[ubuntu-art] freshened metacity theme

Martin-Éric Racine q-funk at iki.fi
Fri Feb 3 12:00:13 GMT 2006

On 03/02/06, Henrik Nilsen Omma <henrik at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Martin-Éric Racine wrote:
> >Unfortunately, all that eyecandy renders very poorly on low-spec
> >graphic cards. There is a good reason why the current Metacity theme
> >we have is very spartan: it renders well in a variety of situations,
> >including on laptops with a small color palette.
> >
> That's an interesting point. Could you please elaborate? Which themes
> are fine and which are too heavy? Human is OK while clearlooks 2 is too
> slow? Are themes with bitmaps in them faster or slower than those with
> xml-based blending?

Things like graphic-based window widgets with lots of highlights and
shadows render horribly on laptops or other similar low-spec graphic
hardware. What works best is having as few colors as possible and
keeping those within the so-called Web-friendly palette, as much as

A flat theme like Clearlooks work well, because the window frames are
one big flat color zone, so a Human variant based on that would be
best. Any time that stripes or similar decorations are added (or at
least, stripes based on just a slightly different shade of the same
color), it hampers rendering on low-spec graphics hardware. Ditto
whenever using images for the widgets.

If any stripes or decorations are used, then solid colors that fit the
Web-friendly paletter or, even better, the old vga16 palette would be
the best option, both from a perspective of rendering resource usage
and from a perspective of offering a crisp theme that looks great even
on low-spec graphics hardware.

Here, I currently use Human from ubuntu-artwork 0.2.27-1.1, but this
is installed on a pure Debian setup, which I need to build packages
that go straight into Debian (and then propagade into Ubuntu via the
automated Universe buildd).

Martin-Éric Racine

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