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A cautionary note about the Theme Chooser app (as seen in CM7)

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By byrong, Senior Member on 15th February 2011, 01:33 PM
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I've really been loving CM7. One of the features that caught my eye right away is the Theme Chooser: while it is still being ironed out, it has some great functionality.

That said, I've come to realize that it causes some very strange interactions on my phone and have stopped using it. I just wanted to give the heads up to other users.

Some specific examples:

I use Autoruns to control what apps are allowed to automatically run on my phone. After flashing CM7 and experimenting with the themes, Autoruns stopped working. Specifically, when started, it would no longer show all of the apps that have autostart privileges on the phone. Instead, it just showed a few entries for Android itself.

It didn't occur to me that the issue was because of the Theme Chooser. I thought it was just a Gingerbread and/or CM7 issue with Autostarts. But after speaking with the developer, he related to me that this was a known bug with applying a theme with the chooser. I switched back to "system" in the Theme Chooser and he was right: Autostarts returned to full functionality.

As a workaround, you can apply changes with Autostarts, then apply a theme afterwards. Your changes from Autostarts will stick, but if you need to make future changes you will need to revert back to the system theme temporarily.

The other major issue I was having was with WidgetLocker. WL would remember all my settings and sliders, but if I placed any 3rd party widgets onto my lockscreen, they would disappear on reboot. I tried all sorts of wipes / uninstalls / reinstalls, but the problem persisted. Frustrated, I again believed that this was because of Gingerbread and/or CM7. But as soon as I reverted my theme back to system in the Theme Chooser, this problem also went away completely.

I never contacted the WL devs, so I don't know if this second one is a recognized issue with interaction, but I can reliably induce the problem.


So I just wanted to pass this along. If you are using the Theme Chooser, consider reverting back to system if you are trying to investigate any weird problems. If two of the major apps that I use were affected, I'm sure some others are as well.

I'm not saying that the Theme Chooser has to be avoided: just that it should be considered as a variable when investigating buggy behavior.


(I am posting this outside the Nightlies thread as I'm not sure what other roms might be trying to user this theme chooser.)
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15th February 2011, 08:48 PM |#2  
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Well that may be a valid point. However I am more inclined to believe the majority of people having app issues is because a good deal of developers have not yet updated their respective apps for GB compatibility. Seeing how there's only... what the Nexus S running official firmware? Not discrediting your statement of course. Just another idea relating to improper function or nonfunction of apps.

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15th February 2011, 08:55 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunder74

I am more inclined to believe the majority of people having app issues is because a good deal of developers have not yet updated their respective apps for GB compatibility.

I am not saying that Theme Chooser should be considered the primary culprit for all problems. Rather,
Quote:
Originally Posted by byrong

...that it should be considered as a variable when investigating buggy behavior.

That is all.

Your point about GB compatibility is of course valid, but I gave two specific examples of repeatable bugs that I was able to directly link to the Theme Chooser.

I also must not be the first person to have experienced the issue with Autostarts, because the developer responded to my initial query within minutes. I thought it was a GB issue and asked when GB would be supported. Right away he asked if I was using the Theme Chooser in one of the CM7 nightly builds, which I was.
15th February 2011, 09:30 PM |#4  
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I understand. I wonder what's happening with it specifically, have you ran a logcat while duplicating it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by byrong

I am not saying that Theme Chooser should be considered the primary culprit for all problems. Rather,

That is all.

Your point about GB compatibility is of course valid, but I gave two specific examples of repeatable bugs that I was able to directly link to the Theme Chooser.

I also must not be the first person to have experienced the issue with Autostarts, because the developer responded to my initial query within minutes. I thought it was a GB issue and asked when GB would be supported. Right away he asked if I was using the Theme Chooser in one of the CM7 nightly builds, which I was.



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15th February 2011, 10:41 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunder74

I understand. I wonder what's happening with it specifically, have you ran a logcat while duplicating it?

Here you go...

With theme set to "system" (I.E. Theme Chooser isn't active), starting Autostarts logs the following:
Code:
I/ActivityManager(  170): Start proc com.elsdoerfer.android.autostarts for activity com.elsdoerfer.android.autostarts/.ListActivity: pid=2431 uid=10112 gids={}
I/ActivityManager(  170): Displayed com.elsdoerfer.android.autostarts/.ListActivity: +486ms
With a custom theme applied, starting Autostarts now shows:
Code:
I/ActivityManager(  170): Start proc com.elsdoerfer.android.autostarts for activity com.elsdoerfer.android.autostarts/.ListActivity: pid=2646 uid=10112 gids={}
I/ActivityManager(  170): Displayed com.elsdoerfer.android.autostarts/.ListActivity: +380ms
W/AssetRedirectionManager(  170): No such resource found for com.android.music:drawable/progress_horizontal
W/AssetRedirectionManager(  170): Unable to attach target package assets for com.android.carhome
W/AssetRedirectionManager(  170): No such resource found for com.upwardspiral.theme.Red_Remix:@drawable/wallpaper
Since the Theme Chooser is redirecting the system to utilize separate resources, I guess some apps just don't appreciate having a "middle man."

I'm not knowledgeable enough to say whether:
1. Apps can be modified to deal with this issue
2. Some Theme Chooser themes themselves may be built in a such a way that causes this
3. Theme Chooser itself is the only thing that can be changed
22nd February 2011, 08:44 PM |#6  
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Hmm... could it be that the theme developer didn't account for extra options that are now available? Seems to me like it could be a theme issue, not a theme-chooser issue.
22nd February 2011, 08:48 PM |#7  
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Could be. That was one of the theories I posted above.
22nd February 2011, 08:53 PM |#8  
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Thanks for this thread, will pass the info along to the MT4G guys.
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4th March 2011, 07:41 PM |#9  
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Thanks for this note; I have been having the issue with Widgetlocker losing all the widgets after a reboot, and switching to the system theme resolved that issue.
11th April 2011, 09:16 PM |#10  
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Now that CM7 has a labeled stable release, I'm bumping this thread. A lot of people will be trying CM7 for the first time and may wonder why they are seeing weird behavior.

I've noticed a lot of people asking in the CM7 threads when the CM team will fix this issue. Please understand that the Theme Engine is T-Mobile's app: it was not written by the CM team. Any fixes that come down the pipeline for it will presumably be from T-Mobile, not from the CM team.

Also, just to add some more detail to the issue, here's a quote from the author of WidgetLocker:
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]

WidgetLocker attempts to bind to a widget according to the SDK docs and how Google's launcher2 is implemented. CM7 w/ Theme Chooser denies WL from doing so. If WidgetLocker doesn't have access to the widget, there is nothing to display.

Some users have even reported this problem on their home screen with certain launchers, while other launchers are problem-free. This would seem to suggest that there are two different methods that developers are using to bind to widgets, but that is just speculation on my part.
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18th May 2011, 11:52 AM |#11  
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How do I disable or remove themechoose as it comes with CM7 builds? And I'm not able to remove system apps.
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autostarts, cm7, cm7 theme chooser, theme chooser, widget locker

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