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VinzC
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:32 pm    Post subject: Help enhancing my favourite icon theme Reply with quote

Hi all.

I have installed this dark icon theme from LaGaDesk and I love it for it's been several years now that I use it and I'd not switch off it no matter what happens :D . My desktop is Xfce and the theme icons is not applied 100% so I'd like to look how to adapt the theme for there are applications that still show coloured icons either as their main icon or in their toolbars or in the notification area.

I want to make this theme awesome. But I lack knowledge of Gtk and how it works. So I basically need to know how to determine where to find the icons I see in the notification area, in any toolbar.

Is there a way to track which file icon a program uses?

Once I know the files I will have to lookup in the icon theme if there is a matching dark icon and do something so that it is found when the application runs. I want my fixes to be non-intrusive, i.e. I only want to make changes in my profile folder. When the whole theme is fixed I will probably copy the whole package into /usr/local/share.

Since the theme uses GTK2 I will probably need to know what are the standard places for
  • application icons (I know that one: .icons/<theme>/scalable/apps)
  • notification area icons (e.g. Exaile seems to pick its status icons from the apps folder too, is that standard, too?)
  • toolbar icons
There are also some particular cases I can't explain so far (here's a screenshot):
  • Geany icon in Xfce menu follows the theme but it's a coloured (the original yellow) when I press Alt+Tab and in the application button tray. Why?
  • OSD notifications seem to not follow the dark theme as they're displayed in a light grey (almost white). I have another Gentoo machine on which OSD notification background is dark grey, almost black. How can I change that?
The screenshot summarizes how my desktop looks like. Notice the coloured icons in the notification tray for pidgin and power manager. Not shown on that screenshot is Orage, which is always coloured and Exaile playing (it is shown idle with the right colour theme). Also note the coloured icon for Geany in the window list tray on top and on the desktop switcher in the top left corner.

I expect this to be a long work and I will need to come back and ask a few times more so a whole lot of thanks lot in advance for any advice, hint or information.
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simon_irl
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a custom icon theme and manually replaced or edited the icons in that as necessary (e.g. custom icons for the panel mixer and the clipboard manager and so on): unfortunately i didn't have the sense to document all the changes as i made them, or use symlinks or whatever to make them obvious, and i can't offer any advice re systematic approaches. usually i simply look at the icon i want to change, search for it visually by browsing the icon folders in thunar, and replace it (or edit it with inkscape or whatever). this is rarely difficult, but if it's not immediately obvious what needs to be changed, you could either equery f foo (if the icon's unique to the applet in question) or grep the source code for icons if it's using standard stuff in hicolor or whatever.

as you say, all the application icons can be changed in .local/share/applications; the menu icons (for the various categories into which your applications are sorted) can be changed in .local/share/desktop-directories, with entries like (e.g. for flash.directory):
Code:
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Directory
Icon=menu-flash
Name=flash
...and of course your custom icons (like menu-flash.svg) go in .local/share/icons.

re the inconsistencies with notifications and so on, i've had to tweak .gtkrc-2.0 sometimes to correct visual problems with xfce applications like the panel since gtk themes are often developed with gnome in mind rather than xfce. i use a dark theme and the panel unfortunately shows black text on a black background in xfce. the following lines in .gtkrc-2.0
Code:
style "panel"
{
bg[NORMAL]="#ffffff"
fg[NORMAL]="#ffffff"
}

widget_class "*Panel*" style "panel"
widget "*Panel*" style "panel"
class "*Panel*" style "panel"

...ensure that everything on the panel uses white text (yes, it's white-on-white, but it works better with the panel background image than white-on-black).

obviously the standard xfce notification daemon has a gui settings tool that lets you choose the gtk theme it uses, but unfortunately i don't know how the osd you're using works. overall i've found that it can be a bit of a mission to achieve nice visual consistency with xfce using anything other than a bog-standard gtk theme (like clearlooks or adwaita), because the panel applets seem to be quite inconsistent with how they do things...and in fact there are some cases where the inconsistencies are annoying even with standard themes. one of the most obvious is with large panels: grow your panel to a nice big chunky size (e.g. for a "deskbar" mode vertical panel) and it can turn into a bizarre mess. some png icons grow and become pixellated; others seem to be stepping through the various available sizes as they should; others just stay tiny. worse, even the *scalable* icons aren't consistent: some grow with the panel, while others seem to be set at a fixed size and won't get any bigger. to get my panel looking nice, i had to manually resize some svg icons (e.g. shrinking them to 75% of their original size) so that they'd look consistent with others.

all in all your mission to get xfce looking nice with your preferred theme may involve a fair amount of messing around, but of course it's worth it to have everything looking exactly how it should :D
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VinzC
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the hints, simon_irl .

I'm just quickly replying to a specific part of your note for now.

simon_irl wrote:
obviously the standard xfce notification daemon has a gui settings tool that lets you choose the gtk theme it uses, but unfortunately i don't know how the osd you're using works.

Exactly. It turns out that I'm using x11-misc/notification-daemon on one machine and xfce-extra/xfce4-notifyd on the other. Fact is both these packages are mutually exclusive. The latter uses the selected GTK theme, like you described, the former just does not. Or more exactly it does but inverts the colour codes (I dug the code). There's a selector tool with notification-daemon (notify-settings, from top of my memory, i.e. not reliable) that suggests two themes, i.r. either default or Slider. Slider is the one that provides rounded corners but inverts all colour codes. The default one, of course, doesn't provide fancy rounded corners even but follows the selected GTK theme. God damn knows why they folks at X11 didn't provide a theme that does both...!

Nevermind.

So far I found out that Xfce notification system comes with more eye-candy and supports notification icons and integration by default with the compositor. All I have to do is emerge xfce-extra/xfce4-notifyd on my laptop and get rid of x11-misc/notification-daemon.

As for the theme application icons I didn't want to touch the desktop files (still to avoid intrusive changes). I didn't even create their local counterpart in my profile in fact. All I did was to create new icon files (or symlink to existing icons) in my theme app' icon folders to match the referenced icon in the desktop file. Sometimes I had to manually edit the desktop files for there are a few in which the path is hard-coded (even worse: it's a forced .svg image :D ). That took me quite a bit of time indeed. But now it is almost 100% consistent.

The rest are details. But most probably the most consuming, like you said ;-).
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VinzC
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here I go! I've fixed my main issues with coloured icons! 8)

For Pidgin: copy icons from /usr/share/pixmaps/pidgin/tray/hicolor/32x32/status/pidgin-tray-* to $HOME/.icons/<my theme>/scalable/status/32/ and change them from the latter location. In my case I wasn't particularly satisfied with the icon set I have for Pidgin so I created my own in grey scale.

For Xfce power manager, I copied some Faenza icons (actually all gpm-* PNG files) to the same target location as above. I then ran Gimp and desaturated those which needed to.

Et voilà, nice grey-ish icons all over my desktop!
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Yamakuzure
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Help enhancing my favourite icon theme Reply with quote

VinzC wrote:
I have installed this dark icon theme from LaGaDesk and I love it for it's been several years now that I use it and I'd not switch off it no matter what happens :D
LaGaDesk has moved to deviantART a couple of years ago: http://lagadesk.deviantart.com/
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VinzC
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Help enhancing my favourite icon theme Reply with quote

Yamakuzure wrote:
LaGaDesk has moved to deviantART a couple of years ago: http://lagadesk.deviantart.com/

I know. I "met" him there in group #LinuxLounge before I knew he had put his theme some other places too :D.
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