How to update and alter released themes

I'm new to MyBB, but have used other open source projects and am exploring MyBB and trying to learn how it works.

One thing I've not met before is that the PHP templates for a theme are stored in the database rather than the file system. I'm trying to figure out how that works in two areas: upgrading a theme, and editing a theme.

Upgrades first. If I use a released theme, and the theme author releases an upgrade, do I just go to the same screen in AdminCP where you install the theme, and install the new version in the same way? Does it then just overwrite the templates in the database (assuming the checkbox is checked to import templates)?

Edits: Likely as not, I'd want to start with a released theme, then edit it. Change headers / footers / menu bars / add analytics code and so on. Those changes are then in the database. What do other people do when the original theme has an update?

If I was using a file-based templating system, I'd take a unified diff from the original theme and my altered version of it. I'd then see if that can be patched against the new version of the original theme, so that my changes get incorporated into the new theme. Any hunks that won't patch, I'd do by hand. I don't know if any equivalent to "diff -ur" for database-stored templates. So before I start editing a theme, and do it in a way that makes upgrading unnecessarily painful, I thought I'd ask here what workflow other people have for all this.

Oh, and PS: Are CSS files all in the database as well? If I edit those in AdminCP, where do those edits end up?

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How to update and alter released themes - by JamesOakley - 2017-02-07, 02:07 PM

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