I Really Hate White Backgrounds
by, 05-01-2013 at 11:32 PM (5086 Views)
Adding blogs and news added more pages to the site, which means there's things for every theme that needs to be fixed. Of course, everything defaults to a lovely white background, which looks horrible on all of our generally darker-coloured themes. This means that someone needs to go through and fix them all to match, doing each theme separately.
vBulletin themes are made and controlled (mostly) by what's called StyleVars. StyleVars are essentially linked to references in CSS files that are then rendered from the server by your browser to make the page look as it is intended. By using StyleVars, the process of coding themes is somewhat easier than "hard-coding" CSS... except that many of the StyleVars are given horrible names. I can't tell you the amount of guess-and-check I was forced to do when I actually worked on making an entire theme (Luna's Night) back in August. My computer's F5 ought to have been hot!
But yeah. Here's just a few of the StyleVars in their list:
Multiply that by about 50, and that makes most of a vBulletin site theme. I should mention there's really not much of a GUI, either... click on a StyleVar, and you have a box to input a color hex code. There's always stragglers that need to be hard-coded, but that's for another post. The most annoying thing is, though, when you're working on these things... you're faced with flashing between the dark site themes and the blazing white of the control panel! When you're using a large monitor like I do, it's extremely trying on the eyes. Imagine flashing a flashlight on and off in your eyes for an hour or two, trying to read the entire time while you're doing it. Combine that with trying to figure out which StyleVar corresponds to what portion of a page, and you're often bound for quite the headache.
I've gotten much better at working with these things than I used to be, but it's still quite stressful on occasion. White backgrounds are horrible.