Linux Interface Project
KDE Color Scheme Control Panel
I added a little color to my local copy of the KDE 3.0
color scheme control panel.
This is the original dialog (taken retrospectively, though, from
my RedHat 8.0 installation) :
I thought it would be easier to pick a color scheme from the list if some visual cue
about what colors it contained was included, so I hacked the KDE panel's list box
to display the color group represented by the respective list item as little filled
rectangles next to the text, aligned for easier comparison:
Fine, it shows the overall color style quite well but there are some shortcomings:
- It's extremely hard, if possible at all, to identify which color box represents a
particular aspect of the color group.
- Individual colors are not weighted nor shown in a meaningful context.
- Because the colors are right-aligned the distance between the text and the
corresponding colors makes it harder to get the association quickly.
- Light colors show up with no contrast to the list box's background, producing ugly
In the next attempt, I tried to put the individual colors into context and weighted them
by placing text colors as small rectangles inside larger rectangles representing the
corresponding background colors. In the case of window manager border (to the right) I show light
and dark colors of the gradiants as distinctly colored half-rectangles.
Getting there, but still not optimal - needs some time to get used to and doesn't address
all of the points raised above. I think the dominating colors come across much better:
As soon as I have a non-production KDE installed on one of the computers I'll try
to implement some ideas to get away with above shortcomings:
- The rational about putting the colors to the right is that they are additional
cues and may safely scroll-out if the list box is too small to contain the longest
text items, yet I'd like to try putting the colors to the left, too.
- As a variant I'd like to use a list style with alternating levels of greys to
distinguish list box lines (like some themes in Gtk+ and FLTK do) or add dotted
lines between the text and color boxes.
- Low-contrast boxes should have a subtle border so there are no visual "gaps".
- The window manager border colors should go to the left and they could be
separated from the control element colors by using wider gaps between the
"sections" or dotted lines.
- Text colors could be represented by a hollow shape (like a hollow circle) or
even a "T" to make the association with "text" more apparent. The link colors
(shown to the very right) could be represented by the letters "LAV" shown in
the respective colors for links, active links, and visited links but this idea may
break localization ...
A mockup showing some of the potential variations:
If a more recent KDE or another system includes a similar idea I'd like to know about
it - maybe you can send me a screenshot. If you have any comments or ideas just drop
me a line.
©Kai Wetzel -
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