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The future of Seamonkey?

Discussion of general topics about Seamonkey
Sancho
 
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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 6:19 am

frg wrote:Adrian did update his 64 bit build yesterday. This was shortly before the merges so its more or less identical to a release build: [...]


I just tried the Linux version of those unofficial builds. While it seems to work, parts of the UI look a little strange (highlighted items in menu bar, gradient of toolbars missing, grippies, ...). :?:

barbaz
 
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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 9:04 am

Probably caused by the backend switch to GTK 3. What GTK theme are you using?

rsx11m
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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 9:09 am

Currently also the comm-release builds are coming with GTK3, I don't know if on purpose or because it hasn't been explicitly set to GTK2 in the build config. There are various known issues, such as the lack of arrows in the scroll bars, missing menu borders, etc. Thus, personally I'd prefer not to switch to GTK3 with the next release just yet.

Edit: I have commented in bug 1213152.

tonymec

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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 9:18 am

The SeaMonkey-default theme tries to look like the underlying OS and GUI applications, which may or may not succeed, and may or may not be pleasing. Sancho, you may want to try the SeaMonkey Modern theme, whose look&feel is more constant; or if even that doesn't suit you, to look for a third-party theme. In that case I recommend trying them from newest to oldest, because the longest a theme has remained unchanged, the more likely it is to be unmaintained and out-of-date. See here the AMO complete-themes section, sorted newest-first.
Best regards,
Tony

Frank Lion

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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 10:22 am

rsx11m wrote:There are various known issues, such as the lack of arrows in the scroll bars, missing menu borders, etc. Thus, personally I'd prefer not to switch to GTK3 with the next release just yet.

Those are not actually GTK3 faults, but because the Linux theme writers (esp.the Mint ones) copy from each other. So, if one doesn't know something then none of them do and people think it's an OS/GTK3 bug because they all show the same.

I say this, er, because I wrote a Linux OS theme and the scrollbar arrows show up fine, because I coded that side in. I thought the menus looked OK without borders, so left mine alone (esp. as it's a light theme with dark grey menus which show up fine) Highlighting on menu item selected, etc is also fine. You just have to code this stuff right.

Anyway, it seems that there is some Linux theme called Adwaita that has menu borders. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I'll have a look at that and see how those borders are done, just for reference.

I'm not saying any of the above should make a difference to your linked bug, but just explaining why things are as the are and it's not down to GTK3. But might as well be if all/most of the Linux OS themes are not being written right.



Next bit is off-topic, but I just remembered it and it's not well known. You know how in Linux, programs that look to Root Access, like Synaptic, are always unstyled and look awful? They don't have to, just use - sudo ln -s ~/.themes /root/.themes
Last edited by Frank Lion on August 6th, 2016, 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

Sancho
 
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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 11:23 am

This is Xfce 4.10 with Clearlooks-Phenix theme. I have some GTK3 applications installed, which do look normal, except for SeaMonkey.

Switching to Modern theme as a workaround until the next release seems OK. Reminds me of the good old times. :)

Maybe I will finally have to learn how to build SeaMonkey myself...

I'm still not willing to give up on this piece of software whose incarnations I've been using since nearly 20 years now and switch to something different, despite all problems and delays.

rsx11m
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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 2:04 pm

Frank Lion wrote:Those are not actually GTK3 faults, but because the Linux theme writers (esp.the Mint ones) copy from each other. So, if one doesn't know something then none of them do and people think it's an OS/GTK3 bug because they all show the same.

I say this, er, because I wrote a Linux OS theme and the scrollbar arrows show up fine, because I coded that side in. I thought the menus looked OK without borders, so left mine alone (esp. as it's a light theme with dark grey menus which show up fine) Highlighting on menu item selected, etc is also fine. You just have to code this stuff right.

Hmm, so the options are to either rely on the desktop theme designers to do it right (which apparently doesn't happen) or to work around those limitations by explicitly designing elements within the application's theme (thus potentially overriding any definitions of the desktop theme which otherwise we would like to utilize for reasons of consistency). Brilliant... :-k

Thus, some rule like "if (desktop theme insufficient) replace with own style" would probably be needed as a fallback, the question being how to define "insufficient" in a sufficiently generic way. "Not defined" being the easiest rule, but there may be some conflicts otherwise which are harder to detect.

Frank Lion

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Post Posted August 4th, 2016, 4:16 pm

rsx11m wrote:Hmm, so the options are to either rely on the desktop theme designers to do it right (which apparently doesn't happen) or to work around those limitations by explicitly designing elements within the application's theme (thus potentially overriding any definitions of the desktop theme which otherwise we would like to utilize for reasons of consistency). Brilliant... :-k

Yep, it's a problem. For example, I've put the dark default theme of one of them on this system (as opposed to just some obscure theme) and the default SM theme. What do we get? No scroll arrows, no scroll thumb, just a full height black strip. Look at the Prefs. window - only selected Category showing, all others invisible. Hover over any pref option and it disappears, as the hover over background colour is the same colour as the text. I could go on...ad fin...

Put one of my (non-native) themes on and things settle down, although the scrollbar arrows have vanished. Even if they hadn't, how could SM possibly have a non-native theme as its default? - it can't and it shouldn't..

Point is, you can't code round this stuff and you can't second guess it either. All you can do is be aware of the problems.

The only advice I'd give is to keep an eye on how Linux is handled by Firefox. The default Windows versions of the UI are awful, but the adapted Linux versions of those are being coded by guys who really do understand Linux - I can tell. On Linux specific UI problems, whatever way Firefox are coding for it then so should we.
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Frank Lion

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Post Posted August 5th, 2016, 4:59 am

To demonstrate the sort of problem we get with Linux, let's use the following quote as an example -
Sancho wrote:This is Xfce 4.10 with Clearlooks-Phenix theme. I have some GTK3 applications installed, which do look normal, except for SeaMonkey.

