Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Swarfendor437 » Mon May 06, 2019 8:49 pm

In order to add new themes, you will need to install 'gnome-tweaks' (formerly gnome-tweak-tool), either via command line, or via Synaptic Package Manager, which you will have to install either via command line (Terminal) or via the Software channel:

ShellTheme selection.jpg


I recently found a couple of GTK3 themes on gnome-look.org - my current theme is 'Midnight-GnomeShell-Blue':

Midnght-GnomeShell-Blue.jpg


In the top image you will see a 'none' button with a folder icon - you click on this and browse to your download folder. Gnome-Shell-Themes have to be in .zip format in order to install on Zorin 15 (Beta) so if there is a theme that you like and it is in .tar.xz, simply extract the tarball, then right-click the extracted folder, select compress, and select .zip format - now you can install your new theme. ;) :D
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Moloch1994 » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:25 pm

Hey, Swarfendor437 ! I have a question to ask, and I wasn't sure whether this is the correct forum for it, so I decided not to create a new thread and ask here first. My question is about themes.

So, basically, I've tried out a number of themes, icons and cursors, and most of them either didn't work or worked partially. Eventually, I found the ones that did work for me. However, there is still one issue I cannot resolve when applying these themes: the shell theme only works when the "dynamic background opacity" is turned on. But in this state, it only shows the correct theme when no windows are opened. Whenever you do open a window, it defaults the panel to the opaque blue one. I tried installing a gnome extension to have more control over this feature, but that extension defaults the panel by its mere existence somehow.

As far as I understand, the developers of the themes used the "dynamic background opacity" feature to create new effects for the panel, like gloss or shadow. The opacity itself has nothing to do with it really. So I was wondering, what can I do in this situation? Is there any solution or am I doomed to forever use the opaque windows-10-style panel? :(

I am attaching 2 screenshots of the "Windows XP" theme I found online. The first screenshot is when no windows are selected. You can clearly see the effects on the panel.
On the second screenshot, the Opera browser is opened maximized. It's like the theme has disappeared.

Image
Image
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Aravisian » Wed Jan 01, 2020 5:13 pm

Moloch1994 wrote:So, basically, I've tried out a number of themes, icons and cursors, and most of them either didn't work or worked partially. Eventually, I found the ones that did work for me.

I hope you don't mind me chiming in as we wait for Swarf.
To the above, the reason for this (and I never tire of telling it) is because Gnome disliked themes being used on their product. They deliberately kept altering the gtk.css to break themes. This is because the appearance of Gnome, they believe, is their Brand Image.
I am not kidding, this actually happened. Over time, themers gave up. Who knows where they are now...
Eventually the stakeholders for Gnome got after the Gnome developers for this behaviour and the developers signed a pledge to Stop breaking Themes. And they have kept that Pledge, so far, more or less (With a few little annoying breaks here and there...). I believe it is only a matter of time. Much like Googles Pledge "To Do No Harm" as a major company motto silently being delegated to the tail end of a vague mission statement as a hand wave to the past.
In order for many themes to work, they must be Updated to the current gtk.css standards. Some themers may be willing to come back and do this (Don't hold your breath, they got burned already) or some Nube may come along and try their hand at doing so (Cough).
Moloch1994 wrote:However, there is still one issue I cannot resolve when applying these themes: the shell theme only works when the "dynamic background opacity" is turned on. But in this state, it only shows the correct theme when no windows are opened. Whenever you do open a window, it defaults the panel to the opaque blue one. I tried installing a gnome extension to have more control over this feature, but that extension defaults the panel by its mere existence somehow.

As far as I understand, the developers of the themes used the "dynamic background opacity" feature to create new effects for the panel, like gloss or shadow. The opacity itself has nothing to do with it really. So I was wondering, what can I do in this situation? Is there any solution or am I doomed to forever use the opaque windows-10-style panel? :(

I am attaching 2 screenshots of the "Windows XP" theme I found online. The first screenshot is when no windows are selected. You can clearly see the effects on the panel.
On the second screenshot, the Opera browser is opened maximized. It's like the theme has disappeared.

https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-sh ... quests/376

There is no way of turning Dynamic Opacity on and off like there is in XFCE or Mate or Cinnamon or any other developed Desktop Environment created by intelligent human beings instead of bone-headed chimpanzees overly worried about Brand Image.
However, the theme developer may be able to modify the theme to adapt to your Desktop Environment if you would like to comment to them on it.
If you would like, you may also post links to the themes in question and see if we can look them over and create a patch.
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Moloch1994 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:03 am

Aravisian thanks for the explanation. It's really sad. Before installing Linux I always assumed it was more easy to customize than Windows.
Aravisian wrote:There is no way of turning Dynamic Opacity on and off like there is in XFCE or Mate or Cinnamon or any other developed Desktop Environment created by intelligent human beings instead of bone-headed chimpanzees overly worried about Brand Image.
However, the theme developer may be able to modify the theme to adapt to your Desktop Environment if you would like to comment to them on it.
If you would like, you may also post links to the themes in question and see if we can look them over and create a patch.

