Doesn't it seem like the quantity of new themes, the quantity of active themers, and the the influx have drastically decreased since the introduction of OTS2?
Just wondering. Previous to OTS2 I would expect to see a few new themes here a day. Now it might be one every 2-3 weeks.
Also curious how many people are still using OTS1 themes in at OTS1 LS build?
Unforseen effects of "upgrading" to a new open theme standard?
I think to lack of new hemes is due to the fact that its getting harder to come up with original themes. nobody wants to keep churning out the same old, same old.
I have made a request for a module to display html, xml in LS boxes. I think if that module is made we can get more creative.
Not only will we have the numerous modules to work with, we will have all the benefits of html, dhtml, xml
i prefer less themes but better ones, than a lot of bad themes.
The quality of recent themes seems approximate to what we had pre-OTS2, just with reduced quantity. Seems like a totally different set of themers as well.
Looking back several pages, the themes do seem to be simple readaptations of previous material, too. Nothing tremendously original (except for that darned Dist.RU which, y'know, actually seems to be getting better).
many of the best themers arent making themes anymore... for various reasons... so that may be cuz of it... but yes i agree with techronin that its becoming increasing harder to create original themes.. so may be cuz of that.
my only complaint is the quality of the themes being produced. Some of the old LS themes would take weeks and months to do, while now it appears that some people can spit out a theme daily if they needed to. A lot of themers have stepped away from the quality and craftsmanship that went into a theme for an excuse of "its all been done before." I really don't care that it has been done before...do it again. Spend some time and take some pride in what you release.
. DO IT AGAIN .
there are 100s of BAR based themes. but omar still made a bar based theme, and we had a masterpiece in austerity.
so, do it again.
sryo: i dont think we will get less good themes... ever. simply because most new users will not make great themes. i would rather have 10 bad themes followed by 2 good ones.
call me crazy, but i would rather have just the 2 good ones :P
yeah me too! will kile to have the two good ones. but still the other ten will be there. ;)
Well it may take someone 10 bad themes before they figure it out and create two good themes.
in that case he shouldnt post his first 10 themes.
well he may not think they are bad. :)
well I guess I still have 9 bad ones to go till I find my nugget! :)
Devilboi- COMPLETE AGREEMENT!!! See, the question I'm getting at is "Did the introduction of OTS2 have exactly the opposite intended effect?" Essentially, did the OTS2 switch drive away older themers and decrease the LS appeal?
Not that I consider myself a veteran themer, or even a decent themer, but admittedly no desire exists to theme OTS2. This'll probably earn me some heat, but I'd rather be honest than untruthful.
How did OTS2 affect you? (anyone who'll respond)
I find parts of OTS2 very nice...and others completely suck major b00ty. I personally have no desire to create an OTS2 theme from scratch. There are so many not so nice things about it that I don't know if they out weigh the good stuff. We have had many a battle on IRC about this and I am not about to start rehashing it here, because no matter what, it comes back to "If you don't like it make it better."
As for the drop off in themes I don't think it really has much to do with the movement to OTS2. I think it has come more from LSnet going away and people just growing up. I talked to jalist the other day, who finally redownloaded LS, and he is for the first time using someone elses theme. To me it is shocking to hear that one of the greatest LS themers doesn't want to theme in it anymore. Same goes for many others that I still keep in touch with. I think now we need some new blood to come and step up to the plate and release good themes.
yup. i dont think OTS2 or 1 has anything to do with making themes. its just a matter of following some stuff.
the looong absence of ls.net is the major factor as most of the best themers as i said arent making themes anymore... there are many other factors... but then thats not going to happen.
I don't remember there being all that many new epic themes immediately before OTS2 either. As 143lsstep says, the long absence of ls.net was probably a major factor. How many really good really new OTS1 themes are there here?
I dunno what the problem is really, OTS1 and OTS2 seem about the same level of difficulty to me. I don't see why OTS2 alone would discourage anyone from making themes.
