Category Archives: Themes

Now with more cowbell

I posted a while ago about a system to represent window border styles in CSS. Well, once we had a workable system sorted out, it was time to add the support to a window manager. So I’ve recently been working on adding CSS support to Metacity. The most fiddly part so far has been getting […]

Apologia for CSS

This blog is not about to become devoted to the single topic of experimental CSS theming, but some interesting points were raised in the discussion yesterday, which spilled over to Slashdot.  We should have emphasised the experimental nature of the CSS subsystem in its name: perhaps “CSS On Window Borders Experimental Layout Language”. Why? Some […]

More CSS thoughts

The recent discussion about CSS themes looks as though it may become one of the most interesting new ideas in theming in recent years. Here are some further thoughts on what may evolve from this. An alternative. There is no general way, and few special ways, to convert expression-based v1 and v2 themes to the […]

The wider world of window border themes

After all this talk about theme formats, an overview of how they are handled in other window managers seemed in order. Your chronicler is no expert on most of these systems, so there may well be mistakes below. As you probably know, Metacity uses a complex and powerful (perhaps over-powerful) XML-based vector theme format. Matchbox […]

Copper: an experiment with CSS

Further to our previous discussion of CSS, Thomas spent a few hours on sketching out a possible design for a CSS-based theme format, and on representing Daniel Borgmann‘s Human theme using it. This is an experiment, all very blue-sky and unofficial, and is quite likely never to lead anywhere. The first question to resolve is […]

Towards a third version of the theme format: some design goals

When we add features to the theme format, they must be added all in one go for reasons which were explained earlier. We are currently on version 2 of the theme format. In case there is ever a version 3, here are some of our design goals.  Not all of these may necessarily be met […]

Vectacity as CSS

Davyd Madeley made an interesting suggestion for redesigning the theme format.  Assuming, as seems likely, we end up using Clutter, there’s no need to specify the structure of a window, which would need SVG.  After all, all windows have a basically similar structure.  Instead, we could style any item on the window usinga CSS file, […]

Squib of the day: gentle fade

GNOME bug 105188 suggests that prelighting– lighting up buttons when you hover the mouse over them to confirm that it’s okay to press them– should fade in from the non-prelit state.  This was originally said to require a change to the theme format, but in fact I can’t see that it does: any theme which […]

Squib of the day: named colours

GNOME bug 121866 would like a way to set drawing colours according to palette entries in bitmap images in the same theme, as well as giving literal RGB values or giving a reference to a GTK colour.  It is suggested by the reporter that this could be done with the XPM format, which allows colours– […]

Squib of the day: same button, different position

GNOME bug 120705 points out that Metacity doesn’t allow users to put a button into the titlebar twice– so, for example, you can’t have a close button on the left and also on the right hand side. There is no particular reason for this: it was merely an artifact of the original code which has […]