Small announcement in our planning: we're stopping development on MTAC and will be switching to SASS/SCSS for quicker and easier compilation and updates. This will also allow for enhanced code portability between our 34 (that's right!) themes.
For the next 1-2 weeks our efforts will be focused on adapting what's already available to SCASS and, if possible, add some tweaks and fix some bugs.
Not much to say this month. Development has been focused on porting more themes to MTAC (more precisely, Windows 3.x and Windows 9x) and planning our next moves.
We have decided to fork a new version of Windows 9x and call it Windows Server Classic. Why? Have a look at both of these pictures:
See the color différences? You may think it's not a big deal. Well to us it is! As it has been proved by the subtle color differences between the Homestead and Luna themes, themes otherwise very similar in look and feel, we like to emulate the looks of OSes in the closest way possible. The Server Classic theme will cover a wide array of Windows versions, since it was included in all of these versions:
Since Classic & 9x will share almost the entirety of the code, we will have to re-write and re-coulour some assets to ease the portability of elements between both versions.
The new Server Classic will join the new Windows Server 2012 theme into a new sub-class called Windows Server in the Redmond Collection page.
As for our plans, we expect to port all our themes to MTAC*. This is due to a more restrictive schedule and because most of the patches applied to macOS or Google themes have to be ported back to MTAC in a time-consuming procedure. Since all three codebases are very similar (we counted less than 20 significant différences), porting them in will be very simple. However, some small changes are not Worth the trouble of creating new nodes in MTAC. So we will add an if syntax to the compiler to deal with these small différences in styles. Maybe some nodes may be reintegrated in the code to reduce the maintenance of nodes.
When all themes will be correctly ported to MTAC and all particularities have been restored, we will start development on the new themes you chose. Based on current poll results, this is the order in which we will develop the new themes:
Also, some small scripts have been added to the MTAC script pack to easily replace some class instances in all the code.
This concludes the monthly newscast. Have a nice summer and thanks for using our themes!
* For newcomers, MTAC (which stands for Modular Theme Architecture and Compiler) is a tool we developed to adapt patches and fixes to a wide array of themes. Think of it as a SASS/SCSS implementation, but using BASH as interpreter instead of a custom complier
This summer we're expecting some big new themes! Following the recipe to base new themes on existing ones (maintenance!) we plan on making at least 2 new themes before the end of the year! This time, we'll proceed according to our user's preferences! Please take part in the poll at the end of the page.
We are also planning on reverse-engineer our Windows 10 themes into the MTAC, to avoid syntax errors that GTK doesn't like (see here). MacOS Cheetah and OS X Leopard will make a comeback in short, accompanied by the classic Mavericks theme.
As a side project, I may start a console-looking or an all-black theme (kind of like B00merang Blackout but based on MTAC)
Also, if you haven't checked our Fuchsia theme, here's how it's going:
As always, we've had more time to work on the project these last two weeks. A lot of bugs have been fixed and a new version of the Modular Theme Architecture is out (v0.5 - increased support for GTK 3.20). Because of this, the MTAC-based themes (XP, Longhorn, Unity8, B00merang Themes) are now fully compatible with GTK 3.20.
The Unity 7 theme has been repurposed since Canonical is apparently working on making ambiance work for Ubuntu 17.10. Therefore, we removed our GTK theme but left the SHELL themes (Cinnamon, Gnome-Shell) intact.
We expect to finish the adaptation of Longhorn Jade, the last remaining theme of the old Aero codebase (uncompatible with GTK 3.20) to 3.20. Then, maybe the Windows 3.x and 9x/Classic themes will also embrace the MTAC structure, since they have a lot in common with Whistler and Luna.
Have you heard of Fuchsia, Google's new Universal OS? If not, you may have the first contact with it through one of our themes! We are indeed planning on making and releasing a theme that will look as close as possible to what is currently available. We will update it when new details of the new interface are revealed.
Well, this concludes our monthly newscast, thanks for choosing B00merang and happy summer to all!
Like everybody in the Linux world (or almost), we've been quite surprised at Canonical's decision to terminate the Unity Desktop Environment. On our development list, an Ambiance + Unity lookalike was out of the question, until recently. The change of direction is mostly due to the end of development for the two main Ambiance forks: the RAVEfinity and the Iain Lain forks are all deprecated and collaborator bluedxca93's version is what we used on our brand new Unity 7 theme. Our goal for this project is to make the Ubuntu appearance easily applyable to the GNOME desktop. We've also produced a Unity 8 theme, based on the works of brahimsalem (gnome-look).
Alas, we've had to terminate a few themes on our side too. The Longhorn Aero 5048 and Beta Aero Basic themes have been moved to the graveyard, just like the OS X Leopard theme. The reason for this move is quite simple: we can't maintain more than 30 themes, and already these 3 were kind of left on their own.
Like we said on our previous post, we've ported our B00merang themes and most of our Longhorn themes to our custom MTAC architecture (Longhorn Jade is on its way). This will allow us to keep our batch of themes updated without having to manually apply patches to every theme. Some bugs have appeared for the GTK 3.20 compilations (mostly related to border images) but they will be easy to fix.
This concludes or monthly news.
