1. 9of13's Avatar

    This is something I decided to write due to what ive seen in recent times. No names are mentioned. There's no need for that. But It is something that needs to be said in my opinion! I apologize for the double post in 2 forums but i feel very strong about the following subject and i feel it needs to be said, read, and spread!

    I don't know about you, but back in 2007 when I first got a Blackberry and learned how to make themes, it felt like I was a kid in a toy store! It was fun! I was making a theme a day! Then I learned we can sell our work. And it was a wrap from there. Now even though it became an extra way to pay the bills, it was like that for all of us. And we all worked together in a way for all of us to get better, learn new tricks, and inspire each other! One would make a theme, and it was no problem for another to make their own version using the techniques that honestly, is available to all who was willing to learn. And those who knew were willing to teach! There were many Theme Devs who I've met over the 4 years I've been doing this who not only became some of the greats for making the themes they did, but became legendary by showing the rest of us the tricks and skills! And who also encouraged others to step up the game and making something better! We had no problem doing the research to learn something new then passing it along! We had no problem doing requests knowing that the user would be happy with how it came out. And those who requested, had no problem with us taking that theme, making it generic, and posting/ selling them with the knowledge that the one we gave them specifically is and always will be one of a kind! Well, I've noticed in the last 6 moths that the way it use to be, isn't the case anymore! Oh how it isn't the same.
    In recent times, I've heard and seen the bickering, fighting, secret keeping, backstabbing and overall experiences that has me hanging my head in shame to be a Theme Developer! I've also noticed that its a specific few, who tend to start, and even willingly create these moments that make me wanna say what the french toast is wrong with all of you!? "Dev A" makes a theme. "Dev B" makes theme using a similar technique, but has a totally different theme concept. Now Dev A is crying thief! Really? If I were Dev A, I would've taken that as a compliment. Now Dev B is considered a thief! Why? Because they had a different vision? Or is it because you feel that they showed you up by doing a better job? Is it hater-aid that fuels the thirst to go online and call that dev a thief? I can understand if they made the EXACT same thing. But they didn't. So what's the problem? I've seen these same people who are quick to call another a thief, post a theme that is the exact same thing as someone else's! I've noticed quite a few of what I would call "cookie-cutter" themes. They may not be exactly the same, but you just called someone a thief when technically, you did the same thing. Kettle calling the pot, hot? I think so.
    Situation number two: a dev works hard on a BB6 style theme. Custom fonts, wallpapers, icons, everything custom. Its a BB6 style theme but because of the hard work and time, it becomes a premium theme. What's wrong with that you ask? That's what I want to know! I recently had that happen to me. Got the response "how can this be a premium?". I told them why. I wasn't the only one who did either. (Thank you for the support btw. You know who you are!). They responded "still. It shouldn't be a premium". Let's see them download Theme Studio and see how much work we put into the simplest themes. Its not like we as Theme Devs never say thank you by posting many free themes! And "premium" style themes for free at that. Now that brings me to another problem that I've seen explode into a full blown migraine: requests!

    Now ladies and gentlemen, in general, we have no problem taking requests, whether you pay for them or not. Now I don't know about other devs, but requests helped me learn how to theme better. If anything, as a beginner, its great practice! After a while, people started becoming....for lack of better words, a pain in the big ole behind when it comes to their requests. I for one have become one of the ever growing number of devs who no longer take requests. Why? Well folks, those who request please take note at the following part of this editorial, which by the way, is all my opinion. When you put out a general request to any dev who will do it, please be thankful. That doesn't mean you HAVE to pay us. Just being happy for what we put our time and effort into makes us love what we do! Now some of you put a request to a specific developer. To us, that's a huge compliment. It makes us feel that our work is so good you, the user, has asked us specifically to make you something. But please remember, sometimes we have to say no for many or whatever reasons. We may just not have the time. We all have day jobs, school, family,etc. Do NOT take offense. Don't start bad mouthing us on twitter and on the forums because your wish wasn't our command. Especially if we aren't charging. Now for those of us who would charge, remember a few things: it does take time and its not easy. If it was easy, you'd make it yourself right? It may take a while for us too. But the most important thing I advise before you make that request to one of us, don't just give us money first then expect us to do it asap! First, you should a) ask us if we have the time and if there's a charge. Chances are, if its something we really would love doing, its not gonna cost you a cent. Just giving us money first puts us in a position we would like to avoid. Once again, we may not have the time. Also, don't get on us like you are our bosses. The best thing for one to do when asking for a request is be as descriptive as possible. That will help out so much. Another situation I've seen is...well let me just say it like this: if we make a theme at your request, we have the right to make it as generic as possible and post/sell it as long as its not the exact same theme. A good developer will make sure you have the customized one of a kind that the others won't. I say this cause if you flip the shoe on the other foot, how many of you have seen a premium and asked us to customize it for you? Its really the same thing. And when we post a premium theme, it is VERY rude to just come out and ask for free copies. When we want to give out freebies, we will do so. We understand times are tough. It is for us too. And we can't make everyone happy. But that also doesn't mean that you, the user, can try to manipulate developers against each other just so you can get that premium theme that you don't want to pay for! I've seen that happen recently. Overall, please be courteous to Theme Developers. Its kind and honest sense. I'm sure you don't want us to say something like "here's what you do. Download Theme Studio and do it yourself!" That will be VERY rude of us! Now back to my fellow Theme devs...

