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MX themes

Any ML member can start threads and post in this section. Feel free to express your views, make requests, offer support, give ideas - basically anything to do with MEPIS art. Art usually is an "in the eye of the beholder" thing - so please respect everyone's right to their own personal taste!
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Jerry3904
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MX themes

#1

Post by Jerry3904 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:43 am

Looking forward now to MX-15 development, I thought it might be fun and helpful for users to post any themes they particularly like. I am using now one whose window treatment I like very much: good-looking and readable, with rounded upper corners. I got it from xfce-look.org and it is called "BSM Simple:"

http://xfce-look.org/CONTENT/content-fi ... 013.tar.gz

Anyone interested in seeing it needs to download and extract that file, open the folder and copy the first folder "BSM Simple" then paste it as root into /usr/share/themes. Then just open up Settings Manager > Appearance and select it.

Keep in mind that the overall look has a number of components:

https://wiki.xfce.org/howto/install_new_themes

For the moment I have retained the default icons GNOME-Brave, which I still like.
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Production: 4.15.0-1-amd64, MX-17.1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, SSD 120 GB, Data 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 4.15.0-1-386. MX-17.1, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB
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Gaer Boy
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Re: MX themes

#2

Post by Gaer Boy » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:16 am

I like BSM Simple, but it may not suit those who like a wider colour range. The icons on the panel seemed more dominant, so I reduced the panel width to 32.

I will stick with this for a while, but I think I may adopt it long-term.

Phil

AsRock FM2A88X-ITX+, A8-6500, 8GB, 120GB Samsung SSD (GPT), 1TB HDD (MBR), MX-17.1
Lenovo Thinkpad X220, dual-core i5, 3MB, 320GB Hitachi HDD, Win7, MX-17.1

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Paul..
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Re: MX themes

#3

Post by Paul.. » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:25 am

I like dark themes...easier on my old eyes...and I like the Ardis icon theme.

EDIT: 'screenfetch' utility in the terminal window is in current repos...useful for comparing/sharing themes
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Jerry3904
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Re: MX themes

#4

Post by Jerry3904 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:36 am

Since this topic is not totally obvious, I thought it might help to paste in this post by the venerable ToZ on the Xfce forum:

Okay, I'll give this a try but be warned, it will be a long post. Get yourself a cup of coffee or tea and and make yourself comfortable. This is my understanding of themeing in Xfce.

To begin with, its important to understand what constitutes a "theme" in Xfce.

The "Appearance" (Settings Manager -> Appearance -> Style) is basically the GTK component which includes the buttons, textboxes, drawing canvas, etc - everything within the borders and title bars of a window.

The "Window" (Settings Manager -> Window Manager -> Style) is all the window decorations which includes the borders, title bar, maximize/minimize buttons, etc.

The "Notification" (Settings Manager -> Notifications) are the popup notifications that show up when certain events occur.

The "Cursors" (Settings Manager -> Mouse and Touchpad -> Theme) are the mouse cursor themes.

The "Icons" (Settings Manager -> Appearance -> Icons) are the icons.

All of these components play a part in determining the "look" of Xfce as you see it on the screen.

---------

Now, GTK (Appearance style) is an interesting beast. There are difference major versions of GTK (1.x, 2.x, 3.x) that are different among themselves and even within the 3.x branch of GTK, differences between minor version (3.6, 3.8, 3.10, 3.12). In fact, these inconsistencies affect GTK3.x themes in that the themes themselves need to be updated regularly to remain compatible with the GTK3 library version installed on your system (see: http://customizemania.com/the-state-of-gtk-themes/ for one person's rant). In addition to the GTK toolkit itself, you can extend the toolkit by using what are called "engines". This is what you refer to as murrine, unico, etc. These engines extend the toolkits to allow them to provide further functionality.

