Topic: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

Hi,

is there any place where I could read up on how to create a Theme for the chumbified dash?

I did like the Sony theme which had the clock and date on the right hand side, the 5 day weather forcast along the bottom and was cycling through a channel of widgets in the upper left part.

Everything there in one glance.

In the early days, when Sony was still hosting it's developer pages, I got a bit into ActionScript development.
I do have a strong IT and development background. So, if you point me at some documentation, I would like to contribute.

Cheers,

Alaric11

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

alaric11 wrote:

Hi,

is there any place where I could read up on how to create a Theme for the chumbified dash?

I did like the Sony theme which had the clock and date on the right hand side, the 5 day weather forcast along the bottom and was cycling through a channel of widgets in the upper left part.

Everything there in one glance.

Double this.

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

Not yet.

Theme creation is very involved, and Duane hasn't had time to put together a 'toolkit'.

The chumbyverse is open, so given some time, I'm sure there'll be a wiki page explaining how to do it, and hopefully a toolkit.

Cleaning up any loose bits and bytes.

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

O.K. just offering help - possibly, if I could have the sources for one of them, I might even be able to figure out some of it myself and then document in the wiki.
If you're willing to share, let me know.

Else I'll wait and see :-)

Thanks again for making this possible.

Alaric11

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

I hope you can recreate the old Sony theme.  I'm not a big Star Trek fan, and the LCARS theme shows weather radar in a rather small window.  Please announce here if you are successful.

Also, has anyone been able to get any of the photo apps to work?

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

rfarrow wrote:

Also, has anyone been able to get any of the photo apps to work?

I've got the "URLImage" app working on mine, which is all I ever used on the Dash before it was freed from its chains.  It can be fussy about graphic formats.

I'll also register a vote for something like the default Sony theme with the time and current weather off to the right and the bulk of the screen used for rotating apps.  I'm almost there with the "fullscreen" theme but have to add a clock and weather apps to the rotation, which really isn't that bad and I may decide I like it better anyway. smile

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

alaric11 wrote:

O.K. just offering help - possibly, if I could have the sources for one of them, I might even be able to figure out some of it myself and then document in the wiki.
If you're willing to share, let me know.

Else I'll wait and see :-)

Thanks again for making this possible.

Alaric11

Sharing is one of the tenets of the chumbyverse.  I have no reason to think Duane would change that now smile. We were talking about theme creation the other day, and that's  where I got an idea of how involved it is, and he said he'd probably make a toolkit.  Just him a little time.

I'll be happy to give you write access on the wiki, it's locked down now because of spammers.

Cleaning up any loose bits and bytes.

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

One of the biggest issues with themes is that they're actually loaded into the Control Panel, so any memory leaks, bugs, etc. affect the overall functionality of the CP.  You have to take special care to be sure you don't leave any intervals or timeouts running.

Widgets run in a separate instance, so they aren't as potentially damaging.

Themes are written as Flash movies, specifically targeting Flash 9/Actionscript 2.  You'll need a relatively old version of the Adobe Flash IDE to generate these movies, Flash CS6 or earlier.  The Creative Cloud version of Flash (now Animate) removed support for AS2.

9 (edited by alaric11 2017-08-08 02:04:40)

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

I think I have a virtual machine with Adobe CS6 still on it lying around from the time when we bought the dash and I was planning to write some stuff for my wife :-D.
I'll check my USB disks.
I suppose writing Themes is also a lot about knowing which "stock" elements can be reused, isn't that so?

Cheers,

Alaric11

Edit: Found it. Will a trial version of CS5.5 be sufficient?
2nd Edit: Yeay, have my first hello world running. Can I test without pushing the swf through chumby.com?

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

You can run a swf on the device directly:

1) ssh into the device, put your SWF (ex. "your.swf") on a dongle and insert into the device
2) enter the command "stop_control_panel" - this shuts down the CP and disables the CP watchdog.
3) enter the command "chumbyflashplayer.x -i /mnt/usb/your.swf -l 40"

The last parameter is a lower-case "L", it instructs the player to allow "trace()" statements to print on the console.

The dimensions of the screen are 860x480.

11 (edited by alaric11 2017-08-09 12:19:30)

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

Thank you for this info.

I decided I will practice a little on widget development before I attempt a theme.
If I do it right, I might just set this widget as the only one that never changes and be happy with it.

Now for questions: Can anybody tell me what font the "night time" clock is using? I like it and would like to reuse it in my widget.

Cheers,

Alaric11

Edit: BTW, I notice that if I use font _sans (which I believe should be a stock font of the device) and "tweak" the font size so the texts fit into the areas where I want them on my flash development system, they show up much too wide on the device and are cut off. Any hints on how to correctly place dynamic text fields and what font and font size to use in them to make that reflect reality on the device?

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

alaric11 wrote:

Thank you for this info.

I decided I will practice a little on widget development before I attempt a theme.
If I do it right, I might just set this widget as the only one that never changes and be happy with it.

Now for questions: Can anybody tell me what font the "night time" clock is using? I like it and would like to reuse it in my widget.

Cheers,

Alaric11

Duane mentioned it the other day, try searching for posts with "font" in them... If you can't find it, I'll search later.

Cleaning up any loose bits and bytes.

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

Found it. Helvetica Neue Light or Ultralight.

Any idea how to tackle the problem of the widgets showing up very different from the preview? Fonts much too wide?


And just to repeat: Thank you! You guys are awesome!

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

Make sure you "embed" the fonts for each of the text fields.

15 (edited by drexful 2017-08-09 22:09:17)

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

You can also modify one of the existing Sony themes I provided or use them as a reference point.
https://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?pid=54959#p54959

Edit: Updated link

Owner of a Chumby One, Insignia 3.5, and Sony Dash C10. A tinkerer at heart and IT manager by trade.

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

I did an initial push of an example theme that basically traces what happens and lets you initiate specific events.

It's a work in progress, but something to play with.

You can put the theme.swf on a dongle and boot with it and the CP will use it instead of the configured one.

https://github.com/chumby/CP4ExampleTheme

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

You're amazing. Thank you. I will try and get a look at this as soon as I find some time.

Right now I'm playing at Widget development.
After mastering some action script, layout and showing basic clock/day/date I am trying to find out how to access the next set alarm from action script. I have noticed the file /psp/alarms but I suppose from actionscript there has to be a neater way to access that information, right? Just haven't found it in the wiki or the forum yet.

Thanks again,

Alaric11

Re: Reading material / documentation on Theme creation?

Widgets run through the normal widget player mechanism do not have access to the local file system (imagine the security implications if they could).  They also do not have access to the alarm information through any other mechanism, for the same reasons.  They basically live in a security sandbox with extremely limited access to anything local to the device.

Themes, however, do have access to stuff, as part of the theme API.

If you're making a standalone movie that is run directly from the chumbyflashplayer.x, then you will have the same privileges the Control Panel does, in which case you can use these functions to get stuff:

http://wiki.chumby.com/index.php?title=ChumbyNative

This class is pretty much the heart of what makes the Control Panel work.  The only other thing special about the Control Panel is that it must write to the file "/tmp/movieheartbeat" every 15 seconds or the system will assume it's dead and restart it.