Add theme dependencies in specification

As a Discourse theme author, I want to be able to specify child/component themes that are required for my theme to work correctly, so the user (Discourse site admin) doesn’t have to manually go out and add/configure it.

We are working on a downstream theme to work alongside the Mozilla theme (thanks @LeoMcA!) but it’d be nice if we didn’t have to manually specify import their theme and manually link them. Could such a relationship be added to the about.json file?

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An aside, this would also benefit developers who build themes for clients. It’s becoming a more appealing setup to use a public theme and then tweak it for the client site. But more and more often, they want their customized theme in GitHub for pulling updates and allowing multiple people to work on them. It’d be great to embed the dependency somehow.

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Asking for advanced features like this makes me :blush:, means the system is being used

Not against building this but needs very careful testing

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I imagine it’d also be useful for you to be able to specify a particular version/commit that the theme depends on - that way, if we completely change something you’re depending on, it won’t all suddenly break on your end.

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Yes, good point … although makes it a bit more complex. :slight_smile:

Maybe. If you can add the dependency as a GitHub link of sorts that allows a specific commit, branch, or tag, it gets easier. But that doesn’t mean the whole feature is easy.

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Or any non-GH Git repository :wink:

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@vinothkannans just added support for initial listing of dependent theme components, that way installing a bundle is way easier.

He will post here with more details!

Now a list of child theme components can be specified in about.json file for top-level themes. For example

{
  "name": "Material Design Theme",
  "about_url": "https://meta.discourse.org/t/material-design-stock-theme/47142",
  "license_url": "https://github.com/discourse/material-design-stock-theme/blob/master/LICENSE.txt",
  "components": ["https://github.com/discourse/discourse-brand-header", "https://github.com/Chaboi45/Take-a-break-component"]
  .
  .
  .
}

Currently, it has below limitations

  1. All the child theme components will be installed only on the initial install.
  2. If components are removed in about.json later then it won’t remove the installed child theme component.
  3. If an installed theme component is removed manually the system won’t install it again.
  4. You can’t specify child theme components for another theme component.
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