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Author Topic: Concepts and Advice  (Read 14596 times)
mdtauk
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« on: March 15, 2010, 12:11:14 pm »

I am not sure where to post this, so its going in Other...

I think it would be a neat idea to open up a new forum for people to post up their concept images, sketches, or screens of small ideas they have had for Theme designs, and then if they need help, or are new to WSB and don't know how to go about making their ideas real...  The more experienced users here could then post instructions, tips, or suggestions on how they could be done.

Myself, I am always trying little things here and there and never continuing with them, or putting them to one side.  These "abandoned" ideas could then be picked up and expanded on, or commented on, and this may start to build up a community spirit, with actual sharing of ideas and experiments, rather than theoretical discussions or random questions on how to do things, without a context of what they want to do in general...


Perhaps this forum could be open to unregistered people in a way to expanding the community, and we could share little thoughts and ideas we find on sites like deviant art etc...
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Vzdorjii
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 12:54:07 pm »

Perhaps this forum could be open to unregistered people in a way to expanding the community, and we could share little thoughts and ideas we find on sites like deviant art etc...

It was. But because of too many pirate copy users, Ave decided to secure the forum. I personnaly think this is essential.
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mdtauk
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 01:01:57 pm »

I only meant this ideas forum, not the support or other ones.
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Panda X
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 01:46:34 pm »

All forums can be read by guest except 2.
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mdtauk
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2010, 04:06:05 pm »

All forums can be read by guest except 2.
Read, but can it show attached pictures?
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ka-la
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 04:29:14 pm »

Read, but can it show attached pictures?

not attachments, but they could see images uploaded on any image hostin site.
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mdtauk
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2010, 05:02:56 pm »

The fact that themers don't share too much on here, is exactly why I am proposing this idea.  There may be many designers out there who have ideas to share, who may not have the software, or are not technically minded to actually make full themes.

Its creativity that is needed, especially with some members who keep asking for help with this or that, but have no sense of design or style.
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3am
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 06:45:06 pm »

WSB is about doing themes. These designers you mention...if they want to do themes buy WSB and learn. 16 euros is cheap. If I can learn...anybody can.

People without any "sense of design or style" (like RBCC for example) shouldn't buy WSB or waste their time trying to make something they simply can't.

Themers don't share their ideas and concepts because they are busy working on them and also don't want people stealing them ( which happens all the time).

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Vzdorjii
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 06:52:51 pm »

I agree.
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3am
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2010, 08:35:15 pm »

BTW Martin....love your videos, animation, design work, work with MED, "theoretical" stuff etc.

But never any actual themes. How come? You have the talent and you have WSB.
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mdtauk
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2010, 09:04:08 pm »

BTW Martin....love your videos, animation, design work, work with MED, "theoretical" stuff etc....especially this classic:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EynXQe8tNkY

But never any actual themes. How come? You have the talent and you have WSB.

I haven't released any themes, because I don't feel good enough yet.  Before VSB 1.2, I hadn't made a theme since XP pre SP1, and so I wanted to wait until the tool was sufficiently robust enough where the bugs are ironed out.  I also enjoy designing, as opposed to technically building, so I am constantly trying out ideas, and designs, just until I find something that looks good that others will like, but I also mess about with WPF control design and other ideas.

The problem with themers, are that they either have no true design sense, like most windows blinds themes, or they are technically minded and so the themes are the result of dll hacking, which isn't design friendly.

People bemoan the lack of activity, or creativity in themeing, and I think a lot of great things are taking place, but its only ever finished themes, and there is no collaboration, sharing of ideas, exploring of what can be achieved with msstyles and its limitations.  Part of this is because of some themers who are not welcoming to others, the inherent technical level of knowledge you need to know (understanding how things work as they do), and the general lack of conversation that goes one.

Its as if themers sit in a little cubical, and dont converse with anyone else, until the job is done.  Is that really what you all want for the community?
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 09:19:04 pm »

There is some communal activity going on (and more behind the scene I'm sure). Witness what's going on around Jamie Greens "Appows 2010": http://neiio.deviantart.com/

I have seen your work. I have maybe a 10th of your gifts. You could easily create great themes if you wanted.

You are right about  most of what you say but I don't think any of it will ever change.

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mdtauk
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2010, 09:29:51 pm »

There is some communal activity going on (and more behind the scene I'm sure). Witness what's going on around Jamie Greens "Appows 2010": http://neiio.deviantart.com/

I have seen your work. I have maybe a 10th of your gifts. You could easily create great themes if you wanted.

You are right about  most of what you say but I don't think any of it will ever change.

Btw I'll take down that video if you want. It is just kinda nice to see the face of someone I'm writing to (and you are right about the BNP from what little I know) Smiley

I wouldn't have put it on YouTube, if I had a problem of it being public.
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K-Johnson
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2010, 09:27:45 am »

I haven't released any themes, because I don't feel good enough yet.  Before VSB 1.2, I hadn't made a theme since XP pre SP1, and so I wanted to wait until the tool was sufficiently robust enough where the bugs are ironed out.  I also enjoy designing, as opposed to technically building, so I am constantly trying out ideas, and designs, just until I find something that looks good that others will like, but I also mess about with WPF control design and other ideas.

