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***3.31.11 VZW Fascinate Theme "How-To" and Reference Guide***

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nitsuj17

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I came across these two great threads for the X10 and the Epic 4G and thought that it might be good for the fascinate themers/prospective themers to have a kind of community repository for theme help/links edits/how tos...while these 2 (and many others) are great resources for themes...i felt that actual edits/knowledge specifically for our phone would be a help.

i guess just based on the amount of themes i port i tend to get a ton of pms across xda/androidforums/irc on how to get started, what programs to use, how to make what edits, etc

i really dont know a whole lot relative to "real" themers from other phones and most of what i know i either picked up from reading endless links or begging for help.

whether this catches on and proves useful, or it goes down in flames like others things ive tried...i figured its worth a shot :)

rather than post endless links that dont always pertain directly to our phone, perhaps a good format would be me maintaining the op with small write ups of whatever edits/how tos and linking the the original. ill gradually start putting up the edits i know of that work with touchwiz and aosp (over the next few days)...but would GREATLY appreciate it if some smarter people would help out and post edits im mssing....also feel free to ask questions of how to edit what, where something is, and if i dont know/can't find out, then hopefully someone else can :)

Post away.........

***If anyone is interested in writing up brief tutorials on whatever or contribute links/edits, it would help out a lot*** :)

Fascinate Contributors (directly or indirectly through posts or help along the way in some form):
dtachtd
thatdudebutch
sbrissen
andmer
retrokid223
adiliyo
oldmanjames
tiger4life
adrynalyne
s44



Credit to these threads/posts/links for much of the info
Want To Learn To Theme?
How to Theme Your Droid
Theme Help Tutorial
 
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nitsuj17

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Installing the Android SDK (especially for adb) is mentioned below..however (imo): DO NOT BOTHER THINKING ABOUT GETTING INTO THEMING WITHOUT FIRST INSTALLING AND HAVING SOME BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF ADB. Far too many people that have issues doing theme related stuff (mostly irc) do not even have adb installed or know what it is. To me this is appalling! /end rant



Getting Started (much of this info grabbed from DtatchD http://androidforums.com/android-themes/174669-how-theme-apks.html)

What do I need (tools) to theme with?
-Umm obviously you need to be rooted :cool:

-Have the Android SDK installed
*If you've never done this before, follow Adrynalyne's awesome ADB Tutorial/Workshop

-Some form of editing software
*if you have photoshop, great...if you want a free (and imo awesome) program, then gimp is the way to go!
*another free alternative (some prefer to gimp) is paint.net

-Something akin to winzip
*or my preference (again free) 7-Zip

-Tools for editing/decompiling xml (also for cheating on .9's..but more on that later)
*look no further than either apktool, or apkmanager (automated version of apkt)
*i personally use notepad ++ to edit the decompiled xml files

-a program to *deal* with .9 images
*if you follow any how-to guide, its going to tell you that you have to patch the images in the Draw-9 Patch tool in the SDK, and then compile the images in eclipse. I'm going to tell you its a lot easier than that. Make sure you have apk(tool, manager) and then get the super awesome Draw9 Patch tool from xeudoxus here (might as well grab the full xultimate as well to deodex with)

-something to edit the service.jar with
*2 ways to go about this. one is installing smali/backsmali in your sdk (if you plan on removing things like the clock from the status bar, you need this as well) or another ridiculously awesome program Ohsaka's colorchanger program

-other REALLY important tools/programs
*Theme Kitchen (ever wonder where most of us get all those battery images/data + signal icons?)
*RGB Color Picker (one of many resources to get color codes, or you can do it in gimp from color picker too)

Drop by IRC Freenode: #fascinate-themers for help/discussion
 
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nitsuj17

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*3.31.11*

Ok, I have the tools...now what??? :confused:

I. Working with regular images in your framework-res (and in a TW Rom, tw-framework-res)

A. Where do I get a stock framework-res.apk and twframework-res.apk?

-a few options here...in an "ideal" scenario a dev or someone else has put out a stock but deodexed rom that you can just unzip and remove the frameworks/system apps/jars from...ie i generally grab mine out of something like jt1134's super clean roms or the equivalent. if a new os/update is out and that hasnt happened yet then move onto:

B. How do I deodex my framework so I can theme it?
have you downloaded xultimate
-I'm not going to further update this, as xultimate is kinda self explanatory and virtually all of our releases are predeodexed. 3.18.11

C. Where are most of the images in a theme located??? (touchwiz-based roms)

-For some stupid reason, Samsung thought it would be a good idea to split the framework-res.apk into 2 files: framework-res.apk and twframework-res.apk (in all fairness htc kinda does this with htc.resources.apk and now gingerbread does this with systemui.apk). Therefore there are *2* places that the framework images are generally located.

II. Working with the magical/infamous .9's

A. What is a .9 image exactly?

-Well heres google's explanation :rolleyes:

-My less technical breakdown: basically .9 images are ones that are used either more than once in an .apk. If android had to define every single thing with a unique image, there would be a whole lot more going on in the framework and quite repetitive (it already is cluttered enough). By making an image that can be used in several places and stretched/resized in more than one way, it solves that issue.


