I’m noticing more and more Apps actively trying to avoid Themes and instead opting for the fixed default look. Even some of the Default Gnome Apps. And then there are initiatives like Please don’t theme our apps. Is this the slow death of GTK Themes, and if yes, why?

  • Dr. Wesker
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    1 month ago

    I find the whole idea of “unthemeable” apps annoying. One big motivating factor of using Linux for me is the ability to create a custom and cohesive aesthetic. I actually actively avoid apps that take it upon themselves to override and create their own (often ugly) decorations, menus, popups, etc. They’re almost never flattering, and they typically stand out like a sore thumb in my workflow.

    • Cyborganism
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      1 month ago

      I’m on the opposite side. I prefer a monolithic, immutable theme where you can only change color accents and that’s it. This provides a consistent experience across all installations from one PC to another.

      Look at Mac or Windows users. If someone is used to using these Desktop environments, when they use another computer with the same OS, they know what to expect. They know how to operate the system right away and immediately be efficient and get things done.

      In a Linux desktop, not only there are a LOT of various desktop environments, AND they can also be customized to hell to a point they’re not even recognizable. From one desktop PC to another you can get wildly different experiences.

      I worked in a Linux company once and when someone asked for assistance or I had to show someone something on their PC, I often couldn’t even use them because I couldn’t find the apps or features I needed. Going from then standard default Gnome 2, to some tile based desktop, to some oddly customized Enlightenment desktop or a KDE environment themed to look like a Mac, it was hell.

      Some people have the opinion that allowing people that freedom is awesome. I think it scares the vast majority of the people away from using a Linux based desktop OS because of this. It looks too complicated for them. And that’s just for desktop environments. Then you get into the whole application management thing with various package managers and snaps and flatpaks. It’s too much. (Edit: Appimages could fix that issue for desktop applications.)

      All of this should be standardized into one simple system. Then we could have Gnome OS, KDE OS, XFCE OS based on Linux, just like we have Mac OS based on Free BSD.

      But that’s my opinion. And I know it’s unpopular among the Linux community, even if I’m right. ;)

      • @pivot_root@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Look at Mac or Windows users.

        Mac, maybe. Windows? No. Not by a long shot. I have the pleasure of using Windows 11 for work, and it’s just as bad as the fragmentation between Linux applications using GTK vs those using Qt—except it’s all made by one single corporation.

        Microsoft just can’t commit to a design language. You have modernized applications made with WinSDK using WinUI, and then you have the “classic” applications made with the Win32 API. And, their designs could not be more diametrically opposed. WinUI applications are crammed full of blank space and animations, whereas Win32 applications look like “and the kitchen sink” Windows XP programs with a coat of paint slapped on top. You have system legacy applications that came straight out of Windows NT and use the same L&F since Windows 8, full of stacking popup models and design decisions made to work around limitations, you have a couple of “modern” applications that use the “my first time making a Flash game” Metro design language of Windows 8, a few more applications that use squared-edge and small border design from Windows 10, and then, finally, the Windows 11 design.

        That’s four entire generations of designs crammed into a single operating system, and unless you only use it to browse the web, you are going to see all of them at some point. Fuck, the modern Settings application still opens the control panel for some things.

        And again, that is just Microsoft’s programs. How about third-party software? You have some programs still using Win32 because they’re built on the bones of your ancestors, other programs using Win32 because WinUI 3 only has official support for C++ or C#, some programs in Qt for cross-platform support, even more programs using Electron because it’s more cost-effective to churn out HTML that looks like Windows than to maintain multiple frontends, and even programs that use Unity or Unreal Engine as a goddamn GUI toolkit.

        Seriously, fuck that. Linux might be mostly split across two GUI frameworks and proprietary pity-offerings that only exist because the company was already using Electron, but at least it’s consistent within them.

      • Dr. Wesker
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        1 month ago

        I see the value in your opinion. I agree to an extent, because I’m a fan of reliable best practices and strict-ish design philosophies. However, there’s no way I could give up all the wonderful flavors of things, such as WMs.

      • @TheV2@programming.dev
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        71 month ago

        If the workflow at a workplace requires a consistent experience across all PCs…why doesn’t that workplace enforce that consistency?

        I understand your frustrations, but corporate or organizational needs should not technically limit the personal needs of using a personal computer.

        (And when people, used to a strict environment, are overwhelmed by the amount of freedom in their new environment, I think it’s better to guide them through the options instead of just taking away everyone’s freedom)

      • @rah@feddit.uk
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        211 month ago

        Because GNOME aren’t interested in building a desktop that works well with non-GNOME programs.

        • Lvxferre
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          171 month ago

          One day, GNOME will be seen as those arseholes who tried to fragment further an already small and fragmented environment, for petty reasons like “i has a vizhun”.

          That day was yesterday, by the way.

            • Lvxferre
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              1 month ago

              Days, years, they’re all in the bottomless past. Might as well never have happened.

              (Serious now, as the above is just me being silly: 13 years, with the release of GNOME 3.0.)

            • Lvxferre
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              21 month ago

              Do you have further info? That’s a thing that I’d like to dig further into - why GNOME went from “decent but heavy desktop environment” to “oh look «those guys» /me facepalms”.

              • @InstallGentoo@lemmy.zip
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                61 month ago

                The main devs at the center of every gnome related drama consist of a few particular individuals who are paid by red hat. I believe the original developer Miguel de Icaza left the gnome project and joined microsoft, and from that point the project made it’s focus on replicating mac os and blindly follow some supposed “vision” where concepts like theming don’t exist. They even explicitly stated they don’t care about cross desktop compatibility and would rather have a separate operating system for gnome. Any further than this and they’ll call you a conspiracy theorist.

                • Lvxferre
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                  01 month ago

                  Thank you for the info. That’s… sad, really.

                  Any further than this and they’ll call you a conspiracy theorist.

                  I’m probably one now - it was inevitable to connect GNOME’s obtuseness to Red Hat violating the GPL. It sounds a lot like IBM trying to make its own operating system, lacking the means to do so, and exploiting open source to do it for them.

                  • @InstallGentoo@lemmy.zip
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                    1 month ago

                    It’s not that deep lol. They just want to avoid writing extra code to make their apps and toolkit compatible with the wider linux desktop. Being the closest to an “official” desktop environment and having paid volunteers, they have a certain responsibility to make their things desktop agnostic. But they act entitled and really just want to minimize their work. Gtk 3 and below were close to perfect. Gtk 4 and libadwaita are the embodiment of everything wrong with gnome.

          • @rah@feddit.uk
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            31 month ago

            non-GTK

            What do you mean?

            Gnome Software Store, Gnome Settings, System Monitor

            All of these programs use GTK.

      • calm.like.a.bomb
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        81 month ago

        Because they created libadwaita and don’t care for anything else. In fact GNOME developers haven’t cared about users for a long time…

      • lurch (he/him)
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        51 month ago

        it’s just that gnome devs are super fast pace crazy scientists. anything that sounds wild, they gotta try it and often they have to abandon something that worked fine to do the new experiments. they had custom theme engine plugins as shared object files, JS window management, CSS themes, SVG icons, app specific buttons in title bars, JS extensions and they’re not gonna quit. if you use gnome and you rice your desktop, you better prepare to port your theme at least twice per year.