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Newbie questions

Discuss application theming and theme development.
DeadDude
 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 9:45 am

Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 9:04 am

I am new to SeaMonkey and themes. I really enjoy SeaMonkey.

I have used Firefox previously, and have create multiple themes for Google Chrome.

I cannot believe that it is so difficult to create a theme! The web site is of nearly no use.

From what I can glean from posts here, SeaMonkey uses a different format than FireFox? Is that correct?

And you basically need to hack an existing theme to pieces to get a proper layout to build upon?

So then to build a theme, you essentially create a patch over an existing theme?

I have created numerous full themes for Google Chrome Browser, and it is MUCH simpler.

Also, what is the CHROME attribute/folder/etc in SeaMonkey/FireFox all about?? Very difficult to keep my mind straight as I go through the docs/folders/guides, since I use Google Chrome also.

Is it possible for someone to create a base theme that will stay compatible with all versions of SeaMonkey or Firefox? Where all the files are included and all I need to do is edit the graphics?

Why does the theme page here show me themes I cannot use? The page clearly has the ability to tell me something won't work on my browser, why not filter the uselessness off the page entirely? [-X

Why is a theme in an XPI file when elsewhere states XPI are for extensions only? ](*,)

Why is a theme that doesn't include new functionality get packaged XPI? :-k

JAR files??? WHat? None in my SeaMonkey folders. Got 4 themes. No JARs.

Why do themes from older versions not work on newer versions? They physically appear the same (aside from gfx used).

Is it possible to put the new tab button up with the navigation buttons? Or is this something that requires hard core programming knowledge, and not just a simple setting change (cuz I can't find it)


And why would the UI get modified so heavily that something as simple as a theme gets broken on every release?

I wanted to create a simple colorized theme for SeaMonkey. A theme with multiple color options, so if I want my base color black and all text elements white I could. Or purple base with green text, whatever choices one would want. In Chrome this is really easy. Edit the colors of text in a txt file, add color swath to folder. 2 more clicks, reload Chrome, it's there.

SeaMonkey appears to be MUCH MUCH MUCH more complicated.

I downloaded the ecars theme (spelling? the star trek one) for a base theme to build mine from... and let me tell ya, it makes almost no sense.


Sorry for my ranting and raving and questions.... but I've never seen such an established application change such simple aspects so often. Why does a graphical designer need to be a programmer of Java and DCOM stuff to make a theme?

And the page here that tells you how to add a graphic to the top and bottom never tells you HOW to get the browser to LOAD them. Do I have to SUBMIT something before I can even look at it on my own end? SHEESH!

From closer inspection, it appears to be so stupidly complicated because someone could make the toolbars go vertical instead of horizontal... or any other kind of complicated modification.

Well, isn't the layout of the controls stored separately from the graphical elements? Aren't all the controls hard-coded names? WHy do I have to fiddle with any of the layout when all I want are custom graphics on my buttons and a clean black border with white text?

And if someone COULD make the toolbars flow vertical instead... where's THAT theme?? eh?

Greatly need a pre-packaged tutorial theme.
Greatly need a simplified Theme creation methodology, this is ridiculous for those of us who don't program and don't hack files and crap.

Dontcha know themes are important to most people who look for their own software?

I love SeaMonkey. I don't use Firefox. Why are they so radically different when they were originally the same base? I mean, couldn't the THEMES at least be compatible?

And why are themes in XPI format if XPI is only for EXTENSIONS?
I could have sworn an EXTENSION was meant to EXTEND the FUNCTIONALITY of the browser?

I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but I'm pretty thrown by this mess... and this is coming from what USED TO BE the biggest competitor of Internet Exploder.

Such a shame to see such simple tweaking is made so infuriating. ](*,)

Please enlighten me if I am mistaken. I sorely hope I somehow woke up in Bizarro-world and will be corrected soon. 8-[

smsmith
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Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 9:31 am

The type of themes you are talking about (like how Google Chrome uses themes) are these types of themes for Firefox/Seamonkey:
https://addons.mozilla.org/En-us/seamonkey/themes/

Those are much easier to make than the complete themes (which can change buttons appearance, button icons, scrollbars, etc.).

Chrome in Firefox refers to the user interface (the window, not the content).
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I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick.
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DeadDude
 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 9:45 am

Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 11:03 am

Um... it doesn't work that way on my end with Google Chrome... I can change almost all the graphics very easily, buttons, scroll bars, new tab graphics, etc. But that isn't the point. Thank you for the link all the same, as this website here is confusing with its terminology... personas? themes? ugh.