1.
editbox_background_focus_yellow.9.png
2.
regular-editbox_background_focus_yellow.9.png


1=Image with defined "patches" telling where to stretch/resize
2=stock/compiled .9 image

In example 1 we see a png image that is "patched" (but not compiled) the black lines on the very outside of the frame are telling android where it is allowed to stretch the image to make it fit where its needed. General rule of the thumb is a line all along the bottom of the frame where the image is and all along the right side, with a single dot in the top middle and the middle left of the frame. This differs depending on the shape. If you are patching in draw 9, on the right side of the screen it will show you the possible shapes the image can be stretched based upon your patches.


draw9.jpg



***Most of the force close problems people report when first getting into theming are a direct result of not understanding .9s. They simply try and edit the compiled 9 and then replace it in the framework, not understanding that when you edit the image in gimp/ps/whatever it strips the patches from the image and make it a standard png image, which does not tell the os the information it needs.

B. Now that I know what .9s are (hopefully) how do i work with them?

-Well there are a few ways of going about this. For simplicity sake, I'm going to outline the method that I personally use. At some point if someone who does things the other way(s) wants to do a write up, I'll include that as an addendum.

1. Editing pre-existing pngs.

a. You've opened up your framework/apk and taken a look at the images in there...you see a bunch that you want to change the color of or edit in some manner but you release that many of them have the .9 honor. best way to deal with these suckers is to decompile the framework with the images.

-put the apk in apkmanager...decompile it (see my write up on using apkmanager..coming soon)...and go into projects...navigate to the folder with the images and you ll notice that they now have their 9 patches showing....

feel free to now edit these images accordingly while preserving the patches. however...depending on your image software changing transparency levels will change the black patches as well.

*example* here is an .9 image that was decompiled (notice the black patches already there). in this instance ive used the rectangle tool in gimp to select the area inside of the 9 patches to colorize/color change to fit my theme. this is one way to edit .9s without using draw9 patch.

gimpand9s.jpg


C. Now that I've edited my .9 pngs (either cheating them or patching them) How Do I compile them?

1. The previously accepted method required using eclipse....but thanks to xeudoxus we have the awesome xUltimate Draw9Patch Compiler !

a. Download the program....and unpack it somewhere that you'll remember where it is (if you have adb/java in your PATH it doesn't have to be in the SDK-tools folder).

b. You will see examples (1, 2, and music) on how how to work with the program. Basically (after getting rid of the examples, but not the folders there in) put the .9s in one of the folders..(I use example1 generally, but it doesn't matter)..then run the program
 
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nitsuj17

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3.12.11

Wait...So not everything I have to change in a theme is an image??? :confused:

III. Editing the Framework(s) XML for text and progress bar *color* changes
*note, some edits can be made in multiple ways, ie both through service.jar and framework edits*

A. Why would I want to screw around with xml files at all? Looks complicated!

-I'll admit I put off working with the xml a lot longer than I should have when I got into this stuff. I think i released 2/3 themes without any edits whatsoever...and frankly theres no comparison between a theme that has been properly edited, and a theme that is just using the stock settings. This is especially true in touchwiz, as samsung went with that absolutely hideous aqua color as its secondary text.

B. How To Decompile Frameworks to Make Edits (APKM/APKTOOL). *3.12.11*

1. First things first: if you havent downloaded both APKMANAGER and APKTOOL...do so now, ya really need both....also, apktool 1.3.2 will not work right for everything (you will need it for working with gmail though if you theme that). Here is apktoo1 1.3.1 (replace apktool.jar in "other" folder in apkm).
-For apkmanager you can really unzip/set it up anywhere (I keep it on the desktop, and I have a 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 version set up)
-For apktool unzip "windows installer" and place apktool.jar in your /tools folder in the sdk
-by default an aosp framework-res.apk is installed in your directory...this is fine for *most* edits...however to work with certain apks that call on the system (contacts, dialer, etc)..this is a problem...so once everything is installed...we will want to then install our twframework-res.apk and framework-res.apk from a stock deodexed rom.

Code:
cd your tools folder
apktool if framework-res.apk
apktool if twframework-res.apk

***Tbc




IV. Ya know, I'd really like to have accurate battery and reboot options in my theme!

*tbc*


V. Working with the service.jar

A. Why would I want to mod the services.jar?

-Well theres a few reasons: remapping the status bar images and removing the status bar clock are big....and changing carrier/date/notifications title colors




B. How would i do it?

1. Well you can *cheat* and use our friend apkmanager ;) *2.25.11*

a. rename the service.jar to service.apk

b. insert the renamed file into your "for modding" folder in apkmanager

c. open the script and select 9 to decompile

d. navigate to your "projects" folder and find the file to edit (again I use notepad ++)

e. when done, reopen the apkm script and compile with 11 (if any errors come up, you did something wrong)

