Having fun with themes

Hi folks,

I'm finishing my end-of-year vacation. I used part of it to start becoming familiar with theme programming.

I created the following theme for E23:
https colon slash slash gofile dot io slash ?c=HPxrbh
(sorry, the forum doesn't allow me to add an real link)
(edited by @stoppy98)

It's only a start (modified e23 default theme). that's work in progress (creating a full theme seems to be a lot of work). Please view it as an exercise. I don't pretend it's beautiful, not even cute.

I'm open to suggestions. If you can send graphical elements matching your suggestion, that's even better, as my graphical skills are very limited.

Here's a screenshot:

Here are the modifications I brought to default theme (and thanks you Triantares for providing the elive logo in another post):

Source structure:

  • moved images in 'image' directory (and adapted build.sh). Note: surprisingly, this modification is not preserved when edje_decc'ing the theme
  • created config.edc to store theme configuration


  • init: use cloudy background and elive logo + removed 'blanker' effect
  • background: set a cloudy default wallpaper
  • shelf: set transparent as default


  • created shelf_icon.edc to factorize golden framed shelf icon on mouse over
  • inherit from shelf_icon in: start, syscon, backlight, battery, clock, conf, connman, cpufreq, omni (aka evrything), mixer, keyboard (aka xkbswitch), ibar items, miniature desks (aka pager16 items)
  • start: use elive logo as icon

What's next ? Having more fun with themes of course ! Continuing the modifications. Next modifications:

  • ibar list of existing windows
  • various gadgets menus (?)
  • window borders and buttons

Cheers !


looks good :+1:

Continue with the nice stuff...
{knowing it's not that easy nor quick be done} :nod:

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Pushed up your status a notch .... so now you should be able to. :wink:

Did you get any error messages when doing that?

Not sure what that means ... did I miss something?

It definitely is, I also found out. :shocked:
Actually I'm impressed and you make feel like giving theming a go again .... Thank you for that. :smile_cat:

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Thank you. I'll try this for the next version of the theme.

Nope. And the build.sh script has been modified. My guess is that the edj file preserves only edc files as is.

When the init is finished (with the default theme), and just before showing your desktop, the screen quickly goes black (like a dark flash). This is achieved using the 'part' named "blanker" in init.edc.

Thanks again. I'll use this file (I'm currently not at home. I can't test right now).

You're welcome :grin:
I'm glad this motivates you to have fun with theming again !

Dear all,

Here's a new version of elive-celestia theme:

Little changes (not much time to spend on it; and lost some time while trying to achieve some effects without success), but I changed ibar icon animation when focused: it now rotates around vertical axis. Note: every coin has two sides :wink:

It needs an effect to let the user know that his click has been taken into account and the app is launching. Any idea ?

Cheers !


How about a small pulsating icon of the clicked app?

There's a little problem.

We have two edje 'parts' that are loaded with the app icon image. The first one is clipped to the shelf height (even if you don't use the clip_to feature). The second one is the overlay, and can pulsate outside of the shelf. This what is done in the default theme.

The problem is that I already use the overlay icon for the rotation. I tried to use the base icon for this purpose, but I got weird artifacts. And a 'part' can't have two states simultaneously. This means it can't be displayed twice. And I can't just copy a part's content to another one.

I made elive logo pulsate instead but I was not satisfied with the result. And maybe it would just be too much elive (there's already the 'start' icon, and the back-side of ibar icons).

Finally I made a background image briefly appear behind the rotating icon, until I find something better.

Then how about an image of a dynamite stick with a slow burning fuse, that "explodes"? :madness:

lol :rofl:

Can you provide the graphical material ? :wink:

But I would prefer a fast burning fuse. I like my apps to start quickly :grin:

Yeah, that wouldn't be the problem.
We'd just have to make out exactly what form it has to be:

  • Someething like the watch/hour-glass rotating in the screen center


  • the changed Icon in the bar?

Either one prolly requires a different format to animate, though I'd go for .svg wherever possible as a base image/icon.
And should it be coded so that it runs parallel to the start up process ... or not (meaning extra code)

Hello all !

Just to tell you that I didn't forget you :wink:

I'm still learning and working on theming, but I have little time for this activity, sorry.

I finally found some physics engine examples. This should help a lot implementing some effects I have in mind (I wasted some time trying to implement it without the physics engine).

To answer Triantares question: ibar icon theme cannot know where the screen center is. Any part position would be relative to the icon.

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Yeah, I can stat that ..... it's the same story here, simply not enough time on hand and E23 is not easy to theme like E16. :madness:

Maybe, just maybe you might have a few ideas on this:

I use/like rpil's R-OH-LG-Pclinuxos (e19)theme which looks like this on my machine:

Me, I'd want to replace the (among other stuff) the icon on the ibar with the Elive one, as well as the screenlock looks.
This requires a "edj_decc theme.edj" to get to the content and change the visuals but I cannot get it recoded again using the "build.sh" to recode.

Apparently this is all very e19 specific and maybe I'm barking up a wrong tree. :thinking:
I just don't feel like building this all over again for e23 just for some minor changes. :slightly_frowning_face:
Think you might see a simple solution there?

I also experienced this issue with another E19 theme, that would not build again after being edje_decc'ed.

The theme can possibly be fixed, but it's hard to say how many fixes it needs.
Moreover, edje_cc sometimes issues errors without telling the file name and line where it occured, which can make fixing a nightmare.

And I don't know any way to change graphical content without edje_decc'ing first.

What error do you get when building ?

well actually quite a few and initially pertaining to "default.edj" but after looking at those and changing some settings other new ones pop up ...... like dependency hell in the old days. :slightly_frowning_face:

FWIW i ave the impression it's mostly how coordinates are set in the canvas/screen.

  • I tried finding an e19 distro, just to test the recoding but to no avail. I had hoped Ubuntu 14.04 and installing from ppa:nico2040/e19 would do the trick ..... but that one is actually e21. :slightly_frowning_face:
    I suspect e19 was just too temporary. Recoding on e17 is a no go too.

i found it much more easy :slight_smile:

Not if you're confronted with it for the first time. :shocked:
No real tutorials, documentation ..... anything.

It's not "standing on the shoulders of giants" but simply trying to get up there. :eyepopping:

What I find really unfortunate is the edje creator is abandoned - last commit was in 2018. I tried it in elive stable; it was really good. :face_with_head_bandage:

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