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Author Topic: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines  (Read 112862 times)

Online Gary

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Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« on: September 27, 2007, 10:15:40 PM »
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NOTICE: These guidelines are now outdated. Please refer to our updated guidelines. Thanks!

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There have been some questions recently regarding the approval of themes submitted to the Theme Site, but many of them have a few issues within them and I though we should share.

Here are a few guidelines that themes must follow before we can approve them.

- No Hard coded strings in the templates, and English strings/buttons must be provided by default
All text must be in the language files. If your theme uses new strings not provided by default in SMF then, create a ./languages/ThemeStrings.language.php file (or create your own ./languages/ThemeStrings.language.php.) An English version of any new strings must be provided, but you can include other languages as well if you wish.

- Themes must not violate copyrights
Authors of themes that make use of resources created by others need to make sure they are respecting the license of those items. If a license for an item you want to use is not posted, you must contact the creator and obtain permission. If a copyright violation is reported about a theme you have posted, the theme will be removed until you fix the infringement. Repeated instances may result in a permanent ban from posting themes.

-Use of Simple Machines default artwork
You have permission to use the artwork that is bundled with SMF for use in custom themes for the system. Use of the artwork in other software must be approved by Simple Machines LLC.

- Templates must contain valid HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Transitional
Template files must be valid to HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Tags must be in lowercase, and line breaks (<br>) must be closed (<br />), for more information this should help for XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

- Only include the edited files
There is no need to include all the template and language files if they have not been edited, SMF will automatically call for the default template if the template is not present in your theme. The same for language files, the only language file that is required is Settings.language.php

 - Easy Readability For Quick Editing
Themes must have readable code and conform to SMF coding guidelines as much as possible. For example you shouldn't have a whole stylesheet class on one line.

- Theme descriptions must be in English:
For a vast majority of users, English is the first language spoken and in most cases the only language spoken. For this reason, the English description must be listed first. However, other languages may be provided below, and must be labeled to which language it is.

- Valid Version Tag
The version tag in the theme_info.xml MUST be represent the version of SMF that the theme is for.

- Variations
For themes with multiple colour variations, they should all be within the same theme entry. Multiple packages are okay, though all variants in one package using a multi-colour dropdown or click boxes is preferred.

- If you're contacted about any of the above points:
If you get contacted about any of the above points from the Customize Team, then your response must be in English. If it is NOT in English, you may be contacted again for an English translation. Contact the local moderator of your language for a translation if you need help. Also please be aware that all non-English replies will place your theme at the end of the approval list.

NOTE: It has also come to attention that some members have been contacting team members to get their theme approved quicker. When you do this, we will move your theme to the end of the list of themes awaiting approval. If the theme hasn't been approved for two weeks, you are welcome to make a post about it without any consequences.

Thanks

Tema Kabul Şartları (Turkish)
Vodic za odobrenje Teme (Serbian)
Pedoman Persetujuan Tema (Indonesian)
Auteurs de Thèmes: Directives d'approbation des Thèmes (French)
Linee guida per l' approvazione dei temi (Italian)
Autores de Temas: Regras para Aprovação pelo SMF (Portuguese)
Temadesigners: Riktlinjer för godkänning av teman (Swedish/Danish/Norwegian)
Theme Autoren: Richtlinien für Theme Freigaben (German)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 10:02:29 PM by Shadow82x »

Offline Dannii

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 10:21:38 PM »
If people are including custom language files, can they please get those files to require() the default theme's language files too?

Also, why not just say that the themes must validate against a current HTML or XHTML spec? I'd hope that we can move towards Strict themes, rather than encouraging Tradionational ones!
"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

Offline zwaldowski

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2007, 04:02:21 PM »
If people are including custom language files, can they please get those files to require() the default theme's language files too?

Would this be a viable way to not force users to edit the default Modifications.english.php file?  Does the language file utilize SMF variables (e.g. $themeurl)?

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Offline Dannii

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2007, 10:49:39 PM »
Quote
Would this be a viable way to not force users to edit the default Modifications.english.php file?  Does the language file utilize SMF variables (e.g. $themeurl)?
When are users being forced to edit it?
"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

Offline Rumbaar

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2007, 08:25:26 PM »
Also, why not just say that the themes must validate against a current HTML or XHTML spec? I'd hope that we can move towards Strict themes, rather than encouraging Tradionational ones!
I'm all for Strict themes, but until all browsers render Strict consistently then I feel a requirement for strict is a little way off.  I know I've got content that render WC3 strict correctly in IE, but doesn't in Firefox/Opera, and/or the other way around.
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Offline Dannii

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2007, 04:12:12 AM »
Strict vs transitional won't make a difference with IE, it uses the same rendering engine for both.
"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

Offline zwaldowski

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 06:11:50 PM »
If they install a mod, and your theme has a Modifications.english.php language file for some of its features, they are forced to copy the information from the SMF core theme to the custom theme.

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Offline Dannii

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 09:55:55 AM »
Well yep that's when it would be better to include/require the default language files.
"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

Offline DJ MIKE

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 02:49:01 PM »
graxxx

Offline Rumbaar

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2007, 06:56:56 PM »
Question, I'm making a theme that references a particular OS.  It will use a lot of the images that are found in the OS and other public areas.  Is that allowable for public release?  I don't think I'll be able to contact whoever to get 'permission' to use their images.  Would it be in the common domain enough for public use?

Also what would be the best way to call the default Modifications.english.php file from inside a theme specific file?
"An important reward for a job well done is a personal sense of worthwhile achievement."