-yes to system.apk, no to copy over

f. in your "for modding" folder you now have a file named "unsignedservice.apk"

g. rename this to service.jar and you are gtg :)




2. you can smali/backsmali it (my prefered method for dealing with classes.dex) *2.25.11*

***Thatdudebutch put together a zip with instructions for using smali (and the commands) as well as the most up to date backsmali/smali (download an unzip to see example..ill post another example below)

a. How to backsmali (decompile) the service.jar
*(i rename smali-1.2.6.jar and backsmali-1.2.6.jar to just smali.jar and backsmali.jar for simplicity in terminal use):

-use 7zip/winzip to extract the classes.dex file from the .jar...and extract it to the folder where smali/backsmali is (again i assume you would want to put it in your sdk-tools folder)

classesdex.jpg


-cd your sdk-tools folder (or wherever smali/backsmali is located, but ideally thats where you put it) then:

Code:
java -Xmx512M -jar baksmali.jar -o classes/ classes.dex

-you now will have created a "classes" folder inside your sdk-tools (might as well leave your terminal open and set to your tools folder for the later steps)

-navigate inside this folder to whatever file you want to edit (i use notepad ++ to edit)

-once those edits and saved and done:

b. How to smali (compile)

Code:
java -Xmx512M -jar smali.jar -o classes.dex classes/

-you now have a new classes.dex file

-use 7zip to open up your service.jar and delete the old classes.dex in there and copy the new one in. close 7zip

-you now have a new service.jar....insert it into your theme and you *should* be good to go (assuming something didnt go wrong :eek:)




3. if you just want to change colors (not remove clock or anything..or for that matter change clock color on touchwiz {sammy fail on clock location}), then you can use the super awesome clockchanger program I mentioned above.
*info originally from this wonderful post on androidforums)
*2.22.11*
1. locate the services.jar you are planning to edit (pull with adb from your phone or rip out of a rom)
2. make a folder called framework and move services.jar into that folder
3. create a zip file of the framework folder and call it theme.zip
4. move your "theme.zip" file into your android sdk tools folder
5. open up a terminal (cmd/powershell/whatever)
6. navigate to your tools directory
6a.*example*
Code:
cd c:\android-sdk-windows\tools
7. what needs to be entered to edit the service.jar: (plus whatever you want to edit) (aarrggbb color code)
Code:
java -Xmx512M -jar colorChangev3.jar theme.zip
7a. example of changing date color, carrier color, notificatons, etc
Code:
java -Xmx512M -jar colorChangev3.jar theme.zip date=FF000000 ongoing=FF00000000 network=FF000000 latest=FF000000 none=FF000000 roam=FF000000 clear=FF000000
8. hit enter and let program run (see below)
cmd.jpg

9. you will now have a "theme-new.zip" file in your tools folder
10. use 7zip to extract the service.jar from it and and insert it into your theme
 
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nitsuj17

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Aug 24, 2010
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3.4.11

FAQs

Q: Is theming AOSP-based roms different than TW-based roms?
A: Significantly different in some aspects...The same in others. Obviously many images are going to have different names, and certain images/features are different. Biggest difference is one framework, versus two in TW. Many of the xml edits are different as well.

Q: Is there any etiquette to theming?
A. Umm, yeah there really is :).
1. for porting themes: always credit the original creator of the theme in your op, preferably with a link to their post (or donate link if they have one). its cool if you check with the original themer ahead of time before porting, but generally speaking (unless specified by the themer) as long as you aren't claiming it as your own or they now own the device you have (and could possibly be bringing it over on their own) its cool. IMO, simply saying its a port isn't good enough, a link to the original or the website of the creator must be included.
-also credit everything else you don't do on your own (apps/mods) to the people responsible
-example of a themer who *doesn't want anyone working on/porting his themes*: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/928droid/69199-theme-928droid-black-glass-x-droid-x.html#post723150
2. for making your own themes: if you use anything at all from someone else, you have to credit it. and BE HONEST about it (big problem in the android world imo)
-example: if you are using 5 lockscreen mod/reboot options/accurate battery for an EB01 theme you plan to release, credit that to sbrissen. even if you used someone else's theme as a "base" (ie kanged their framework with those built in) you can't simply credit the themer you got it from, you must credit those behind the mods they use.
-example 2: if you are using dialers/apps/images from someone else's theme, credit them for specifically what you are using (best practice would be: google search widget and dialer from bendbowden for example)

Q: What about donations?!?!
A: Yeah this is a tricky one...but let me share *my personal* thoughts on it: let me start out by saying I dont accept donations for porting themes or even making quasi-original ones (gb themes). i dont feel right accepting money from people :)...that being said i probably wouldnt accept donations even for a completely original work i did from scratch. anyway....i think that themers that make an original theme from scratch or do something almost completely original are entitled to have a donate button...and if someone wants to donate a few bucks, then have at it :)....

