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View Full Version : How many of you still use emerald?



Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 01:44 PM
Just a show of hands basically. Emerald is actually a pretty old decoration engine (Originally, Beryl), and am wondering if because of dis-usage, it doesn't get many updates (Not that it needs any, lol.)

I just wish there were more and better themes for it.

For those who don't know what Emerald is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_%28window_decorator%29

Islington
April 21st, 2011, 01:52 PM
making themes for emerald is generally a pain in the neck.

This is my experience as a themer:

1. The config manager sucks, it terms of the way its laid out.
2. Most of the engines suck, they are generally limiting as to what you can do with them.
3. A couple of them have always been broken for me.
4. This leaves me with pixmap engine +pixmap buttons. Which would make swans commit suicide. This is linux. We have svgs and yet for this we regress to using cave tools.

I personally turned my attention to the aurora engine for kwin. :)

Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 01:53 PM
I personally turned my attention to the aurora engine for kwin. :)

KDE is a pain in the neck to use. :|

user1397
April 21st, 2011, 01:54 PM
KDE is a pain in the neck to use. :|

haha, oh no not again! :guitar:

3Miro
April 21st, 2011, 02:11 PM
I use XFCE as my main DE and if I want to use desktop effects, then gtk-decorator doesn't work very well for me. If I want to use compiz, I am kind of stuck with Emerald.

Overall I would agree that Emerald is bad. It takes a lot of resources (I cannot use it on my Intel video laptop, only the Nvidia and newer ATI desktops). There are not too many goo themes either, there are some, but most are outdated too. Generally it is hard to find a goo theme to match the GTK themes that I am using.

forrestcupp
April 21st, 2011, 04:10 PM
Emerald was awesome about 4 years ago.

Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 04:13 PM
Emerald was awesome about 4 years ago.

Then help Fusion with Jasper? :V

Spice Weasel
April 21st, 2011, 04:27 PM
I'm probably the only person in the world that thinks transparency looks awful on window borders and pixmaps on them are pointless.

forrestcupp
April 21st, 2011, 04:30 PM
Is compiz/fusion used in Unity, or does it have it's own thing?

Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 04:31 PM
Is compiz/fusion used in Unity, or does it have it's own thing?

10.10 unity uses clutter/mutter.

11.04 Unity uses Compiz. (Fallback to unity-2d project.)

Copper Bezel
April 21st, 2011, 04:35 PM
I'm probably the only person in the world that thinks transparency looks awful on window borders and pixmaps on them are pointless.

Yes, quite. If you don't have pixmapped window decorations, you might as well be using Ratpoison.

I don't use transparent borders and the side borders are 1px, but I do use Emerald, primarily because it anti-aliases window corners, although I appreciate that it's not yet another thing that depends on gconf (which I'd love to do away with entirely.) It's not as if gtk-window-decorator has made any significant changes in the same time period.

Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 04:59 PM
I like emerald more than metacity mainly because it's hard to find the edges of a window so I can resize them.

forrestcupp
April 21st, 2011, 05:36 PM
10.10 unity uses clutter/mutter.

11.04 Unity uses Compiz. (Fallback to unity-2d project.)

Why did they go back to Compiz?

Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 05:37 PM
Why did they go back to Compiz?

Don't know really. Maybe because they wanted a GUI for easy configuration?

screaminj3sus
April 21st, 2011, 05:39 PM
Why did they go back to Compiz?

Mutter doesn't even work with fglrx right now. If they released unity using mutter they would be alienating many users like gnome3 is now. Compiz is proven to work well with a variety of hardware.

I imagine their initial reason was performance. Mutter used to be pretty slow although its a lot better now, but during the early unity redesign stages compiz was a superior option. Compiz is also more configurable.

Lucradia
April 21st, 2011, 05:41 PM
Because its better. Mutter doesn't even work with flgrx right now. If they released unity using mutter they would be alienating many users like gnome3 is now.

