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Can I add or remove themes ?

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jjborn
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Can I add or remove themes ?

Hi there,

I am just wondering if I can add or remove themes,I tried to add png images into Chrome folder and PATheme.ini file for Themes folder, everything seems correct but it doesn't work.
Thanks in advance Smile

solanus
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No custom themes support yet

While custom themes were available in an earlier beta (2.0b5) that functionality has been disabled in the released version (10). It is planned to be re-introduced in a future version of the platform. There are ways to fudge the platform to add custom themes, but it's buggy - you have to manually install it, and it generates an error message every time you open the Options window.
There currently is no beta of the next version of the platform, but I believe it will be coming soon.

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crookadile
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Custom Themes

It seems to have been 1 step forward and 2 steps back with the custom themes.

solanus
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Let pick up here from the 10.1.2 release thread

PortableUser2009 said

The advantages from my perspective are:
- You can modify what ever you want incl. background, buttons, folder icons etc.! This is not so easily possible by the method you proposed.
- You already have the complete theme structure in the way John uses it.
If the custom theming is once finalized you are prepared.
- No exceptions

In the previous 2.0b5, we had progressed to the point where pre-packaged themes were supported, that would be able to be installed at the click of a button without changing the built-in themes at all.
To that end, I actually created an app that would allow you to modify and preview a theme as you created it, and package it in the .patheme format (it's really just a renamed .zip).
I have a whole bunch of these themes.

I'm able to use these by unzipping into Data/Themes, and changing a single line in PortableAppsMenu.ini. These themes do use custom buttons, backgrounds and folder icons. They even use transparency to modify the shape of the menu (within the 573 x 406 limitations).
I have tried your way, but I prefer mine for several reasons:
1. If I try your way, any theme mods you do get overwritten when the platform is updated. It doesn't happen often, but I expect there will still be multiple revs before custom themes are fully implemented
2. Following the models of custom theming when it actually was in place, and based on what I've read from other devs, the final location of custom themes will be in the Data/Themes folder.
3. If I try your way, I haven't been able to have the options window do a proper preview of the theme, or change the name of the theme. Adding a custom background causes an error when I select a theme with a custom background (or even open the options window, and it does not display the correct preview (although I suspect it's a coding error in the platform itself). However, the background does show up in the actual menu.
If you have found a way around this problem, I'd be interested to know how.

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PortableUser2009
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The way around

First I need to apologize. You are absolutely right to continue the discussion at this place.

Yes there is a simple smart way around this problems.

That's how I did it:

- Create a copy of folder ... PortableApps\PortableApps.com\App\Graphics
- Rename the old one (like Graphics_standard f.e.)
- Choose one of the existing themes (classic dark f.e.) and replace the
background files in ...\PortableApps\PortableApps.com\App\Graphics
\Chrome by yours. You need to name it by the standard name (classic dark f.e.)
- For other changes you need to replace files in folders like
...\PortableApps\PortableApps.com\App\Graphics\MenuButtons
...\PortableApps\PortableApps.com\App\Graphics\MenuCategories
...\PortableApps.com\App\Graphics\MenuIcons
But the naming should remain always the same !!!
- After all you can load your theme using the option dialog in the PAP menu. Choose the theme you replaced the files in (classic dark f.e.).
- For rollback just rename the Graphics_standard folder back to Graphics and load your theme.

In other words. You adapt one theme (classic dark f.e.) to be yours.

This is just a work-around but with one advantage. If the new custom theming is available your theme already holds the current structure including all necessary files. Whatever John decides to change in the future he will do so for his themes. So you can adapt this changes to your theme quite simple when.

You are absolutely right regarding the updates. But you only need to copy the Graphics folder back. So you need a backup of this folder! This is not really hard to do. I had to do so for the recent releases.

I hope this made my way of "custom theming" clear to you.

solanus
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I already figured that ...

The only source of confusion is that you were referring to the files in the Chrome folder as "background" files - they aren't the actual background files, they are actually overlays.
The graphics of the platform are arranged in layers:
See this picture:
http://paskins.sourceforge.net/exploded.png
On the very top are the logo and icons.
The next layer is the buttons, then the Chrome, then the background.png, and the bottom is the background color.
The Chrome files are supposed to be see-through - check it out in the GIMP, you will see that. In the current built-in themes, you can see the background colors through the chrome files.
One thing the built-in themes do NOT have is background.png files. In 2.0b5, there was one theme that included a background.png file, it was the Rainbow theme. It could be combined with different Chrome files to have a Rainbow Light and a Rainbow Dark theme.

So while your way works, it's not consistent with what I understand to be the current plan for themes.

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PortableUser2009
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Theming concept

Btw, is there any ongoing discussion thread with John about the further theming concept to participate in. It would be interesting how he plans to solve some problems like custom category icons f.e.. Currently I simply replace the standards ones by mine.

iamhammer
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Backing up the Graphics folder

I looked for a more information regarding backing up the graphics folder, but this seemed the most appropriate thread.

I had placed a custom icon in a subfolder for graphics. It is no longer there and I'm sure it was after a platform update. I was just looking for the explicit confirmation that if I want to toy around with saving or changing things in the graphics folder that I should be keeping back ups of it (in it's original state and another with my custom files/changes). That the reason I should be keeping back ups of both is that platform updates will replace my custom graphics folder with default settings and files, wiping out my tweaks.

Sound right?

Kevin Scharnhorst

solanus
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Are you editing the Chrome files to change the background?

You can add new chrome files, and change the PATheme.ini to point to the new ones, and that works, but I would not claim that that is the way that John intended.
When Chrome files were introduced in 2.0beta, they were used as a separate layer from the background files. They were intended as overlays, so that they could be combined with backgrounds.
See my page here http://paskins.sourceforge.net/themetutorial.html and scroll down to Anatomy of a Portable Apps Theme to see a picture illustrating this.

Also, if you change the PATheme.ini file to say Background=custom, it looks for a file called background.png in the current folder - so this is clearly intended to be the way to change the actual background, while also allowing you to select the Chrome of your choice.

I'm going to stick with the way I believe it should be done (adding the files to Data/Themes), since I figure that John will either use a modified version of this in the future, or there will be a complete rewrite of the theme system... but in any case, it will most likely be done in the Data folder instead of the App folder.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

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