[typo] Comments about the current state of typo theming

Micah Wylde wyldeone at gmail.com
Sun Nov 13 02:14:17 EST 2005

The 2.5.7 release brought the ability to theme anything in the system and,
in fact, to rewrite any piece of Typo that the designer desires to. While
this may be seen as a strength, and certaintly allows for incredible
flexiblity for the designer. The base lacks features that you want? Roll
them youself, as controllers are able to be overwritten. There is also a
huge danger here, which we have already seen, namely that either development
of Typo must cease, or else every new version will, possibly majorly, break
existing themes. We have already seen this with the 2.6.0 release which
broke themes designed for 2.5.7. Since theme designers cannot be counted
upon to be constantly updating their themes, this situation will create a
mess of themes that only work with a specific version of typo, which will
force users to up or downgrade their installation every time they want to
install a new theme, which brings up a whole new set of problems. And if the
themer does fix their theme for a new version of typo, it will break it for
the old versions.

This situation is untenable. What we need is a theme abstraction layer, the
interface to which will stay constant, at least amongst major versions. Such
a change would of course require huge changes to the codebase. But if we
want typo to continue to grow and flourish with themes, it's a step that
much be taken.

Micah Wylde
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