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Attention grabbing changes to Breeze theme

User avatar Sudhir Khanger
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Hi,

Some major changes have been introduced in Breeze in a bugfix release of Plasma. I am not sure why that was done.

Breeze theme as someone noted that in his experience is minimal and elegant. In the latest iteration of Breeze theme active window in taskbar is highlighted with dark blue color. I find it very distracting. There is nothing minimal or elegant about this change.

If you see the screenshot below the most highlighted element is that blue box. The way active windows were highlighted in previous iteration of Breeze was perfect. I didn't even notice them and I had no problem finding the active window..

I also feel that the icons padding in its tab is not properly aligned. Some are way too close to left. Also if an icon is blue and the tab is also blue then they merge into each other and makes it invisible.

Image
User avatar gregormi
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After upgrading from Plasma 5.4.2 to 5.4.3 I was positively surprised to see the change. This is how it looks like on the light theme with taskbar items in one and two rows:

Image

Image

+1 for keeping it this way.
User avatar supaiku
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I like the change as well. Looks really great with the dark theme.

The only thing that bothers me are these light-grey rectangles around the items when
the window is "not-minimized". Would be cool to be able to turn it off completely. Especially
in icon-only view the grey border looks disturbing.
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User avatar Sudhir Khanger
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supaiku wrote:I like the change as well. Looks really great with the dark theme.

The only thing that bothers me are these light-grey rectangles around the items when
the window is "not-minimized". Would be cool to be able to turn it off completely. Especially
in icon-only view the grey border looks disturbing.
Image


Can you please post a picture of telegram as active window in front so that you can see effect of a strong blue on active windows in taskbar?
User avatar supaiku
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Sudhir Khanger wrote:
supaiku wrote:I like the change as well. Looks really great with the dark theme.

The only thing that bothers me are these light-grey rectangles around the items when
the window is "not-minimized". Would be cool to be able to turn it off completely. Especially
in icon-only view the grey border looks disturbing.
Image


Can you please post a picture of telegram as active window in front so that you can see effect of a strong blue on active windows in taskbar?


I personally don't mind the blue... In fact I think it does look quite attractive.
Image

The only thing that could be better is the "fallback icon" which becomes unreadable:
Image
User avatar Sudhir Khanger
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supaiku wrote:The only thing that bothers me are these light-grey rectangles around the items when
the window is "not-minimized". Would be cool to be able to turn it off completely.


I find the whole concept of minimized and maximized window unnecessary for small-screened-mobile-devices like my laptop. I have all windows maximized at all times. I switch among them via either Alt+Tab or via mouse clicking on taskbar entry.

My suggestion is following.

1. Drop strong dark blue on all entries all together.
2. Active entry - border and bright text.
3. Non-active entries - borderless and dim text.
User avatar Kver
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From what I understand (and hopefully someone will correct me if I'm dead wrong);

The theme *was* changed significantly but reverted shortly after. Perhaps these changes still got into the bugfix, and that's what you're seeing.

From the reviewboard (which I can't find right now, sorry) the new plan is to introduce gradual changes, as the major update was too much. There's a chance though that some changes were kept, but you'll probably want to hear from Uri if he pops in to see what's going on.


Reformed lurker.
User avatar mck182
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The new theme didn't get to a bugfix release; let me explain the
release strategy, which you're probably already familiar with just
don't realize.

The bugfix release of 5.4.x is part of Plasma release, which is released
with new major version every 4 months and then minor bugfixing
versions every month.

Plasma builds on plasma-framework, which is a Framework. Frameworks
however have different release schedule, there are no bugfixing releases
nor "stable" releases. Every month there is simply another release.

The Plasma theme is part of plasma-framework, cause the framework
*must* have at least some theme if we want to make it usable universally.
In other words, the theme is independent of the Plasma releases.

Therefore, you got the theme as part of plasma-framework update and
not as part of the Plasma bugfix release.

I hope that makes it clear at least a bit :)

Kver wrote:The theme *was* changed significantly but reverted shortly after


Nope, it stayed. See https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=355058

I will be putting the "5.4" (5.15 in reality) theme on kde-look.org though.


KDE Telepathy | Plasma | Plasma Mobile
User avatar Kver
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mck182 wrote:*lots 'o' info*

Ah, thank you!


