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#1 2019-08-27 01:46:34

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Hi, everyone! I created the following Linux/Unix-like desktop-environment theme entitled Computing Machine. It is for GTK+ 2/GNOME 2 applications; GTK+ 3/GNOME 3 applications; Qt 4/KDE 4 applications; and Qt 5/KDE 5 applications via the Qt5 Configuration Tool ( https://sourceforge.net/projects/qt5ct/ ). The following is its OpenDesktop.org Pling page and its GitHub source-repository, respectively:

https://www.pling.com/p/1315191/ , https://github.com/Jamie-Michelle/Computing-Machine

This desktop theme is intended to be visually reminiscent of classic desktop user-environments. See the included "Information.txt" file for instructions on how to configure this theme.

The computer-desktop background/wallpaper image featured in the pictures is entitled Angel Skin, and is available here: https://www.pling.com/p/1315563/ , https://github.com/Jamie-Michelle/Angel-Skin

The Conky setup depicted in the images is available here: https://www.pling.com/p/1315871/ , https://github.com/Jamie-Michelle/Conky-Files

Already Computing Machine quite usable, at least with my desktop-environment setup. It was developed on the XFCE desktop-environment versions 4.12 and 4.14. I haven't tested it on other full desktop environments, just on window managers such as Claude's Tab Window Manager (CTWM), Feeble Virtual Window Manager (FVWM), Motif Window Manager (MWM), Tab Window Manager (TWM), and Virtual Tab Window Manager (VTWM), and it works quite well on them when the instructions in its included "Information.txt" file are followed. So on different full desktop environments, it may require some modifications to work well.

My intentions with this theme are to create a classic style of desktop theme while attempting to keep the code for it simple. As such, it doesn't attempt to make the GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3 portions of the theme look exactly alike; but rather, to make them similar-looking in a retro style while keeping a consistent color scheme between them. Also to that end, this theme doesn't attempt to exactly mimic any actual historical user-environment theme, but instead is in the general pattern of them, e.g., sharp-cornered rectangle buttons and entry fields with solid-line pseudo-shadow edges; solid colors (e.g., no bubble-buttons with pseudo-shadow gradients); etc. This theme is intended to be practical in a form-follows-function manner.

For those who like classic-style desktop themes, I hope you enjoy!

Computing-Machine.png

Last edited by Jamie Michelle (2020-02-13 21:24:29)


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#2 2019-08-27 04:50:49

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

By the way, since I'm a bit of an '80s girl at heart, were you goodly folks aware that the Computing Machine computer-desktop theme has its own official '80s retrospective theme song? Yes, it's true. After all, what computer user-environment theme could possibly be complete without having official theme music selected for it? Since we're being thematic here. If Tony the Tiger can have an official theme song, then surely a computer-desktop theme can. So with no further ado, I present the theme song selected for Computing Machine:

* "Liquid Stranger & Space Jesus - Dragonhawks", WAKAAN ( youtube.com/user/TheLiquidStranger ), Sept. 5, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HizLy8FmjUk . Mirror: "Liquid Stranger & Space Jesus - Dragonhawks", Second Phase ( youtube.com/user/1080pDubstep ), Apr. 20, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nREN5CPReUU . Mirror: "Liquid Stranger x Space Jesus - Dragonhawks", Echo Music ( youtube.com/channel/UCXcq_IoUl1kNyV-Oa1nOb9w ), Apr. 24, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQSByNJOilg .

Enjoy this completely normal-sounding music which harkens back to an '80s classic!


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#3 2019-08-27 15:23:51

kunzlata
Member
Registered: 2019-06-24
Posts: 40

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

HI, I haven't installed it but it looks nice, particularly the panel.

You know, this relief effect is actually a usability thing.

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#4 2019-08-27 19:05:03

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

kunzlata wrote:

HI, I haven't installed it but it looks nice, particularly the panel.

Thank you, Kunzlata!

You know, this relief effect is actually a usability thing.

That's how I think about it, too. I think the old-style pop-in, pop-out buttons; the recessed entry fields; etc., better help to provide visual cues that trigger the naturally-evolved perception in the brain of how light and shadows work.

