Menu theme development guide
(Started adding absolutely essential yet entirely unavailable information on what the bleep actions actually do.)
(→Overview: Providing a clearer distinction between menu themes and UI themes.)
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Menu themes are a series of XML documents. The XML document defines what
Menu themes are a series of XML documents. The XML document defines what are shown on each menu. Each XML document describes one menu
Revision as of 00:42, 6 March 2010
Menu themes allow the user to customize where certain myth features are located. By creating a customized menu theme, users can tailor MythTV to their own usage. The goal of this guide is to familiarize users with the menu's XML format and to create a comprehensive list of actions that will allow the user to invoke plugins and other menus. This document assumes that mythtv is installed in the "/usr" directory. If it is installed in the "/usr/local" directory, substitute everywhere that says "/usr/" with "/usr/local/".
Go to the MythUI Theme Development for information about creating themes.
Menu themes are a series of XML documents. The XML document defines what items are shown on each menu. Each XML document describes one menu. Keep in mind that many of the pages within the MythTV user interface are not menus. Also, the XML documents in a menu theme control what text or message will appear for each item in the menu, and what happens when that item is selected. The appearance of the menu and menu items, and what graphics are associated with them, are controlled from the UI theme's XML files, not the menu theme's.
The first step is to create a directory to hold the menu's XML document. If unsure, a good place is in the home folder. The directory can be called anything that is not already a theme of any kind. To find out what not to call the menu theme, use the following command in a terminal:
$ ls /usr/share/mythtv/themes
Type the following to create a directory for a menutheme in "~/mymenuthemes/mymenu".
$ mkdir -p ~/mymenuthemes/mymenu && cd ~/mymenuthemes/mymenu
It is generally a good idea to sketch out how the new menu is to be laid out. This will decrease the chance of error as well as speed up the development process.
Creating a Main Menu
To create the main menu, create a new document called "mainmenu.xml" For example, this command can be typed at the terminal:
$ gedit mainmenu.xml
Alternatively, you can copy the default menu theme to use as a template for creating your theme:
$ cp /usr/share/mythtv/mainmenu.xml .
The first line of the document will always be
After the mythmenu tag, one or more button tags will define the buttons shown on the screen. Finally, the document will end with
A button defines what text appears on the screen and what action will be taken when the user selects the button.
<button> <type>SOME_TYPE</type> <text>My Text</text> <text lang="XX">My Text in XX</text> <description>Longer description of actions</description> <action>SOME_TYPE_ACTION</action> <depends>myplugin</depends> </button>
Below is a description of each tag
- <type> This tag defines what kind of button this is. This will determine what picture is shown when the button is highlighted. A list of known types can be found in Appendix A: Types.
- <text> The default text that appears on the screen. This is generally written in English.
- <text lang="XX"> Text that will appear if the user's locale is XX. There may be more than one of these tags
- <description> A description of this menu item which will optionally be shown in a theme when it is selected
- <action> The action that will result when the user selects the button. A complete list of known actions can be found in Appendix B: Actions
- <depends> Indicates that the button will only be shown if the indicated plugin is installed
One menu is usually not enough. To organize things, other menus can be created. A new menu will be an xml document of any name. New menus also start out with the tag <mythmenu name="NAME">. Replace "NAME" with an identifier of choice. Remember that the xml document must end with </mythmenu>.
Linking to another Menu
To link to another menu, create a button that looks like this:
<button> <type>MENU_TYPE</type> <text>Go to another Menu</text> <text lang="XX">Ogay otay notheray enumay</text> <action>MENU newmenu.xml</action> </button>
Putting it all together
After all of the xml files have been created, simply (as root) copy the folder into your mythtv installation themes folder. This will usually be in /usr/share/mythtv/themes. After that, run mythfrontend.
/home/you/mymenuthemes/mymenu$ su /home/you/mymenuthemes/mymenu# cd .. /home/you/mymenuthemes# cp -r mymenu /usr/share/mythtv/themes /home/you/mymenuthemes# exit /home/you/mymenuthemes$ mythfrontend
To activate the new theme, go to the appearance settings in mythfrontend and select the new theme. Remember, if you want to switch back to another theme, your theme has to have a link somewhere to the appearace settings (SETTINGS APPEARANCE).