Poor guys over at AMD Radeon. I feel for them, I used to have fglrx. (I will again if I ever go back to linux at a later date after my upgrades.)

screaminj3sus
April 21st, 2011, 09:32 PM
fglrx actually works quite well these days with compiz (xfce compositer works well too). Speed is decent and there is no tearing finally. But kwin is horrifically slow and gnome 3 has corruption :/ Don't know if its the driver to blame, kde/gnome or a combination of them.

Mutter used to work fine in the early gnome-shell development stages, so I don't know what happened there.

user1397
April 22nd, 2011, 01:58 AM
so if mutter drastically improved would canonical use it for unity then? and if so, then would there still be a point to unity?

bsharp
April 22nd, 2011, 03:42 AM
I can't believe Emerald is still around. Beryl was freaking awesome at the time, though...I was sad when they merged with Compiz and named it Compiz Fusion, I always thought Beryl was the better name.

FuturePilot
April 22nd, 2011, 03:50 AM
It has pretty much been abandoned and it's buggy, so no.

wewantutopia
April 22nd, 2011, 03:58 AM
I use emerald on top of compiz. I love the theme I use.

It was pretty easy to edit too using Emerald Theme Manager.

pony-tail
April 22nd, 2011, 04:03 AM
I like Emerald but do not use it because I mostly have older machines and tend to strip out anything that is not absolutely necessary for what I am running on that machine . The more I can strip out the faster the machine runs -- or so the theory goes .
Plus in the early days I had issues with Compiz and stability - may be fixed by now , I do not know .

Rasa1111
April 22nd, 2011, 04:06 AM
Yep I use it pretty often now.
I never even used it until just a couple months ago.
never really had much desire to use it (or compiz)
but I do find it rather nice after using it.

I can only use compiz and emerald on my ThinkPad though..
my desktops can't handle it apparently.
:P

Got something better that can do the same thing?
without switching to KDE? lol

Copper Bezel
April 22nd, 2011, 04:44 AM
Yeah, no kidding. I don't really understand this thread; it's not as if there's an alternative with fewer limitations.

Version Dependency
April 22nd, 2011, 04:48 AM
With Emerald essentially being a dead project, does anyone know if anyone is working on an alternative to Emerald?

Islington
April 22nd, 2011, 05:27 AM
KDE is a pain in the neck to use. :|
:) sorry was this supposed to be gnome/compiz specific? I use the emerald theme format natively in kwin, through the smaragd engine.

Copper Bezel
April 22nd, 2011, 05:39 AM
With Emerald essentially being a dead project, does anyone know if anyone is working on an alternative to Emerald?

Is it actually dead, or is there just no pervasive need to update it? By all rights, it's just another Compiz plugin that happens to come in a separate package and bundled with its own settings manager. There are plenty of Compiz plugins that have had zero activity for ages and continue to ship, presumably because the only thing they need to be compatible with is Compiz itself....

"Dead" would require, at least, "no longer in the repos."

Edit: Because again, it's not as if any of the window decorators in the running have actually changed in functionality or appearance, even incrementally, in recent years. The backend for Gnome's may have just changed, but there's no difference to the user.

Lucradia
April 22nd, 2011, 05:44 AM
Is it actually dead, or is there just no pervasive need to update it? By all rights, it's just another Compiz plugin that happens to come in a separate package and bundled with its own settings manager. There are plenty of Compiz plugins that have had zero activity for ages and continue to ship, presumably because the only thing they need to be compatible with is Compiz itself....

"Dead" would require, at least, "no longer in the repos."

Edit: Because again, it's not as if any of the window decorators in the running have actually changed in functionality or appearance, even incrementally, in recent years. Gnome's decorators have (apparently?) just now changed in the backend, but there's no difference to the user.

Compiz did have a project to replace Emerald, it was to have even better features, performance, etc. It was named jasper, and you could even script your own events into the decorations (Animated window borders anyone?)