Last edited by Jamie Michelle (2019-08-27 21:03:05)


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#5 2019-10-06 20:17:52

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Great news, everyone! The epic quest for interfacial perfection has reached a zenithal milestone. At least with my operating-system setup, the Computing Machine theme has become quite refined and polished. If you haven't yet taken a look, now at version 9 there's never been a better time to feast your eyeballs on the tungstenlike, austere glory that is Computing Machine!


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#6 2019-10-07 02:32:33

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 374

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Jamie Michelle wrote:

Great news, everyone! The epic quest for interfacial perfection has reached a zenithal milestone. At least with my operating-system setup, the Computing Machine theme has become quite refined and polished. If you haven't yet taken a look, now at version 9 there's never been a better time to feast your eyeballs on the tungstenlike, austere glory that is Computing Machine!

Very polished, I agree.
I would ask, however, that you please specify which version of gtk it runs with.
I just tested it on gtk 3.18 and it did not work. On gtk 3.22 it appeared to work much better.

For those wondering how to check:

apt-cache policy libgtk-3-0

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#7 2019-10-07 20:56:50

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Aravisian wrote:
Jamie Michelle wrote:

Great news, everyone! The epic quest for interfacial perfection has reached a zenithal milestone. At least with my operating-system setup, the Computing Machine theme has become quite refined and polished. If you haven't yet taken a look, now at version 9 there's never been a better time to feast your eyeballs on the tungstenlike, austere glory that is Computing Machine!

Very polished, I agree.
I would ask, however, that you please specify which version of gtk it runs with.
I just tested it on gtk 3.18 and it did not work. On gtk 3.22 it appeared to work much better.

For those wondering how to check:

apt-cache policy libgtk-3-0

Thank you for the compliment, Aravisian!

To answer you, my Arch Linux-based system's package-manager lists the following as my GTK+ 3 version:

gtk3 1:3.24.10-1

I have Debian stable 10.0.0 with the latest updates installed in VirtualBox, and running your command lists the following as its GTK+ 3 version:

3.24.5-1

The Computing Machine version 9 theme works well on said virtual Debian system, of which has XFCE as its desktop environment.

I don't bother testing this theme with other desktop environments, just ye olden-times window-managers that I mentioned in my originating post of this thread, so it quite possibly doesn't work well on other systems. But people are of course free to modify it to suit themselves.

Last edited by Jamie Michelle (2019-10-07 22:08:37)


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#8 2019-10-08 01:44:34

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 374

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Jamie Michelle wrote:

I have Debian stable 10.0.0 with the latest updates installed in VirtualBox, and running your command lists the following as its GTK+ 3 version:

3.24.5-1

The Computing Machine version 9 theme works well on said virtual Debian system, of which has XFCE as its desktop environment.

I don't bother testing this theme with other desktop environments, just ye olden-times window-managers that I mentioned in my originating post of this thread, so it quite possibly doesn't work well on other systems. But people are of course free to modify it to suit themselves.

If you could please include that it works on version gtk 3.24 in your pling.com download page, others will know whether it is compatible with the gtk version they are using right away.
That being said, and I did not vigorously test, I downloaded your theme and tested it on a gtk 3.22 system and did not find anything that was obviously broken.  I will keep testing and if you like and post what I find.
It has a good solid retro look and Kunzlata nailed it about the recessed buttons being helpful. A much needed variation from a lot of the very flat looking themes pushed these days...
Plus not many people are theming for current versions these days and I believe that is necessary to have to retain pride and focus in Linux Operating Systems.

The wallpaper is murder, though. I'm gonna have nightmares about unicorns and rainbows and protecting me lucky charms.

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#9 2019-10-09 21:12:22

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Aravisian wrote:
Jamie Michelle wrote:

I have Debian stable 10.0.0 with the latest updates installed in VirtualBox, and running your command lists the following as its GTK+ 3 version:

3.24.5-1

The Computing Machine version 9 theme works well on said virtual Debian system, of which has XFCE as its desktop environment.

I don't bother testing this theme with other desktop environments, just ye olden-times window-managers that I mentioned in my originating post of this thread, so it quite possibly doesn't work well on other systems. But people are of course free to modify it to suit themselves.

If you could please include that it works on version gtk 3.24 in your pling.com download page, others will know whether it is compatible with the gtk version they are using right away.
That being said, and I did not vigorously test, I downloaded your theme and tested it on a gtk 3.22 system and did not find anything that was obviously broken.  I will keep testing and if you like and post what I find.

