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!
Here we are again, providing updates on the themes and the general state of the project so far. We had hoped to do a great amount of work during the summer. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it happen. However, we are now ready to tackle one of our biggest tasks to date : port the complete Redmond collection for compatibility with GTK 3.18.
Also, we are considering the option of refreshing the Chromium OS theme by shifting to Flat-Plat as base theme. This has been decided mainly because Flat-Plat provides Chrome OS-like transitions which we would like to integrate. Heavy work must be done to transform the theme, since all colors are stored as HEX values (we prefer on working with color definitions). But since colors are generally very similar, we may also just rework some elements and change assets to match Chrome OS's look. Expect some new things coming to this theme very soon.
One of our priorities is also to progress on our Longhorn collaboration, but as the themes are planned to be based on the XP Zune/Embedded themes, we must upgrade these before any work is made on the Longorn themes.
We have also recieved lots of feedback on the Windows 10 theme, so bug fixes, enhancements and additions are comming very soon to the theme as "Service Pack Releases" or "Update Releases" for macOS theme.
So here's the current roadmap :
Ubuntu 16.04 packs some modern software, including the latest stable (3.20 IS NOT stable, whatever the GNOME team may say) GIMP ToolKit. We had seen this coming, and because we had provided support for it in Fedora 22/23, it hasn't been much of a hassle to fix the remaining bugs.
However, the next-gen GNOME desktop will ship with GTK 3.20, which (almost) totally resets the way themes are rendered. According to this GNOME post, they've replaced many CSS classes with nodes, supposedly to improve speed and to allow further customization. Althought we've got most of the OS X and Windows 10 themes ported, it wasn't as easy as upgrading to GKT 3.18. Due to a lack of time, we have to redefine our priorities on the short and mid-run. Here is the expected roadmap for the next two or three months.
So, it's been 3 months since we started this project, and it's been a lot of work (have a look at the changelog if you're not convinced)! So we decided to release a little more info about this theme that is growing very popular (almost 40K downloads).
1) It's been included in some Linux distros
Yes, due to it's ressemblance to Windows 10 it has been integrated with the Linux Distributions AnemOS and FerenOS (it's seen in a system screenshot). We value the efforts the developers put in making Linux more accessible to the masses and are glad to contribute to their efforts.
2) It's been widely talked about
Since we began analysing traffic to our website, we found out that quite a few webpages had talked about this theme : aside from our pages @ gnome and xfce-look, linuxadictos.com, tuxdiary.com, sempreupdate.org, lemondedestuts.org and nosolounix.com, as well as a link from linux.softpedia.com have furnished a lot of views to, mainly, the Windows 10 theme download page.
3) Video content is already out
Being reviewed helps the visibility of the theme, so it's kind of a good thing.
Xfce preview : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0jAqeIHbNw
Ubuntu 15.10 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W98H1GEchqs
Mate DE : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=056O13Hkgbg&app=desktop
plus an appearance in this comparison video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkB_nmTSlI4
According to a poll from OMG! Ubuntu, our Windows 10 Cinnamon theme got voted among the top 5 best Cinnamon themes. Have a look at the article to know more.
And now, the info we promised :
The theme started when I started with a little project around September 5th, 2015. My purpose was to build a custom Windows 10 theme based on one of my previous themes, the B00merang-Glass theme, from which this group took it's name. So after having kind of finished, I released it, but I wanted a dark theme to use at night, so on Version 0.3 I added a dark variant.
So, that's the theme's story in short words.
Asked by one of our readers on how to get a realistic panel on ubuntu 14.04, we went on a quest to find out how.
Until version 12.04, third-party tools allowed Ubuntu users to move the panel to the bottom of the screen. Nonetheless, in release 14.04 Canonical removed support for this function. Plus, Mark Shuttleworth said that the Launcher won't be movable in next releases either. So, considering we want to provide users with a realistic Windows-looking environment with our Windows 10 theme, we searched for alternatives. Here's what we found :
To install the Xfce Panel on Ubuntu, open a Terminal and type
sudo apt-get install xfce4-panel
Enter your password and you have successfully installed the package!
Now we'll get rid (almost) of the left-aligned Unity launcher.
Ennable the "auto-hide launcher" option in Settings > Appearance > Behavior, and set sensibility to low for the Unity launcher to disappear for good.
To have the Xfce panel launch at startup, open the dash and search for Startup Applications. Once there, create a new launcher and in the command field, enter xfce4-panel. Save the launcher and log out. When you log back in, a dialog will pop up asking wich configuration you want to use.
Usually, the default config is pretty similar to what we want, plus we'll save ourselves a lot of work! There's no problem with starting from scratch, but it's going to take some time. After making our choice, the desktop will look like this :
Of course, you'll have to customize the environment to get one that fits your tastes, but, hey, at least we're not stuck in having this vertical Launcher, right?
However, we want the desktop to look like Windows, so we'll continue with the tweaks. Right-click somewhere on the panel and select Panel > Panel Preferences. A configuration window will appear. Usually, if we chose the default configuration we'll get a dock similar to Docky at the bottom of the screen. We want to get rid of it, so in the drop-down menu, select 'Panel 2' and then press on the remove button.
Oops! The config window just disabled itself! No problem, just select 'Panel 1' in the drop down menu to edit the panel left. We'll want it to align to the bottom of the screen, so we'll set uncheck the 'Lock Panel' option and then drag the panel to the bottom of the screen.
We'll check the 'Lock Panel' now, since we want it to stay at the bottom of the screen. We can also adjust the color and size of the panel, add applets and edit it's behavior (automatically hide panel) from the settings app. I've set it to look a bit like a Windows 10 taskbar :
Almost done! We'll now remove the text from the Window-list applet. Go to the Items tab and select the applet 'Window Buttons'. Next, press on the configure button to set its properties. A new dialog opens. Uncheck 'Show buttons labels' and we're done! Now we'll add a couple of launchers to the panel to access your preferred apps quickly. Back to the Settings Window, in the Items tab, we'll press the add button and choose 'Launcher'. A new launcher appears at the end of the panel.
Right-click on the newly appeared icon on the panel and choose 'Properties'. In the new dialog that pops up, press the add button and choose the desired application. Save your choices and close all Xfce Settings Windows. You can add more launchers following the previous steps. Finally, after having created all the launchers you want, reorganize them so they appear right after the application menu. Do this by right-clicking on the panel, Panel > Panel Preferences and in the Items tab of the config window. You can then reorganize the items by selecting some applet and clicking the arrows to the right of the dialog.
Finally, we're done editing our panel! Here is what it's supposed to look like :
Of course, we found other alternatives searching for 'Ubuntu Panels'. Here are a couple of the results we found :
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