i think soliciting donations for straight theme ports (even if they take a lot of time) or just modifying/merging/doing mashups of others themes isn't really kosher so to speak. again this is my *own* opinion and not gospel obviously, but i think that far too many people feel the need to release slightly modified themes with a rebranded name and then accept money for it. really, unless you are changing a significant portion of a theme (imo at least a few hundred pngs) then it really doesnt warrant its own thread and name. if (for example) you modified JAMT's status bar, then best practice would be just to post it in the original thread as a post like "heres my own modification to jamt with an alternate status bar and icons, that i thought some might like"...not "Phoenix Unleashed" or something.

again just *my* take

***tbc***

Useful Links
Finding Colors for a Theme
How to Black Menus
Quickpanel Text Colors (credit andmer) *new 2.17.11*
How to Theme the Android Market *4.12.11
 
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Bob-o

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Nov 14, 2010
119
15
I think this will open up a lot of ideas for people to try it! Nice post nit. I was gonna ask how you get started themeing.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using XDA App
 

Hatespawn

Senior Member
Apr 9, 2010
287
15
Twin Cities
I think this will open up a lot of ideas for people to try it! Nice post nit. I was gonna ask how you get started themeing.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using XDA App

Indeed. I have been trying to learn a bit through reading and whatnot. I have all the tools and am teaching myself how to use them. This guide will be EXTREMELY helpful compared to bouncing between all the pages I currently have bookmarked.
 

bendbowden

Senior Member
May 21, 2010
313
103
Charlotte, NC
I. Working with regular images in your framework-res (and in a TW Rom, tw-framework-res)

A. Where do I get a stock framework-res.apk and twframework-res.apk?

Such an important point. You must work from a stock (or as close to stock as possible) deodexed framework-res.apk and twframework-res.apk when making xml edits (although I realize this section is dealing with image editing). You can't use one already themed because when you recompile stupid **** will happen. I had to figure this out the hard way (and had to dig to do so).

BTW: awesome guide, nitsuj17! If the ***tbc*** 's are as detailed as what you have already done, this guide will be one of the best and most comprehensive/non-technical guides out there. Keep up the good work!
 
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nitsuj17

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sorry ive been neglecting this the last few days...its gonna be a wip/add as i go thing for awhile :)
 

Slacker101

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Oct 17, 2010
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I liked you for porting matted blue.. now I love you for making this lol. Was looking for a guide and stumbled on this.
 

Domush

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2007
302
139
Central USA
THANK YOU for starting this guide!
I realize I could have searched endlessly to learn this stuff, but in reality I have more skills than time and learning yet another thing the hard way isn't in the cards.

I'm impatiently waiting for more on the TW framework specific section, as I have no idea what edits work for what in each.

Also, some real work examples would be excellent.
e.g.: The required xml file edits for changing all text to #5555FF.

An image reference would be awesome, as well.
e.g.: The most commonly themed images and what their framework.res names are.

I find myself trying to make a theme and giving up simply because 50% of the images look very similar, and I don't have the time to edit an image, flash it, boot the phone, figure out what changed, then move to the next random-looking image.

Also, is there a faster method to test theme changes?
Booting the phone, copying the theme over, rebooting to CWM, flashing the theme, then booting to see the changes is extremely time consuming, especially when you're not even sure where the change will occur and find yourself randomly pulling up menus and dropdowns trying to see what your change affected.

Cheers for the help.
You really did fill a deep void and I thank you bunches for the help. You will also see a beer or two coming your way for the effort. Community support like this really does get rewarded, in more than just new themers making themes.
 
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nitsuj17

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Ill be getting to more and more in depth answers and faqs as I go along....dl30 kinda dropped in the middle of my work on this and theres a lot of themes to do. :)....but thank you for specific questions id like to see more from everyone so I know what are some more commonly asked questions and what people are looking to do. :)
 

DtatchD

Member
Jul 24, 2010
13
1
An image reference would be awesome, as well.
e.g.: The most commonly themed images and what their framework.res names are.
I find myself trying to make a theme and giving up simply because 50% of the images look very similar, and I don't have the time to edit an image, flash it, boot the phone, figure out what changed, then move to the next random-looking image..

This is a really good idea, I talked about making one a while back but never really got around to it. Maybe I can talk to some of the guys and we can throw something together.

Also, is there a faster method to test theme changes?
Booting the phone, copying the theme over, rebooting to CWM, flashing the theme, then booting to see the changes is extremely time consuming, especially when you're not even sure where the change will occur and find yourself randomly pulling up menus and dropdowns trying to see what your change affected.

