KDE Themes - Installation - Too complex.

Philip Rodrigues philip.rodrigues at chch.ox.ac.uk
Wed Jan 11 12:22:57 GMT 2006

>> 1. KDE 3.5 is feature frozen, so any proposed feature would have to wait
>> till KDE 4. Therefore, you could start investigation and discussion into
>> how theme installation could be done in KDE 4: Look at the technical
>> issues with themes, how they're dealt with by other OS's/DE's (MacOS,
>> Gnome, etc) and suggest some ways to do the same in KDE 4. This would be
>> an appropriate discussion for the kde-devel mailing list.
> Are non-developlers "allowed" on the kde-devel mailing list?

Sure, provided your message is relevant to discussion of KDE development.
Another list which I should have thought of is kde-artists - search the
archives there, perhaps they've already discussed the issue, or can provide
some pointers for you.

>> Bear in mind that it's too early
>> to be writing code for KDE 4, but planning structure and so on is
>> something that can be done now.
> In other words, my timing stunk.

Well, few specific decisions about KDE 4 features have been made at this
stage, so you get a chance to get in early.

>> 2. Improve the documentation on kde-look. I haven't looked into it
>> myself, but I imagine there's a lot that could be done on this front.
> This site's existance is very unfortunate.  It's the "unofficial-offical"
> site
> for KDE themes.   In other words, "Official" documentation refers to it
> and
> refers users there, but it's still not part of KDE.     That right there
> is a
> problem.  But that's for another discussion.

Yes, another discussion :-).

> Meanwhile the guy who runs the site is very uninterested in changes
> (unless
> it's his idea).  And it's really up to ordinery folk like you and me (or
> me anyway) to have the brains to properly document the themes we upload.

I cant answer for the kde-look admins, but in terms of documenting themes, I
don't see why kde-look should be responsible: every individual
theme/style/whatever may have different instructions, and the developer is
the person best placed to know what is required for installation, etc.

Anyway, that's somewhat immaterial - we could argue all day about what
someone else should or shouldn't do :-). Better to think about what you can
do to "scratch your itch". One thing you could do would be to write a short
howto about installing themes, styles etc and make it publically available
somewhere. You could either submit it as an item on kde-look, or put it in
the KDE wiki (wiki.kde.org), or better, both. I imagine there's a lot of
information that's quite generic between themes, and could go into a howto.
Of course, individual themes could have slightly differing instructions,
but if there's a standard "theme howto", then a package author just needs
to provide a "diff" ("skip section 4 and instead run ./configure
--crazy-flags" for example).

> However, the biggest problem is that a) most are not packaged at all, it's
> pure source code and b) packaged or not, they are often out of date and
> incompatible with current Linux distributions.

I imagine that's a simple case of lack of manpower.

>> Lots of
>> people turn up in #kde on IRC not knowing how to install the theme they
>> just downloaded from there.
> And KDE developers aren't aware of this?

I say "a lot", but not quite enough to give me the simultaneous time and
inclination to do anything about it.

>> While I mention it, there's also some
>> uncertainty among users about the difference between themes, styles,
>> windecos, etc etc. I guess you should talk to the kde-look admins if you
>> want to take this approach.
> I have talked to the admin. He's useless.  He says "I put up the site -
> the community does everything else".

See above. The main point is that in KDE, much as in any other open source
project, the person who does the work makes the decision, and since the
whole procedure is open, you have the power to make changes to improve
things where you find problems (scratching your itch).

KDE Documentation Team: http://i18n.kde.org/doc
KDE Documentation Online: http://docs.kde.org

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