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Thread: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    I will start by confessing that I started out using Kubuntu and held on with a death grip until KDE3 was no longer a suitable/workable option. There wasn't much about KDE3 that I did not like, and not much about KDE4 that I did like. Since then I have bounced around a bit, LXDE, XFCE, Mint, etc, but eventually settled for Ubuntu simply to avoid glitches and odd behaviors. After some tweaks, I am largely a happy camper... with one exception.

    Themes and overall appearance.

    I am not talking about eye-candy. I never wanted awn curves, a spinning cube of desktops nor did I use compiz fusion or the like. It isn't flashy and slick that I am after, or fancy window animations, transparencies and such, since I have discovered I am allergic to bloat.
    As far as how the windows are drawn I have no complaints with the default themes, they have nice shapes, gradients, buttons, bars, etc... it's the colors of those themes that bug me.

    It seems like the tendency these days is to have pale gray on light gray with medium gray (for extra pizzazz?) For me that is boring as all get out, but for my aging father it is a serious problem. The lack of contrast gives him fits, and let's face it the "High Contrast" themes are garishly ugly and harsh on the eyes because they have too much contrast.

    Yes, there are tons of themes out there, though seeing what they really look like is iffy, finding out how well they work is a crapshoot and fishing through them is time consuming.

    Ideally, what I would like to find is a theme, or UI for a theme rather, that would allow me (and more over my die hard Linux using Dad - since Slackware 0.9, though he started with System V UNIX) to select colors for a theme. At the risk of being dogged on for using the W-word... Something like what Windows has, but of course since this would be Ubuntu, it would be better.

    Perhaps such a thing exists already? Some theming wizard already create the perfect solution? If they have, it seems to be safely hidden in the bowels of ubuntuthemes.org.

    My wish for the future of default Ubuntu themes would be the ability to select colors for any of the existing default themes. "Feeling your inner Irish today? Green it is! How about some reds and yellows for autumn? Presto!" <--- read as: click, click, click, done.

    That's my two cents, for what it's worth. What do you think about the colors of the default themes?

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    I like the lighter theme (radiance) myself because it has a silver/grey metal type of look which to me looks nicer then the default dark theme....and that is the one i use...
    But i would agree that it would be nice if, along with those two themes, they would add a bunch of extra options, much like gnome 2 use to offer...

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    I didn't even read the OP, as I wholly agree with the title.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    So do I, in fact it isn't that hard to write a script for changing colors of a GTK 2 and 3 Theme. HECK! It's even be possible to write a GTK Ambiance recolor program. I've already isolated where all the hexadecimal colors values are located in the Ambiance theme. Really, the only thing needed to be done to recolor the Ambiance theme is simply swapping these values with other values. In turn, that will change it's colors. I unfortuantly can't program, so I cant write such a thing. But I can do a mock up picture showing off the interface I have in mind. I might do that tomorrow and present it here with all other details required to get it working.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    Uncompilicated Themes is what I use. I have many choices to choose from.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    That seems to be an advantage that Gnome 3/gnome-shell has over Unity. I believe that Gnome is not as 'locked-down' as Unity.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    That seems to be an advantage that Gnome 3/gnome-shell has over Unity. I believe that Gnome is not as 'locked-down' as Unity.
    The Ambiance theme isn't locked down. You can get in with sudo and a text editor and change whatever colors you want. I've been doing it for quite a while rather than hoping someone will make a theme that meets my needs. I've even posted a few threads here on the topic of increasing contrast, etc. If one copies the Ambiance theme folder over to ~/.themes then even sudo isn't needed.

    Talking about locked down, the Adwaita theme is (or was, the last time I looked) somewhat locked down because it (or part of it) is supplied as a binary blob.

    @OP,why don't you take a while to figure out themes? They're for the most part just text files that can be edited. You don't need to be a coder to take a theme and mod it.
    de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum -- Wiktionary

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    I was really surprised that Ubuntu Kylin has /close/min/max buttons at the right site which is one of the things in Unity that should the user be allowed to change and I want to have. The other are the themes: Ambiance, Radiance are not enough and I do not like any of them and Radiance is not very comfortable if you have to stare the whole day at a bright screen. To change themes in Unity is not very comfortable and to lock down the look feels like to work at a Mac (I don't like the Mac look only have to burden to update/administer it). A much darker theme is welcome and there are some good ones which get used at different Ubuntu flavours (like Digital CDE color scheme of KDE3).

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    vasa1,
    I know that one can take the time to fiddle with the text files until you have a recolored theme, and I have always enjoyed that aspect of Linux, that you can tweak the configuration files since many of them are fairly 'plain text'.
    It is a time consuming proposition however.
    My post was not a cry for help or seeking a solution, I know how...
    It was more a wish for something in the future. Yes, a point and click, something that comes standard, not something that every user would have to root through config files to manually tweak for themselves.

    ---

    ManamiVixen,
    I don't program either, but I would still like to see what you come up with.
    Last edited by HousieMousie2; April 3rd, 2013 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Additions
    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - That principle is contempt prior to investigation."
    Herbert Spencer

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu theme/appearance controls leave a lot to be desired.

    Quote Originally Posted by HousieMousie2 View Post
    ...
    It is a time consuming proposition however.
    My post was not a cry for help or seeking a solution, I know how...
    It was more a wish for something in the future. Yes, a point and click, something that comes standard, not something that every user would have to root through config files to manually tweak for themselves.
    ...
    Once you know how, how time-consuming can it be? Anyway, take a look here http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2053698. I'm not sure how far it's gotten.
    de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum -- Wiktionary

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