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Online Gary

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2007, 07:01:48 PM »
The Default Modifications.english.php file is called anyway. But if you plan on using custom strings then we recommend using ThemeStrings.language.php and call that instead.

Bloc does it by adding
Code: [Select]
// load custom language strings
loadLanguage('ThemeStrings');
to the template_init() function.

As for references to the OS, personally, I'm cool as long as there's a disclaimer.

Offline Rumbaar

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2007, 07:15:56 PM »
Ah, so ThemeStrings.{language}.php is called as well, so no need real need to include a Modifications.{language}.php file in a custom theme.  Just put any custom theme $txt[] entries in there.  That is certainly easier.  Thx.

How would I go about putting a disclaimer? and where abouts would I put it?  As I've done most customization to icons and images myself, but when dealing with a specific product you can't really use anything other than their actual logo for bases, etc.
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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2007, 07:20:42 PM »
How would I go about putting a disclaimer? and where abouts would I put it?  As I've done most customization to icons and images myself, but when dealing with a specific product you can't really use anything other than their actual logo for bases, etc.

For a disclaimer just add it near the copyright in index.template.php something like.

Quote
Product X is a copyrighted trademark of Company Y. This site is not affiliated with Company Y, and any content relating to Product X is not authorised by Company Y.

Thats what I use for my sites where Product X is The Simpsons and Company Y is FOX. :P

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2007, 07:27:06 PM »
Fantastic, that sounds perfect.  Thank you.
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Offline Dannii

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2007, 01:57:27 AM »
If you're using the actual images, that's almost certainly not allowed (unless certain parts of the OS's graphics have been released freely). If you're making new graphics yourself that look like an OS, then that's fine.
"Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise."

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2007, 02:28:08 AM »
I'm not sure, as there are 'icon' packs released by third parts where I've gotten the base images for some of the content.  But it's hard to make say a windows logo any different to the official windows logo.  Even if you made it from scratch.
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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2007, 06:36:13 PM »
We've had to add a couple new guidelines regarding the usage of other languages, but mostly not effecting the theme itself. Just how you communicate with the Customise team, and the description of your theme on the theme site.

Offline Smoky "Rider" Blue

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2007, 01:45:45 AM »
There have been some questions recently regarding the approval of themes submitted to the Theme Site, but many of them have a few issues within them and I though we should share.

Here are a few guidelines that themes must follow before we can approve them.

- No Hard coded strings in the templates, and English strings/buttons must be provided by default
All text must be in the language files. If your theme uses new strings not provided by default in SMF then, create a Modifications.language.php file (or create your own ThemeStrings.language.php) in the /languages folder. An English version of any new strings must be provided, but you can include other languages as well if you wish.

- Themes must not violate copyrights
Themes must not be rips of other peoples work, unless copyright authorization is provided. Also themes can not contain javascript and images from other sources. You are allowed to create your own images, or use those in the SMF packaged themes, but you cant use images from other SMF themes or even other software without permission from their authors.

- Templates must contain valid HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Transitional
Template files must be valid to HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Tags must be in lowercase, and line breaks (<br>) must be closed (<br />), for more information this should help for XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

- Only include the edited files
There is no need to include all the template and language files if they have not been edited, SMF will automatically call for the default template if the template is not present in your theme. The same for language files, the only language file that is required is Settings.language.php

 - Easy Readability For Quick Editing
Themes must have readable code and conform to SMF coding guidelines as much as possible. For example you shouldn't have a whole stylesheet class on one line.

- Theme descriptions must be in English:
For a vast majority of users, English is the first language spoken and in most cases the only language spoken. For this reason, the English description must be listed first. However, other languages may be provided below, and must be labeled to which language it is.

- If you're contacted about any of the above points:
If you get contacted about any of the above points from the Customize Team, then your response must be in English. If it is NOT in English, you may be contacted again for an English translation. Contact the local moderator of your language for a translation if you need help. Also please be aware that all non-English replies will place your theme at the end of the approval list.

Thanks

Tema Kabul Şartları (Turkish)
Vodic za odobrenje Teme (Serbian)
Pedoman Persetujuan Tema (Indonesian)
Auteurs de Thèmes: Directives d'approbation des Thèmes (French)
Linee guida per l' approvazione dei temi (Italian)
Autores de Temas: Regras para Aprovação pelo SMF(Portuguese)

ok I think the topic got de-railed.. i want to know, when you go to the little link to get it "validated" and it shows the errors, how, how do you figure out where the errors are?

i am not understanding this, not one bit. i am trying, but when i search this site on it, i am not pulling up any answers either, at least for a newbie theme dropper offer can understand, or find.

I would love to have my theme up on here, but if i cant understand how this works, then how can i? I am bi polar with adhd, and when i look at the "error page" lol nothing is looking right, and i am totally unhappy. Please, someone make a tut, or something on this, that i can understand, if not for me, for others like me that would like to contribute. i am not a rocket scientist, just me, lol..

thanks for reading this, and hope that the next person to post can have some simple answers.
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Offline Dannii

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2007, 01:55:47 AM »
The validator tells you where they are!
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Offline IchBin™

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Re: Theme Authors: Theme Approval Guidelines
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2007, 02:04:24 AM »
Smoky, its a set of rules the XHTML transitional requires. The validator tells you where the errors are, and usually gives a good explanation of what you missed or need to add. If you need help on this, you can send me the theme ichbin [at] simplemachines [dot] org.
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