It would be very generous of you to do so. I wouldn't wanna trouble you and take up your time, but if you decide to make this patch, I'd be very grateful.
I only really care about the themes that reflect older Windows aesthetics, such as 95-98 and XP, due to the nostalgic value. There is one 9x theme that strangely doesn't have that issue with opacity, plus there's the Zorin-95 theme which is okay. So I got that covered.
For XP however, it's been difficult to find a theme that'd work. I'm currently using this pack: https://www.gnome-look.org/p/1230964/
It overall looks great, the only real issue is the one I mentioned in the original post.
There's also a smaller issue with how the Start panel and other context menus that spawn from the Shell are of grey colour, similar to Windows 9x. It doesn't really bother me, but if there's an easy way to at least change their colour to white, it would be great.
If I could make this one pack work, I'd be more than happy.
Again, I don't want to trouble you, you've done more than enough for me already, so only do it if it's not much of a hassle. Thank you!
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Swarfendor437 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:04 am

I amended the unofficial manual that explains how to overcome panel issues with a great extension:

Dynamic Panel Transparency - it is a complex tool but works extremely well. ;) :D
https://vimeo.com/user15592214
https://www.deviantart.com/swarfendor437
https://trisquel.info/

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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Aravisian » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:37 am

Swarfendor437 wrote:I amended the unofficial manual that explains how to overcome panel issues with a great extension:

Dynamic Panel Transparency - it is a complex tool but works extremely well. ;) :D

Awesome, Swarf.
Moloch1994 wrote:Aravisian thanks for the explanation. It's really sad. Before installing Linux I always assumed it was more easy to customize than Windows.

It is more customizable, but that does not mean more easily done.
;)
There are many tools in life that will offer you greater control, but you must still learn how to use the tool.
Moloch1994 wrote:For XP however, it's been difficult to find a theme that'd work. I'm currently using this pack: https://www.gnome-look.org/p/1230964/
It overall looks great, the only real issue is the one I mentioned in the original post.
There's also a smaller issue with how the Start panel and other context menus that spawn from the Shell are of grey colour, similar to Windows 9x. It doesn't really bother me, but if there's an easy way to at least change their colour to white, it would be great.


I have the link open and I must admit, I am surprised you say this works well. To credit the themer that made it, they did an incredible job.
I have not yet looked at the .css on this, but this XP theme is for gtk 3.18 Most themes made for 3.18 will not work on 3.22.
As stated above... the difference between gtk 3.18 and 3.24, for example, are vast. Gnome changed much of the gtk css between 3.18 and 3.24. Right off the top, pop-over menus should be broken as should scrollbars.
I wonder what would happen if this were updated to 3.24 and you then tried it out, what differences you would notice.
Update: Mystery solved: I have downloaded the theme and I see there is a folder for gtk 3.20. While still broken for later versions, it's not nearly as broken as it would be if it were solely 3.18.
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Aravisian » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:13 am

Well, another update: Yes, I can change the panel to be as your first screenshot for you and it will stay that way permanently, no matter which windows you open.
Sadly, this means I will need to alter quite a bit about the gnome-shell.css in order to ensure good smooth transition. I was HOPING I could just give you a quick walk-through that you could do and be up and running with the changes in a few minutes.
Oh well.
I will need to know, which theme in the pack are you going to use? Or are you going to use them all (Because if so, I will need to make the alterations to all of them.)?

On the White Background behind the Pop up context menus....Ummm honestly, it is not gray on my screen. It has a gray border but the content view is quite blindingly white...
Could you post a screenshot of what you are seeing on your screen?
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Moloch1994 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:54 am

Oh wow. I did not expect you to reply with results so quickly.
Aravisian wrote:I will need to know, which theme in the pack are you going to use? Or are you going to use them all (Because if so, I will need to make the alterations to all of them.)?

Well, I'd be happy with XP Luna alone, but ideally, I'd like to also have Royale and Royale Dark if it's possible.
Aravisian wrote:On the White Background behind the Pop up context menus....Ummm honestly, it is not gray on my screen. It has a gray border but the content view is quite blindingly white...
Could you post a screenshot of what you are seeing on your screen?

I have just noticed that I have this issue only with Luna, not other themes from this pack. Also for some reason the applications on the panel, when selected, are highlighted with a strangely unfitting colour. I think I might've messed it up somehow by experimenting with different themes, including the Win 95-98 themes. Maybe I need to restart my computer or reinstall the theme. I will try that and report.
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Moloch1994 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:15 am

Moloch1994 wrote:Maybe I need to restart my computer or reinstall the theme. I will try that and report.

Yeah, that didn't help. I guess it's just the theme itself. That's probably how it's made... Weird choice for colours, tbh. Well, it's not that much of an issue, I'd still like to use it anyway.
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Re: Adding new themes to Zorin 15 (Beta)

Postby Aravisian » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:17 am

Moloch1994 wrote:I have just noticed that I have this issue only with Luna, not other themes from this pack. Also for some reason the applications on the panel, when selected, are highlighted with a strangely unfitting colour. I think I might've messed it up somehow by experimenting with different themes, including the Win 95-98 themes. Maybe I need to restart my computer or reinstall the theme. I will try that and report.

It's Luna. I took a look and Luna has a Gray Menu background. Easily swapped with a background from another XP theme in the pack.

The highlighting is also Luna, which can be changed, too. That won't happen from just switching themes back and forth to test them. I know this well, I do it A LOT.

EDIT, just saw your next post:
Yes, the themer will choose colors and sadly You just cannot please everyone. I've gotten a few complaints that just... boggle the mind. I put up an Icon Set recently and some guy docked it on the rating because it did not come with its own Chrome Icon. Dude, seriously? Like I can predict EVERY APP that everyone wants to use and find out its specified name for the file path and design it for you on top of all the system icons. I wanted to punch him in the snoot.
Instead, I made a Chrome Icon.
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