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Salix Design

Posted: 25. Nov 2020, 08:54
by missTell

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 27. Nov 2020, 09:49
by gapan
Hi! Yes, of course, we have considered updating the general appearance of the distribution. The problem is that not many of us have an "artistic" eye, I certainly don't.

I have looked into these themes for example:

To be honest, I personally prefer old, bland and boring. Newer trends like flat buttons and tiny/disappearing scrollbars make me want to punch the screen. I also have an aversion for "dark" themes. But I guess that's just me and most people would rather have something more "modern".

Really, leaving my personal tastes aside, any help would be very much appreciated. Those screenshots look very interesting. I'd like to see what other people think about them too.

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 27. Nov 2020, 13:40
by ibka
personally i don't like dark themes either.
I hate tiny/disappearing scrollbars to.
As long as i have used Salix (from the first release) i have used default themes, mostly because i never found any themes i liked.

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 27. Nov 2020, 16:21
by missTell
Hi gapan, hi ibka!
I'd like to see what other people think about them too.
Me not - it would turn into a democratic discussion - a lot of talking with no results. 😉
The problem is that not many of us have an "artistic" eye, I certainly don't.
For somebody without an "artistic" eye, you guys @salix did an amazingly good job from the usability perspective.
But - it could be easily improved with only a couple of clicks/lines of code more.

See: vs.

Design has a few different aspects, some of which a matter of taste and personal preferences and some of which are not.

"Modern" is a matter of times we live in and the "Flat" is modern.

See: vs.

The problem with "flat" is usually that all themes have very low contrast and surfaces that blend into each other (bad usability). That's however, not a sole problem of the "flat" design, but of the person who made it. vs. vs. vs.

I hope, this doesn't need a comment. 
The first is always the original, the second one after my fix.

Usability is never a matter of taste - that's the matter of science (ergonomics and statistics).
One has to ensure that one uses a good set of presets, according to the needs of the most.

Toolbar at the top/bottom or left/right is the matter of taste, but one has to bear in mind that it has to stay usable.

See: vs.

In this example you can see shut-down at the top, different icon styles mixed together, too tiny objects (clock and desktop switcher), GREEN WARNING ... all easily fixable with few clicks.

I can't help you make a decision if you want to modernize Salix or not, but if you do so, I can make it look modern (flat) and stay usable.

See: vs.

You know where to find me. 🥳

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 27. Nov 2020, 16:30
by galmei
Hi gapan and ibka,

I feel the same aversions. Full agreement to your concerns.

As long as the existing themes are still available, new ones could be added. Someone would have to be found to create, test and maintain them. missTell almost seems to be fighting for these activities.

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 28. Nov 2020, 13:24
by missTell
I can understand your aversions and concerns, but ... "flatastic"! :lol:

It can be both - modern (== flat) and usable.

The problem on the 6th screenshot can be ignored.
The theme is in user home and not in /usr/share/... and so, anything root has "no theme".

Grouped or ungrouped windows is a matter of the number of open windows/programs.
Ungrouped probably works better for 6 windows, but grouped will be better for 60.

On the last two screenshots, one can see the "trick" that helps to find the windows when grouped.

I'd like to send you a VBox VM, so you could try it yourself, but it got difficult.
Since recently, OneDrive doesn't allow anonymous sharing anymore.

I've no server for a 3.5 GB file and don't want somewhere some new account for only 1 file.

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 29. Nov 2020, 19:37
by gapan
missTell, it seems you got yourself a job! :lol:

Those look nice.

Can you point to the themes, iconsets, wallpapers and whatever else you used?

I can also hook you up with some space on if you like. ;)

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 30. Nov 2020, 09:21
by missTell
Those look nice.
I know. 😇 🙃 😉

Can you point to the themes, iconsets, wallpapers and whatever else you used?
Weeel ... Yes && No.

The 7th screenshot (in the previous) is already almost doing it, only the web links are missing, BUT ...

If you'd go to, download the file and used it 'as is', you'd end up with very inconsistent design.

That would be how the 99 % of Linux Distros look like (incl. my Test-VM). The reason is "Pareto's Principle".

No icon set works OOTB and one has to adjust their dependencies first (which nobody's doing).

As you can easily see here:

The icon set is still not working properly despite proper 'cascading' and I'd have to make it work first:
1. Either by searching the proper icons (for my use case) in some other icon set,
2. Or by making my own custom icon, if I can't find anything fitting.

Wallpaper links I don't even have, but I could probably find them again.

With other words, I have to make the icon set complete first and you have to repackage it as new "Antu-Salix".

There is also a range of small adjustments and customizations that has to be done, like:

... and many more details, before it finally approaches the 'almost done' state.

In short - it takes me a lot of work (and some help of yours, to save me a lot of extra time).

I can also hook you up with some space on if you like.
That's completely up to you. My VBox PREVIEW "Salix" is ready for transport.

Until recently, I could get the OneDrive share link, publish it, and anybody could download whatever.
However, since some time, that link shows the file for a 10th of a second and then asks 'anybody' to log-in.

This means, if you prefer OneDrive, I need a valid e-mail address and you MS Account.

