Desktop Theme Spec

Joe Mason joe at
Sun Apr 20 14:16:20 PDT 2008

On Sun, Apr 20, 2008 at 4:10 PM, Rodney Dawes <dobey.pwns at> wrote:
>  If you really just want a cross-toolkit API for theme engines though,
>  perhaps you should take a look at the metatheme project. I think it
>  is/was hosted at I don't know what is up with it,
>  but that is exactly what the project was working on.

It's at now.  Thanks for pointing it out - I
hadn't heard of it before.  I especially like the fact that it affects
Java apps, too.

The problem is nobody's going to write themes for metatheme until it
gains critical mass, and nobody's going to switch to it until their
favourite themes are written for it.  (Unless both major toolkits
switch to using it by default.)

It seems to me that the most practical way toward unified themes right
now is to make metatheme (or something similar) able to load Gnome and
KDE themes as well as its native themes and the existing MSSTYLE.
That way you can always use metatheme as an adaptor to use any theme
on any desktop, instead of having to use a theme specifically
targetted towards it.

Also, it would be nice if it could theme Mozilla apps as well.  I
believe that would be all the major UI styles used on Linux today.
(Mono apps use Gtk+, right?)


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