To execute an external program through the MythTV menus and tell MythTV to ignore LIRC button presses until the program exits, add an EXEC action to the desired menu:
<button> <type>DVD</type> <text>Watch DVD</text> <action>EXEC xine --fullscreen dvd:/</action> <depends>mythdvd</depends> </button>
This should probably only be used on a personal level since another user may not have the custom program.
However, the action shown above--playing a DVD through xine--should probably be done directly using the following
<button> <type>JUMP_MYTHVIDEO</type> <text>Watch Videos</text> <action>JUMP MythVideo</action> <depends>mythvideo</depends> </button> <button> <type>JUMP_PLAY_DVD</type> <text>Play DVD</text> <action>JUMP Play DVD</action> <depends>mythvideo</depends> </button>
Appendix A: Types
Other graphical theme writers may include other types in their themes. These types are the ones referenced to in the default theme.
Appendix B: Actions
Note: the relationship between an action and what MythTV actually does when that action is invoked does not appear to be documented anywhere. The "uses window XXX" notes added here were determined by trial and error.
- TV_STATUS - Status of the myth backend
- TV_WATCH_RECORDING - Go to the watch recording screen (uses window "watchrecording")
- TV_WATCH_LIVE - Watch live TV
- TV_SET_RECPRIORITIES - View/Set Recording Priorities (uses window "programrecpriorities")
- TV_FIX_CONFLICTS - Show upcoming recordings and conflicts (uses window "viewscheduled")
- TV_DELETE - Go to delete recordings screen
- TV_PREVIOUS - Show previously recorded shows (uses window "programlist")
- TV_SCHEDULE - Schedule a recording (uses window "programguide")
- TV_PROGFIND - Find a program to record (uses window "programfind")
- TV_MANUAL - Does an "Instant Recording"... Doesn't seem to work
- TV_CUSTOM_RECORD - Allow user to set a custom recording (uses window "customedit")
- TV_MANUALSCHEDULE - Manually record a show (uses window "manualschedule")
- TV_SEARCH_TITLE - Search for program by title
- TV_SEARCH_KEYWORD - Search for program by keyword
- TV_SEARCH_PEOPLE - Search for program by people
- TV_SEARCH_POWER - Advance Search
- TV_SEARCH_NEW - Search for new programs
- TV_SEARCH_MOVIE - Search for movies
- TV_SEARCH_CATEGORY - Search by category
- TV_SEARCH_CHANNEL - Search within a channel
- TV_SEARCH_TIME - Search within a time
Please note the space between SETTINGS and its argument
- SETTINGS MAINGENERAL - Main settings
- SETTINGS APPEARANCE - Appearance Settings
- SETTINGS XBOXSETTINGS - XBox Settings
- SETTINGS GENERALRECPRIORITIES - Recording priority settings
- SETTINGS CHANNELRECPRIORITIES - Channel recording priority
- SETTINGS EPG - Electronic Program Guide settings
- SETTINGS PLAYBACK - Playback settings
- SETTINGS RECORDING - Recording settings
- SETTINGS PLAYGROUP - ?
- SETTINGS GENERAL - ?
- EXEC someprogram - Executes a specified program
- Example: EXEC xine --fullscreen --no-splash dvd:/
- EXECTV someprogram %s %s %s - Executes a TV program. %s args are video, audio, and vbi devices
- Example: EXECTV xawtv -f -device %s -dspdev %s -vbidev %s
- MENU somemenu.xml - Jump to a new menu
- Example: MENU settings.xml
- UPMENU - Go to parent menu
- CONFIGPLUGIN myplugin - Configure a plugin
- Example: CONFIGPLUGIN mythdvd
- PLUGIN myplugin - Activate a plugin
- Example: PLUGIN mythdvd
- SHUTDOWN - Shutdown myth
- JUMP - Jump to specific Jump_points