[mythtv-theming] New to theming

Robert McNamara robert.mcnamara at gmail.com
Fri Oct 23 02:38:20 UTC 2009

Hi Nick,

On Thu, Oct 22, 2009 at 7:28 PM, Nick Rout <nick.rout at gmail.com> wrote:
> Presently it only refers to -users -dev and -commits.

I agree. I have made the case for same in the past but will pester the
appropriate folks more compellingly.  :)

> Now my real question, how do the pros develop their themes? Whats the
> 'workflow'?

Check the archive on the list, as I've gone over it a bit generally in
the past (and there is probably better info there when I sat down
purposefully).  In short, I lay out each widget type in inkscape,
bearing in mind the required elements of each (check out the Theme
development docs to understand the component parts).  Once I've got
them all worked out, I export any graphical elements, and start work
on the base.xml file for the theme.  In a perfect world I would theme
*all* the widgets before starting to lay things out, but to date I
really only theme the widgets in XML when I need them the first time.
So, now we have both a visual layout template (the widgets represented
in Inkscape) and the XML version (base.xml).

Then I would open up a blank document in Inkscape with the same
dimensions as a theme screen, and start laying out whatever screen I
wanted to work on first (if working from scratch, that would need to
be menu-ui.xml, but if starting with another theme, it could be
anything.  I lay out all the required and non-required widgets.  Once
I'm happy with the layout, I start translating it into XML using the
Inkscape coordinate information.  In my earlier post on this topic, I
explain how to translate the Inkscape stuff into Myth compatible

> I have done some very light gui development using stuff like visual
> studio or delphi where you can interactively place widgets in a dialog
> box and then incorporate the results in a wider program.
> Is there anything similar for placing widgets in a myth theme? Or do
> people just write their xml code and then reload themes in a frontend
> to see if it looks right? That seems like a fairly time consuming
> process, especially as I read on -users today that you need to restart
> mythfrontend to make use of any changes to a theme.

No WYSIWYG editor yet, though such a thing would be nice (though
necessarily pretty complex).  You only need to restart your frontend
if you change menu-ui.xml or base.xml.  Everything else you can just
leave and re-enter the screen to see your changes take effect.  It is,
however, still a time-intensive process.

> Also whats a good version control system to use for developing themes?

Whatever you're comfortable with, I imagine.  I will admit I use no
version control at all right now, though I really, really should.


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