ADB is probably the quickest and least painful way to test a theme. When you have completed it adb push <path/to/file/locally> <destination/on/phone>. Then adb reboot.

e.g.: adb push framework-res.apk /system/framework/
 
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tennisjunkie

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2010
189
10
Tampa
N00b here with theme question for Fascinate

I apologize if I am posting in the wrong place also if this has been asked before. I have searched the web and also the forum and I was looking for step by step instructions on how to install a theme ( like myst v3.3) because prior to downloading DL30 I was running supah clean and tried installing dark-myst ( on DL09- Samsung Fascinate) and I placed it on the SD card ( yes clockword is installed) and I went to update.zip then to install zip from sd card and loacted it. it installed, cleared the cache and then it went to the SAMSUNG screen and I had to restore the phone in order to get it functioning again. I am hoping that someone can provide step by step instructions on installing a theme onto Samsung Fascinate with DL30? Thank you !!!!! :)
 

letmehearucaw

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
65
3
I apologize if I am posting in the wrong place also if this has been asked before. I have searched the web and also the forum and I was looking for step by step instructions on how to install a theme ( like myst v3.3) because prior to downloading DL30 I was running supah clean and tried installing dark-myst ( on DL09- Samsung Fascinate) and I placed it on the SD card ( yes clockword is installed) and I went to update.zip then to install zip from sd card and loacted it. it installed, cleared the cache and then it went to the SAMSUNG screen and I had to restore the phone in order to get it functioning again. I am hoping that someone can provide step by step instructions on installing a theme onto Samsung Fascinate with DL30? Thank you !!!!! :)

Are you saying it got stuck on the "SAMSUNG" screen? If you used a DJ05 theme on a DL09 rom, you have to apply the DL09 theme fix otherwise your phone will get stuck on "SAMSUNG".

DL09 Theme Fix: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17566514/DL09 Theme Fix.zip

Edit:

Install DL30: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=937499

Flash only DL30 themes after installing DL30! Here's a list: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=922455

Installing a DL30 theme is the same as on a DL09 but you need the new CWM to do it.

Sorry for all the info. I hope somewhere in there you got an answer to your question.
 
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letmehearucaw

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
65
3
This is a really good idea, I talked about making one a while back but never really got around to it. Maybe I can talk to some of the guys and we can throw something together.

I'm a totally new at this but if I can help do some legwork on it I'd be willing to try. I was just thinking about looking for a list like this...
 

tennisjunkie

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2010
189
10
Tampa
Samsung Fascinate DL30 and installing themes

Are you saying it got stuck on the "SAMSUNG" screen? If you used a DJ05 theme on a DL09 rom, you have to apply the DL09 theme fix otherwise your phone will get stuck on "SAMSUNG".

DL09 Theme Fix: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/17566514/DL09 Theme Fix.zip

Edit:

Install DL30: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=937499

Flash only DL30 themes after installing DL30! Here's a list: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=922455

Installing a DL30 theme is the same as on a DL09 but you need the new CWM to do it.

Sorry for all the info. I hope somewhere in there you got an answer to your question.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to all my scattered questions. So to install a theme I put it on my SD card then flash through ROM Manager, then boot into recovery and apply theme from SD card? DO I need to backup and clear data? I dont want to uninstall the ROM. I ended up installing Rubiks DL30 ROM. It is pretty nice looking.
 

letmehearucaw

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
65
3
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to all my scattered questions. So to install a theme I put it on my SD card then flash through ROM Manager, then boot into recovery and apply theme from SD card? DO I need to backup and clear data? I dont want to uninstall the ROM. I ended up installing Rubiks DL30 ROM. It is pretty nice looking.


Correct. Place the theme you want (should be .zip file) onto your SD card. So if you already have the rom installed, then you reboot into CWM recovery (when I upgraded to DL30, I never even used Rom Manager).

I've read on a couple of forum that its good to clear data and wipe caches (I've done it and not done it without noticing any difference). From there, you flash the theme ("apply .zip from SD card" is the actual command in CWM) and then reboot the phone (this is an option in CWM).

Personal preference, I always make a backup (I use Titanium Backup, but I hear nandroid is good too) before I re-theme.
 
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tennisjunkie

Senior Member
Dec 18, 2010
189
10
Tampa
Samsung Fascinate DL30 and installing themes

Ok. I apologize for all the questions. I tried to do exactly as you described above and it places me at the "Samsung" screen where it has installed the package then looks as if it is going to boot up but does not boot so I have to start back at stock again. I am trying to use DL30 Midnight V1.1 - (midnight for 2.2) as my theme and my ROM is 2.2 Roms
RubikS 0.3 DL30
Is it possible it is not compatible, any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks again.:cool:
 

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    I came across these two great threads for the X10 and the Epic 4G and thought that it might be good for the fascinate themers/prospective themers to have a kind of community repository for theme help/links edits/how tos...while these 2 (and many others) are great resources for themes...i felt that actual edits/knowledge specifically for our phone would be a help.

    i guess just based on the amount of themes i port i tend to get a ton of pms across xda/androidforums/irc on how to get started, what programs to use, how to make what edits, etc

    i really dont know a whole lot relative to "real" themers from other phones and most of what i know i either picked up from reading endless links or begging for help.

    whether this catches on and proves useful, or it goes down in flames like others things ive tried...i figured its worth a shot :)

    rather than post endless links that dont always pertain directly to our phone, perhaps a good format would be me maintaining the op with small write ups of whatever edits/how tos and linking the the original. ill gradually start putting up the edits i know of that work with touchwiz and aosp (over the next few days)...but would GREATLY appreciate it if some smarter people would help out and post edits im mssing....also feel free to ask questions of how to edit what, where something is, and if i dont know/can't find out, then hopefully someone else can :)

    Post away.........

