I poked around with recently and added support for sorting backgrounds and themes by popularity. This throws up some interesting results, such as showing the XP look-a-like theme being the fourth most popular on the site.

Even more interestingly still, I hacked up support to allow most themes (gtk, metacity and icon themes) to be installed directly from the web page. This is achieved by setting the content-type to application/x-gnome-theme-package and allowing Firefox (or, I assume, any other web browser) to open the download with the default handler for this type, which is the Theme Installer. This ties in with the longer term plan we’re thinking of, which is to remove the extra themes from gnome-themes and place them (and more) on the website. Users would then install the themes straight from the theme manager or from a browser. Hylke’s already posted some mockups to the control center mailing list on what the new theme manager may look like.

Now, if only there was a nice way to set your desktop background from the browser, without going through right click menus…

5 thoughts on “ updates”

  1. Go on…. add something weird, like sort by colour (just the average).

    More useful might be the ability to login and get it to remember your favourite themes.

  2. …Or even being able to point out similar themes could be useful, as there are so many very similar ones you might want the best version of a set of similar themes.

    A lastfmy- other people who liked this theme, liked these themes maybe.

  3. Fascinating! I never heard about the mime type for GNOME themes. Epidermis creates its own mime type (application/x-pigment) to do this. It probably goes a step further than x-gnome-theme-package as it also has a built-in thumbnailer, and a way to link pigments together using “skins”. Funnily, enough, Kris Thomsen, it also uses Get Hot New Stuff for its online repository.
    I don’t mind in the least bit if GNOME’s going to duplicate the functionality of Epidermis, in fact, I’d prefer it that way!

  4. I hope you are not computing popularity based on total number of downloads, because that would give older themes an advantage. This is especially bad because it gives the impression that all Gtk themes are antiquated!

    Better metrics are:

    – Average downloads per month

    – Number of downloads in the last X months (where X is selectable between 1, 6 or 12 for example)

    – Exponentially-weighted average of downloads per month. I.e. if A is a number between 0 and 1, and M(k) is the popularity value of the kth month then the metric is:

    M(k) = A*[# downloads this month] + (1 – A) * M(k-1)

    Then every month you just need to run the equation above. The problem here is finding the best value of A. Large A means the last months are given priority, which small A means longer time periods are taken into consideration.

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