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Rapid Application Development with Mozilla™ by Nigel McFarlane

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4.4. Themes and Skins

Themes and skins change the appearance of a piece of software. Whether called a theme, skin, profile, or mask, a theme usually consists of configuration information rather than whole programs. Apply a theme to a button, and the button's appearance changes.

Early theme systems were little more than a few user-driven color preferences. Examples of early theme systems are the Appearance options provided by Windows 9x/Me under the Display item in the Control Panel, and X11 resource files.

Beyond early theme systems are theme engines. A theme engine is a specialist part of a GUI library. When the library needs to draw a button, it consults the theme engine, which supplies graphical information matching the current theme. The ...

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