Note Above: If you modify a existing theme and release it, please link to the source of the existing theme to credit the people that made it and to make it easier for those who want to update it. Also, some themes may be under licenses that do not allow you to publicly release and/or modify the theme.
A. Can you edit it live in
~/.themes or do you have to repackage and import to test changes?
Yes you can. You can also use
/usr/share/themes etc but this require setting the correct permissions (some setups seem to require the theme be in
/usr/share/themes). You will likely need to restart the desktop or just logout and log back in again.
B. How does it get it's name?
By changing the folder name and/or the name in the
D. How do you set a screen shot?
You can use the mate screenshot app. You should be able to take a screenshot by pressing Print Screen, or you can set various effects etc by running
For a window layout to demonstrate the theme, try and open as many different apps (that people would likely use) to demonstrate the theme. Showing the compatible version may help as well.
C. What files are required for it to work? and E. Many themes have gtk-2.0,gtk-3.0,metacity-1,xfwm4, etc subfolders. How do I know which one I'm using?
Too see a existing full functioning theme, try examining a existing system theme in
/usr/share/themes, you can see they have many files and folder to support varying things - e.g:
cinnamon - for Cinnamon
gnome-shell - for Gnome Shell
gtk-2.0 - GTK2 windows
gtk-3.0 - GTK3 windows
index.theme - describes what the theme is too things
metacity-X - window border theme for most desktops
unity - for the Unity desktop
xfce-notify-4.0 - for XFCE notifactions (probably)
xfwm4 - Equivalent of metacity for XFCE - themes Xfce windows.
At minimum you will need the gtk folders, the metacity folder(s) and probably the
index.theme file. You will likely need both GTK2 and 3, as most linux systems I think need both GTK2 and GTK3 for most apps (a possible exception here are QT apps). MATE will likely mostly depend on GTK2, though I think support for GTK3 is/will be available.
F. I'm not even sure what type of theme MATE uses. Is it metacity? GTK? It's own format?
MATE is a fork of Gnome 2 (the version of Gnome previous the current GNOME 3 shell version), and uses GTK2 and metacity - it will likely use some other stuff like GTK3 as well. According to http://mate-desktop.org/themes/:
Most themes designed for GTK 2.x and GTK 3.x will work with MATE. Head
over the GNOME-Look to see what you can find.
Themes that work with Mate may partially/fully work with many other desktops - e.g. Gnome (with relevant GTK3 version and perhaps
gnome-shell), Xfce (
xfwm needed for windows), etc