Thank you for your interest, Aravisian! Yes, I would be curious as to your findings.

It has a good solid retro look and Kunzlata nailed it about the recessed buttons being helpful. A much needed variation from a lot of the very flat looking themes pushed these days...
Plus not many people are theming for current versions these days and I believe that is necessary to have to retain pride and focus in Linux Operating Systems.

I didn't know that regarding a lack of themes for current-version software. I don't much regard myself as a themer: I simply wanted a theme that I could be happy with for my own system, and since Computing Machine is my daily-driver theme, I figured others might find it of use, as well.

The wallpaper is murder, though. I'm gonna have nightmares about unicorns and rainbows and protecting me lucky charms.

I guess it's not everyone's cup of mushroom tea. Although Angel Skin (the name of the wallpaper) does come with the following advisory in its instructions on how to independently recreate it (see https://www.pling.com/p/1315563/ , https://github.com/Jamie-Michelle/Angel-Skin ):

""
WARNING: Deploy this eye-candy safely. End-user assumes responsibility for color-induced catatonic states.
""


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#10 2019-12-06 20:07:32

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Hi, all! Just letting everyone here know that I completely reworked the GTK+ 3 portion of the theme. Now it's far more correspondent to classic desktop environments. For example, now the outset borders of the tabs go all the way around their tabbed pages; it now uses grooved separators; etc. The button, tab and entry borders have also been overhauled, which now use GTK+ 3's built-in CSS outset/inset borders, instead of trying to create GTK+ 2-reminiscent borders for these elements (as was attempted earlier), which created bad-looking border-corners, and which would have made attempting to create outset tabbed pages connected to their tabs a nightmare. This also simplifies the code. Additionally, now the complete GTK+ 3 portion of the theme is defined in the 'gtk-3.0/gtk.css' file, thereby doing away with separate image files. The GTK+ 3 portion of the theme now comes in at just 28,945 bytes (not counting the small 'settings.ini' file, which is 60 bytes)!

I updated the picture of the Computing Machine theme in my originating post for this thread, which shows how said theme now looks (currently it's at version 17.0).


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#11 2020-02-13 21:28:31

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Hello, everyone! Computing Machine has advanced considerably since my last communiqué.

I implemented a great deal of improvements to the GTK+ 3 portion of the theme. I ameliorated the buttons, tabs and popovers, as well as making additional enhancements. The various theme-elements are now defined in a more consistent manner across said portion, which also enabled simplification of the code. For instance, button-padding is now defined as 3px on all sides, which makes buttons with square icons or labels render as square, and which is in accordance with plain GTK+ 2 (e.g., Raleigh, and also the GTK+ 2 portion of Computing Machine); tabs are also much better-defined.

I now utilize the code-cascading feature of CSS pretty much to its full power in this theme. This enabled code-reduction while at the same time increasing the generality of various desirable theme-effects (such hover highlighting). The theme is now about as simply-defined as possible while still remaining a very feature-complete theme.

The 'gtk-3.0/gtk.css' file is now but a mere 21,621 bytes and the 'gtk-3.0/settings.ini' file is just 72 bytes--and those are the only files for the GTK+ 3 portion of the theme! (And the entire GTK+ 2 portion of the theme is the single file 'gtk-2.0/gtkrc' at 6,447 bytes, most of which is comments.) It's almost vaporous air!

This theme has become one lean and mean Computing Machine! Computing Machine is my dream-machine theme!


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#12 2020-02-14 00:48:05

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 374

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Wow, excellent use of insets, gradients and shadowing. Very expert writing. For setting out to learn something, you put many to shame.

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#13 2020-02-14 02:11:07

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Aravisian wrote:

Wow, excellent use of insets, gradients and shadowing. Very expert writing. For setting out to learn something, you put many to shame.

