[mythtv-theming] Theme inheritance or 'fallback' theme

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Wed May 2 18:39:47 UTC 2012

On 05/02/2012 12:46 PM, Chris Pinkham wrote:
> I want to get an opinion on whether people see a feature
> as having any value before I investigate it further.
> I've mentioned in IRC several times about an idea I had about
> allowing theme inheritance or the concept of a 'fallback'
> theme that would be used before falling back to default or
> default-wide.
> It's a simple concept so I worked up a patch last night to
> test the theory.  Basically, a theme would be allowed to
> define a<fallbackTheme>  tag in themeinfo.xml.  The
> fallbackTheme would be added to the search path before
> the default-wide and default theme directories.  This would
> allow a themer to create variations on a theme by just
> creating a new directory containing at a minimum a themeinfo.xml
> and base.xml.
> This would allow a lot of different scenarios without having to
> duplicate everything in the base theme, here are a couple
> examples:
> - Base 16:9 theme and -narrow 4:3 version
>    - the -narrow version could just redefine .xml and use the
>      images from the base
> - Base theme and -blue, -red, -green variations
>    - the -COLOR versions could just supply some different images
>      or .xml depending on what colors were changing.
> - Base theme and -over40 version
>    - the -over40 version could just have changes to the .xml to
>      use larger font sizes.
> I think this might make it easier for new themers to play with
> things because they only need to override .xml and image files,
> they wouldn't have to start with a full copy of a theme and
> hacking away.

I think it's a great idea--and fits well with my plan to make 
default/default-wide full-fledged user-selectable themes that are 
available in both 16:9 and 4:3 versions.

I'd been wanting to recommend a switch to Steppes as the new 
default--since it's a great theme and, TTBOMK, the only one that's 
available in 16:9 and 4:3 versions--but since its design wouldn't 
necessarily "fit" well with other theme styles/designs (since it's not a 
neutral style with traditional design), was afraid that it would be too 
different from many of the other themes to work as a good fallback.  
This would allow themers to choose a more-appropriate, 
more-closely-designed fallback, even if the default/default-wide themes 
were useful/pretty/non-neutral/non-boring themes.


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