What does that suggest to the average SM user on Linux? Something like 'Whoa! SeaMonkey really needs to get its act together and fix this stuff and it's really big of me that I even continue to use it in this state!'?

Now, let's look at the facts. Let's look at the files of that very theme, Clearlooks-Phenix, and this folder - ~/clearlooks-phenix-5/gtk-3.0 Yep, in that we find the expected gtk.css and gtk-widgets.css and those are all that are needed for GTK3 apps to work on this OS...in theory.

But...look what else is also in that folder - applications.css. A file that added specific coding rules for more than 6 individual programs using GTK3 as without that they wouldn't work right. That's fine, I'd do the same, but you can see how that creates a false impression of what programs work 'just fine' with a Linux theme?

As far as the missing scrollbar arrows are concerned, SeaMonkey wasn't even asking for special treatment like that, it was only asking that the damn basic gtk.css file was coded right!

Net is full of stuff like this - https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=205950 Even the 'solved' solution of changing an entire OS from Cinnamon to MATE is wrong, the guy just had to find a Cinnamon theme that had been coded right.

So, there you have it...everything you didn't really care about knowing with Linux in the first place, but were complaining about anyway :)
Metal Lion latest SeaMonkey & Thunderbird Themes - Sea Monkey and Silver Sea Monkey
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (attrib.)

patrickjdempsey

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Post Posted August 9th, 2016, 11:55 am

The Linux OS themes are the worst... especially the dark ones. There's dozens of standard OS colors the authors don't bother to define, or they just define them all the same, including ones that should be contrasting. There's also many places where the standard OS widget isn't styled properly, despite that seeming like a fairly important thing to get right. It makes me wonder how many applications hard-code everything and don't even bother with the native colors and widgets? This has apparently been going on forever, despite Mozilla browsers being preferred by many Linux users. But good luck convincing Nixers that the problem lies in sloppy/lazy design and programming of the OS theme.
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wyatt8740

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Post Posted August 9th, 2016, 12:14 pm

So I'm stuck on a windows-based PC with cygwin at the moment, and I'm wondering: can I target cygwin X11? I'm still not very good at using mozconfigs.

It'll be more like the unix platform I usually develop for, which is why I ask. I'd still love to help keep Seamonkey going as long as I possibly can.

On the subject of GTK themes, here's one that worked on my MATE desktop last time I tried it. It's a 'port' of the Ubuntu 10.04 Gnome 2 theme, using some elements from a later version of ambiance for the GTK3 portion but trying to keep everything relatively consistent. My server's down pretty regularly right now, so I archived it.
http://web.archive.org/web/201608091941 ... mod.tar.xz

Forgive me for the relatively sloppy hack. It seems to work fine except that some tooltips (not all) are black on a black background. I can't figure out why this happens, but if I do I'll fix it.

(UA says linux because I am using my linux machine's user agent string.)
Last edited by wyatt8740 on August 9th, 2016, 12:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Anonymosity
 
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Post Posted August 9th, 2016, 12:30 pm

Why not do your own thing with colours instead of using system colours? If you are careful to ensure good contrast between text and background for all the elements it works well.

rsx11m
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Post Posted August 9th, 2016, 1:17 pm

The whole idea of using system colors is to not break with the user's choice of a desktop theme. Meaning, if the text is supposed to be yellow on blue (or whatever other selection) by choice of the desktop theme and/or user settings, certain input fields should adhere to that choice. The problem is that frequently system color names are used that look nice, let's say, on the default desktop theme (or two or three of those, expected/assumed to be commonly used). If the user has a different theme which was not considered during the design (or has some custom settings), the combinations of system colors working good on the theme used for design may fail completely (in the worst case, being the same and providing zero contrast) on the specific desktop theme and/or custom settings the user has chosen. So, on one hand it's desirable to use system colors, on the other hand it may produce unpredictable results if the schemes/names aren't consistently used.

frg
 
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Post Posted August 9th, 2016, 3:52 pm

>> So I'm stuck on a windows-based PC with cygwin at the moment, and I'm wondering: can I target cygwin X11?
>> I'm still not very good at using mozconfigs.

wyatt8740, I am quite sure this will not work. Would need at least a ton of dependant libs which I am also quite sure are not even available on Windows. Building under Windows needs at least VS2015 Community and the Windows 10 SDK. Everything else is either experimental, unsupported or plain black magic. If your PC is capable install Virtualbox and CentOS 7 x64 in an vm. Then you can build for Linux.

Anonymosity
 
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Post Posted August 10th, 2016, 9:40 am

rsx11m wrote:The whole idea of using system colors is to not break with the user's choice of a desktop theme. Meaning, if the text is supposed to be yellow on blue (or whatever other selection) by choice of the desktop theme and/or user settings, certain input fields should adhere to that choice. The problem is that frequently system color names are used that look nice, let's say, on the default desktop theme (or two or three of those, expected/assumed to be commonly used). If the user has a different theme which was not considered during the design (or has some custom settings), the combinations of system colors working good on the theme used for design may fail completely (in the worst case, being the same and providing zero contrast) on the specific desktop theme and/or custom settings the user has chosen. So, on one hand it's desirable to use system colors, on the other hand it may produce unpredictable results if the schemes/names aren't consistently used.

That is why the theme should do the whole job, not just part of it. Theme everything that the application is going to display, and use your own colours everywhere rather than system colours. Rule #1 in theming should be to make everything that is at all usable readable. This includes things like disabled add-ons and unselected tabs.

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