Thank you very much for the nice compliment, Aravisian! I can take credit for most of that and in general getting the theme up to its current slick state, except for the gradients, which are mostly a holdover from the Reactionary Creatures theme by phob1an. Although I did greatly simplify their declaration-block definitions (particularly with overshoot and undershoot). I started with Reactionary Creatures as a base for the GTK+ 3 portion of the them, but by now almost everything has been changed or simplified. When counting the individual themes' respective 'gtk-3.0' folders, Reactionary Creatures measures in at 106,517 bytes with 35 files, whereas Computing Machine is 25,789 bytes with 2 files. Further, I think Reactionary Creatures was intended for earlier versions of GTK+ 3, as it doesn't work so well with more recent versions of said toolkit.

The files which I began with are listed in the preamble of the 'Information.txt' file that I include with Computing Machine, which also provides people with helpful information on how to configure the theme.

Last edited by Jamie Michelle (2020-02-14 05:47:03)


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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#14 2020-02-14 06:42:29

Aravisian
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 374

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Jamie Michelle wrote:

Thank you very much for the nice compliment, Aravisian! I can take credit for most of that and in general getting the theme up to its current slick state, except for the gradients, which are mostly a holdover from the Reactionary Creatures theme by phob1an. Although I did greatly simplify their declaration-block definitions (particularly with overshoot and undershoot). I started with Reactionary Creatures as a base for the GTK+ 3 portion of the them, but by now almost everything has been changed or simplified. When counting the individual themes' respective 'gtk-3.0' folders, Reactionary Creatures measures in at 106,517 bytes with 35 files, whereas Computing Machine is 25,789 bytes with 2 files. Further, I think Reactionary Creatures was intended for earlier versions of GTK+ 3, as it doesn't work so well with more recent versions of said toolkit.

The files which I began with are listed in the preamble of the 'Information.txt' file that I include with Computing Machine, which also provides people with helpful information on how to configure the theme.

Jamie Michelle, you are welcome,but don't take it personally. smile
The compliment is earned and you deserve credit for all of the work you did. Having used a template is not unusual nor does it detract from your creation one bit.
However, part of my aim is and has been to encourage others to seize control of their Desktop Look. I think that this is a very important message that we must deliver.
Willingness to learn and to enjoy control is much of what FOSS is all about.
I certainly do not think it is for everyone and I enjoy being able to carry others forward as they focus on projects that interest them. However, the fewer people that do it, the more each of us must carry and the more undercut "Linux having more user control" becomes.
So keep theming alive, keep doing what you do- you do it well. But more so, you are representative of many people, many genders, many walks of life all whom stand for the same thing so in actuality, my compliment is not aimed just at your work, but at all who do this work.

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#15 2020-02-15 20:54:16

Jamie Michelle
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 16
Website

Re: Introducing the Computing Machine Desktop Theme

Aravisian wrote:
Jamie Michelle wrote:

Thank you very much for the nice compliment, Aravisian! I can take credit for most of that and in general getting the theme up to its current slick state, except for the gradients, which are mostly a holdover from the Reactionary Creatures theme by phob1an. Although I did greatly simplify their declaration-block definitions (particularly with overshoot and undershoot). I started with Reactionary Creatures as a base for the GTK+ 3 portion of the them, but by now almost everything has been changed or simplified. When counting the individual themes' respective 'gtk-3.0' folders, Reactionary Creatures measures in at 106,517 bytes with 35 files, whereas Computing Machine is 25,789 bytes with 2 files. Further, I think Reactionary Creatures was intended for earlier versions of GTK+ 3, as it doesn't work so well with more recent versions of said toolkit.

The files which I began with are listed in the preamble of the 'Information.txt' file that I include with Computing Machine, which also provides people with helpful information on how to configure the theme.

Jamie Michelle, you are welcome,but don't take it personally. :)
The compliment is earned and you deserve credit for all of the work you did. Having used a template is not unusual nor does it detract from your creation one bit.
However, part of my aim is and has been to encourage others to seize control of their Desktop Look. I think that this is a very important message that we must deliver.
Willingness to learn and to enjoy control is much of what FOSS is all about.
I certainly do not think it is for everyone and I enjoy being able to carry others forward as they focus on projects that interest them. However, the fewer people that do it, the more each of us must carry and the more undercut "Linux having more user control" becomes.
So keep theming alive, keep doing what you do- you do it well. But more so, you are representative of many people, many genders, many walks of life all whom stand for the same thing so in actuality, my compliment is not aimed just at your work, but at all who do this work.

Thank you, Aravisian!


Creator of the Computing Machine desktop theme.

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