Increase shadow area to 45 pixels (but not grip area)

Bug #733233 reported by Paul Sladen
42
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
light-themes (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Paul Sladen

Bug Description

Email by Mark Shuttleworth to the design list on 2011-02-02:

  Title: Re: 0px window borders and larger shadows
  …
  " * the shadow and the grabbable area are not the same, I think we want about 5px for the magic grabbable area, but a lot more for the shadow.
   * the current shadow in the archive is too heavy, yours is, I think, a
little too light. I'd make it 45px wide and 0.75 opacity and see how
that shapes up

0px borders introduced a regression for metacity and Unity-2D users so was reverted for the moment (see bug #733431); but please continue to discuss the merits of what the longer-term solution should be.

Proposal to re-apply zero-pixel borders:

  Bug #740579 ("Wishlist: move to 0px borders now that Unity and Unity-2D/Metacity can cope")

Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Thanks to njpatel for the proposed merge!

Changed in light-themes (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Paul Sladen (sladen)
status: New → In Progress
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package light-themes - 0.1.8.9

---------------
light-themes (0.1.8.9) natty; urgency=low

  [Neil J. Patel]
  * {Amb,Rad}iance/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml
    Make borders = 0
    - Invisible grip size = 5
    - Shadow = 45.0 radius and 0.75 opacity (LP: #733233)
 -- Paul Sladen <email address hidden> Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:35:01 +0000

Changed in light-themes (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Released
Paul Sladen (sladen)
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Florian Boucault (fboucault) wrote :

That upload introduced a regression in Unity 2D and all cases where Metacity is used:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/light-themes/+bug/733431

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote : Re: [Bug 733233] Re: Increase shadow area to 45 pixels (but not grip area)

Please revert to 1px borders, 0 px is too bland.

Revision history for this message
Neil J. Patel (njpatel) wrote :

Mark, I'd ask you to reconsider as a lot of designs from the design team are dependant on the border-less approach, and I think that trend will continue (having large dark areas at the top of the window titlebar + toolbar/tabs) and then normal coloured "content" areas at the bottom.

The UbuntuOne control centre, Chromium and the imageview really benefit from this as the content is allowed to pop out more. I've attached some examples of what I mean.

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Neil J. Patel (njpatel) wrote :
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Neil J. Patel (njpatel) wrote :
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Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

the borderless windows were looking so great. They actually embraced unity's concept of 'more app, less chrome'. Please get it back.

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William Shand (williamshand14) wrote :

I agree with the above, please get this back in, was an improvement imo

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Chris Bauer (cfbauer) wrote :

I loved the borderless windows. What happened to "less is more", get desktop chrome out of the way and let my content shine through?

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James Denholm (denholm-james) wrote :

Sounds like we need to include both and let the choice be made on a per-user level.

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JLR (artirj) wrote :

I also agree with going back to the 0px borders.

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Brian Fleeger (brianfleeger) wrote :

Aesthetically, the 1 px border looks very outdated, and gives the impression as though the window manager is and theme are just not sophisticated enough to use 0 px. Please reconsider the decision to revert back to 1 px, and use 0 px window border by default.

Revision history for this message
Sebastian Rühl (sebastian-ruehl) wrote :

0px looks awesome... there was extra work done before to achieve this... the 1px border should be optional.

Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

light-themes (0.1.8.10) natty; urgency=low

  * {Amb,Rad}iance/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml
    Revert borders to 1px (blandness, and issues with
    Metacity and Unity-2D). (LP: #733431, #733233)

description: updated
Revision history for this message
James Denholm (denholm-james) wrote :

You know, I can't see how they can be considered "bland". I mean, at least for myself, there's a far greater so-called "wow factor" with them over 1px borders.

Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Oh alright, let's fix the issues for Unity-2D and get the 0px theme
looking stunning for release ;-)

Mark

Revision history for this message
David Klasinc (bigwhale) wrote :

Just a thought ...

0px borders can be confusing if you have few terminal windows overlapping on the desktop. Especially if there is content scrolling inside them and you want to monitor that content.

Border around gnome-terminal windows is, at least for me, quite useful because it separates two windows and it really distinguishes the content. Without the border content can appear seamless and continuous. Very distracting. :)

Revision history for this message
Sebastian Rühl (sebastian-ruehl) wrote :

@David I also had this concerns. But there is still the shadow which can be used to separate them. I attached a screenshot and in my opinion this seems distinguishable enough. So as I understand Mark this should be only a issue for Unity-2D which will then have the 1px border in opposite to the 0px border on Compiz-Unity.

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Chris Bauer (cfbauer) wrote :

How incredible. I think this process will open the eyes of many Ubuntu enthusiasts to the importance of getting involved, especially with the coverage from OMG! Ubuntu.

Revision history for this message
Grey Nicholson (greytheearthling) wrote :

A suggestion to make dark window edges on dark backgrounds more distinct:

I use a borderless theme with a shadow colour of #808080ff (mid grey). #404040ff (darker grey) works well too.

This makes dark edges on dark backgrounds appear to have a light glow, while light edges on light backgrounds appear to have a dark shadow.

You can change this in gconf-editor: /apps/compiz/plugins/decoration/allscreens/options/shadow_color in 10.10; I think it's /apps/compiz/plugins/decor/screen_0/options/shadow_color in natty.

(I also use ADD Helper to dim inactive windows to 85% brightness, which is why Banshee is dim in the screenshot.)

Revision history for this message
manny (estelar57) wrote :

@Greg K Nicholson

looks good

Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Greg: would the solution be to have a dynamically-selected shadow colour? So that the shadow always contrasted/complimented the average window content edge colour?

