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Gnome Theme Editor, High Contrast Critique

I took a real quick look at Gnome theming recently and it would seem it is a lot more difficult than I initially thought. It's partially explained by the complexity and power offered but it is still a lot harder than it should be in my opinion. Even the high contrast theme file looks pretty heavy and more than a bit cryptic to me. Umm, not to mention the format looks more like C plus plus than XML. Don't get me wrong, though, I won't be giving up any time soon, but I'm not too happy so far.

My question is, is there a theme editor for Gnome? Windows has one, and though nothing pretty or advanced, it more or less works apart from a few slight niggles (menu colors are derived from dialog by default, and left end of inactive title changes based on dialog color). KDE has also got a theme editor, and it seems to be pretty usable, too.

It would help immensly if there was something that would let me specify all the colors and sizes graphically (percentages for sizes and 24-bit decimal triplets for RGB). Coupled with a real time graphical preview of how the end result looked, it would save a lot of time and nerves in the long run. Maybe this is just Linux culture, but somehow it seems ironic to me that you cannot use the GUI to customize the GUI. Perhaps it's just me but I find the GUI can be loads easier for things like this.

On a side note, I'm not too happy with the high contrast themes on offer. The basic problem to me is that they are too high contrast, so it can be straining to read the dialog or window text. And as I had anticipated, the contrast between fielld, dialog and button background is minimal. If I ever get any theme file done, that's the first thing I'll change in there. One of my big goals is to make the different kinds of widgets including buttons, fields and titles stand out well against the dialog background. Not to mention hover effects should be as clear as possible, too, an RGB invert could be nice.

Maybe this default high contrast theme works well for some people, though. I bet most magnification users would find my ideal theme pretty strange and difficult, too. THat's the point with Linux, everything you dislike can be customized. I do have a Windows accessibility page, and if I get a proper GTK2 theme done some day, I'll add it on a special Linux access page then. Maybe I could even distribute it on some theme site, who knows.

PS: I'll get some sleep. It is or rather was about 1 30 AM here.
PPS: Appologies for a possibly whining, mini-rant:ish tone <smiley>.

With kind regards Veli-Pekka Tätilä (vtatila@mail.student.oulu.fi)
Accessibility, game music, synthesizers and more:

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