Not sure what happened with it though.

Copper Bezel
April 22nd, 2011, 06:01 AM
Well, the single developer on the project's last blog post (http://jbosveld.blogspot.com/) on the subject was almost two years ago to the day and describes how he really does intend to get around to re-writing the still-very-pre-alpha Jasper for Compiz's port to C++. It does sound like an awesome set of project goals in the rough descriptions I'm seeing.

"The Emerald Team" is apparently one person who disappeared, too. = P

Edit: I've been getting rather attached to CompizStandalone in the last couple of months, and it's nice to know that, through Compiz, a person can essentially make an la carte DE out of modular parts. I'd hate to see any of these options disappear.

Incidentally, for folks referring to Emerald's dependence on pixmaps, that's not exactly true - there are procedural engines as well. Of course .svg support would be nice....

gilang
April 26th, 2011, 04:29 PM
i still use the ambiance theme...pretty like the simple look...
but i do love emerald too..but i've got problem with it...
the emerald theme manager always force close right after i choose a theme...so, i just can choose a theme..but i cant costumize them...
i use lucid...it didn't happen in koala..

anyone got this problem??can help me??

realzippy
April 26th, 2011, 04:38 PM
..using emerald with famous scaled-black-mod (http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Scaled+Black+Mod?content=45402) without buttons for years,resizing windows with mousegestures,which is faster than grabbing a button.

dh04000
April 26th, 2011, 07:01 PM
Emerald is so old. Its not being developed anymore, nor is it planned in being developed.

That said, who ever cares? The newer gnome and kde window manager can do nearly everything that emerald can do. So who cares if emerald dies. Its been replaced.

beew
April 26th, 2011, 07:05 PM
I do. I know it is old and not being developed but there is no replacement that I know of, the gtk-window-decorator or whatever it is called does not decorate, it just gives a solid black bar. I just find it so ugly and unpolished. It is odd that they keep talking about good looking new UI but no one seems to be paying attention to the theming of window borders. I just want something with colour and opacity control and right now I can only use emerald.


The newer gnome and kde window manager can do nearly everything that emerald can do. So who cares if emerald dies. Its been replaced.What about Unity? You mayb not care but some other people may.

Frogs Hair
April 26th, 2011, 08:07 PM
I tried Emerald on 9.10 and have not used it since . There are some new themes for Emerald that look nice , so it may be worth another look if the program is being kept up to date .

wizard10000
April 26th, 2011, 09:40 PM
:) sorry was this supposed to be gnome/compiz specific? I use the emerald theme format natively in kwin, through the smaragd engine.

This.

emerald is broken in 11.04 since it doesn't like the version of Compiz that ships with Natty. I'm using smaragd and my favorite emerald theme now ;)

Copper Bezel
April 26th, 2011, 10:09 PM
Emerald is so old. Its not being developed anymore, nor is it planned in being developed.

That said, who ever cares? The newer gnome and kde window manager can do nearly everything that emerald can do. So who cares if emerald dies. Its been replaced.

Well, I've seen no evidence that Gnome 3 does anything that Metacity didn't with decorations, and that's not much.

If (Compiz's own) kde4-window-decorator really can do everything Emerald can, then yes, of course Emerald is redundant. I'd need to see evidence of that, too, though. (Antialiased corners and configurable buttons, dammit, it's not much I'm asking.) = D

wizard10000
April 26th, 2011, 10:18 PM
Well, I've seen no evidence that Gnome 3 does anything that Metacity didn't with decorations, and that's not much.

If (Compiz's own) kde4-window-decorator really can do everything Emerald can, then yes, of course Emerald is redundant. I'd need to see evidence of that, too, though. (Antialiased corners and configurable buttons, dammit, it's not much I'm asking.) = D

Me too.

I'd like for someone to show me a theme like this - this is my favorite emerald theme running under Natty with smaragd since compiz doesn't work.