OTS2 is better for us bandwidth challenged that are supporting the dialup industry!
The biggest problem as I see it (and its been already mentioned), its pretty much impossible to do something original.
You can have your eyecandy themes (any many are very pretty), but usually they are not practical in terms of everyday desktop use.
Or you can have very minimal (very practical, but then all the features are hidden - not much wow factor),
or you can have a bar based theme ( about a million of those done - including lots by me).
I just don't know if there is much further possibilities for desktop themes formats?
new and unique themes were always coming out though. Look at Phusion, Hanzatsu or itqe. All were very good minimal themes that avoided the bar concept.
personally, i'm getting tired of handling tech support. i publish themes as a courtesy to the people who want to use them, not so i can troubleshoot everyone's installation. at this point, i really enjoy just theming for myself (which allows me to explore more system-specific scripts and ideas). furthermore, i don't have to make themes that work for every resolution and every OS.
personal theming is more fulfilling for me i suppose.
Well said, all.
However, I really beg to differ on the point that it's pretty much impossible now to create something original, something novel. The work of Smurth, DrWorm, and Inhaler are cases in point in which new operational paradigms have been employed (I'd like to toss Singularity and Nondisjunction in there for concept, but my work pales in comparison to these others). Not all bars, boxes are the same thing rehashed, and the steps made by some of these authors immediately previous to OTS2 I would consider revolutionary in interface design. Not just the looks, the way it works, the way it lets you interact with your PC.
Mojomonkee- right on the nose: you gotta theme for yourself and enjoy it.
I agree with mojomonkee with the time I have spent tweaking to make sure things run right on 800 x 600
I could of spent more time on functionality. Now I don't know about you guys,but last time I used 800 x 600 I was running windows 3.1 for workgroups. The problem is that a lot of users have difficulty changing theme elements to suit thier box. Thats why I'm working on having each individual element toggle on or off. So, it my be an unpopular idea, but my themes will no longer support 800 x 600 or lower.
another thing i like about theming for my own personal computer is that i can integrate it into MY setup and use system specific shortcuts and such without worrying "will this work on someone else's computer?" it really frees you up to try some different types of scripting if you just theme for your own setup and worry about other people later.
I think that is the point behind litestep... other peoples themes should really only be for ideas, not for everyday use. If you don't build your own theme from the ground up you aren't getting exactly what you wanted to begin with. At the least, you won't be benefitting from litestep's ability to work for you in a manner that destroys the explorer shells useability.
High learning curve though ( from a themers perspective ) so it's definately not for everyone.
I switched back to explorer a little while back becuase I had to wipe my comp ( virus ) and I found myself right clicking on the desktop a million times waiting for a pop-up and then slapping myself on the head.
I totaly agree with 1beb.
Others people themes should increase our imagination or show us new concepts.
I'm not talking about competition or something like that. I just want to point out that making of so-called 'original' themes doesn't come from the void. I guess no real themer have an exact idea of the final result of the theme he's working on. I generally start from a blured intuition and find my way step by step. But in order to put an image over that intuition, I first need to look on others themes; not only litestep themes, all king of themes.
I really don't care if there's not so many 'original' themes, because many times, a simple detail will give me the "declic"; the enligthenment.
And, finally, I like making themes; only the "making" is important (IMHO)
Litestep is for litesteping litestepers :)
I agree about the original ideas...so many people seem to be using mods of things like austerity, non|step and simplicity.
I make my own themes because I can't find ones I really like. If I could, I'd modify them and use them, much like others are doing (or, like even more people do, just use explorer). However, I can look at another theme and go, "Hey, that's nice." Then use it for a couple hours, and get frustrated. Slow, not enough desktop area, too cluttered, scrolling systray, hard to get to winamp controls, needs easier to reach command line, teeny tiny popup entries...and I'm back at my own theme.
