--- a/hugo/content/help/theming.md Tue Jun 02 00:14:07 2020 -0400
@@ -8,14 +8,20 @@
Pidgin's appearance is dictated by the interaction of three types of theme files
working simultaneously at different levels:
- 1. Operating System theme - affecting all aplications
- 1. GTK theme - that GTK aps use to define their GUI elements and
1. Pidgin's specific theme files.
In any particular case, the level at which theming efforts should focus depends
on one's goal, knowledge of theming of each of the above file types, the
availability of time and desire to sort through numerous setting parameters and
-the state of bugginess of software at that time.
## Example 1: Novice Proof
**Goal**: To give only Pidgin a facelift for variety's sake.\
@@ -27,8 +33,8 @@
installer package which includes a large number of ready GTK themes (engines and
corresponding configuration files) as well as a theme switching preference tool.
-_**Note**_: all package names that follow are for a Win32 system and can be
1. Download the package: gtk2-themes-2009-09-07-ash.exe
@@ -48,30 +54,31 @@
## Example 2: Getting Your Feet Wet
-**Goal**: To change the appearance of all of your GTK aps (Pidgin, Ekiga, Gimp, etc.)\
**Theming Experience**: Minimal\
**Desire to dig through configuration files**: Minimal\
-If you got some time on your hands, understand the basics of GTK themes, just
want a few themes you know by name and like to keep your system lean and mean
-(keep out anything unnecessary), you may want to get the GTK+ theme zip package
and hand pick the elements you need. Just be aware that theme engines and
configuration files are packaged in separate directories, engine names are not
always identical to the config file names, one doesn't work without the other
and so you may end up having to experiment (which is why the installer is faster
-_**Note**_: Due to current bugs, there may not be binary compatibility on win32
-between compile-time and runtime gtk versions, ie: different apps may be
-impossible to satisfy with a single install of gtk. In a perfect world, the
1. Download the theme selector: `gtk2_prefs-0.4.1.bin-gtk2.10-win32.zip`
1. Download the theme package: `gtk2-themes-2009-09-07-win32_bin.zip`
- 1. If Pidgin was not installed in the currently standard way and GTK was
- installed not within it but for all GTK apps system wide:
* Move relevant components from packages to corresponding folders in that
* Unzip themes and pick the ones you want. Configuration files are in
@@ -81,29 +88,29 @@
`libaurora.dll` from the package's `lib\gtk-2.0\2.10.0\engines` to
1. Continue as above for each theme desired.
- 1. Unzip the theme selector and move `gtk2_prefs.exe` to `Pidgin\GTK\bin` subfolder.
## Example 3: The Comedy of Errors
-**Goal**: You spent countless hours in front of a monitor and want to reduce eye
strain. To accomplish this, you need to create a dark theme (light
- text on a dark background) for your entire system - all apps, Pidgin
**Theming Experience**: Little\
**Desire to dig through configuration files**: Present within reason\
-**Time available**: Lots.
If you thirst for knowledge, are not satisfied with off the shelf solutions,
-require maximum control over the appearance of your apps, have a flexible work
-schedule and a very understanding girlfriend - buckle up and hold on to your
-hat! For the author of this passage, to learn how to theme Windows XP,
-Thunderbird, Firefox and Pidgin took exactly one month with Pidgin being by far
-the most time consuming. Why is this the case? Let's go back to the levels at
-which theming is applied.
After you will have created your ultimate dark OS theme file, you will have the
pleasure of seeing that many apps automatically will just have fallen into
-place, ie: without any additional theming efforts - not Pidgin! If your new OS
theme produces white text on a black background, after a default Pidgin install,
you will have the following settings and interaction of the three theme files.
@@ -111,15 +118,15 @@
1. GTK - default theme - "MS-Windows"
1. Pidgin - Buddy List Theme - "Default"
-In this case, OS produces the dark theme; GTK's "MS-Windows" acts as a
"transparent" layer showing what Win OS dictates and Pidgin's default theme
similarly allows to show through what GTK is delivering. The end result is
reassuring - dark windows in both buddy and chat windows with buddy group names
-appearing white on black. BUT, due to a known bug in GTK/GTK MS-Windows theme,
-OS's theme information isn't properly interpreted resulting in buddies within
-groups appearing black on black - ie: invisible! (Everything looks fine with a
-typical "Black on White" theme without the need for any further action but that
To give users more control, Pidgin allows further customization through its own
@@ -128,14 +135,14 @@
would have it, GTK's "MS-Windows" constrains what can be overridden (the only
GTK theme to do so). Thus, theme.xml cannot work properly with it. The end
result is, to make use of the fine grain control of Pidgin's `theme.xml`, one
-must not use the GTK's MS-Win theme. Which is particularly problematic since it
-is the only GTK theme that can show through Win OS appearance - all other GTK
-themes take over and mask it. This, regrettably, means that all the effort
-you've invested in making a beautiful OS theme cannot be seen in Pidgin. It
-also means that since you cannot rely on GUI information coming from the OS, you
-now MUST install a GTK theme pack with a theme selector tool (as discussed
-above) in order to circumvent the only decent looking but malfunctioning GTK
-file that comes with Pidgin.
After downloading a theme pack, you get access to a large number of GTK themes
the manifestation of which you can indirectly affect with theme.xml. Details of