[mythtv-theming] A new theme on the way...

Robert McNamara robert.mcnamara at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 06:08:38 UTC 2009

Hi all,

Thought I would share with you all that I am working on a new theme
that I hope to have done for .23.  I know a lot of you have been happy
with Graphite so far, but I have a lot of things about it I am unhappy
with, so I started to work on something new.  A couple of caveats
before going further.  1) The theme is going to be released under a
fairly restrictive license that disallows copying or derivative works,
so I'm not anticipating this ever being distributed with Myth.  2) I'm
using proprietary fonts that I cannot/will not distribute.  I will
provide links for where you can purchase the fonts (about $15) but
will leave it up to the user to procure them.  The theme will not work
properly without them.  I am paying very careful attention to text
spacing this time, and switching fonts will break that.

That said, the new theme is called Arclight.  It takes a lot of the
lessons I learned about theming in Graphite, and applies them to
something where I didn't a) become lazy and half-ass some of the
widgets, b) emphasizes absolute consistency and usability, and c)
don't limit myself to ugly linux-standard fonts.  I have really only
gotten as far as theming the basic widgets, about 2/3rds of MythVideo,
and a little bit of Watch Recordings so far, but it's enough to get a
sense of the overall style.  So far, I am very, very happy with it and
I've already switched to using it full-time (which I have found is the
key to getting a theme done).

Arclight is a true 1920x1080 theme, and the added screen real estate
makes a huge difference in fitting lots of information on the screen
without ever feeling cramped.  It's a real pleasure to theme at this
resolution so far, and I don't see myself going back.  Arclight *will*
work on 720p displays (I'm developing it on one) but looks best at
native resolution.  Arclight will not support 4:3 or standard def
displays, it is absolutely unreadable at such low resolution.

Here are some (large!) screenshots from the actual UI (no mockups):


Bear in mind that I'm only about 5-6 days in to working on it, but I'm
very satisfied so far and I'm finding myself having a lot of fun
theming it.

For you aspiring themers out there, I strongly encourage you to read
Stuart Morgan's plea for themers that went out earlier today.  MythUI
is by no means a finished product, but it's a *great* time to start
work on a theme.  If you're like me, it may be the second one before a
lot of things start to "click," but that's totally okay and it's fun
to be a part of something lots of people in the community use.

Looking forward to the reactions to this, and to getting it finished
over the coming months in time for .23.


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