Are there any guidelines for theming/night mode

2 posts / 0 new
Last post

I’ve recently gone through a rundown of themes in major e-readers and I’m wondering if there’s any working groups or guidelines being developed to standardize how reader systems should be handling themes. How is Readium handling their themes? Currently its only accessible in iBooks and Readium (that I know of), but it seems like we should be moving toward a standard before things get (more) out of hand.

On the one hand: As already suggested, there should be a method to allow authors to provide alternative styles for the complete book, not only for each document independently.
And viewer should be required to have an interface, that the user really can chose between alternative styles. To ensure, that a style applies for the complete book, one can for example require, that the viewer keeps the style for different documents in case, that the new document has a style with the same title as the previous. This does not require new structures for example in the OPF file.

On the other hand, if viewers have their own style sheets, for example for switching between viewer day and night styles, this should not mix with any author style sheets, this means, if the user decides to use a style sheet of the viewer, that of the author has to be switched off and vice versa, respectively the priorities from CSS apply with more weight for the author styles sheets (except for !important, but this requires, that the user needs an interface to provide his own style sheet or !important rules to have complete control in case of conflicts with the author style sheets.

Currently for example the night style of readium can conflict with author style sheets with the result, that the content is not readable/viewable any more. And it provides no method at all to switch between alternative styles of the author, what is already required anyway.
Even worse, the default style of readium has a good chance to result in inaccessible content, especially, if the book contains images - readiums tends to fragment an image and spread the parts along several pages, even for images it has to scale into the available viewport. Therefore the current theme design or presentation from readium is not really meaningful - could be useful to suggest something to the developers, that really works, respectively to allow users to apply the normal default style for XHTML and SVG used by WebKit instead that broken themes from readium ;o) This is the best presentation I have seen as well for viewers based on Gecko.

But finally, if it works at least, the default style sheet or presentation mode of a viewer is something, that should be left to the individual viewer and its community, styling is nothing for a standard, only the requirement to allow users to switch between alternative author and viewer stylings.

Secondary menu