    All of this flaming and bashing to each other NEEDS to stop! We all may have the same ideas at the same time. Taking the argument to twitter and forums publicly makes us look childish!! We are grown. We are adults. It wasn't tolerated when we were younger and in school. Why should it be now? I see and hear about theme devs bickering over themes. Posts and even whole threads deleted by mods because you don't want to act your age. Don't you think that a little competition is good for us? It keeps us wanting to get better. It keeps the users looking for the newest themes by their favorite devs! It keeps our bills paid and everyone's Blackberrys pimped out! Everyone is happy!

    Now I write all of this because once again, I am ashamed of what I'm seeing. Its beginning to make veteran developers not want to work anymore because its becoming too much of a hassle. Its not fun anymore. And its also making the new recruits not want to even try for fear of other devs bashing and talking "doo-doo" about them! And I say "doo-doo" because I feel if you all wanna act like children, I'm going to use children's terms! I'm not looking down on anyone or think I'm the shiznit, but someone has to put the word out on how our developing is becoming a joke! Devs, work WITH each other! Inspire each other, teach and learn from each other! There's a new era coming with newer operating systems and devices! Please try to keep premiums $6 dollars and under, times are tough. It will make our customers happy and keep us working. Throw a freebie out there once in a while. Contests for free copies also help in the long run. Customers, chill out please. We are not your servants. I would like to take requests again soon! In conclusion, what I have just wrote has become a borderline rant. And that's not good. Don't make me have to write out a "Theme Developers Etiquette" editorial! Ill do it!

    And one final note, enough with the Hello Kitty please!!!! For many reasons! 1) there's too many out there already and the customer who requests one, personally, is just too lazy to search for one! 2) themers who make lots of HK themes either a)are the first ones to cry "copycat who sells others work!" A.k.a hypocrites, b) are only making them cause its the only thing selling cause customers are, once again, too lazy to search. You wanna make money? Put some creative work into it!

    Thank You for taking the time to read. Please feel free to post comments and insights. It can be a healthy discussion and debate. We are adults.

    "Resistance is Futile"
    mirren, roxxi23, BBThemes and 3 others like this.
    04-23-11 12:51 AM
  2. BBThemes's Avatar
    ^ totally agree with all of that, brilliantly put.
    04-23-11 05:38 AM
  3. 9of13's Avatar
    the convo picked up here if you would like to read further feedback!
    04-23-11 06:39 AM
  4. anon3396357's Avatar
    Gotta give you a thumbs up for this post. I ventured into theme building for a season, and while I was browsing the forums to learn some tips and tricks it just fell apart for me. I was so close to publishing my theme
    04-23-11 09:52 AM
  5. 9of13's Avatar
    There are plenty of tutorials out there on many forums and sites. Theme building, although its a lot of work that does take time, can be fun and give a feeling of satisfaction that youve not only created something great, but for others to enjoy! I say keep learning! it took me lots of time and failures to get it to how i wanted my themes. I personally have a few tuts from 4 years ago on other forums. And those tuts are from what i learned from other devs. The whole point of my post was to remind all of us to "pay it forward" and for the user to remember that what we do isnt easy.
    04-23-11 07:02 PM
  6. jdmheidi's Avatar
    I agree with this. People are taking this way too seriously. Yes, this is about money but at the end of the day, if you have skills, then you shouldn't feel threatened by anyone. Get a grip, people.
    05-01-11 05:27 PM
  7. Mvor7's Avatar
    Mhh, interesting read. I barely started in the theme making world, but I have never encountered anything like the above.
    I do make themes just for fun, even the premium ones!
    05-02-11 11:32 PM
  8. mgdotnet's Avatar
    awesome read indeed. this was one of the reasons why i made bbthemelab.com. i wanted to great a site that would allow people to learn from me, get ideas from my own, and put out quality free, or premium, themes.

    well said.
    05-05-11 12:24 AM
  9. HooraiCH's Avatar
    Thumbs up mate, ive been making Iphone themes for 2 years and have just started of on blackberry and am already half pissed with stupid requests a nonsence although i put up most of mine free :/
    05-10-11 04:55 PM
  10. dohzen's Avatar
    That was a heavy post, but well done and well put.

    I've noticed a lot of garbage themes up for sale and by no means are of any design standard
    , Everyday I see a crap load of new threads and I'm thinking ooooo, then I actually see the work and basically it should be free...

    I'm not saying my themes are the best ever either, but come on people.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-25-11 11:21 AM