At present, the width of a window’s border is decided by the current theme. However, some people find it harder either to see thin borders or to click on them. They would prefer thicker borders than most people want.
In addition, Metacity measures border widths in pixels. The higher the resolution of a display, the thinner the borders will appear, exacerbating the problem.
Of course, since borders are under theme control, one solution is to make a new theme; this is after all what we do for users who need high-contrast window borders. However, this modification will need to be made for every theme a user wants to use. Furthermore, the Metacity theme format is not easy for the general public to modify.
CSS themes would circumvent the problem by allowing widths to be specified in millimetres, rather than pixels. However, this is not currently supported by the underlying libraries, and even if it was, the problem of themes which still used pixels would remain.
GNOME bug 496536, which mirrors Launchpad bug 160311, discusses this issue. Two suggestions are made:
- A setting to allow the user to override the width of borders. There is a patch to allow this, but it has not yet been committed. For example, here is the Crux theme with the border width set to 100 pixels.
- Make “the mouse stick to the border”. If this means making the cursor pause briefly while moving over the border of a window, it may pose a problem with implementation.
- A third suggestion, not made on either bug, is that the clickable area of a border should be a few pixels wider than its visible area.
Your chronicler would like to hear from readers who have this difficulty, particularly because of an accessibility problem, as well as your opinions on what should be done about the matter.
Photo © Lauren Marek, cc-by-nc.