The idea is a new file format called "universal theme" (or utheme, for short), to accommodate all types of themes for your computer. Currently, the situation on Linux is far from ideal: find a theme on gnome-look.org or kde-look.org or wherever, and you get a .tar.gz. If you're lucky, it's been packaged correctly and the Appearance dialog knows how to install it. If you're new to theming, you'll just double-click a compressed tarball and be greeted with a collection of confusing files.
This new file format aims to have the following features:
You might notice that some of these features are implemented by Epidermis' .pigment format already. So why am I proposing a new format? The answer is that I want a well-designed format that becomes widely accepted. .pigment, to be frank, is not very well-designed. Plus it's unknown and obscure.
When I started developing Epidermis, I had two goals:
Epidermis' mission statement is:
Epidermis aims to make changing the look of your GNOME desktop complete, rapid, simple, automatic, customisable and shareable.
For me, universal themes are a part of that mission, only not for GNOME only, but for all Free desktops. If universal themes are adopted and Epidermis dies in obscurity, I'd have completed my goals and would be a happier man. :) (For some reason, I felt a smiley was appropriate.)
So read the proposal and tell me what you think, I need feedback
Update: see this blog post.