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I occasionally use some of the other "trilogy" sites like SuperUser, but find the themes very distracting. I actually do like the SO theme the best, and since I use that the most, I would prefer having that look on all the other trinity sites. I would request a feature added to your user profile where you could select your CSS theme you prefer for the site you are on.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There really shouldn't be any reason why you shouldn't be able choose from any of the various themes. Done right thematic elements would be localized in their own CSS file and it would simply be a matter of switching which CSS file gets loaded. It's even possible, using cookies, to do this without requiring any schema mods.

See the jQuery theme switcher widget for ideas.

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Or use a sane browser with user style sheets. –  perbert Feb 23 '10 at 16:50
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I'm a little ambivalent about user style sheets. Letting users muck up my interface in ways that might just break it is not, as a developer, an altogether wonderful thing. –  tvanfosson Feb 23 '10 at 17:01
    
@tvanfosson: but to me, as a user, is a great thing not to be attached to what the developer thinks I should be seeing. Of course, if it breaks it's my fault. –  perbert Feb 23 '10 at 17:15
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@voyager -- and I'm sure that you won't complain to the help desk at all about my app when that happens, either. ;-) –  tvanfosson Feb 23 '10 at 17:38
    
FWIW - I'm actually putting this into practice: launchpad.uiowa.edu. –  tvanfosson Feb 23 '10 at 17:40
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I won't call to the help desk searches for personal cell phone number –  perbert Feb 23 '10 at 17:57

I'm sure this can be accomplished via greasemonkey, and I suspect that some browsers may allow you to theme the website with a custom CSS without a greasemonkey script.

However, Jeff and Joel are big on branding and user confusion issues, so I doubt they'll make this a built in feature.

When you prepare to ask a question on SU, you know you're not on SO...

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Shouldn't be an issue, though, if you're simply allowed to choose your own theme. Obviously, if you've changed it you ought to know about it and not be confused by it. –  tvanfosson Feb 23 '10 at 16:48
    
It's fine to have them be different by default... but I find it overly paternalistic to "save" the user from confusion when they are the ones requesting "to be confused". I think its perfectly reasonable to set a "good" default of having them look different, with the option of allowing the user to change it. I suspect all the sites use a good CSS hierarchy to do the theming, so the work should not be difficult at all. –  Nick Feb 23 '10 at 16:50
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It is reasonable for a company to force a thematic element or style on visitors to their website for branding purposes though. Since you can handle it on your end, then why make it easy for users to break the brand identity? –  Adam Davis Feb 23 '10 at 17:34
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@tvanfossen: you obviously have much more confidence in the average computer user than i do. :) –  Kip Feb 23 '10 at 18:28
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@Kip - Let's not forget though... the sites are geared towards "average computer users". It's for programmers, sys admins and "super users". Granted, some people who claim to be super users really aren't ;) ... but you get my point. –  Nick Feb 23 '10 at 18:29

If you want a Greasemonkey script to do this, look at this post by Jonathan Sampson. Just before SU launched, he wrote that script to view MSO using the SU CSS. If you're a little familiar with Javascript you can easily modify it to view S[FU] using the SO color scheme.

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