I just don't want to use Google Chrome anymore- too much data collecting for my taste.

see if I understand this then....

Chrome on Firefox and SeaMonkey is the area a web page loads into? Or everything else?

With a name like Chrome, you would think it would have a metallic appearance on the default theme.


I've done more reading, and it looks like I jumped in at the worst possible moment...

I didn't realize the whole community is in an up-roar over theming...

smsmith
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Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 12:05 pm

I've never seen a Google Chrome theme that does anything like what you have described. As I have become intrigued, I have decided to install Google Chrome and see if I can find such a thing.

Here's what I am aware that Chrome things can change:
Background color/image of the window frame
New tab page background.

Very similar to what used to be called Personas in Firefox, but then some genius decided to call another Mozilla (the company) project Persona (some universal login system) so they changed Persona the them to Themes and Themes to Complete Themes. Chaos and mayhem ensued. Now Themes (old Personas) are pushed in favor of Complete Themes. For what reason, I don't know.

All of that is pretty much an aside. The "easiest" way to make a complete theme is to find one that is already fairly close to what you want to do and start modifying its codebase (which is just CSS) and switching out the images in the theme for you own. As Seamonkey is complicated due to it having a browser, mail, web composer, chat, etc. component, it's the most difficult to create a theme for.
Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.
I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick.
Please do not PM me for personal support. Keep posts here in the Forums instead and we all learn.

DeadDude
 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 9:45 am

Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 12:20 pm

A-HA!
(how to post having an a-ha moment?)

Thank you for clearing that up! The internet never forgets, and my googl-fu left me greatly confused.

If you are interested in theming Google Chrome, I'll see if I still got any of my themes from before the great HD crash of New Years 2013.

I used to have a special folder I made just to rapidly test my Chrome themes- any changes to the contents were reflected upon reload of Chrome.

I was really really really hoping to find a similar shortcut with SeaMonkey.

For some reason, I totally forgot FireFox has no extras (email, newsgroups, etc).

But I must confess, I prefer SeaMonkey over FireFox. SeaMonkey runs with far less resources in my experience, and sometimes that's just what I need the most... smallest footprint.

With your clarifications, I've managed to get the background and text colors for the toolbar I wanted... now to figure out how to mod the throbber (I made a new topic for it)


thank you very much for the response! cleared up quite a bit of my confusion.

DeadDude
 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 9:45 am

Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 3:14 pm

My observations:

It looks like the entire UI is mapped with CSS...?
And as a result, you should be familiar with web programming...?

The reason it looks like you modify an existing theme is because you do... with no CSS to begin with, there's no UI to work with...? Is that train of thought correct?

So if I were to remove all themes/extensions from my SeaMonkey, I might 'break' the program???

Stylish extension does everything I want so far... and in CSS...

so am I correct in assuming my web browser UI is built in web page UI code? :P

smsmith
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Post Posted May 3rd, 2013, 3:23 pm

You start with a theme that's already close to what you want because then it's less work for you.

Firefox and Seamonkey (and Thunderbird) are built using XUL and styled using CSS.

You can't remove the theme that is used by default (it's not an extension / theme that is removable without tearing the guts out of the program). It's certainly not as simple as Tools -> Addons, Themes, remove default theme.
Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.
I like poetry, long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick.
Please do not PM me for personal support. Keep posts here in the Forums instead and we all learn.

DeadDude
 
Posts: 55
Joined: December 19th, 2006, 9:45 am

Post Posted May 7th, 2013, 11:08 am

Does the default theme included within SeaMonkey include all required graphics for modification?

I am running a portable version, so my folder structure is different and I'm having a heck of time locating CSS files within it...

Philip Chee

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Post Posted May 16th, 2013, 3:48 am

DeadDude wrote:Does the default theme included within SeaMonkey include all required graphics for modification?

I am running a portable version, so my folder structure is different and I'm having a heck of time locating CSS files within it...

The classic theme is located inside the omni.ja file (It's basically an optimized ZIP file). So copy it and rename the copy to omni.ja.zip and then you should be able to unzip it.

Otherwise you could look at:
http://mxr.mozilla.org/comm-central/find?string=suite%2Fthemes&tree=comm-central

Phil

DeadDude
 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 9:45 am

Post Posted May 16th, 2013, 5:53 am

THANK YOU TREMENDOUSLY!!!

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