2006-04-22

Maemo themes are here

During the last 2 weeks I have been testing Konttori's MaemoThemeMaker a little bit. This is a Java-based, multiplatform application which allows you to easily create themes for Maemo, that is, customize how the UI on your Nokia 770 handheld appears. Together with the "Customizing and theming maemo" HOWTO, this is a nice starting point for anybody who wants to tinker with themes at this time. However, quite a bit of work is needed before this will be a smooth process - ThemeMaker is coming along very nicely but is still in the early phases of development.

Some issues in MaemoThemeMaker:

  • User documentation
  • Theme installation (no .debs and you need to be root)
  • Support for everything that is themeable: all icons, widgets and states, background images, boot-up image etc...
  • Duplicating and saving themes as projects


Some current issues in Maemo:

  • Themeability for everything
  • Alpha (transparency) means just background colour in some places (bug in Matchbox?), and the Maemo pixmap engine supports only 1 bit for alpha anyway, so you can't do too much with it


Of course, we also need somebody with good Gimp skills and the enthusiasm to work through long weekend nights in an effort to give us those thoroughly polished themes with Vampire Miyu, Ayanami Rei and so on... I did some prototyping for themes but this is only the beginning as you can see that there are little glitches and other not-so-cool looking places in the theme and how it works in practice. These screenshots are taken on the Nokia 770 device itself - running a theme in the Scratchbox development environment is possible but seems to result in a few additional glitches.







I am providing a theme with Ayanami Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion below as a demonstration on what you can do with just a few hours of work:





Download Rei-Night theme 1. No background image is included, as it's installed separately and you can just use images.google.com to find a nice one and resize it to 800x480 yourself. The theme is provided as a .tgz package and for installation you need to follow Konttori's instructions - you need to be root on your device and so on, so this is really intended only for developers. Install at your own risk.

You can get more information on MaemoThemeMaker in Konttori's blog.

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5 Comments:

At 20:08, Blogger Hannu said...

You really have pro statements
I have to say.
Really interested of 770 and beyond...
I think Internet Tablets are one of those big things in geek world
in the coming months...

 
At 01:31, Anonymous mattsqz said...

i agree with the previous poster, the 770 does for me what palm, windows ce/mobile, laptops, and cell phones could not: put a capable, usable computer in my pocket.

 
At 01:05, Anonymous Mirage said...

You say:
"running a theme in the Scratchbox development environment is possible but seems to result in a few additional glitches."

Do you have any link to more info on how to actually try this in scratchbox? I tried installing a theme (LCARS) created with ThemeMaker in scratchbox but get errors of non-existing directories, etc...

Please post a link or reference if you know of one, thanks.

 
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