    ***If anyone is interested in writing up brief tutorials on whatever or contribute links/edits, it would help out a lot*** :)

    Fascinate Contributors (directly or indirectly through posts or help along the way in some form):
    dtachtd
    thatdudebutch
    sbrissen
    andmer
    retrokid223
    adiliyo
    oldmanjames
    tiger4life
    adrynalyne
    s44



    Credit to these threads/posts/links for much of the info
    Want To Learn To Theme?
    How to Theme Your Droid
    Theme Help Tutorial
    9
    *3.31.11*

    Ok, I have the tools...now what??? :confused:

    I. Working with regular images in your framework-res (and in a TW Rom, tw-framework-res)

    A. Where do I get a stock framework-res.apk and twframework-res.apk?

    -a few options here...in an "ideal" scenario a dev or someone else has put out a stock but deodexed rom that you can just unzip and remove the frameworks/system apps/jars from...ie i generally grab mine out of something like jt1134's super clean roms or the equivalent. if a new os/update is out and that hasnt happened yet then move onto:

    B. How do I deodex my framework so I can theme it?
    have you downloaded xultimate
    -I'm not going to further update this, as xultimate is kinda self explanatory and virtually all of our releases are predeodexed. 3.18.11

    C. Where are most of the images in a theme located??? (touchwiz-based roms)

    -For some stupid reason, Samsung thought it would be a good idea to split the framework-res.apk into 2 files: framework-res.apk and twframework-res.apk (in all fairness htc kinda does this with htc.resources.apk and now gingerbread does this with systemui.apk). Therefore there are *2* places that the framework images are generally located.

    II. Working with the magical/infamous .9's

    A. What is a .9 image exactly?

    -Well heres google's explanation :rolleyes:

    -My less technical breakdown: basically .9 images are ones that are used either more than once in an .apk. If android had to define every single thing with a unique image, there would be a whole lot more going on in the framework and quite repetitive (it already is cluttered enough). By making an image that can be used in several places and stretched/resized in more than one way, it solves that issue.


    1.
    editbox_background_focus_yellow.9.png
    2.
    regular-editbox_background_focus_yellow.9.png


    1=Image with defined "patches" telling where to stretch/resize
    2=stock/compiled .9 image

    In example 1 we see a png image that is "patched" (but not compiled) the black lines on the very outside of the frame are telling android where it is allowed to stretch the image to make it fit where its needed. General rule of the thumb is a line all along the bottom of the frame where the image is and all along the right side, with a single dot in the top middle and the middle left of the frame. This differs depending on the shape. If you are patching in draw 9, on the right side of the screen it will show you the possible shapes the image can be stretched based upon your patches.


    draw9.jpg



    ***Most of the force close problems people report when first getting into theming are a direct result of not understanding .9s. They simply try and edit the compiled 9 and then replace it in the framework, not understanding that when you edit the image in gimp/ps/whatever it strips the patches from the image and make it a standard png image, which does not tell the os the information it needs.

    B. Now that I know what .9s are (hopefully) how do i work with them?

    -Well there are a few ways of going about this. For simplicity sake, I'm going to outline the method that I personally use. At some point if someone who does things the other way(s) wants to do a write up, I'll include that as an addendum.

    1. Editing pre-existing pngs.

    a. You've opened up your framework/apk and taken a look at the images in there...you see a bunch that you want to change the color of or edit in some manner but you release that many of them have the .9 honor. best way to deal with these suckers is to decompile the framework with the images.

    -put the apk in apkmanager...decompile it (see my write up on using apkmanager..coming soon)...and go into projects...navigate to the folder with the images and you ll notice that they now have their 9 patches showing....

    feel free to now edit these images accordingly while preserving the patches. however...depending on your image software changing transparency levels will change the black patches as well.

    *example* here is an .9 image that was decompiled (notice the black patches already there). in this instance ive used the rectangle tool in gimp to select the area inside of the 9 patches to colorize/color change to fit my theme. this is one way to edit .9s without using draw9 patch.

    gimpand9s.jpg


    C. Now that I've edited my .9 pngs (either cheating them or patching them) How Do I compile them?

    1. The previously accepted method required using eclipse....but thanks to xeudoxus we have the awesome xUltimate Draw9Patch Compiler !

    a. Download the program....and unpack it somewhere that you'll remember where it is (if you have adb/java in your PATH it doesn't have to be in the SDK-tools folder).

    b. You will see examples (1, 2, and music) on how how to work with the program. Basically (after getting rid of the examples, but not the folders there in) put the .9s in one of the folders..(I use example1 generally, but it doesn't matter)..then run the program
    7
    Installing the Android SDK (especially for adb) is mentioned below..however (imo): DO NOT BOTHER THINKING ABOUT GETTING INTO THEMING WITHOUT FIRST INSTALLING AND HAVING SOME BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF ADB. Far too many people that have issues doing theme related stuff (mostly irc) do not even have adb installed or know what it is. To me this is appalling! /end rant