Buttons in the titlebar are hidden until you roll a cursor over them. Titlebar is also semi-transparent. I haven't seen another window decoration like this.

beew
April 26th, 2011, 10:37 PM
This.

emerald is broken in 11.04 since it doesn't like the version of Compiz that ships with Natty. I'm using smaragd and my favorite emerald theme now ;)

I was able to install emerald in Ubuntu 11.04 (with Unity) thanks to help from the forum (and I got rid of the global menu so the menus stay with the application windows)

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1702253&page=3

There are some oddities

1)it doesn't work with maximized windows,

2)sometimes max/min/restore/close buttons are missing in emerald and to get them back you need to minimize the window or maximize it first and then restore (the buttons are not visible but placing the mouse where they should be would bring up a text message like "maximize" so you can maximize or minimize and then restore to bring the button back)

3)Finally, since now maximized windows take up the top panel and the max/min/restore/close buttons are fixed on the left upper corner, if you happen to choose an emerald theme that have right buttons then you will have the buttons switching between left and right on maximizing and restoring the windows

(what happens to being able to choose between left and right buttons? Didn't we say people were complaining for nothing about buttons going to the left since they could set the left/right preference in gconf-editor? What now? Another customization option bites the dust. Now I don't care whether the buttons are on the left or the right but I want them to be on only one side consistently, so that means I can't choose emerald themes that have buttons on the right even if I may like the colour and the style)

The culprit behind all of these problems (and other odd menu bugs and problems with the top panel) is no doubt the global menu. it is the most useless anti-feature Canonical tries to shove down our throats. Basically they break the whole menu system, remove many customization options, and obligate users to manage multiple open windows in a most ridiculous way just to gain a few pixels on the top and to imitate Mac. The few pixels may be important if you use a netbook or a tablet and the trade off is npt that bad (you wouldn't likely to open many apps or install many on a tablet) But it makes no sense whatsoever for laptops with bigger screens and desktops.

aguafina
April 26th, 2011, 10:46 PM
I haven't seen another window decoration like this.


I wonder why.

Solid colour deco for me., no need for flakey emerald plugins

beew
April 26th, 2011, 10:53 PM
I wonder why.

Solid colour deco for me., no need for flakey emerald plugins

Black is not a colour. :)

wizard10000
April 26th, 2011, 11:50 PM
...Solid colour deco for me., no need for flakey emerald plugins

That's what's great about Linux - choices :)

Copper Bezel
April 27th, 2011, 07:43 AM
Quite. And I don't understand the arguments about "simplicity" (as I'm using Orta, which is visually composed of fewer disparate elements and therefore "simpler" than Ambiance by a fair bit; it's just that in using either one, I'd prefer the Emerald theme over the gtk-window-decorator one to get rid of those nasty jagged edges at the corners. And I do love the intermediary frame for button prelights.) That's not to say that I like the occasional skipped frames when I resize a window too quickly, but still.

How awesome would it be if Smaragd could work with Compiz's kde-window-decorator? = D But I guess the ideal would be a decorator that worked like Avant Window Navigator's theming: A set of selectable styles, controls for thickness and curve radius, outline, gradient, and highlight colors (with alpha,) and the option of applying tiled pixmap testures, presumably with .svg window controls and a configurable title bar layout. Then quick edits would be applied across the board, making customization a bit more accessible.

Someone mentioned not being able to edit the button order in Emerald as in Metacity, but this isn't true, although the option is almost as buried as Metacity's. There's a box for it under Edit Theme -> Titlebar. I can kind of accept Emerald themes not working under Unity, simply because there's a certain degree of interaction between the shell and the titlebars required, but I'm worried that Unity is going to be setting Compiz's priorities from here out. (I mean, does anyone know what happened to the four Compiz developers who weren't hired by Canonical?)

