Very interesting @ads20000, thanks for posting. I’d heard about the drive to do away with theming and thought it sounded outrageous. After reading that explanation, I now understand why many feel the status quo to be broken.
Really, I was just scared of having to use the default Gnome theme in Ubuntu. But it sounds like it would be possible to solve this problem in a way that includes customisation. Gnome just need a safe API for themes (or even one theme with lots of variables) where distros and individual users can tweak variables like:
- Rounded corners or straight (but you can’t increase the radius so much that it breaks anything);
- Flat vs. non-flat buttons with a few basic styles for each;
- Colours including gradients;
- Fonts (if necessary, these could be offered from a list of tested “safe fonts” in specific sizes);
- Window drop shadows (or not);
- A few global options like left window buttons versus right window buttons.
I’m guessing this could be achieved by making a vanilla theme that’s perfectly functional, and then making sure none of the variables can be changed to the extent that things break?
If it was done well, I actually think many users would probably prefer this to the current CSS hack, because it would be possible to integrate the variables I’ve described into Gnome Tweaks or a Gnome Styles app. That would make customisation possible for the average user.
In fact, themes as we know them probably would die a death in this scenario. Your distro would have its own style settings out of the box, and you’d change them if you didn’t like them, rather than installing a new theme. Or maybe a theme could be as simple as a text string that you paste into a box (and can share online) if you don’t want to fiddle with toggles and number variables individually.
If this happens, then I hope that it happens slowly enough for Yaru to have a long and happy life of its own before the Ubuntu style is eventually recreated using a new system for Gnome themes.
In either case, I would certainly prefer what I’ve described above, to every distro looking the same as every other distro that uses Gnome, which IMO would be very sad :\