Develop custom themes/extensions

I’d like to create a custom theme for the Brave browser on Windows. None of the existing Chrome themes satisfy my humble requirements to usable software. From investigating the “Classic Blue” theme, it seems like it’s just a manifest JSON file with a set of defined colours.

Now I’m looking for this information:

  1. Where is a documentation about this format? How can I create such a theme extension without any external/cloud tools just by editing the text files? What syntax and properties are expected/supported there? I’m especially interested in all the possible colour properties (what parts of the UI can be altered) and anything that would affect the toolbar icons (both symbol and colour). Altering the icon selection would also be of interest (I want the bookmark button to go away).

  2. How can I pack such a created extension?

  3. How can I install my own new theme extension in Brave to try it out? Preferably through an official way, not by patching files of already installed dummy extensions which might be subject to integrity checks.

None of this seems to be documented. I guess I could find some documentation about Chrome but that has an independent GUI and supports different customisations and has different buttons for extension management. So I’m really looking for Brave-specific documentation. So far I have the impression that Brave isn’t really interested in extension/theme development by third parties.

I don’t need guides how to program or edit code files, I can already read and write JavaScript, JSON, CSS, C# and other files and access hidden directories.

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Never mind, I think I could gather all information already.

  1. There are some documents scattered around the web about “Chrome themes” but nothing official or authoritative. There used to be a wiki about it on Google Code but that site is now offline. What I found is good enough though to make some first steps. The Brave source code doesn’t even contain any of these property strings, so I assumed it’s only imported from untouched upstream code. The Chromium source code does contain these strings, which only revealed the additional theming capability of the otherwise unmentioned URL bar, nothing more.

  2. The extensions page in Brave has a developer toggle in the top right corner which shows additional controls. It can pack an extension directory (probably for upload on some online gallery) …

  3. … and install an unpacked directory which works for quickly testing the theme.

I still haven’t found a real documentation, but like the saying goes, truth is in the source code, and I could create the theme I wanted.

Altering the toolbar icons doesn’t seem possible at the moment, neither in Chrome nor Brave. Maybe it can be implemented as part of this issue.

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