Workaround For Building Themes For BlackBerry OS 7 Devices
By now every theme developer knows the frustration of not being able to build themes for OS 7 devices. Although RIM has mentioned the reason
for the delay in releasing theme builder 7, it has not kept people from creating their own through workarounds and hacks. There have been a few OS 7 themes
that have come out recently that are clean and simple, but the pressure to create more robust and complete themes is mounting.
It seems as though RIM has listened to the cries of consumers who want to add a fresh touch to their OS 7 device, and has released some instructions on how to use Theme Studio 6 to build themes for BlackBerry 7 devices.
The following are the instructions taken from the BlackBerry Developer's Blog
: (this is part 1 part 2 is yet to come
Once BlackBerry Theme Builder is launched, it starts off by determining which devices and theme types are supported by reading bundled property files:
1) <ThemeStudio>\resources\devices\device_profiles.pr operties
This file contains a list of information for all supported BlackBerry smartphone models, including a link to a file which describes the characteristics of each device and a thumbnail view of the device.
2) <ThemeStudio>\resources\devices\blackberry\BB<Mode l>.properties
One of these files is included for each device model/series supported by BlackBerry Theme Studio. It lets BlackBerry Theme Builder know information about the device, such as display resolution, supported fonts, et cetera.
3) <ThemeStudio>\resources\theme\<ThemeDir>\<Model><T hemeType>.properties
Once BlackBerry Theme Builder reads the list of supported devices (1) and determines their properties (2), the next step is to determine which themes are available for each device. All found theme types will be displayed in the splash screen’s Select Layout Type drop-down. These themes will be based off the .thm file located in the same directory as this file.
After BlackBerry Theme Builder launches, and you make your changes to the theme and export your created masterpiece, BlackBerry Theme Builder does the following:
1) Analyzes the theme for any changes from the base theme (the default theme loaded by BlackBerry Theme Builder before any modifications are made).
2) Any changes found results in certain files being created during the export process by BlackBerry Theme Builder.
Layout changes: SVG and associated PME files are created.
Image changes/additions: New image files are included.
The more modifications that are made, the more files that will be exported (one image file for each image that is added). The SVG files are used to specify the layout, behavior, and reference the appropriate image files for the various icons, backgrounds, and other UI components.
3) These files are exported to the current user’s Windows® temp directory in a folder named with the following format:
Also, a properties file will be exported to the temp directory in the following format:
4) BlackBerry Theme Builder then compiles these files into the theme COD file and stores that COD in another folder in the Windows temp directory with the same naming format.
5) BlackBerry Theme Builder then copies the COD to the defined output directory along with the required installation files (JAD, ALX etc) and deletes the two directories created in Step 4 from the file system entirely.
Although this is not the ideal setup, we can see that RIM is actually trying help alleviate some of the frustration that many theme developers have been feeling. Stay tuned for part 2.