Or - you let me upload the preview VM over the ftp - it's 4.0 GB (4'042'855'424 bytes).

The choice is yours.

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 30. Nov 2020, 19:20
by gapan
missTell wrote:
30. Nov 2020, 09:21
If you'd go to, download the file and used it 'as is', you'd end up with very inconsistent design.
That link doesn't work, but I know what you mean.
missTell wrote:
30. Nov 2020, 09:21
No icon set works OOTB and one has to adjust their dependencies first (which nobody's doing).
Trust me, I know. We spent endless hours trying to find and tweak an icon theme that can work as a default and be somewhat uniform across most applications. With most applications and most themes, if you install something that is not directly supported by the theme, the default application icon is inconsistent and looks completely out of place. It completely negates the effort for a "better" icon theme.

No wonder we stuck with that icon theme for all these years.

And don't get me started with the GTK themes. Especially with GTK3 breaking everything with every point release it was a nightmare. Every theme we would try would either:
* not provide a GTK2 equivalent. We need that for a uniform look as there are still lots of GTK2 apps around
* seem completely inconsistent with Qt
* crash certain apps! Yes, that happened too
and don't get me started with dark themes. Most were a complete mess. With some, you would open libreoffice for example and have a black page background, where you typed in black letters.
missTell wrote:
30. Nov 2020, 09:21
Wallpaper links I don't even have, but I could probably find them again.
Please do. We should also be certain about licensing before using them.

Re: Salix Design

Posted: 1. Dec 2020, 09:34
by missTell
That xyzDOTorg was just an example for '', but the forum-SW doesn't understand a joke - with or without url-tags, it turns anything link-like into a valid web-link.

Icon themes inconsistency ...

It's like in politics. If you want a solution any time soon, you need autocracy - democracy is anarchy and people discuss forever, but there's never any solution to the problem.

If anybody is allowed to write a piece of SW, make a 'design' etc. and dispose it into some Linux repository, without anybody ever controlling it or somebody inspecting it and sending the author to the gulag, because it produced such a 'messy junk-ware', what do you expect?

Have you ever checked the 'crime-folder' or the 'horror-folder' (/usr/share/applications) and inspect its contents? Very often, you'll find 'Icon=/usr/share/example/icons/example.png'-like cases with hard-coded paths in application starters.

Gnome is also often 'gnoming' with us and renames 'epiphany' into 'org.gnome-web.epiphany' ... 
Both those things lead to having the icon, but not having it (because it doesn't get found).

There is no consistent icon set, and latest after you start installing any third-party SW, even the most consistent icon set will be/get ruined to some extent. 

The most consistent icon sets ever were those from Mac OS X / macOS, but they also aren't/weren't perfect. If you closely examine Windows, it might look consistent at the first glance, but as soon as you dig into the depths, you'll find some yesteryear icons which seem to be out of place.

The most consistent icon set under Linux WAS Adwaita/Gnome/hicolor that you are using, BUT it also evolved. Please check Adwaita on Fedora 33. The problem? The name stayed the same - the icons not. Good luck with consistency if half of the icons are Adwaita (New) and the rest 'hicolor' (old).

Mate-Brave is basically Adwaita/Gnome/hicolor, with new Folders and a few reworked icons. vs.

Plasma icon set is kind of irrelevant - it is nice, but even on Plasma, all my important applications are still Gnome or 'independent' which look and behave on their own. Consistent inconsistency results.

The most consistent modern AND flexible icon set today is Papirus, but the problem is that just about every 'modern' distribution is using it. That makes it the best worst choice one can make.

Third problem is technological and would PNG/SVG icons and qt-4/5, gtk-2/3/4 ... aurora, murrine, pixbuff ...

The Antü icon set I used for on my screenshots is an KDE icon set and is missing most GTK icons. It kinda works solely due to 'cascading.

Every icon theme has a descriptor file with line like: Inherits=Adwaita,highcolor

The purpose of that line is to tell the system where to look for the icons, if the needed icon is missing.

Here you see two times same, but slightly different - because of cascading. vs.

For example, you'd like to use Paper icon set, but you're missing half of the needed icons.

First you install the Paper and the very similar style Papirus icon sets. Then you change the Paper's 
Inherit-line to: Inherits=Papirus. For every missing Paper icon, Papirus icon will be shown (if it exists).

That's what I'm calling 'cascading' and it's best you can do about the consistency, unless if you decide to produce your very own icon set. That could take a couple of years for a whole team of artists.

This is Paper:

Paper side by side with ZorinBlue-Light (recolored Paper):

Original Papirus (with Pink Folders):

Ignore missing icons - this is what I'll have to fix.


As of wallpapers: is Apple is from MX-Linux 17 or 18 - No idea where do they have it from.

Maybe: ... apers.html is (check the file name!) form MX-19. came on Nokia Booklet 3G with Windows 7 Starter - probably Nokia. is from Rosa Linux Gnome 8 or 9.

are from: and

(Filtered: 'minimal' / 'flat')

Most if not all, are anyway, all over the different wallpaper websites. ... minimalist

Have fun!