Future directions for Cowbell

55 femöringar - five-öre coinsI believe the best direction in the immediate future for Cowbell is as follows:

  1. Fix the :hover and :active pseudoclasses.
  2. Add support for v2 themes back in.
  3. Provide a patch for Mutter.
  4. Port some more themes, such as Crux.

Anyone wishing to advocate for anything else on the future directions list to come sooner is welcome to make their point, however.

Please let me know if you’re testing Cowbell, or if you’re interested in it. whether or not you’re working on new themes.  I’d like to keep the Cowbell community cohesive.

Photo © Eva the Weaver, cc-by-nc-sa.

The Sunshine theme

In order to demonstrate Cowbell more adequately, I asked Firinel to help design a new and simple theme. The result was Sunshine.

In order to test Cowbell, you will need to download Sunshine.  Then follow the instructions in the README to unpack it into your ~/.themes directory.  The tarball also includes a copy of Crux, so that you can share GConf settings between desktop Metacity and Metacity-with-Cowbell running in a Xephyr window.

I hope this new CSS theme is the first of many.

CSS on window borders experimental layout language

cowbellI’m happy to announce the first experimental version of Metacity with support for CSS window borders (“Cowbell”).  This work was largely supported by Collabora Ltd.

You can:

This diagram should explain everything, perhaps.

I would especially like to hear from:

  • theme artists, to let me know whether it’s adequately powerful;
  • anyone else interested in hacking on this with me;
  • the GTK client-side decoration people, so that we can harmonise the way we represent things;
  • people who know a lot about CSS and can offer insights into the suitability of the way we represent things;
  • people who know a lot about the Dublin Core and can offer insights into whether our metadata system uses it appropriately;
  • maintainers of other window managers (especially Mutter), so we can talk about including CSS support in other window managers;
  • everyone else, to suggest which of the directions for future development are most interesting.

I think it may perhaps be helpful to set up a Cowbell mailing list, so that we can compare notes on implementations.  For example, I haven’t written down anywhere how to place an image to the right of the title, which is commonly needed (you use border-image).

Photo © Craft*ology, cc-by-nc.

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 the window geometry calculations right, rather than actually rendering anything.

On the right you can see the Human theme rendered using CSS, and below it the result of adding a blue border to the CSS.

Clearly I still need to fix:

  • text rendering
  • getting the rounded corners on the physical window and the corners rendered in CSS the same

but I believe it won’t take more than a few days to get this to a state where other people can happily play with it.

Meanwhile, you can follow the work in the “cowbell” branch in git, or on the project’s home page (which will eventually have more interesting content).

Special thanks go to Collabora, who supported this project and let me do some of it on work time.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.