    Getting Started (much of this info grabbed from DtatchD http://androidforums.com/android-themes/174669-how-theme-apks.html)

    What do I need (tools) to theme with?
    -Umm obviously you need to be rooted :cool:

    -Have the Android SDK installed
    *If you've never done this before, follow Adrynalyne's awesome ADB Tutorial/Workshop

    -Some form of editing software
    *if you have photoshop, great...if you want a free (and imo awesome) program, then gimp is the way to go!
    *another free alternative (some prefer to gimp) is paint.net

    -Something akin to winzip
    *or my preference (again free) 7-Zip

    -Tools for editing/decompiling xml (also for cheating on .9's..but more on that later)
    *look no further than either apktool, or apkmanager (automated version of apkt)
    *i personally use notepad ++ to edit the decompiled xml files

    -a program to *deal* with .9 images
    *if you follow any how-to guide, its going to tell you that you have to patch the images in the Draw-9 Patch tool in the SDK, and then compile the images in eclipse. I'm going to tell you its a lot easier than that. Make sure you have apk(tool, manager) and then get the super awesome Draw9 Patch tool from xeudoxus here (might as well grab the full xultimate as well to deodex with)

    -something to edit the service.jar with
    *2 ways to go about this. one is installing smali/backsmali in your sdk (if you plan on removing things like the clock from the status bar, you need this as well) or another ridiculously awesome program Ohsaka's colorchanger program

    -other REALLY important tools/programs
    *Theme Kitchen (ever wonder where most of us get all those battery images/data + signal icons?)
    *RGB Color Picker (one of many resources to get color codes, or you can do it in gimp from color picker too)

    Drop by IRC Freenode: #fascinate-themers for help/discussion
    7
    3.12.11

    Wait...So not everything I have to change in a theme is an image??? :confused:

    III. Editing the Framework(s) XML for text and progress bar *color* changes
    *note, some edits can be made in multiple ways, ie both through service.jar and framework edits*

    A. Why would I want to screw around with xml files at all? Looks complicated!

    -I'll admit I put off working with the xml a lot longer than I should have when I got into this stuff. I think i released 2/3 themes without any edits whatsoever...and frankly theres no comparison between a theme that has been properly edited, and a theme that is just using the stock settings. This is especially true in touchwiz, as samsung went with that absolutely hideous aqua color as its secondary text.

    B. How To Decompile Frameworks to Make Edits (APKM/APKTOOL). *3.12.11*

    1. First things first: if you havent downloaded both APKMANAGER and APKTOOL...do so now, ya really need both....also, apktool 1.3.2 will not work right for everything (you will need it for working with gmail though if you theme that). Here is apktoo1 1.3.1 (replace apktool.jar in "other" folder in apkm).
    -For apkmanager you can really unzip/set it up anywhere (I keep it on the desktop, and I have a 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 version set up)
    -For apktool unzip "windows installer" and place apktool.jar in your /tools folder in the sdk
    -by default an aosp framework-res.apk is installed in your directory...this is fine for *most* edits...however to work with certain apks that call on the system (contacts, dialer, etc)..this is a problem...so once everything is installed...we will want to then install our twframework-res.apk and framework-res.apk from a stock deodexed rom.

    Code:
    cd your tools folder
    apktool if framework-res.apk
    apktool if twframework-res.apk

    ***Tbc




    IV. Ya know, I'd really like to have accurate battery and reboot options in my theme!

    *tbc*


    V. Working with the service.jar

    A. Why would I want to mod the services.jar?

    -Well theres a few reasons: remapping the status bar images and removing the status bar clock are big....and changing carrier/date/notifications title colors




    B. How would i do it?

    1. Well you can *cheat* and use our friend apkmanager ;) *2.25.11*

    a. rename the service.jar to service.apk

    b. insert the renamed file into your "for modding" folder in apkmanager

    c. open the script and select 9 to decompile

    d. navigate to your "projects" folder and find the file to edit (again I use notepad ++)

    e. when done, reopen the apkm script and compile with 11 (if any errors come up, you did something wrong)

    -yes to system.apk, no to copy over

    f. in your "for modding" folder you now have a file named "unsignedservice.apk"

    g. rename this to service.jar and you are gtg :)




    2. you can smali/backsmali it (my prefered method for dealing with classes.dex) *2.25.11*

    ***Thatdudebutch put together a zip with instructions for using smali (and the commands) as well as the most up to date backsmali/smali (download an unzip to see example..ill post another example below)

    a. How to backsmali (decompile) the service.jar
    *(i rename smali-1.2.6.jar and backsmali-1.2.6.jar to just smali.jar and backsmali.jar for simplicity in terminal use):

    -use 7zip/winzip to extract the classes.dex file from the .jar...and extract it to the folder where smali/backsmali is (again i assume you would want to put it in your sdk-tools folder)

    classesdex.jpg


    -cd your sdk-tools folder (or wherever smali/backsmali is located, but ideally thats where you put it) then:

