I’ve been following the “one theme” thread, but
- it’s become clear that tastes vary, and since the software supports a variety of themes, we should take advantage of that
- there may now be enough consensus to hammer out a couple of themes that would collectively satisfy a large fraction of the users.
I’m not wedded to “three”, but as I tried to cluster the requests I’ve been reading that’s where I started. So I’m going to suggest three themes and some features they should have, and I encourage others to chime in, tune those suggestions, and suggest other clusters of features that would make a useful theme for the board.
Here’s my start:
(also, just an aside – this is they type of thread that benefits from allowing edits. If this board allowed edits indefinitely, as other boards I use do, I would next start four posts, one for each of my three suggested themes and one for “other”, and I would continually update them as suggestions are made and consensus is reached, and there’d be a nice summary of what people want handy and easy to find, at the top of the thread.)
Initial theme suggestions:
Two features that I think everyone would like in all these themes are mouseovers - preferably mouseovers that work even if you are using a modern laptop with a touch-screen, and the pretty version of the “Straight Dope” banner.
Text-based: Many long-time dopers like a text-centric environment. This theme would not show avatars, it would by default hide in-line images (ideally with a way to unhide them) and it would show the first and last poster’s name, rather than showing a little string of avatars. It would also show explicit time/date of posts, rather than elapsed time since a post. The “suggested threads” at the bottom of the page might also be suppressed in this theme.
Wide-Screen: A surprising number of posters seem to like running this board in a window that extends all the way across a wide screen, and want that wide screen to be full of text. There may be enough demand for this that it would be worth doing two versions of it, one with a light background and one with a dark background.
Discourse-style: This would be a theme similar to the discourse-standard themes we already have, but modified to be more conducive to using the board like the old board. So, buttons at the top of the page that take you back to “home” and to the category (old forums) would be larger and more prominent – especially the category one. It would actually show the pretty “Straight Dope” banner instead of the little “SD”. If you hovered over the category button at the top of the page it might show you the start of the text describing the purpose of that category, and it’s rules.
If you like any of these as a starting point, and have other requests to go with it, please post them. If there’s some other cluster of feature that you think worth making a theme of, please suggest that, too. I get the impression it’s not super-hard to develop a new theme, so I’m hopeful we might be able to actually get these made available.