for us to theme the mobile version.
So, one look for all? that's the news for mobile? It's a bit strange because mobile users can customize their theme for the OS, why not the browser?
Any comment from Mozilla's team? are we missing something or is it a dead end?
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KLB

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Post Posted July 8th, 2012, 7:19 pm

As far as I know, you can not theme Firefox Mobile. As MCDavis said, Firefox Mobile was originally based on XUL widgets, which made theming it theoretically possible. Unfortunately, the XUL based Firefox Mobile had some very bad performance issues that could not be overcome until XUL was ditched in favor of using an OS native UI. They talked about this some at MozCamp EU this past fall and explained how significantly performance improved by making the switch.
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Zigboom

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Post Posted July 9th, 2012, 12:31 am

KLB wrote:As far as I know, you can not theme Firefox Mobile. As MCDavis said, Firefox Mobile was originally based on XUL widgets, which made theming it theoretically possible. Unfortunately, the XUL based Firefox Mobile had some very bad performance issues that could not be overcome until XUL was ditched in favor of using an OS native UI. They talked about this some at MozCamp EU this past fall and explained how significantly performance improved by making the switch.


Thanks Ken for making it clear.
-=# LavaFox & Black Fox - Dark & hot themes for Firefox #=-
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/4710003/

Zigboom

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Post Posted August 24th, 2013, 1:51 pm

Any news on creating themes for Firefox Mobile?
-=# LavaFox & Black Fox - Dark & hot themes for Firefox #=-
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/4710003/

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted August 26th, 2013, 6:26 pm

I don't think this situation is likely to change anytime in the next few years. Currently, Mozilla is prepping the Firefox 26 release to have the Australis look that was specifically designed to integrate with the Android native-widget stuff. This has already been 2 years in the making. It's doubtful that Mobile will ever be skinnable from a theme or extension... maybe they will try to get Personas to work on there, but they probably need to actually hire someone to manage that mess since it hasn't really been worked on in what, 3 years now?
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Zigboom

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Post Posted August 27th, 2013, 12:21 am

Hi Patrick,
Thanks for the info!
Actually I'm using Firefox mobile Beta on my Android smart-phone (really great browser!) and "Personas" which are called simply "themes" are working and promoted on the first page of "all add-ons"!
When uploading a new version of a theme (I mean the normal full theme), there is an option to mark it compatible with Android, I never tried it but it's there.
I'm curious to know what do we have to do in order to be able to choose this option. Or is the option just for decoration? :)
-=# LavaFox & Black Fox - Dark & hot themes for Firefox #=-
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/4710003/

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted August 28th, 2013, 1:35 pm

Personas aren't themes. Period. They built Personas into the native theming... it's not hard, just tell the OS you want to use Y background instead of X background. But changing the buttons and shapes etc would require theming the OS using whatever toolkit the native theme uses, and I'm betting Mozilla didn't construct the architecture in a way to make switching themes possible. The option for Mobile is there because AMO is designed for all extensions and since they don't care much for themes, they aren't going to build a custom uploader just for themes. If you are really all that curious, why not find a copy of Firefox for Mobile and crack it open?
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Zigboom

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Post Posted August 28th, 2013, 1:46 pm

Thanks Patrick for the info. That's what I thought .. as you said, I agree that "they don't care much for themes" ..
I actually use Firefox on my Android and it's very cool for such a young browser! Anyway, I don't think I'll create a theme if Mozilla isn't promoting it :(
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patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted August 28th, 2013, 2:17 pm

Yeah not much point in it and even if you did start down that path, there's nothing from stopping Mozilla from totally reworking their mobile platform again and again and again... this is what, the 5th or 6th totally different incarnation of Firefox Mobile?
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Zigboom

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Post Posted August 28th, 2013, 2:52 pm

Right, no point investing if it's not on the same side with Mozilla. Will have to settle for a dark "persona" :( just not the default theme :p
-=# LavaFox & Black Fox - Dark & hot themes for Firefox #=-
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