The B00merang Project has released a couple of tools, based on our own custom scripts for theme creation. We also released a new simplified version of our TransPack script (R7) that deletes some errors and makes installation easier and less cluttered.
Lately, we've been working on adapting more of our themes to our MTAC (mainly Longhorn themes and B00merang themes). Progress is slow, but we're slowly moving forward.
We also issued some corrections to the Windows 10 themes, added Cinnamon 3.2 support to the Chrome OS theme (vertical panels is supported too) and separated the Longhorn Icon theme into it's own repository (Android is also a standalone theme now)
Our recent shift to script publishing is not permanent but it was necessary in a time where we struggle to develop all our themes in an efficient way. These tools that we created will help us get the project going even with time constraints.
New material should be pretty limited in the coming months, but expect a revamped B00merang Collection (adapted to the Modular Theme Architecture) and a freshly remastered Longhorn Collection (Vista-based themes). For the users fond of round shapes, we may be re-releasing the B00merang Round theme, but it depends whether we manage to adapt the B00merang codebase to the new MTAC.
See you soon guys!
As time goes on and we push more and more themes (mainly OS X ones), some other projects we have are getting less attention (Windows 10, XP, Whistler...). so instead of just removing them, we've asked for help. the results will be a new Windows XP pack when CinnXP creator will have finished development on his themes. Meanwhile, we continue to offer our WinXP theme pack, and though multi-DE compatibility is not yet defined for the long term, the future XP themes should support a wide array of DEs.
We are also working with him for a new modular architecture to create icon themes (mainly, the new LinXP icon theme, based on WinXP and YlmfOS icon themes). Work has already started and we plan to offer a superior icon resolution than previous icon themes thanks to icon vectorization.
The B00merang Project will collaborate with Github user LinxGem33 to create a flexible and modular theme architecture and base for multiple derivatives. The base theme is called 'Neon', but we are still in very early development stage. More info will be given as the project continues in the development process.
Also, we announce the freezing of the development cycle for homebrew themes. Don't worry, already available themes will still get support & updates, we are mainly stopping to create new themes, at least until we take some of our workload off (CinnXP will remove the equivalent workload of seven (7) themes). Also, since we've been releasing a lot of similar themes (Cheetah, Leopard, Mavericks) it is unevitable some will be less popular than others, and we will have to drop support for them to focus on 'popular' themes.
Development of new themes is stopped for two main reasons:
So, if you want to help, don't hesitate to contact us!
Since our last update, many things have changed. The Redmond and Longhorn Github repositories are now under the project's control, a new maintenance method has been adapted for XP themes (now a separate bunch of themes from the Redmond collection) and we've been polishing a LOT our macOS Sierra theme. The Android theme made it into final stage (available here), the Chrome OS themes are now organized under the 'Google Themes' page and an OS X Mavericks theme was temporarily available during the holiday season.
So, what could happen in this new year? The project will celebrate it's second anniversary - we'll have some surprises for our followers - and some other themes could appear, now that 'effective maintenance time' has been reduced with our new 'Modular Theme Architecture' used to create the XP themes. Options are: iOS theme, OS X Mavericks (add support) and a JDE theme (Java Desktop; no, I'm not an Oracle/Sun guy, I just like the overall appearance of it).
Update: JDE theme will not be produced after all
Maybe expect some activity on the side of Icon themes, as we've now got help to further develop the WinXP theme, and possibly the newly available Se7en Icon theme, so be alert! (Maybe B00merang Round will do a comeback too, just maybe...)
Meanwhile, we invite you to explore and enjoy our current artwork. Oh, and happy new year :)
Great work has been done these last weeks! Almost all Redmond themes are now available for GTK 3.20 and later! They join the already 3.20-compliant macOS, Chrome OS and Windows 10 themes.
Some new themes are waiting to be released. Among them:
Update: B00merang Fluor pack has been abandoned early in the planification phase
We're also planning on heavily improve already available themes, such as the Windows XP themes and others. We also plan on bringing some transparency to the macOS theme, like the Arc theme does (only headerbars & sidebars).
All in all, we plan on enlarging our theme lineup, but because of time, personal, and health restrictions I won't be able to maintain more than 30 themes at a time. However, you can be shure we will do your best to keep our work updated and compatible with a bunch of Desktop Environments.
See you next month!
For the past few months we weren't focused on creating new themes. Now we've covered that lost time by releasing or updating our complete lineup! Some themes (Round & Square) have been left behind, while others (Blackout) were re-purposed in other projects (notably, System 7 [beta theme] and Metro Dark (black Windows 10 theme), and yet others have been released (Solarized)!
Notable upgrades are the XP Embedded and Zune variants (now they really look like they sould!) and the Chrome OS theme, based on the original Chrome theme!
Also, we have been working hard on the Longhorn Theme pack, in close collaboration with Collaborator Feren, and we are proud to announce two pre-Release Candidates: Jade and Plex.
We will now focus ourselves on the Whistler Watercolor (3.18) theme and the porting of Chrome OS to 3.20
New Icon packs will also be supported, among them the revamped WinXP Icon theme!
Thanks for following our theme with close attention, see you next month!