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#1 2019-09-07 17:05:53

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 101

Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

Someone else recently asked about GTK resources, as well and I even replied in that thread in my novice way.
But now I am running into a wall, as well.
What I have so far is a theme I built based off of an old GTK2 theme that functions reasonably well with most things by far in GTK3.18. Not perfect, but something I can certainly live with.
I then started a new css for the same, only using a snippet at t time to modify it to work for 3.20. It works mostly well but far more things are broken than with the 3.18 and I certainly would not want to try to use it.
The third css I have I started only very recently for trying to modify both, using both as a reference point, for GTK3.24 - Yet, I fear that by the time I complete that, if ever, it will be broken by the next GTK up.
I cannot find a reliable detailed resource that explains what exactly must be modified. Terms have changed here and there, and so on- but a lot of how I have been doing it so far is by trial and error. I try a change, test it, see if it works. This gets problematic when you need the fundamentals of the theme in place for the pieces you are testing to work in the first place.
Does anyone know of any resources available on this topic?

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#2 2019-09-07 17:27:22

kunzlata
Member
Registered: 2019-06-24
Posts: 37

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

Have you looked into these?
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/theming.html
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable … ntext.html
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable … -to-y.html ¹
¹ this one is for GTK+ in general but it hints that after 3.22 things got stabilized.

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#3 2019-09-07 17:46:48

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 101

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

kunzlata wrote:

Have you looked into these?
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/theming.html
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable … ntext.html
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable … -to-y.html ¹
¹ this one is for GTK+ in general but it hints that after 3.22 things got stabilized.

I have... Partly, I run into the problem that it is not clear which gtk version what they are offering will work for. The other part is that some entries point out that something is depreciated, but many do not give much helpful information on what alternative you can use. Some seem to suggest it should work currently but when I test it using a live CD, it does not work, at all.
This, for example:
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable … ext-themes
is very vague. It mentions that migrating (or modifying) is necessary, but all the different details you would need to know are lacking.
Same here:
https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/ch32s11.html
It looks fine on the site but when I test it - Theme Hopelessly Broken.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the help.
But yeah, that is about where I started at. I downloaded Glade and DevHelp and various other tools, as well.
For those that are using the code and doing the changes that they already know about - I think they take it for granted.
I am very novice and not very knowledgeable. I am a regular guy trying to do what, pretty much, no one else is doing... and pretty much doing it so I can have what I want now and later on. I admit I do vainly hope I could put up my (amateur) work for distribution on XFCE look or Gnome Look  - pling, but for right now, i think I am a long way from that. Assuming anyone would want it.
I'll settle for keeping me happy, at least. But I am coming at this with NO education or formal training in programming or css... I just started trying to learn it when I got frustrated at stuff not working. I am stubborn.
One other option would be to find a Working 3.24 + theme and Pillage it for parts.

Last edited by Aravisian (2019-09-07 17:48:37)

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#4 2019-09-07 21:04:47

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 101

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

I may have found the answer I didn't want to this question.

I moved from MS Windows to Linux only this past January. I'm learning the ins and outs, learning Linux.  It didn't take long for me to start complaining that Gnome reminds me a lot of Microsoft.
I have voiced this often and even here on this forum.
Interestingly, I spend most of my time looking up references and then testing out my ideas and very little time reading opinions of others.
Today, while looking for information on this topic, I strayed into opinions. I found many others have been saying the same things I have and have been saying such for many years.
Including that Gnome is much like Microsoft. Including that the breakage of themes feels deliberate.
I found this Blog today which nails it, for me.
Reading the quotes from Gnome developers, it becomes extremely clear that that is exactly what their intentions were, with no room for reasonable doubt.
They make it clear that they wanted to isolate and create the Exclusive Brand image of Gnome.
https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11 … in-threes/

That informative blog is Well Worth Opening and Reading when you have the time.

I think my question is probably answered: There is little documentation for a reason.

There is unlikely a chance that any work I do on existing projects will last past an update, in spite of Current Gnome Claims. Microsoft makes claims that appear to meet consumer demand too,... Then they swing right back around to giving it to us good.
This, by no means, suggests "quitting time. "

No little gnome is going to tell me what to do.

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#5 2019-09-07 21:43:21

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 5,830

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

Not to detract from your comments (which are valid), the Gnome/Gtk team did make a change back in 2016 to stop all theme-related changes in each major version of Gtk (as of 3.22). You can read about it more in this blog entry.

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#6 2019-09-07 21:56:06

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 101

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

ToZ wrote:

Not to detract from your comments (which are valid), the Gnome/Gtk team did make a change back in 2016 to stop all theme-related changes in each major version of Gtk (as of 3.22). You can read about it more in this blog entry.

I understand.
However, I re-direct you to my own commentary above which also mirrors that of Capt. Mal Reynolds (or, Joss Wheedon, if you prefer):
"They will swing back to the belief..." Edit: Or as another example, Googles Publicly spoken "Do No Evil" motto being quietly shuffled to the tail end of their mission statement as a general suggestion that they may or may not partake in...

