Dear distros,

don't be dicks to the people making your OS valuable in the first place. Stop breaking third party apps by default.

@tbernard I don't fully understand the debate, sorry. Does it include dark themes and high contrast themes? These may be necessary.

@vk @tbernard AFAIK each app have to provide those functionalities, in GNOME what the platform does is providing a global setting to switch all the apps to their dark mode, but the system is not supposed to overwrite the stylesheet of each app. Only the app developers can for their own apps

@alexl @tbernard OK, this is reasonable. Do you have an example application that provides this? It seems that Fractal will not, I don't know for others:

If there is no way to use an app with some form of a dark variant or a high contrast one, I think that this is a more serious problem than fancy colors provided by distros as some users won't be able to use it.

@vk @tbernard I don't really know, sorry. I prefer Qt apps also because of system color schemes. I suppose on GNOME the accessibility features like high contrast are implemented in a different way

@vk @alexl Optionally supporting the dark stylesheet is work. You need to QA it, fix e.g. legibility bugs, add a preference in the app, etc.

In Fractal's case, nobody has done this so far, so it doesn't support it at the moment. Contributions welcome :)

As I said, High Contrast is always available in System Settings.

@tbernard @vk @alexl

> Optionally supporting the dark stylesheet is work. You need to QA it, fix e.g. legibility bugs, add a preference in the app, etc.

This shouldn't be the case, what's the point of using a toolkit like GTK if it doesn't care of things like dark mode? On Qt/KDE apps you can set system color schemes, making all the app having the same colors (dark or not) ...

@alexl If you do any kind of custom UI or styling you need to do extra work to make it work with a dark stylesheet.

This has nothing to do with GTK, it's true for Qt and every other toolkit too. Automatic restyling can only work if you limit yourself to default widgets, which very few apps can or do.

Have a look at these articles for more information on the matter:

@tbernard maybe this is true for GTK. Qt/KDE applications had support for system color schemes for many years, every possible color scheme just works with every application I have ever seen...

@alexl I don't use KDE apps much, but my impression from screenshots is that they mostly use default widgets, or at least more than GTK apps. That could be a likely reason why this is less of an issue there.

Qt apps with lots of custom widgets (e.g. Telegram, the Maui apps) tend to not use system colors though, so I'm not sure this has to do with the toolkit.

@vk @tbernard this was my immediate concern. It seems like a total design failure to allow something and then ask people to not do it. If you need to define the bounds by which a thing can be done, well, that’s what APIs are for.

@vk There is a dark variant of the system stylesheet, but it's up to apps to support it (some support dark only, e.g. for media apps). There's talk about having a "prefer dark" preference though, so this might change somewhat in the future, with more apps supporting dark.

High contrast is supported at the system level, it's an accessibility setting in GNOME Settings.

@tbernard Someone told me they cannot use a white-themed app for a whole day because it is too bright and hurt their eyes. I don't know any medical facts about that, so it's arguably not an accessibility feature. This is why I think it is a good thing for apps to support both Adwaita and Adwaita dark. But anyway, Adwaita dark is not what makes distros "stand out", so it is out of the scope of the document.

@vk Yeah, a dark style preference is definitely possible (though it's going to be a big effort).

Arbitrary system-wide theming without breakage is not, and never will be.

@vk @tbernard HighContrast is the one exception expected to be supported well for all GNOME apps.

@tbernard a third party app developer shouldn't use GTK in the first place.Instead of deploying a dedicated site to complain one can just develop his apps using Qt, that supports themes, it's an industry standard, it's crossplatform (Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS etc etc) and its developement isn't chained to a particolar use case (GTK is developed FOR GNOME ecosystem, GNOME Shell and GNOME apps). With respect for developers of GTK toolkit, it is designed for a certain use.

@tbernard ElementaryOS was once just a theme. Then a distribution that ships with third-party apps and the theme by default. And now look at it.

Telling people to stop theming apps would stifle this kind of creativity. I mean, have you seen this? I'd want more of this, not less!

@drequivalent @tbernard No one asked the users to stop theming whatever they want. The license allows that, you can do it.

@bilelmoussaoui IIRC, this guy is making this into a full-blown DE, and where's DE, there's distribution. And he should, to be frank.

@drequivalent @tbernard the latter never mentioned that the users should stop doing anything they do. The issue here, is imagine that you have prepared a cake, it looks great and delicious (the app in this case) you put in the fridge (new tarball release) someone comes and show that cake but with changes that make it look worse, would anyone accept that?

@bilelmoussaoui what if not? What if it looks better in the context of what they're trying to make after the changes? Would you deny them that right?


@drequivalent @tbernard To be honest, it's often not the case. Distros have already too much on their plate to work on other than testing every change made upstream either on the app level that it doesn't hurt every app they ship.

@bilelmoussaoui Well, that's their job. To collect apps and make sure they integrate well and nothing looks and works out of place.

That said, if they want to do it, they should either do it well, or go home. But screaming to the Sun "don't theme our apps" is... I'm not sure, if it will even work.

Yeah, they don't do it to Telegram or Blender or Atom. That's because no mainstream distro ships with them by default. Telegram is proprietary (I know the client is open. Telegram is still proprietary), Atom is a huge bloat (any Electron app is, fuck Electron) and Blender is not really an appliance app, not everybody needs it.


@drequivalent @bilelmoussaoui @tbernard

The problem is that they don't theme only apps shipping by default, but everything at once.

They certainly don't do it well (@tbernard had an article on why it's unrealistic anyway), and I can give lots of example of broken apps, down to 100% unreadable text (#ffffff on #ffffff) in certain places.

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