GTK2 Roundabout

Andrea Cimitan cimi86 at
Wed Dec 20 14:39:45 UTC 2006

Il giorno Wed, 20 Dec 2006 09:23:27 +0000
Leo <sdl.web at> ha scritto:

> * Máirín Duffy (2006-12-20 02:17 -0500) said:
>   ^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > May I ask why?
> >
> > It shouldn't be based on looks since Clearlooks can achieve the same
> > effects...
> I just checked its cvs repository, looks like it is getting some
> attention these days.
> Take the vertical scroll bar for example:
> For a long time, all clearlooks based gtk2 themes have the same
> vertical scroll bar (that's in FC4). Then it became capable of
> changing color (as in FC5). My feeling is that Clearlooks is a dated
> slow inflexible theme engine. OpenSUSE Ubuntu and Mandrake, none of
> them are using it. Now there is a better alternative, I see no reason
> not to change.
> The best theme package is from RH8¹ for its unique gtk metacity and
> icon themes. Even today, there are still many upstream screenshots one
> can instantly recognizes that they are taken in RH/Fedora Linux. And I
> think this is a great marketing opportunity. But for the past 4 years,
> no significant change has been made to Fedora's theme and you can see
> more and more screenshots are taken on those distributions that do
> take the trouble to get a consistent and pretty look.
> On the technical comparison of clearlooks and Murrine, Cimi, could you
> show us the merits of Murrine?
> Footnotes: 
> ¹

Sure, i can explain the good things of the two engines.

Good points of Murrine:
1) Best look for a cairo engine, people love Murrine rather than other
engines and install it for this reason (this is what people
think, see votes on and polls on ubuntuforums,, where murrine is
placed on 42% and ubuntulooks and clearlooks at only 21%)
2) Huge amount of colorschemes (aka Themes) available on
At this moment in just 5 months it has taken more Themes than
clearlooks took for two years.
3) With Cairo rendering library performance has slowdown every engine
(due to gradients and curves). Murrine is capable to reach nearly the
same speed of old engines with the big quality of cairo rendering.
At default is about 30% faster than clearlooks and ubuntulooks.
This is due to the new design of buttons that don't need to have
gradients to be really cool.
4) Wonderful capabilities in customization. It supports a lot of
options (that with 0.40 release expected on Christmas day will be a lot
more... prepare to another BIG release) that makes able the user to
completely change the look of a Theme following his tastes just
changing few things.
Murrine Configurator, is a simple GUI
that every user (and every newbie!!!) can use to configure every theme
just few clicks.
5) Support of dark themes. Actually Murrine is the only engine
supporting of dark themes without making ugliness in rendering (try to
set dark colors on clearlooks-cairo or ubuntulooks... and see white
lines almost everywhere).

Good points of Clearlooks:
1) Official Support of gnome bugzilla, so general bugs (so not
clearlooks-only related) are fixed before on it.
Btw i'm a lot of time in #gnome-art IRC channel so all important bugs
were fixed in murrine too.
Murrine needs a bugzilla, I guess.
2) Clearlooks has a public cvs while murrine has more (stable) releases.
Murrine needs a cvs, I guess.

>From previous 2 points we can guess a 3rd one, even though it could
be the 6th good point of murrine: Clearlooks development lacks of good
designers, and founders/creators aren't developing till an year (it
was abandoned from them). For this moment Clearlooks is developed by a
friend of mine, Benzea (who I greet, "hi benzea!!!") who is very very
good in coding and fixing bugs, but he hasn't done so much in improving
look in the last year... Despite I'm very very good in design and
improving the look of Murrine (many paople say Murrine is the best theme
compared with every OS, Mac and Microsoft included) but not good as
benzea in bug-fixing.

So for this reason I suggested Murrine as the new engine. Linux needs
great themes in the "desktop experience" and Murrine is the best
starting point, since with redhat bugzilla Murrine may reach the same
"Good points" of clearlooks.

This is my opinion and i've tried to be neutral to hilight the good
points of every engine.
Cimi - Andrea Cimitan

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