New Theming

Dana Jansens danakj at
Mon Mar 5 10:52:54 EST 2007


If you're using the subversion repository code, that is.

(Oh, and your fonts too.)

Openbox has just moved it's theme format to an XML based one. The details of
this format can be found in data/themerc.xsd (and

ALSO! This is very good and important and stuff! In the tools directory you
will find ThemeToXML ! This tool takes a themerc on stdin, and spits out
the same theme in theme.xml format. So this is all you need to do to update
your themes.

PLEASE NOTE: This themetoxml does _not_ install itself anywhere. It simply
builds and then lives out in its tools/themetoxml directory, and that's it. So
if you want to use it, that is where to find it.

In moving to the new XML format, a number of additions/changes to the theme
engine have been made. Themetoxml takes these into account and will set all
the new things appropriately to make your theme look the same as it
always has. (It's proving pretty reliable so far.)

New additions include..
* padding now has a horizontal and vertical component, instead of
being just one number
* menus can have different borders than windows (color and size)
* menu offset can now be negative. it's a little weird, but someone
will want it no doubt
* fonts are NO LONGER CONTROLLED by the theme at all, however font
shadowing is, and on that note..
* font shadows are now any color you want, not just black and white
* you can now set the shadow anywhere in the theme that you can set
text colors, so you have more control, i.e. you can set shadow on
active menu items but not inactive, or disabled, etc. the way it
should be!
* every color now has an alpha channel. at the moment they don't do
anything, besides the font shadow one, but it leaves room for future
explorations. it is REALLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you set the alpha
to 255 all the time, until such time as it could be useful. otherwise
one day your theme may turn awful for people.
* font colors are in the range 0-255, in case you were wondering, and
they have to be specified in decimal
* if you'd like to change your font's you can do so in your
configuration file. this is how it is going to stay. changing the font
in the theme assumes too much about peoples eye sight and locality and
stuff. it doesn't belong there, sorry. the system-wide default rc.xml
includes the new font settings for your viewing pleasure, and i'll
drop an example of it below.
* shadows can now be positioned in any direction, they have both an x
and a y offset which can be negative and positive. an offset of 0,0
will disable the shadow

This isn't a release or anything. If someone had some good ideas about
the xml theme format, we'd like to hear them. But I don't think it
will be changing much right now beyond where it is. It's not even know
how the new functionality will play out for themers, so we'll see.

Whew.. I guess that's it. I'm not sure if I mentioned every little
change or not, but oh well. Mileage may vary.. Please send any

Here's the font configuration example. Hopefully ObConf will let you
set this real soon.

  <font place="ActiveWindow">
  <font place="InactiveWindow">
  <font place="MenuTitle">
  <font place="MenuItem">

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