SEP
15
2007

Showing active/inactive windows in KDE4

There has been some discussion on the kde-core-devel mailing list about a change to how the active window should be distinguished from the inactive windows, where different color palettes are used for the widgets inside inactive windows.

I tried out the change yesterday, testing flipping between Konsole and Dolphin, and don't personally like it much. Here are a couple of screen shots of what I saw so you can judge for yourself (with a KDE3 kicker in there):

[image:2992]
Konsole at front with Dolphin

[image:2993]
Konsole with Dolphin at front

Comments

That what I've been waiting for now I can have an inactive Titlebar that melts with the style of my inactive window. Yay.


By sthiele at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 14:42

Yeah, the oxygen artists wanted a smooth look, so they're working hard now not to have a separate windeco when a window isn't focused. They're aiming for a subtle effect in the whole window (eg greying the colourfull things like scrollbars, or the text and buttons...).

Stay tuned for more ;-)


By superstoned at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 16:45

to be fair, you should mention this is only a test to see if it technically works. The idea is to have something much more subtle, and if you see it with the oxygen theme, it's already a lot better. You gave the example of Mac OS X, which changes the colors of scrollbar, selected txt and some other stuff... I'm for having the ability to do something like that, and Matthew is working on it. That's good, right? He maybe should've tested it just at home, but it's configurable now and we can find out how we want it.


By superstoned at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 14:43

to be fair, you should mention this is only a test to see if it technically works.

No, this is code in the KDE4 trunk, not a test branch, and hence all the discussion about the change on kde-core-devel. Is this screenshot using the Oxygen theme? I don't actually know.


By Richard Dale at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 14:59

Oxygen got many criticism about it's colours - but nobody looked at the mockups. The code wasn't ready, the pale colours where a todo.

Same goes for this. This effect is supposed to be hardly noticeable, what you see in the screenshot is just its first incarnation. It has already been improved, the background doesn't change anymore.

Codewise it seems a pretty small thing to me... 6 lines, right? So falling over Matthew because he 'threatened the stability of trunk' seems a bit too much.

And your screenshot shows plastik.


By superstoned at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 16:43

There is a reason the code wasn't ready: they wanted it developed away from public eye. Then it got moved to trunk, in a "nearly finished" state, and people realized the implementation was really bad, so it was started over again.

And as I implied, the "improved" version still sucks --- pop up any dialog, and it flickers. And that the screenshot is Plastik only furthers the arguments against it: why should its users suffer flicker because Oxygen is an OS-X wannabee?


By Maksim Orlovich at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 16:51

Codewise it seems a pretty small thing to me... 6 lines, right? So falling over Matthew because he 'threatened the stability of trunk' seems a bit too much.

I've no idea about the number of lines of code, but this was checked into the trunk as the default option. Fortunately, after discussion on k-c-d, afterwards it was made a configurable non-default option. People reported unacceptable flickering and other problems, and so it so did indeed threaten the stability of the trunk. For instance, can you not see that the screenshot I have posted is crap?


By Richard Dale at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 17:08

No, to be fair, he needs to show all the intermediate frames of it flickering back and forth. It doesn't matter whether it's subtle or not subtle -- that Qt "feature" simply doesn't work right.


By Maksim Orlovich at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 16:43

For a non-default option, a form of it seems to be frigheningly default --- half of my text here looks grey, including all in form widgets in khtml. Lots of widgets just look disabled.


By Maksim Orlovich at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 17:48

Shading the whole window from inside of the toolkit seems like an overkill.

Turn on composite, and have the shadows = instant visual, more natural indicator of which window is on top.


By suslik at Sat, 09/15/2007 - 18:02

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