Ease of theme making has little to do with it--it's very simple. It was far, far too time-consuming to make themes before OTS (I did, and got disenchanted quickly).
Then after OTS was around for a bit, I tried it out again, and easily made a few themes (the first few with all the horridness of someone learning the tricks again), much quicker and easier than before, and OTS2 only makes it better.
...however, I have no new ideas. The current theme I'm working on is an evolution and planing of my previous efforts. It's taking time, but I want it to be simple, quick and clean. Miraculously, it does that and I've had no problems with compatibility (well, OK, so I'm of the opinion that 9x needs to be abondoned, but aside from that...)
It takes a long time to make a robust theme, fully exploring and maturing ideas and trying to implement them well.
True, I'd have to agree that we probably have hit the limit of original ideas of what can be done on a desktop. Any more graphical ideas need better performance in practice and the implementations in place first.
Scripting in themes is a big issue. More and more want scripting to enhance the operation of a theme.
For a while now there is a shift toward boxed/hooking themes. Hooking adds yet another layer of complexity to theming.
Two big problems are probably z-Order and alpha-transparency.
LiteStep still has to support wintendo users. Wish you could hook modules into alpha-mapped windows. Hooking is one solution for z-Order, but it is limiting as well.
As for animation: that never really seems to take off in widespread use, perhaps because even those must be scripted in addition to requiring the graphical goodies.
LiteStep's getting more and more flexible, depending on what module coders output. The more experienced themers will want these new toys for their ideas, so then we get new toys (wee :) but at the cost of increasing the learning curve for new themer blood.
I'd agree with Cerbie that when there are no new ideas, the only thing you can do is refine your current ones.
Well, resurrecting the thread: I do have a few new ideas. One has been implemented since that post of mine, and two more are waiting to be realized. I should have them functioning within a few days (got my first BSOD, which means I need a re-install...but it was during a defrag, so it took me all of yesterday to manage backing up data). Refining ideas is not bad, but why meake one after another simple bar theme, when you could make a bar theme that is functional, but nothing set in stone (you'll take note of my VWM's sizing capabilities...I plan to extend that to everything in my next theme). That is quite possibly my biggest complaint, even in my own themes, that things cannot be rearranged entirely, keeping individual functions, but changing otherwise. With such a system in place, all bar themes could be replaced by two or three configurable ones.
Scripting, yes...and ugh. I realize how difficult it can be to keep a system like that working (just to see if it could be worth my time to make an inefficient extension of mzScript for some things, it was a pain to do some of it even in Java, which takes care of a lot of extra work implicitly in the language), but it seems there are so many abilities missing, and emulating simple manipulations can be quite tough.
Boxed themes aren't that new--see Vodka Martini.
The trouble is that a theme like that, before xLabel, was near futile. If LsBox's limitations didn't kill the theme, its crashing when you looked at it wrong would.
I made Hymn43, much as an experiment in LsBox (and it shows :)), which is part of why the name came about...I had no great vision, so when it was finally up and truly working, I was thinking about what to call it, and was distracted.
Oh father high in Heaven/Smile down upon your son
Who's busy with his money games/His women and his guns
Oh Jesus save me!
...and thought, "huh, that'd be a neat name."
I was not lazing away with this hobby between it and Hym43 v2, but was trying to get a more functional theme, and always being stopped by LsBox. Hopefully xLabel, xTaskbar and xPopup releases, a real .24.7 release, and an updated installer (with .24.7 final) could maybe spur on some new people to try working with it.
The x- modules have definitely rekindled by desire to theme, as I can actually do much of what I want, even if I must resort to round-about ways of doing it sometimes.
Another long post. Oh well.
I kinda like working with lsbox. I try to make my theme simple but configurable. Such as toggling componants on and off or moving bar from top to bottom. I am a firm believer that if you want VWM its there and if you don't you can turn it of, same for amps mail tray and so on.
I would like to see some more scripting intense themes. such as ghost.