That said, I would like to believe that your point and link are valid, as well. I am far from being a conspiracy 'theorist,' however I am not oblivious to basic human nature, either.
Time will tell.
For me, it's just another challenge and perhaps I will succeed in meeting only for myself or perhaps, I will better myself enough to enable me to share it with others.
I still hope others will, over time, chime in with pointers and tips that we can all learn from and use. I may not be smart today, but there's always tomorrow.

Definitely lends me a whole new appreciation for XFCE, however.

Last edited by Aravisian (2019-09-07 22:09:36)

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#7 2019-09-07 22:37:21

kunzlata
Member
Registered: 2019-06-24
Posts: 37

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

There is some work starting to enable downstream theming. See https://blog.elementary.io/elementary-at-guadec-2019/ and search for 'Vendor Styles'.

Also have you checked Xubuntu's Greybird theme as an inspiration?

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#8 2019-09-07 23:01:10

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 101

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

kunzlata wrote:

There is some work starting to enable downstream theming. See https://blog.elementary.io/elementary-at-guadec-2019/ and search for 'Vendor Styles'.

Also have you checked Xubuntu's Greybird theme as an inspiration?

I have heard of it, but I have not looked at it. I just downloaded the zip and I will read through the css and see what I can find that are noticeable changes, then try testing them. Thanks for the pointer- as I am not sure what is currently working and what isn't.
A couple months back, I spend an embarrassingly long moment downloading themes and testing them and even Vertex did not work (Though i did find an updated version  that did. Horst = Awesome).
Clearlooks ( I think it is called) worked. A couple others. But they were so far removed from what I wanted to do, I didn't bother too much about examining the css. For example, I asked about the Sliders having grips in the gtk3 version as they did back in the gtk2. I found many things that had grips visible in the preview. And some of them really did have them... tongue But the handle or slider was built using the base and borders, allowing the grips to be used as a background-image. Since I am using sliders that use a background-image, it couldn't work together.
I could create the sliders using a new base with borders, then round the corners out to match, then use the background-image for the grips, but what I ended up doing was (For now, anyway) was opened Gimp and glued the grips on with Superglue. Then I redesigned the sliders a bit so that they could stretch with minimal effect on the grips, though it is a bit noticeable. It works, but not very well.
The problem with building the slider out of borders is many-fold. I can use linear gradient to provide the color... But I would have to go back in and change ALL other uses of base to something else...
Sorry- tangent, totally started brainstorming here. hmmm... getting ideas, now...
ANYWAY... <Cough> I have heard greybird is maintained. I forgot. This is why asking helps, other brains do things mine doesn't always do. I probably should have shoved this up that other thread about gtk sliders and grips.

I scrolled to Vendor styles (Ok, I hit ctrl F) and wow vacations while working. Greece? I picked the wrong trade. I will follow that with interest. perhaps a turnabout will allay my fears. I did see them talk quite openly about the Brand Image of Gnome in that blog, under Vendor Styles and their commitment to stick as closely as they can to their goals. But steps forward (Or backward:D) are still steps.
Thanks both, this is a very helpful forum.

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#9 2019-09-19 23:19:46

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 101

Re: Theme modifications to meet compatibility with newer GTK

ToZ wrote:

Not to detract from your comments (which are valid), the Gnome/Gtk team did make a change back in 2016 to stop all theme-related changes in each major version of Gtk (as of 3.22). You can read about it more in this blog entry.

After a bit of work...

Currently I have the project theme working in 3.18, 3.20, 3.22, 3.24, 3.28, 3.30... All require individual folders with individual css files. I have folders within each for Ubuntu Software center fixes, Chrome and Firefox fixes, metacity, Unity, Cinnamon. This is for older systems. I have unrealistic high hopes I will be able to upload it and have it available for download by the end of the year... All contain the GTK2 in all its fully working and unbreakable glory.
Sad to say, moving from 3.22 to 3.24 and 3.28 and 3.30 Still Breaks The Theme. Why am I not surprised. You already know why I am not surpirised.
The changes between them are not only subtle BUT STUPID and completely unnecessary.
For example, moving from 3.22 to 3.24 to 3.28 require a difference in whether you use
headerbar > .titlebutton
headerbar .titlebutton
headerbar  > titlebutton
and so on. I can show my work. I have tested this on MX Linux 18 for gtk 3.22, Zorin 15 beta for 3.28 and Zorin 15 final release for 3.30.
Changes in 3.22 and above all affect that the headerbar >right bg is displayed beneath the scrollbars and I am utterly baffled as to why since nothing in the css allows for that.
Titlebar bg shows up in 3.22, 3.24, but not in 3.28 or 3.30 - that all required patching.

The 2016 'pledge' by Gnome is as trustworthy as a certain current president. As in, Not.

Last edited by Aravisian (2019-09-19 23:20:44)

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