Hi, Ashtefere here.
I'm looking to build the ultimate theme. I go through themes like socks, because I look at the last one I make, and think "hmm, needs more of this" or "that needs to be bigger".
You get the idea.
Anyway, I need people to list what they would like to have in a theme. What would be the ideal gui layout for the best productivity, useability and aesthetics.
Currently, my own hit and miss trials have shown me thus:
Theme must be the entire length of screen, either x OR y.
Theme must have a full length taskbar with full size icons reminiscent of the Apple Dock, but have text labels for easy readability.
Must have winamp info and controls
Must be SUPER lean (see the recycle speed of my theme enlightenment)
Must have one main background that is easily schemed and changed
Entire theme must use a a minimal amount of separate image files
Must have a recycle button on the bar
Must have one click access to all drives.
Must have shortcuts to the "Holy Trinity" (file man, web and mail) on the main bar in full size.
Now, I will porobably use my signature black gloss on white glass, but If anyone can inspire me on a different color/image scheme I would be more than happy to use it.
I have already started on the taskbar, an unholy marriage between the apple dock and the windows taskbar.
uhmmm...only you can make the "ultimate theme" for you. and your ultimate theme is not my ultimate theme.
Thats why Im asking DeV.
What is YOUR ultimate theme? maybe I can mishmash them all together to get some kind of common result.
the ultimate theme would be an impossible accomplishment no matter what someone will not like it.
Wow, you guys really know how to make someone lose interest. Never mind, Ill post my theme on another litestep theme site.
Site timer was kinda annoying anyway.
You guys were missing the point of the post. All he wanted to know was your opinions of what you like in a theme, and he used his own likes as an example of a response. He was just looking for a little direction for creating a new theme.
I gave him direction...I told him to make what he likes and it will be the ultimate theme. I have my ultimate theme already...because I designed it.
My themes always:
- Main bar that holds most of the theme elements (theme may have the taskbar seperate from main bar).
- Main popup button (rarely used, but looks more complete).
- Task buttons (max-width of 200px, 16x16 icons with full color).
- Tray (16x16 pixels. Only 5 full-color icons shown, scroll buttons on either side).
- Clock (shows Month, Day & Time by default, shows Day of the Week on hover).
- 1px desktop margin on the right side for easy main popup access.
- Matching Rainlendar skin
My themes do not have:
- Winamp controls (I'm an iTunes user).
- System stats (I'm a Samurize user).
- Extra buttons (not needed...hotkeys, Run Dialog and Main Popup do the job just fine. No need for "Holy Trinity" shortcuts.).
- multiple variations (too much work for me :P).
- default background image (I hate themes that pick a background for me).
- No bar. Full height and width should be given to applications.
- Space that is not important, such as the left corners, should be used for quick access to common functions.
- A command line, winamp controls, and systray should be out of the way somewhere, but quickly accessible. I like the titlebar, since the command line needs to be wide.
- Unused space within maximized windows should hold everything else. Typically, this is some space, not at edges, near the bottom corners.
- It should be flexible, able to change as much as possible as a moment's notice. For example, change to more workspaces when doing broad work that requires swapping to too many windows for my standard 4 to hold easily.
- Nothing should be in the way. If it must be in the way, it should be easy shaded and/or moved.
- No desktop icons. It's a waste of space, and adds clutter. On top of that, I think it's a bad metaphor, and one that is helping to hold computer use back 20 years (I'm highly looking forward to KDE 4, FYI).
- No clock. I don't like clocks. I don't like calendars. I never have. Just one of those things.
- Extensibility is a plus, where it can be incorporated.
Once I have time, I'll be working, once again, on my ultimate theme. Everything separately works, but I want some to work better, and for it to be lean enough to release (Lua-GD being a prerequisite, now).
- Bar. hideable. Choose top or bottom.
- No need for "standard" app buttons.
- VWM. multi-monitor support. Especially if resolution differs between the monitors.
- Auto expanding systray - I loathe using scroll buttons or mousewheel.
- clock with date (or calendar) on hover
- I LIKE system colors and backgrounds to change to match theme colors.
- configurable font face / size
- ability to configure theme choices from popup
Like cerbie said, the biggest one for me is that nothing take away space from maximized apps.
Ability to disable theme components to reduce overhead.
Quick access to files through a popup menu (think whatever Stardock is doing with micro-shells now).
Easy to create new themes.
Some way of distinguishing between two windows of the same application (this is my problem with dock-style taskbars).
Great idea for a post, btw.
"Never mind, Ill post my theme on another litestep theme site.
Site timer was kinda annoying anyway."
