Wine theming (follow up)

Roderick Colenbrander thunderbird2k at
Wed Nov 5 07:56:50 CST 2008

For Wine's purposes the WinXP file format is fine for now. It will allow better integration into the linux desktop. Support for all those fancy animation features and others which are offered in Vista would also require major changes in Wine's rendering system. Sure some might not be hard to support in software but offering all those features in an accelerated way in Wine's current rendering mechanism might be very tricky.

My goal with a sample theme file was to give others an impression how theme files can be build (except for using a theme editor which relies on native themes) there is no legal and public method for generating 100% free themes. The files can later on be extended with bitmap data to theme controls. Right now the theme just offers the colors which uxtheme translates back to 'legacy' colors and it basically bypasses 'uxtheme' right now. (which is fine anyway as for plain coloring we don't have to request uxtheme to render the controls which will be a lot faster)


> 2008/11/4 Roderick Colenbrander <thunderbird2k at>:
> > Hi,
> >
> > The way to go for Wine theming is to use Windows XP themes.
> Unfortunately the file format itself is not documented. Based on Wine its uxtheme code
> (BTW our uxtheme is quite complete) and an analysis of some 'free' XP
> themes like 'ClearLook' I was able to write my own theme template.
> The format has completely changed with Vista. It is similar in that it
> is a DLL, but all the theme metrics and stuff are in unintelligible
> binary blocks. Whereas it is possible to read the XP configurations,
> it is not possible in Vista.
> The Vista theming format (from the Platform SDK) adds support for
> theming Menus, so this would allow the menus to better fit into the
> native platform (e.g. Mac OSX). Since the format is largely unknown, I
> doubt Wine will support it.
> > The theme file I made only consists of a 'SysMetrics' section which
> contains the 'classic' color names which can also be adjusted from the Control
> Panel\\Colors registry location. The difference is that in XP Microsoft
> cleaned up the names, so some of the names have changed. The theme is compiled
> using mingw because right now winecfg seems to need a real 'MZ' header.
> A DLL requires a proper image header, irrespective of whether it
> actually contains any code.
> > A lot of work is needed especially in comctl32 and also in uxtheme its
> drawing code to optimize the drawing performance and to properly render
> themes. For this purpose you should use some free native XP themes and try them
> to render properly in Wine. The uxtheme drawing code needs to handle
> margins, locations and positions properly. Right now in case of a button
> comctl32 is making assumptions about text locations and I don't think that belongs
> there.
> This is true.
> There are still some controls (scrollbar and static come to mind) that
> do not have theiming support yet.
> The button theming support only supports normal and disabled states.
> It also does not update properly when the button changes state (e.g.
> when it gains the focus) - it reverts back to the non-themed rendering
> (this requires tests for the user32 button control to validate that a
> WM_PAINT message is sent whenever the state changes; I have the patch
> to change the code, but not the tests).
> The button control is still a work in progress w.r.t. theming, so
> don't expect much at this point.
> I am using the following themes for testing:
>   Zune --
>   Human --
>   ClearLooks --
> In addition to this, StyleXP ( has
> a set of themes that are useful for testing the current capabilities
> of uxtheme and comctl32 (some of the themes don't render correctly,
> and some are slow).
> Also, the theme switching does not quite work, w.r.t. updating winecfg
> to reflect the new theme; this may be a winecfg problem, though, not
> necessarily a uxtheme problem.
> - Reece

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