Xfce officially supports GTK2. GTK2, as I understand it, has been retired and the bulk of the work is being done on GTK3. There has been some talk about re-coding Xfce to fully support GTK3, but since GTK3 seems to be a constantly moving target, the uptake has been minimal (see http://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=7598 for an interesting discussion). If you only use GTK2 apps, you should be able to get a consistent look-and-feel. However, many apps are now based on GTK3 and this poses an interesting problem for Xfce with respect to generating a consistent look-and-feel between all of the apps. To this end, some theme author's have ported their themes to support both GTK2 and GTK3. These themes, still fewer in number but growing, provide the best option for getting a consistent look and feel (assuming of course that the GTK3 components of these themes are updated regularly as the GTK3 toolkit changes).

---------

When you look at a theme, you will notice a number of sub-folders:

Code: Select all

toz@tecra:/usr/share/themes/Greybird$ ls
gtk-2.0  gtk-3.0  metacity-1  unity  xfce-notify-4.0  xfwm4
As you can see above, the Greybird theme has a gtk-2.0 folder (supports gtk2), a gtk-3.0 folder (supports gtk3), and xfwm4 folder (supports the window manager theme component of Xfce), a xfce-notify-4.0 folder (supports notification themes). The other 2, unity and metacity, are not related to Xfce. Greybird is one of the better themes since it supports both gtk2 and gtk3, plus offers a consistent look with an xfwm4 component and a notification component. Please also note that Greybird requires both the murrine and pixbuf theme engines to properly render the GTK components.

---------

Now as for xfce-look.org, I personally find that site confusing. They offer GTK1.x (which hasn't been used for quite some time), gtk2 and xfce theme categories. The problem is that the content in those sections doesn't particularily fit with any pattern that I can discern. Maybe, xfce themes should be xfwm (Window Manager) themes, but they should change the title and call it Window Manager themes, and then only put window manager themes there. I would also like to see a GTK2/GTK3 category for themes that contain both of those components. As well as maybe a GTK2/GTK3/xfwm category. Anyways, I digress. The easiest way to see which of the 5 Xfce theme components are being addressed by any one theme, is to review the content of the compressed files that you download. For example:

Axiom Dark Panel 1.6 (from the Xfce category). There are 3 downloadable files (one for debian jesse and one for debian wheezy - presumably to address the differences between the gtk3 versions shipped with those distros) and a notifications component. The debian jesse file contains a gtk-2.0, gtk-3.0, xfwm4 and openbox folder. So this file will support 3 of the 5 theme components. The notificaitons file contains the xfce-notify-4.0 folder meaning it supports the 4th component. The wheezy file also contains gtk-2.0, gtk-3.0 and xfwm4, but as mentioned earlier, this is probably to support a different version of gtk3.

Numbus xfwm theme (also from the Xfce category) contains 3 downloadable files (the source, a package for ubuntu-based distros and a package for fedora-based distros. Each package contains 3 different versions of the theme and each version has only the xfwm4 folder - meaning it only supports one of the 5 theme components. Note that you can mix and match theme components. If you like this window manager theme, you can find another gtk appearance theme that matches and use them together. In no way does having only 1 component in the theme package dictate its quality in any way.

Ambiance and Radiance theme (from the GTK2 category) (have a look at the download page to see the confusion about getting you the correct version based on the gtk3 version of your distro) contains 1 downloadable file with many versions of the theme, and each version has a gtk-2.0, gtk-3.0, xfwm4 folder. Also note that for this theme it specifically states that you need the murrine, unico and pixbuf theme engines to properly render this theme.

Anyways, I could go on but I should stop. I'm giving myself a headache. I hope this helps to somehow clear up a very confusing topic. To close this post I would just like to add that if you are looking for a consistent look and feel of a variety of GTK-based applications, try to find and use a theme that supports both GTK2 and GTK3 and that is updated regularily with every change in GTK3.
Production: 4.15.0-1-amd64, MX-17.1, AMD FX-4130 Quad-Core, GeForce GT 630/PCIe/SSE2, 8 GB, SSD 120 GB, Data 1TB
Testing: AAO 722: 4.15.0-1-386. MX-17.1, AMD C-60 APU, 4 GB
Personal: XPS 13, 4.18.0-19.3-liquorix, 4 GB

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