NikoC
April 27th, 2011, 11:38 AM
Still in use here in combination with compiz! I like the fact that emerald is highly customizable!

neu5eeCh
April 27th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Basically they [Unity] break the whole menu system, remove many customization options, and obligate users to manage multiple open windows in a most ridiculous way just to gain a few pixels on the top and to imitate Mac. The few pixels may be important if you use a netbook or a tablet and the trade off is npt that bad (you wouldn't likely to open many apps or install many on a tablet) But it makes no sense whatsoever for laptops with bigger screens and desktops.

And that's the irony. Using Unity actually reduces how much vertical space I get. I'm moving to XFCE just so I can continue using Emerald.

http://poemshape.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/minimal-titlebar1.jpg

I'm sorry to hear that Emerald isn't being developed any more. I've tried KDE but KDE just can't do what Emerald can do (despite claims to the contrary).

If there's another window decorator that will allow me to essentially get rid of the titlebar and edit buttons, I'll use it. Overall though, it seems like Unity & G3 are going the way of MAC & Windows - our way or the high way.

LarsKongo
April 27th, 2011, 02:10 PM
I can't really stand rounded edges with pixels sticking out everywhere. :p Emerald is the only window decoration I know of that can smooth things out. It can be used in XFCE, Gnome 2, (and KDE with the help of smaragd.) I love to have modular alternatives. :)

As mentioned above. It can do things other window decorators can't. As a designer it allows me to be creative. So yes, I still use emerald. :p It's very nice and easy to use and customize with the emerald theme manager.

dh04000
April 27th, 2011, 04:01 PM
Me too.

I'd like for someone to show me a theme like this - this is my favorite emerald theme running under Natty with smaragd since compiz doesn't work.

Buttons in the titlebar are hidden until you roll a cursor over them. Titlebar is also semi-transparent. I haven't seen another window decoration like this.

http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Cristal?content=133956

With metacity.

dh04000
April 27th, 2011, 04:04 PM
If there's another window decorator that will allow me to essentially get rid of the titlebar and edit buttons, I'll use it. Overall though, it seems like Unity & G3 are going the way of MAC & Windows - our way or the high way.

Give them time to get themselves together before demanding theming support. If they release theming too early they'll create non-backwards compatible themes....... and who wants to guess which themes work with which versions?
Jezzz...... if your so impatient learn gtk+ and code it yourself and submit the patch.

Copper Bezel
April 27th, 2011, 05:37 PM
With metacity.


Includes:
Crystal 1.3.2 GTK theme
Glass-Mac 4.1 emerald theme
External crystal panels
Crystalcursors Cursors

There's no Metacity involved, there.

wizard10000
April 27th, 2011, 05:45 PM
http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Cristal?content=133956

With metacity.

Those buttons aren't hidden.

:)

neu5eeCh
April 28th, 2011, 12:48 AM
Give them time to get themselves together before demanding theming support. If they release theming too early they'll create non-backwards compatible themes....... and who wants to guess which themes work with which versions?
Jezzz...... if your so impatient learn gtk+ and code it yourself and submit the patch.

Hey, just calling it like I see it.

If you don't like me calling it the way it is, why don't you learn gtk+ and code it your self?

Throne777
April 28th, 2011, 01:49 AM
I'm probably the only person in the world that thinks transparency looks awful on window borders

I don't think it looks awful, just that it uses resources for very little gain (how often do you notice it? -I barely did)

Copper Bezel
April 28th, 2011, 04:57 PM
I don't think it looks awful, just that it uses resources for very little gain
Compared to other bits of desktop kitsch, the resources used are too small to be considered. It's like arguing that the desktop background is a waste of resources.


(how often do you notice it? -I barely did)
Well, I don't. That's not really the point. Honestly, I don't use transparent borders because they were too distracting and created visual clutter, so I disagree that they're not noticeable, but for the most part, you don't want something you're going to consciously notice, any more than you "notice" the color of your carpet.

I notice the hell out of unexpected spaces of flat color, pointy corners, jagged edges.... = P