    Code:
    java -Xmx512M -jar baksmali.jar -o classes/ classes.dex

    -you now will have created a "classes" folder inside your sdk-tools (might as well leave your terminal open and set to your tools folder for the later steps)

    -navigate inside this folder to whatever file you want to edit (i use notepad ++ to edit)

    -once those edits and saved and done:

    b. How to smali (compile)

    Code:
    java -Xmx512M -jar smali.jar -o classes.dex classes/

    -you now have a new classes.dex file

    -use 7zip to open up your service.jar and delete the old classes.dex in there and copy the new one in. close 7zip

    -you now have a new service.jar....insert it into your theme and you *should* be good to go (assuming something didnt go wrong :eek:)




    3. if you just want to change colors (not remove clock or anything..or for that matter change clock color on touchwiz {sammy fail on clock location}), then you can use the super awesome clockchanger program I mentioned above.
    *info originally from this wonderful post on androidforums)
    *2.22.11*
    1. locate the services.jar you are planning to edit (pull with adb from your phone or rip out of a rom)
    2. make a folder called framework and move services.jar into that folder
    3. create a zip file of the framework folder and call it theme.zip
    4. move your "theme.zip" file into your android sdk tools folder
    5. open up a terminal (cmd/powershell/whatever)
    6. navigate to your tools directory
    6a.*example*
    Code:
    cd c:\android-sdk-windows\tools
    7. what needs to be entered to edit the service.jar: (plus whatever you want to edit) (aarrggbb color code)
    Code:
    java -Xmx512M -jar colorChangev3.jar theme.zip
    7a. example of changing date color, carrier color, notificatons, etc
    Code:
    java -Xmx512M -jar colorChangev3.jar theme.zip date=FF000000 ongoing=FF00000000 network=FF000000 latest=FF000000 none=FF000000 roam=FF000000 clear=FF000000
    8. hit enter and let program run (see below)
    cmd.jpg

    9. you will now have a "theme-new.zip" file in your tools folder
    10. use 7zip to extract the service.jar from it and and insert it into your theme
    7
    3.4.11

    FAQs

    Q: Is theming AOSP-based roms different than TW-based roms?
    A: Significantly different in some aspects...The same in others. Obviously many images are going to have different names, and certain images/features are different. Biggest difference is one framework, versus two in TW. Many of the xml edits are different as well.

    Q: Is there any etiquette to theming?
    A. Umm, yeah there really is :).
    1. for porting themes: always credit the original creator of the theme in your op, preferably with a link to their post (or donate link if they have one). its cool if you check with the original themer ahead of time before porting, but generally speaking (unless specified by the themer) as long as you aren't claiming it as your own or they now own the device you have (and could possibly be bringing it over on their own) its cool. IMO, simply saying its a port isn't good enough, a link to the original or the website of the creator must be included.
    -also credit everything else you don't do on your own (apps/mods) to the people responsible
    -example of a themer who *doesn't want anyone working on/porting his themes*: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/928droid/69199-theme-928droid-black-glass-x-droid-x.html#post723150
    2. for making your own themes: if you use anything at all from someone else, you have to credit it. and BE HONEST about it (big problem in the android world imo)
    -example: if you are using 5 lockscreen mod/reboot options/accurate battery for an EB01 theme you plan to release, credit that to sbrissen. even if you used someone else's theme as a "base" (ie kanged their framework with those built in) you can't simply credit the themer you got it from, you must credit those behind the mods they use.
    -example 2: if you are using dialers/apps/images from someone else's theme, credit them for specifically what you are using (best practice would be: google search widget and dialer from bendbowden for example)

    Q: What about donations?!?!
    A: Yeah this is a tricky one...but let me share *my personal* thoughts on it: let me start out by saying I dont accept donations for porting themes or even making quasi-original ones (gb themes). i dont feel right accepting money from people :)...that being said i probably wouldnt accept donations even for a completely original work i did from scratch. anyway....i think that themers that make an original theme from scratch or do something almost completely original are entitled to have a donate button...and if someone wants to donate a few bucks, then have at it :)....

    i think soliciting donations for straight theme ports (even if they take a lot of time) or just modifying/merging/doing mashups of others themes isn't really kosher so to speak. again this is my *own* opinion and not gospel obviously, but i think that far too many people feel the need to release slightly modified themes with a rebranded name and then accept money for it. really, unless you are changing a significant portion of a theme (imo at least a few hundred pngs) then it really doesnt warrant its own thread and name. if (for example) you modified JAMT's status bar, then best practice would be just to post it in the original thread as a post like "heres my own modification to jamt with an alternate status bar and icons, that i thought some might like"...not "Phoenix Unleashed" or something.

    again just *my* take

    ***tbc***

    Useful Links
    Finding Colors for a Theme
    How to Black Menus
    Quickpanel Text Colors (credit andmer) *new 2.17.11*
    How to Theme the Android Market *4.12.11