Reformed lurker.
molecule-eye
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It's not terrible but I can see that it could be distracting for some. The problem is that it presents a usability issue. An icon theme now needs to be readable for both standard light/dark color themes AND the blue highlight so that they remain visible for active windows. This just adds another way of making icons unreadable.
User avatar Uri_Herrera
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Sudhir Khanger wrote:Hi,

Hi.

Sudhir Khanger wrote:Some major changes have been introduced in Breeze in a bugfix release of Plasma. I am not sure why that was done.


Alright. Let's go through these "major" changes:

    Icons in the system tray now match those existing, and, in use in the Breeze icon theme. Like they should have.
    Task manager now makes tasks states obvious. Color coded no less.
    Buttons in plasmoids now match those in the applications. Like they should have.
    Plasmoids no longer have huge shadows.
    Checkboxes now match those used in the applications. Like they should have.
    Plasmoids now use icons from the Breeze theme and not icons from Oxygen.
    New animation for busy/waiting status in the task manager.
    Simpler arrow to open the hidden items in the system tray.
    Notes widget doesn't look like it's from Oxygen now.
    Widget backgrounds were done from scratch so they're easier to modify.

And... that was it. The rest is still the same.

How. On. Earth. Is. That. Major.

Something major would be the differences between Oxygen and Breeze. That's something that can be said it's of a major difference.

These changes aren't.

Sudhir Khanger wrote:Breeze theme as someone noted that in his experience is minimal and elegant. In the latest iteration of Breeze theme active window in taskbar is highlighted with dark blue color. I find it very distracting. There is nothing minimal or elegant about this change.


Minimal is an excessively overrated word and elegant is completely based on what you think, consider and define as such.

A minimal interface can be this: https://d13yacurqjgara.cloudfront.net/u ... odo400.jpg
As much as it can be this: https://d13yacurqjgara.cloudfront.net/u ... cf6461.png

The whole point. The reason why the active window has a blue background is so that it's easy to spot "Hey!, this is an active window". If you have ever browsed through a modern website with ghost buttons (like this one: http://cdn.sixrevisions.com/0468-01-css ... index.html) and/or actually noticed how the buttons work in the whole environment then you have already experienced this "major" change. It's nothing that's new to Plasma. It's already been there.

Sudhir Khanger wrote: If you see the screenshot below the most highlighted element is that blue box. The way active windows were highlighted in previous iteration of Breeze was perfect. I didn't even notice them and I had no problem finding the active window..

I also feel that the icons padding in its tab is not properly aligned. Some are way too close to left. Also if an icon is blue and the tab is also blue then they merge into each other and makes it invisible.

Image


Same. It's so that it's obvious that it's the selected and active window.

The padding is fine. Actually I spent a lot of time getting the padding right because there's a deadzone in the task manager and I bet no one even noticed it was there before.

Image
Sudhir Khanger wrote:
supaiku wrote:The only thing that bothers me are these light-grey rectangles around the items when
the window is "not-minimized". Would be cool to be able to turn it off completely.


I find the whole concept of minimized and maximized window unnecessary for small-screened-mobile-devices like my laptop. I have all windows maximized at all times. I switch among them via either Alt+Tab or via mouse clicking on taskbar entry.

My suggestion is following.

1. Drop strong dark blue on all entries all together.
2. Active entry - border and bright text.
3. Non-active entries - borderless and dim text.


Unless you're using a 10" netbook laptops don't have small screens. I know, I have a terrible netbook. In which case I wouldn't by any means increase the size of the panel. I would just leave it in the default size, which actually is perfectly fine for that absurdly small size. Oh it's also 1024x600.

    1) Nope. it's not "strong". it's a color that stands out from both dark and light backgrounds moreover it's a color used in the Breeze color scheme where the previous wasn't. That's being consistent.
    1) Text is already "bright"; a.k.a it is already white. The problem is that there's shadow too. That - the shadow - is a legit problem.
    1) Nope. That's why running but not active tasks only have a gray border.



