4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 5, 2014 10:09 AM by fac586 RSS

    General question about Themes...

    Richard Legge

      Good day all.. Some Questions about themes and my options for my application:

       

      Im running 4.2.4 on XE currently.....and Im using theme 25 Blue responsive..

       

      Some of my users are commenting that the application is taking up quite a bit of screen estate leaving less room for the actual data. They are also commenting that it is somewhat dull!!   (and for reference, they also use applications created using DevExpress by another development team.. (https://demos.devexpress.com/RWA/SalesViewer/RevenueBySector.aspx) for an example...

       

      So, Im looking at the theme options.. If I look at the standard themes, I have 4 HTML5 style themes (23 - 26), which all use up lots of screen space (presumably because they are designed with tablets in mind)..  But If I want to use a smaller style then Im left with just the two slightly smaller styles (21, and 22).. Which are both very similar and both quite greyish and bland.. (call it corporate)..

       

      I've also search the Web and found very few themes available.. There are a couple of sites, but nothing spectacular...  So onto my questions:

       

      Ive been told I shouldn't  be using the legacy Themes, as the are out of date an non compliant with new browsers. However a few are quite nice, and its a shame they shouldnt be used..

       

      Does anyone know whether they will be upgraded in the future, is there any way to migrate them? What are the implications of using one of the old legacy Themes?

       

      Is version 5 going to introduce some new themes?

      Are there any good Themes 'out there' somewhere that Ive missed..?

       

      What other ways are there to customise the new themes.. (and Im not a Web Designer, and not a CSS expert either)?  Is there a simple method generic method to make changes to the current themes without hours of exploring CSS.. (for example, changing the general theme colour to a more obvious one.. ) My thinking is around the 5 or six changes to the them that change the look and feel / colours /style througout the whole application etc...

       

      Any other ideas or thoughts would be useful..

       

      Kind Regards

      Richard

        • 1. Re: General question about Themes...
          TexasApexDeveloper

          You could look to one of these companies that produce themes to build you a custom theme.. Or you could look at APEX 5 the EA2 version and see if the new universal theme fits more of what you are looking for...

           

          Thank you,

           

          Tony Miller
          LuvMuffin Software
          Ruckersville, VA

          • 2. Re: General question about Themes...
            fac586

            Richard Legge wrote:

             

            Ive been told I shouldn't  be using the legacy Themes, as the are out of date an non compliant with new browsers. However a few are quite nice, and its a shame they shouldnt be used..

            As discussed in one of your previous threads, some "legacy" themes are more legacy than others. I wouldn't really classify any of the standards-mode themes introduced from APEX 4.0 as "legacy", unless you need full support on mobile devices. As stated before, I would completely avoid the quirks mode themes 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, and 20.

            Does anyone know whether they will be upgraded in the future

            Unlikely. Some quite significant bugs in original/early themes have never been fixed, so it's improbable that Oracle will expend any effort on changing them in the future.

            is there any way to migrate them?

            In respect of the "real" quirks-mode legacy themes (marked with a "*" and listed above), my advice would be don't bother. IMO none of them are visually interesting enough to be worth the effort. Migration would entail:

             

            1. Adding an HTML5 DOCTYPE to all page templates to trigger standards mode
            2. Validating the HTML for all templates
            3. Modifying the HTML to make it as standards compliant as possible
            4. Validating the CSS for all style sheets
            5. Modifying the CSS to make it as standards compliant as possible
            6. Testing the look and feel, dynamic behaviour and accessibility on all required browsers
            7. Fixing visual rendering, dynamic behaviour and accessibility problems (HTML, CSS and JS)
            8. Repeat from 2 until required levels of standards compliance, rendering, dynamic behaviour and accessibility are achieved.

             

            This is not trivial.

            What are the implications of using one of the old legacy Themes?

            For "real" legacy themes intended to run in quirks mode, there will be problems with:

             

            • Lack of support for some APEX 4.x features (for example region selectors and themed interactive reports)
            • Incompatibility with jQuery which expects/requires standards mode
            • Incompatibility with recent browsers and devices (pre-4.x themes were designed to be compatible with IE6 and equivalent browsers)
            • Incompatibility with modern HTML and CSS features due to running in quirks mode (this is much more of a problem in IE than other browsers)
            • Accessibility issues
            • Difficulty in globally customizing look and feel due to embedding of visual elements (images and background colours) in table-based HTML layouts

             

            Specifically for Internet Explorer, the situation is much worse. There's basically no support for anything that didn't work in IE6 (for certain values of "work"). This means no CSS3, no support for a lot of useful CSS2.1 stuff (like attribute selectors), and no support for various HTML elements and attributes.

             

            For standards mode "legacy" themes, there will be fewer issues, probably mainly relating to accessibility and support for non-desktop devices.

             

            See also Fit Content To Changing Page Size for a similar discussion.

            Is version 5 going to introduce some new themes?

            Yes.

            Are there any good Themes 'out there' somewhere that Ive missed..?

            Third party themes are available (generally for a price) from various places.

            What other ways are there to customise the new themes.. (and Im not a Web Designer, and not a CSS expert either)?  Is there a simple method generic method to make changes to the current themes without hours of exploring CSS.. (for example, changing the general theme colour to a more obvious one.. )

            Probably not. Especially for a novice unfamiliar with more advanced CSS techniques.

            My thinking is around the 5 or six changes to the them that change the look and feel / colours /style througout the whole application etc...

            This is likely to be surprisingly difficult as the new themes make a lot of use of bleeding edge CSS techniques with multiple layers of rules to specify the appearance of a component. Extensive use is also made of CSS sprite images, which means that customization requires image editing as well as overrides or modifications to CSS rules. See the following for examples:

             

            • 3. Re: General question about Themes...
              Richard Legge

              Thanks Fac.. Spot on as always... :-)...   By the way.. Just checking, but the earliest themes i.e.  7 and below, although considered legacy, are actually OK to use?

              • 4. Re: General question about Themes...
                fac586

                Richard Legge wrote:

                 

                Thanks Fac.. Spot on as always... :-)...   By the way.. Just checking, but the earliest themes i.e.  7 and below, although considered legacy, are actually OK to use?

                The numbering is not significant. Lower numbers do not mean earlier. A number of 4.x themes completely replaced earlier themes that looked nothing like them and were even more basic under the hood. Asterisks denoting quirks-mode compatibility with IE6 are more important than the number (and 13 should have a "*" as well).

                 

                Technically, I'd have no problems in using any 4.x standards mode theme for desktop apps. Aesthetics are another story...