Ticket #903 (closed defect: remind)

Opened 12 years ago

Last modified 12 years ago

Misc. comments on new moko-gtk-engine and moko-gtk-theme

Reported by: cwixon@… Owned by: davewu01@…
Priority: high Milestone:
Component: Graphic Design Version: 2007.2
Severity: normal Keywords:
Cc: buglog@…, thomas@… Blocked By:
Blocking: Estimated Completion (week):
HasPatchForReview: PatchReviewResult:


The new gtk+ theme and theme engine are a great improvement over the older
pixmap-based ones. But after playing around with it for a while, I have few
minor comments that might help improve it:

  • Scrollbars

Currently scrollbars are configured more-or-less like this beautiful ascii art:


With up/down arrows duplicated at both ends of the scrollbar. This is a little
bit fiddly, and I would strongly recommend the alternative of having only the
up-arrow at the top and only the down-arrow at the bottom, as in Windows (not to
mention other gtk+ themes).

Also, currently the scrollbar background is orange, and the thumb is gray. This
strikes me as backwards. It's much more tempting to "grab" the orange part, but
that's the inactive part.

Finally, per my personal preferences, the scrollbars are still a little bit fat.

If finger-scrolling is going to be used wherever people are likely to use their

fingers, then the scrollbars should be more stylus-oriented, and perhaps just a
little (2-4 pixels maybe?) slimmer.

  • Menus

HUGE improvement over the prior menus -- they look really good, and they are
much faster, too. But I would shrink the spacing even a little more, maybe 2-4
pixels per entry (but keeping the font size as-is). Mostly these menus will be
used with a stylus, and many existing gtk+ applications have fairly dense menus.

I think a separate finger-menu widget should be used in openmoko-today2 and
elsewhere (e.g. the power management menu) with wider spacing. I don't
recommend a compromise single type of menu.

  • Dialog boxes

The gtk+ file chooser is pretty usable now, with only some minor cosmetic
issues. Other dialogs have some problems, though.

For example, in Abiword, if you try to quit without saving, a dialog box pops up
with three options: quit without saving, cancel, or save. But this box is wider
than 480 pixels, so the quit-without-saving button ends up outside of the box
(and invisible). And because the box can't be resized, even if it's moved, you
can't reach that button. So it's impossible to quit without saving.

This is a horizontal packing issue. Other applications (e.g. xchat) have
vertical packing issues, where a single configuration page has more settings
than will fit vertically, and in that case, the OK/Cancel buttons will often be

I think we need to redefine the default dialog box widget/container to include
scrolling capability. I don't know if this is possible with a simple gtk theme
change, but I raise it here in case it is.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 12 years ago by cwixon@…

  • Cc thomas@… added

Added Thomas Wood to cc list, as I believe he is the author of the new theme engine.

comment:2 Changed 12 years ago by cwixon@…

Screenshot of too-wide dialog box:


Screenshot of too-tall dialog box:


(The buttons are present, but there are widgets _behind_ them. Note also the
colors used for tabs -- black and orange don't work well here.)

comment:3 Changed 12 years ago by thomas@…

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to remind

Thanks for your comments!

As quick review:

Scrollbars: Not yet themed at all, but valid suggestions about the colours.

Menus: Mostly agree with your comments, but I think it is still nice to have
larger menu items. I will reduce the padding from the edge of the menu however.

Dialog boxes: This is outside the control of the theme. It might be possible to
patch GTK+ to rearrange the layout of standard dialog windows, but this will not
solve any non-standard dialogs.

comment:4 Changed 12 years ago by thomas@…

I've fixed the scrollbars and reduced the padding around menu items.

Unfortunatly there is no way in GTK+ to theme the tabs and the notebook page
differently. I'll have to find some other solution (possibly in the engine) to
fix this.

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