------

Here's the task states explained:

    Dolphin is running but it's not the active window.
    Chrome is running and is the active window.
    Inkscape is running but it's minimized.
    Konsole is running, minimized and the cursor is hovering over it.
    Kate is not running.
    System Settings is running but it's minimized.
    Spotify is running but it's minimized.
    Filezilla is not running.
    GIMP is not running.
    Ktorrent is not running.

Lastly there's the attention state that I couldn't capture; like hover but red.

molecule-eye wrote:It's not terrible but I can see that it could be distracting for some. The problem is that it presents a usability issue. An icon theme now needs to be readable for both standard light/dark color themes AND the blue highlight so that they remain visible for active windows. This just adds another way of making icons unreadable.


Not the entire icon theme, specifically the application icons. Yes. They have to work on light and dark backgrounds how is that a bad thing again?.

Alas I'll have to change the icons that are blue that don't contrast with the background. Undoubtedly a legit issue and one I'm very aware of.

------

The previous theme is on kde-look now. If such is anyone's desire to get it just go to system settings and download it.

Cheers.
User avatar einar
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How. On. Earth. Is. That. Major.


May I remind *everyone*, and not just Uri, for the record, to keep the discussion civil? Disagreement does not mean sarcasm, ad hominems, you name it.
Please refer to KDE's Code of Conduct and forum rules on the reasoning.

Consider this a warning.

If you feel you are getting frustrated (and by "you" I mean the participants of this thread), take a step back and let some time pass to blow some steam off. Something I do not want to see here is people getting confrontational. We're supposed to work together.


"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
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Plasma FAQ maintainer - Plasma programming with Python
User avatar notmart
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I hope we can continue to discuss it in a more calm way, that's why I invite to sleep on it for a while, even weeks and to restart it in the future.
And yes, releasing 5.5 with the current theme in master is completely fine.

On the taskbar look I am of course not neutral and quite emotional about it as it was a very central element of the first mockup I drawn back in the day of the thing that later became breeze :P (it should still be in the forum archives somewhere.. I can explain more in length the reasons for the design but that's for another time) .
One thing it was important on the functional level is still true on the current one (having all the states easy to tell apart and having the "normal" state recognizable from no background, in order to tell running vs non running tasks in the icon-only taskbar), that's why for me it's ok to have the new graphics for the 5.5 release.

Since a lot of the feedback seems to have some common points, maybe there are indeed some problems with the new taskbar, but nothing that can't be solved with a version that will consider strengths and weakness of the things tried so far, and most important, not now! As while i don't think it's urgent, at the moment we can't see it from enough distance in cold blood.

btw, loud complaints will happen every time something very visible will change in breeze: seems very thankless but one has to get used to.., always has been the case in the KDE in 4.x and 3.x times (that's at least what i have direct experiece of). That's normal and is unfortunately very central in the human nature.
That's also why over the years, after several scars, I came to favor small iterative changes over big overhauls, they tend to be better for the sanity of everyone involved.
User avatar mck182
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notmart wrote:btw, loud complaints will happen every time something very visible will change in breeze: seems very thankless but one has to get used to..


At the same time though we have only 5th Plasma release and many
icons have changed to at least 3rd generation. It's not easy on users
when things change so much for no apparent reason (to the user
anyway) and the user has to relearn the icon meanings every other
release. It's not entirely without reason (especially when icons change
in a regressable way, like the presence icons where white used to be
online and now white is offline) there are complaints.

So I would like us to instead listen to those loud complaints and reflect
upon them rather than just getting used to them (and ignoring them).


KDE Telepathy | Plasma | Plasma Mobile
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Disclaimer:
I firmly believe that the concept of a taskbar is a stupid idea. I've no personal agenda. I do not use taskbars anyway ;-P

That said, I'm not sure that this is a necessary or beneficial change.
The overline could not only make use of the actual highlight color (more expressive, less "washed out") but was also less prone to cause collisions with icons lacking inner contrast (see viewtopic.php?f=285&t=129391#p345885)

The justification seems to be "hey! look over here! an active window!", but it's not an active window, but an active window *representation* (the indirection is why i don't like taskbars ;-)

So basically the users focus is distracted from the actually active window to a representation that doesn't even get him to the active window, but instead hides it on invocation.
I'm not sure whether "attention grabbing" (in contrast to mere indication) is really useful here.

 
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