[proposal] creating universal theme description format

Discuss application theming and theme development.

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Posts: 11
Joined: November 9th, 2002, 10:15 pm

Post Posted November 11th, 2002, 12:30 pm

What? What am I talking about? Here's the jist:

Theme developers are working on writing themes - they have to worry about:

1) browser versions breaking their theme
2) mozilla/netscape/phoenix/ etc. builds may behave differently, so you have to branch your theme over and over.
3) learning to build a theme from scratch is too hard
4) updating a theme to a new version is too hard

So what I propose is this - we come up with some kind of theme description language that is browser type and version agnostic. It is a consumable format which could then be used by tools and scripts to output specific theme files - based on a translation "plug-in"

So for instance you create the Cartoon theme in this format. Then someone manages (insanely) to write a converter plugin which will output a 6.0 theme for you. Suddenly you go from having to create a theme 20 times to simply authoring to this abstracted spec, and let the translators do the work for you.

Another benefit of this is that theme tools could output to this theme description format, and then other tools/scripts could read this in, or perhaps do the translation.

I dont think this needs to be some big heavyweight spec, especially at first. Perhaps even just say limit the scope of v1 to just the toolbar buttons on navigator. If that could be specced out via this description language, then we could test things out to see if this is a viable thing to do. Anyone interested?

BTW I'm new to these forums but I've been around Mozilla for years. I created the ToyFactory theme and did some stuff in the mac classic world. I've had to write "how to make a theme" emails so much I just decided it'd be easier if there was some new level of abstraction to making themes - the browser doesnt need to read this format - it's totally geared to be something consumed by a translator app/plugin to some theme tool.


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Posts: 999
Joined: November 4th, 2002, 5:47 pm
Location: UK

Post Posted November 11th, 2002, 12:48 pm

something XML-based, opensource, MPL etc ?

just to add a complication for version 1.5 say, the subskins to further extend the icon sizing/text positioning elements

1.2 [1.3] builds have text and/or icons

Orbit 3+1 has default / small_icons /smallest_icons [at least for navigator]
Orbit Retro has default / small_icons

Internet Explorer skin [upto Moz 1.1] has no text / selective text on right see

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