I feel so rejected :(
I can't remember where, but a few weeks back I saw this site that was trying to do almost the same thing.The WM was trying to get the "perfect" site theme. It counted how many people changed to which theme, then used that and added random elements to hybridize it. It was natural selection...Or something like that. -Now that I'm really thinking about it, it'd be ridiculously time-consuming to try to do that with LS themes. Sounds like something I tries to do before I knew people would deliberately try to skew results. That'd be the biggest problem. Good Idea though, Ashtefere(Is that an egyptian goddess? It sounds really familiar).
Imagine how hideous the code would look for a litestep theme generated with a genetic algorithm ;).
Themes that do everything suck... well, if they worked really well they would rule... but nobody has really done that yet...
I think the best I have got was LaserDock, and that was jsut covering the position of the bar... bleh!
Your themes are great, fractal, they have so many options it's almost scary. The problem with end-all themes, I think, is that they most often don't have much personality (and now I'm speaking generally, so no offence fractal :D). If you can change every god darn thing, images, colors, fonts, layout etc., what's really left that makes your theme unique? I don't know if that's on topic and/or makes sense though. Well bah, sue me.
I have to agree with West. Better to design one really great interface than give the user 20 mediocre ones to choose from.
I've been thinking about Blackrift's idea of a theme that changes itself based on user preferences. You definitely wouldn't want to do it with random mutation, but how about this:
A theme that learns which controls the user accesses most frequently, and distributes size accordingly. By Fitts's law, the longer the user works with the theme, the smaller the access time to the most important targets.
This could be accomplished with a simple mzscript or luascript, and disabled at any time. With a well-designed interface, this becomes every user's "ultimate theme" in a way.
West: I totally agree :)
jqubit: Thats Genius! Do it!
Let's just cut to the chase, folks. Open your browser in fullscreen mode and be done with it. =P
I use itunes..for music, no one has really done anything with itunes.
hmm, I like gogg's hacked version 1 theme where the stats are displayed throughout, besides that, small icons but readable text. that's what I like.
some of you are being block heads and saying that the ultimate theme will not appeal to everyone. wow, really?????
the point is, to make a nice theme for some people and consider the common inclination.
"Never mind, Ill post my theme on another litestep theme site."
I'd kinda like to know which site you /(s)he's referring to?
Litestep isn't about the "common inclination". It's not about the "common" anything. It's about originality, dawg ;)
The ultimate litestep theme = explorer.exe :P
(okay who's the first to sniper me?)
jesus devil, i know you think youve seen everything, but you really are a dick sometimes.
Isn't everyone, sometimes?
(jesus devil ?)
I feel like I just viewed an engrish.com image, and then read the caption below it :\
What I need:
- maximum usable desk zone
- task, systray, time - always on my desk
- stats, winamp just appear if they are needed
The things I need in a theme are:
winamp controls - I'm stuck to those
rainmeter - just to figure out if my cpu has filled up again :P
taskbar - d'oh
clock - I'm a very close clock watcher
Inet icons (not mail, I use msn)
GOOD BLINKING! SOOO many awesome theme's I can't use cuz I can't see if mIRC is blinking or MSN is blinking.
And a good readable font... all the Ashtefere's theme's are a joy for the eye and look better than most themes, but I just can't read them properly :$
Mooneater: Install the font that comes with the themes ;)
I go through themes a lot to but I have found that the latest version of Popsicle and Dreaming of... are the most stable, visually stimulating, and functional themes I have come across. I have only used lightstep for about five months but it beats the hell out of any other shell theme in existence (for windows anyway) I hope this info was of some use to whoever reads it.
Was this really necessary?
I'm still not sure I follow, but if you [Immortal] mean that jqubit was remarking on the unneccesary bumping, what was the point of, uh, pointing it out to begin with? Bumping a thread to complain about bumping... *sigh*
Has anyone mentioned Hitler yet, by chance?
It was already bumped by the time I got to it - note the post date.
I suppose it's pretty silly, anyway.
Lock, maybe? Unless someone's actually discovered the Ultimate Theme.
I hear LaserDock is pretty good XD
well...i got to this topic late but here we go:
Sidebar or bottombar. not both. ever.
quick-buttons to web/email, fileman/app1, app2/app3. by this i mean to have the quick-button be left/right clickable to launch one of two apps which are in the same category and that i choose useing the *.rc file during setup.
winamp controls are neat but not necessary. i have the logitech g15 keyboard with display and controls on it.
vwm? really...people use that? okay. i always take it off if its in a theme.
colors should be unobtrusive. black/gray/etc. i want to focus on the application not the purty colors.
system stats are sorta..well, nah. dont need em. bandwidth meter would be nice. showing up/down speed.
direct access to drives is done through the fileman.
thats it for right now. i use Insight mostly. although the blinkyblinky stuff does not really work well. sometimes you can select the window that is blinking.
All right, enough of this.