"I don't feel good enough yet" -- what do you mean by this?  What do you have problems with?  I'm sure if you ask you will receive an answer.  I made several guides on here; as much as I would like to make more, I don't have the time.  Like most of us, I'd rather spend that precious time doing something I enjoy like actually theming.  But I also like to give back to the community so I help whenever I could (especially last year).  The biggest, most annoying bug for me right now is WSB's poor handling of transparent gradients, which will net you ugly banding that irritates me.  It irritates me so much I think twice about opening WSB.  I haven't actually done much in WSB this year, as I was hoping Ave would fix it, but it seems that it is a tough one.  And with PandaX being busy, I'm not sure if Ave would have the motivation or the push to continue.

The problem with themers, are that they either have no true design sense, like most windows blinds themes, or they are technically minded and so the themes are the result of dll hacking, which isn't design friendly.

I would like to say that I have design sense (within limitations set by Aero).  Not sure what you mean by "the themes are the result of dll hacking" -- DLL hacking is necessary for some elements, and if you have a niche look like minimalism, it is necessary to hack those files because the default controls of Aero would look very out of place. 

People bemoan the lack of activity, or creativity in themeing, and I think a lot of great things are taking place, but its only ever finished themes, and there is no collaboration, sharing of ideas, exploring of what can be achieved with msstyles and its limitations.  Part of this is because of some themers who are not welcoming to others, the inherent technical level of knowledge you need to know (understanding how things work as they do), and the general lack of conversation that goes one.

Theming takes an immense amount of time if you are a pixel-perfectionist and a completionist like I am.  Time is something most of us don't have, and when we do have it, we'd rather spend it on ourselves when it comes to theming.  Many of us have explored the msstyles and its limitations within WSB when the program was first released.  I remember finding things and posting my finds along with other people.  The problem is that none of this was properly documented and are scattered amongst the many threads, and so it becomes even more difficult for beginners to grasp (when the program was first released, everyone here were beginners and we were all learning together, sharing our finds and helping us map through the forest of parts).  I have made some guides that I hope would help people grasp certain things, like the sizing margin property.
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mdtauk
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2010, 05:19:33 pm »

I guess part of it is that I love the "designing" of UI elements, like DWM Frames and buttons, controls etc, more than I do trying to make a usable theme.  It is a shame we cant bring in more designers to work hand-in-hand with those with the technical know how.  I like the constraints that Aero and DWM put in, even if it can become berdonsome at times.  But for ages I have waited, hoping that someone could move most of the hard coded elements in DUI files stored in dlls, could be moved into the msstyles, so I can feel as if I have more control.  Keeping most things in one place.

But if it was possible, PandaX and Ave would have attempted it by now.  And so until I have an idea I think is a winner, and not just trying out of ideas, then I will make time, and try to figure out what dlls do what, and all that palarva.
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3am
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2010, 09:09:22 pm »

Makes me wonder what happened to Resource Spy and the Start Button App (can't still be waiting for third party)?

Be great to see them somehow added to WSB 8)

Hey...I can dream Smiley
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ka-la
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2010, 09:21:09 pm »

...I can dream Smiley

Hell yeah you can.


Anyways, wouldnt mind having these features myself either.
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Panda X
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2010, 10:20:56 pm »

I guess part of it is that I love the "designing" of UI elements, like DWM Frames and buttons, controls etc, more than I do trying to make a usable theme.  It is a shame we cant bring in more designers to work hand-in-hand with those with the technical know how.  I like the constraints that Aero and DWM put in, even if it can become berdonsome at times.  But for ages I have waited, hoping that someone could move most of the hard coded elements in DUI files stored in dlls, could be moved into the msstyles, so I can feel as if I have more control.  Keeping most things in one place.

But if it was possible, PandaX and Ave would have attempted it by now.  And so until I have an idea I think is a winner, and not just trying out of ideas, then I will make time, and try to figure out what dlls do what, and all that palarva.

Well it's possible to move most things from DUI to the msstyles. Thing is that there's over 700 DirectUI files throughout the system. Then you'd have to add hundreds of thousands entries to the msstyles. Not only that but it would get confusing as you can't create new classes, parts, or states, so you'd have to add the property to a place that might not make sense.
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mdtauk
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2010, 11:33:12 pm »

Well it's possible to move most things from DUI to the msstyles. Thing is that there's over 700 DirectUI files throughout the system. Then you'd have to add hundreds of thousands entries to the msstyles. Not only that but it would get confusing as you can't create new classes, parts, or states, so you'd have to add the property to a place that might not make sense.

What about looking at the Styles tree as an example.  If you added sections to that tree like "Windows Explorer DUI" and have comparable values and parts, which relate to the item that is affected.  Such as Styles > Start Menu All Programs List > BackgroundColor = Brown as an example.

For those elements which don't have a natural place in the treeview, these can be either attached as an internal DUI file within the msstyles, or the WSB app could add support for these elements like, position for elements like the details and preview panes, and for animation styles (known acceptable values in a combo/drop down box like "Fade, Slide Left, Grow" etc)
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Panda X
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2010, 11:40:57 pm »

You'd have to change UXTheme itself in order to do all that.
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