Create your own Netvibes theme
Good news for Netvibes users: they now have a hundred more themes to choose from when deciding on their pages appearance. And this good news comes along with a probably even better one for both designers and developers: you can create your own Netvibes themes, and import themes from other theme-creators. This means that the Netvibes interface is now open to a lot more creativity.
It’s been a long while since we wanted to bring such freedom to the creativity of our users, and in the end we decided to use a theme format that would be compatible with iGoogle’s Theme API. You can already dive in our theme design documentation!
So build away! The file format uses XML, and it’s easy to build a theme, using images and a few simple rules. Once you design is done, put all the files online, and to use the design on a Netvibes page, just call it using this URL:
http://www.netvibes.com/?theme=[absolute URL of theme's XML file]
These themes are applied on internal theme framework, with some CSS rules that cannot be over-ridden – so you won’t be able to move the tabs to the left column for now, for instance – but you can use the existing
gadget_area.tab.* value to style the tabs the way you want.
Your design choices will apply upon this basic framework, just as it does in iGoogle. We do support the same mutliple-layers approach, and could even support dynamic theme (the <Trait> tag), if it were not for a CDN issue that we plan on fixing.
This is just the very first step in a project that we intend to build more and more, like tools and directories. And this is where users are taking part: let us know what kind of customiztion you want to see, and we’ll do our best to improve our support for this Theme API, even by extending the original XML format.
That’s why the DevNet forum now features a dedicated forum for Themes development. Give us your feedback, and let’s work together in improving this great feature!