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|Originally Published: Saturday, 29 January 2000||Author: Scott Miga|
|Published to: enhance_articles_desktops/General||Page: 1/1 - [Std View]|
Themes are "packages" that change the way you look at certain objects or events. One of the biggest use of themes in linux is on window managers. They change the way the window manager looks, acts, and feels. From changing a titlebar, to altering the way the entire window looks, themes are meant to give you something different, something out of the ordinary to make your window manager less boring.
I am going to focus on four different window managers and their use of themes. How much you can change, how much you can't, and why someone might want to do such a thing. From the ever flexible Enlightenment, to the speedy BlackBox, all have the power to make good use of themes.
Window Maker is based on the NEXTSTEP GUI, and resembles it in a way. It utilizes the dock which can be positioned on a side of the screen, and has one of the highest number of themes available. Besides such things, Window Maker can be changed in colors, background pictures, titlebar graphics/colors, and a slew of other modifications. Generally, the themes are very fast since they are not quite as graphic-dependent as other window managers, but some can be a bit sluggish.
On the other side of the scale, is Enlightenment. Enlightenment is one of the, if not the most, flexible window managers available. Enlightenment themes allow the creator to completely change how the titlebars look, and many other aspects of the application. Since Enlightenment relies heavily on graphics, some of the themes can slow down your processes a bit, but the general goal of the themes are to be fast and light. One main reason why people use enlightenment is because they want the flexibility that themeing in it offers, and step up to the challenge of creating an excellent theme. But if your running on an older box, I would shy away from Enlightenment.
BlackBox is another "fast" window manager which isn't graphic-dependent, but doesn't allow as many changes as Enlightenment or other window managers. BlackBox is programmed in c++, opposed to c, which the majority of window managers are done in. This different code structure allows for faster access to certain functions in the application. And the same is true for the themes, as they are not like any other themes, and allow you to change only certain parts of the window manager. Fast, but able to change, BlackBox is a mixture of window managers.
Themes are the main reason why people use window managers. No one want's to see a dull, plain screen all day, so they decide to spruce it up by using themes and in this way, can change it to look like they want it to. Some people change themes daily while others, like myself, use themes for a long time until they get old and boring. No matter how you use them, themes are a big part of desktops, and help us enjoy the X Window System that much better.