4 Replies Latest reply: May 29, 2012 7:44 AM by RobbieNerve RSS

    Is it worth the hassle creating your own APEX theme from scratch?

    603257
      Hi,
      I am developing an application which will be delivered on a touchscreen device, and wil be used with people wearing protective gloves. For this reason I want it to be very simplistic in design, nice large buttons, big text etc. Whilst I could go messing around with one of the seeded themes, I think it might be easier to just write one from scratch. I won't be using all the fancy components, probably just basic ones however what I want to know is - is it really woth the hassle? Or will it just involve too much headache when upgrading, new components being introduced within APEX etc? Will it limit what we can do in the future too much?
      Just looking for advice from anyone who has written their own theme really. Did you have to stick within some specific guidelines/standards within APEX (to allow switching themes to be seamless)/

      Any help is greatly appreciated!!
        • 1. Re: Is it worth the hassle creating your own APEX theme from scratch?
          j.gauger
          Hi,

          i would recommend you to take a look on the jQuery Mobile framework. Sounds to me that this would be the easiest approach to your problem. jQuery itself is part of Apex since v4.

          http://jquerymobile.com

          Some easy tutorials how to implement jQuery Mobile into your environment you can find here: http://www.apex-at-work.com/2011/12/mobile-apex-applikationen-mit-jquery.html

          Regards,
          Jens

          Edited by: j.gauger on 29.05.2012 11:14
          • 2. Re: Is it worth the hassle creating your own APEX theme from scratch?
            fac586
            /dev/null wrote:
            Hi,
            I am developing an application which will be delivered on a touchscreen device, and wil be used with people wearing protective gloves. For this reason I want it to be very simplistic in design, nice large buttons, big text etc. Whilst I could go messing around with one of the seeded themes, I think it might be easier to just write one from scratch. I won't be using all the fancy components, probably just basic ones
            Is this application only delivered on this device? If it is, and it only contains a few simple components then creating just what you need from scratch is probably OK. Another way would be to pick the built-in theme that's closest to your requirements, remove what you don't need and modify the required components as necessary.
            however what I want to know is - is it really woth the hassle?
            In this case, do you have a choice?
            Or will it just involve too much headache when upgrading, new components being introduced within APEX etc?
            There shouldn't be any significant problems when upgrading as existing themes are retained untouched. Anything new can be added as and when needed.
            Will it limit what we can do in the future too much?
            No reason why it should if you create clean, standards-compliant HTML and CSS. Keep it simple. Future proof it by including HTML5 features even if your current user agents don't yet support them (where such features have backwardly-compatible rendering in your current devices).
            Just looking for advice from anyone who has written their own theme really. Did you have to stick within some specific guidelines/standards within APEX (to allow switching themes to be seamless)/
            If you want to allow seamless theme switching then you need to provide at least one template for every template class required by themes in the APEX version used. For a specialized theme this is usually too much hassle. Just create what the application needs and let this grow organically by creating new templates as and when additional components are required.

            Other possibilities include using alternate and media-specific style sheets to specifically target particular device types, or responsive web design techniques to provide flexible rendering across a range of devices and user agents.
            • 3. Re: Is it worth the hassle creating your own APEX theme from scratch?
              603257
              Hi,
              Thanks for the input. The devices we are planning on using are running a full version of Windows XP/7 so there shouldn't be too much of a problem with mobile compatibility. It is possible we might use an alternate device in the future however we would choose one of similar spec. They are vehicle mounted with fairly large screens (about 10" if I remember correctly). I could use an existing template but I find they have too much "noise" in them and I fear it may take longer to strip all that out than just start from scratch.
              The main thing here is usability, I'm not bothered about fancy gradient backgrounds on buttons etc, it needs to be fast, simple and as robust as possible. The screens will get quite heavy usage so UI is key, which makes the "start from scratch" option attractive because it gives us more control.

              Thanks
              • 4. Re: Is it worth the hassle creating your own APEX theme from scratch?
                RobbieNerve
                Hi!

                imho you could add a page template to the existing theme used by your application.
                Keep it simple with divs and place only the #region_position0X# anchors you need.

                Using css you can format the buttons (or Jquery-ui as stated before in this thread).

                Also check my earlier explanation Re: *Open a page in the centre pane with left side menu*

                as a sidenote:
                you can link two (or more) css files to a page, for different screen sizes.
                You can make a css for the vehicle mounted device (maximum width of screen 1024 pixels)
                and one for the desktop (maximum width of screen > 1024 pixels) with another layout.

                Robin