Usability: WineCfg Part 1 -- Desktop Integration tab

Owen Rudge owen at
Wed Oct 8 13:25:36 CDT 2008

Hi all,

> Reading up on the wineconf WWN issue, I noticed that it mentions
> usability and winecfg. Therefore, I decided to dig up my RFC relating
> to some ideas I had about winecfg that I sent to the list.

Ah, lovely. This is something I'm planning on doing some work on, once I get 
a bit more free time.


I've currently got some code that splits the Appearance and Theme sections 
of Winecfg out into separate control panels. I've not yet submitted this 
code (I hope to do so relatively soon), but your suggestions can certainly 
be incorporated into them.

> 1.  The "(No Theme)" text is replaced with "Wine Default". No theme
> does not make sense -- there is a theme, it is just the default one
> that Wine is using.

That makes sense.

> 2.  The "Install theme..." button is now "Load...".
> 3.  There is a "Save..." button to save a users theme modifications.
> This makes it easier to create custom themes (especially colour-based
> themes).

That's a good idea, indeed.

> 4.  There is a divider between the theme and appearance settings. This
> is to make it clearer that these are separate, but related.

Currently, my control panel code has these split onto separate tabs. Perhaps 
some sort of text explaining the link between the two may be a good idea 

> 5.  The "Item" list field always has an item selected (currently does
> not select an item by default). This helps keyboard navigation.
> 6.  The "Font" button has an elipsis at the end. This button brings up
> another dialog, so should have an elipsis.

Sensible suggestions indeed. It's little things like these that are 
important when designing a user interface, so thanks for picking those up. 

> == FOLDERS ==

Just for information, my current plan is for this section to remain within 
winecfg. But your changes would certainly be good to implement, too.

> 1.  We may want to provide a set of colour themes (e.g. Windows 95,
> Windows 2000, Ubuntu Human, ClearLooks, KDE Oxygen) to provide a
> better experience for the user by default - i.e. not just have the "No
> Theme" option initially.

Well, the way Windows does it is to have themes, and colour schemes within 
those. For instance, the Windows Classic theme has all the old colour 
schemes that have been in Windows since Windows 3.x, whereas the Windows XP 
theme has the different variations of "blue", "silver", etc. The 
desk.cpl/winecfg code supports themes to a certain degree, but I don't think 
it has support for the colour schemes (from memory). This is something that 
I can work on once I get my basic code finished.

> 2.  We may want to be able to load a theme using the command line.
> This would allow - for example - distributions to setup Wine with a
> theme that matches their desktop, providing a more integrated
> experience to the user.

There are various configuration-based things that we want to be able to 
control by command line (appearance, uninstallers, etc) - this was brought 
up at WineConf in the desktop integration talk. It would probably be best to 
try to unify such things as much as possible - a command-line based 
extension to winecfg may be most sensible. This will require a bit more 
thinking, based on what sort of things we are going to want to configure.

> 3.  We may want to have a "Use the system's appearance" checkbox to
> enable Gnome/KDE/other integration, so that the colours and/or
> appearance is picked up from (and updated with) the native Linux
> environment. This would go above the theme drop-down.

Something like that may be sensible, or alternatively, have a "(No theme, 
use system appearance)" item in the theme drop-down (which would then 
disable the appearance tab, or replace it with a "to modify appearance, 
please use your window manager's configuration panel" message).


Owen Rudge 

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