Revision history for this message
Jim Raredon (decoy-umd) wrote :

I truly think borderless is the way to go. It looked great with the new default shadow set up when it was in the Alpha for a couple days. I would work on getting the shadows better instead of the gtk theme. Either way, this is definitely the "prettiest" release I've seen by far, even in its alpha stage!

Revision history for this message
David Klasinc (bigwhale) wrote :

Greg: Lighter shadow on darker background would help quite a lot. Your screenshot looks acceptable to me. Now the only question left is, how is with resizing all those windows. :)

Revision history for this message
Otto Greenslade (otto-chaotic) wrote :

Yay! I am pleased we have settled at 0px borders :)

I think we want to make the selected window shadow a little more translucent though, as on some machines the contrast looks overly dominant and perhaps a little unrefined/heavy-handed (my Dell Vostro V13 for example).

Revision history for this message
Grey Nicholson (greytheearthling) wrote :

Paul,

That could work. But if we're recalculating every time the window's content changes that would likely (1) cost many cycles and (2) be very distracting.

Hopefully these screenshots demonstrate that a simple mid-grey shadow works well: it provides good visual contrast if the window and background don't already contrast; but it looks subtle if there's already plenty of contrast.

In particular, look at the bottom-right of the Banshee window on this new screenshot—the shadow's only visible at the black-on-black edge.

Notably, it still looks like a shadow in the usual case of a light background. The only case where this fails to ensure contrast is a mid-grey window on a mid-grey background. None of our default UI is mid-grey.

Revision history for this message
Grey Nicholson (greytheearthling) wrote :

Ah. The GIMP compressed away the shadows' subtlety. They look much nicer in real life.

Anyway, try it for yourself :)

Revision history for this message
Doug McMahon (mc3man) wrote :

As far as a shipping default the radius of 45 seems to be a bit too much .
Particularly with window on window, considering many common windows are white.
Personally feel 30 would be a nice compromise between the current value of 45 and previous of 16

Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Doug: have you tried 30 pixels? Would you be able to, and give feedback afterwards?

Revision history for this message
Doug McMahon (mc3man) wrote :

Am using 30 right now, find it to be very nice.
Also am taking into account 2 very different displays, one a 24" desktop and the other a 13" laptop.

The effect of 45 is a bit more noticeable on a 13" laptop (1200x8000) , I tend to have bigger unmaxed windows on the desktop, though I like 30 better on both.

A single window on the desktop, if the background is dark, no big deal, if the background is light the 45 feels a bit 'overdone'

A good example would be to open a text editor window, then click on the logout. The pop up opened up on the text window clearly shows the effect

Revision history for this message
James Denholm (denholm-james) wrote :

@Greg (#27) - Thing is, of course, that if it's not the active window, and hence is behind a shadow, the content isn't going to be changing much.* Hence, to update only upon switching to a new window and upon a finalised window resize might be the optimal method.

*Well, sure, you could leave a movie running behind something, but if that's the case you're not likely actively watching the film (hence, exactly accurate representation of the content isn't really an issue).

Paul Sladen (sladen)
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Doug McMahon (mc3man) wrote :

Well the compiz updates managed to turn the 45px shadow back to probably around the orig. 16
(still think 45 is too much if it manages its way back

On a fresh install on small laptop - before and after the update

Revision history for this message
Doug McMahon (mc3man) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Once we can do 0px in 2d, we need:

 - 0px border
 - 45px shadow for focused window
 - (??)px shadow for other windows (I think it's 16px).

Mark

Revision history for this message
Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

Mark et al: the bug currently open for tracking a re-application of zero-fix borders is:

  bug #740579 "Wishlist: move to 0px borders now that Unity and Unity-2D/Metacity can cope"

and the in particular, the linked merge proposal, which contains additional discussion:

  https://code.launchpad.net/~dashua/light-themes/border-less.metacity.and.fixes/+merge/54439

Revision history for this message
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

Doug, update again, newer compiz package in Natty again sets
unity-window-decorator as default. previous upload of compiz made
gtk-window-decorator as default due to a nasty crash in u-w-d.

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 3:30 PM, Paul Sladen <email address hidden> wrote:

> Mark et al: the bug currently open for tracking a re-application of
> zero-fix borders is:
>
> bug #740579 "Wishlist: move to 0px borders now that Unity and Unity-
> 2D/Metacity can cope"
>
> and the in particular, the linked merge proposal, which contains
> additional discussion:
>
> https://code.launchpad.net/~dashua/light-themes/border-
> less.metacity.and.fixes/+merge/54439
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/733233
>
> Title:
> Increase shadow area to 45 pixels (but not grip area)
>
> Status in “light-themes” package in Ubuntu:
> Fix Released
>
> Bug description:
> Email by Mark Shuttleworth to the design list on 2011-02-02:
>
> Title: Re: 0px window borders and larger shadows
> …
> " * the shadow and the grabbable area are not the same, I think we want
> about 5px for the magic grabbable area, but a lot more for the shadow.
> * the current shadow in the archive is too heavy, yours is, I think, a
> little too light. I'd make it 45px wide and 0.75 opacity and see how
> that shapes up
>
> 0px borders introduced a regression for metacity and Unity-2D users so
> was reverted for the moment (see bug #733431); but please continue to
> discuss the merits of what the longer-term solution should be.
>
> Proposal to re-apply zero-pixel borders:
>
> Bug #740579 ("Wishlist: move to 0px borders now that Unity and
> Unity-2D/Metacity can cope")
>
> To unsubscribe from this bug, go to:
>
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/light-themes/+bug/733233/+subscribe
>

Revision history for this message
Owais Lone (loneowais) wrote :

Hi,

Can we have 0px borders in Quantal now that we don't have to worry about Unity2d/Metacity any more?

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