Re: Clarius

Shaun McCance wrote:
On Tue, 2006-08-29 at 10:01 +1200, Glynn Foster wrote:

Shaun McCance wrote:
I'm going to coin a new term: key churn.  This is when people
make frivolous and unnecessary changes to GConf keys or their
default values.  It sucks for large deployments.  Gnome is
bigger than your personal desktop.
I don't really care too much about the name change, but what I do care about is
the migration story between themes as new engines/icons/whatever are dropped in
and out. This stuff isn't as smooth as it should be - hopefully Calum can
provide details of what currently happens [we documented this for an ARC case

I don't care about the name change out of some phonetophilic
adoration of the word "Clearlooks".  I care because of the
problems it introduces.

Scenario 1) I have, at some point, explicitly set my theme
to Clearlooks, rather than getting Clearlooks from the GConf
default value.  I upgrade to Gnome 2.16.  What happens?

You get the Clearlooks theme, that is installed by gtk-engines.

Interim 1) I utter some choice words about the ugly boxiness
of the default GTK+ rendering.  But I'm pretty clever, so I
go to the theme manager, find Clarius, and switch.  Clarius
is now explicitly set as my theme in GConf.

You don't get the ugly default GTK+ rendering, because you already have Clearlooks installed.

Scenario 2) I go to use another machine that's mounting
the same NFS home directory, or is otherwise getting the
same GConf values.  This machine is running Gnome 2.14,
which doesn't include Clarius.

The same thing would happen if you went to a machine running a Gnome version prior to that which Clearlooks was available in. Or if you selected a theme that you have installed locally, or any other combination of possibilities. I think it is slightly unreasonable to assume we can never add new themes.

Interim 2) I utter some choice words and post a flame to
Slashdot and/or OSNews.  I go to the theme manager and
change my theme back to Clearlooks.

Scenario 3) I go back to do some work on the machine that's
running Gnome 2.16.  See scenario 1.

It's running Clearlooks, but with a slightly "updated" appearance.

Friends don't let friends churn keys.

I know several people have already pointed out the relevant points about the change, but I just want to reassure you I did consider these scenarios before I made the changes.

There were several reasons for the change. Firstly, I wanted to make sure we didn't go through "appearance churn". The new cairo based clearlooks engine provides several changes to the UI. I wanted to make the 2.16 appearance more consistent with the 2.14 appearance. I also had several people mention to me that they did not want Gnome to go down the "glossy appearance" route. It was therefore critical that the glossy scrollbars were toned down before the release. Unfortunately I was under the impression that I made this change before the UI freeze, which I now realise was incorrect. Secondly, the change did not affect any translatable strings, so I assumed it did not affect the string freeze.

The reason I felt it necessary to make our own gtk+ theme (in gnome-themes, rather than relying on the one provided by gtk-engines), is that we probably will want to make more conservative changes in the future than the author of Clearlooks wants to make.

Having spoken to Richard about this problem (unfortunately he has been very busy and we didn't get a chance to discuss it before), he seems willing to keep the Clearlooks gtkrc as conservative as Gnome wants it, and put more exciting changes into a separate gtkrc. With the permission of the release team, I would be happy to revert the changes, and change the one line that makes the scrollbars blue in the Clearlooks gtkrc.


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