The theme formerly known as Gummy

Gnome 2.20 has a new Clearlooks version, known during development as Gummy. The main new features are blue scrollbars, fading tabs and rounded toolbars.

Clearlooks (gummy)


If you don’t like the new theme you can use ClearlooksClassic, or just disable the single features you don’t like. To do so, just open (or create if it doesn’t exist) the .gtkrc-2.0 file in your home directory and set the options you prefer:

style "my-clearlooks" = "clearlooks-default"
    engine "clearlooks"
        colorize_scrollbar = TRUE  # TRUE = blue scrollbars
        menubarstyle       = 2     # 0 = flat, 1 = sunken, 2 = flat gradient
        toolbarstyle       = 1     # 0 = flat, 1 = enable effects
        animation          = FALSE # TRUE = animated progress bars
        style              = GUMMY

class "*" style "my-clearlooks"

Animations work only if --enable-animation was used at configure-time.

If you want the old style for notebook tabs use:

style "my-clearlooks-notebook" = "clearlooks-notebook"
    engine "clearlooks" 
        style = CLASSIC

class "GtkNotebook" style : highest "my-clearlooks-notebook"

Personally, I like blue scrollbars and toolbars, but I’m unsure about fading tabs. Nevertheless, I’m probably going to disable rounded toolbars as they are ugly when there are more bars (such as in nautilus or in file-roller) and in Evolution (the background of the “New” button is flat).

Two toolbars in file-roller

Evolution and Clearlooks

25 thoughts on “The theme formerly known as Gummy

  1. One thing that always strikes me as ugly is the top edge of a tab touching the toolbar above it. Firefox is the only app I know of that solved this problem elegantly. As for Gummy, the fading tabs look like a Java hangover, and the rounded toolbars are so WinXP/Office 2003. Why? Why? Why?


  2. I agree with Dylan about the top edge of the tab touching the toolbar. It’d be nice if the tab background looked depressed like in Firefox. also, glad we can change colours easily because i prefer the classic shade of blue. Other than that the new theme is nice.


  3. Aside from the tab fade, looks nice.

    Though I think the problem with Linux themes is now less to do with the elements style. With Compiz becoming more popular, I think we need to start looking at reducing the window padding and borders. When you use shadows, all borders and window outer padding do is increase visual noise. The new theme’s toolbar gradient also seems to cut off a few pixels before the left and right sides of the window — it should just fill the whole lot.

    There are still an unreasonable number of lines spaces very close together when using tabs, especially with the status bar on that screenshot. And the scrollbar is too far away from the scrollable element (they should preferably look like they’re connected together).

    As for tabs implementation, Adium on OS X is quite a nice looking implementation of tabs, though it is tabbed from the bottom of the window.

    šŸ™‚ Still nice to see the Linux desktop coming along though.


  4. I seem to remember Clearlooks having a blue scrollbar pre-2.16, but it was removed because of negative user feedback (of Clearlooks and Windows XP). Is history repeating itself?

    – Brian


  5. I can’t really understand the button mania either – how everything should be like the real life physical buttons. The bulkiness, bevels, and 3dness are all unnecessary really as we can darken/lighten items, change their colours, opacity, etc…


  6. The toolbars are awful, and the tabs far too Java-like for my taste. Thanks for telling me how to switch them off!

    As for the background coming up flat in Evolution’s toolbar behind the new button, I really cannot believe GNOME 2.20 was released with that being known about and not fixed. I saw that last night and thought surely that’s a Gutsy prerelease bug and will be gone, but if it’s in GNOME 2.20 final… well. I’m disappointed.


  7. @Brian Nickel:
    The old blue scrollbar was glossy and too eye-catching, this is far better.

    You have to login again (or just kill gnome-settings-daemon).


  8. Thanks for telling us how to customize the theme.

    IMO the colored scrollbar attracts much more attention than a scrollbar deserves. This is visual clutter and should be disabled by default. The rounded tool-bars simply don’t work well with many applications and should also be turned off. Spiffing up the notebook tabs is fine but IMO the theme overdoes it. More subtle shading would have been preferred.

    Overall I have to say that this is not any longer a clear looking theme. But fortunately the style can be adjusted and with the help of this blog entry, my desktop now looks better than ever šŸ™‚


  9. While we’re on the subject, is there a way to change the way the top and bottom of menus look to be far too close to the items? Could do with a few pixels of spacing there I feel.

    Where do I find information about what style properties a theme engine supports?


  10. In case anybody else finds it as irritating as me that the menus seem to be sliced off at the top and bottom, you can add some padding by sticking

    GtkMenu::vertical-padding = 3

    in your custom style based on clearlooks-default. Adjust the number to taste, of course.


  11. Hi guys, here’s the Author.
    I’m glad to receive positive feedbacks, when you write in your free time and you’re not payed a “thanks” is just what we need to read.
    It’s important for me, really. Otherwise I can just run out with other projects.

    they were designed to look more visible, as we (gnome artwork team) decided that it is important to have a fast notice of the scrollbar position, for example in firefox/gedit, office documents etc etc. They give also the feeling that “hey lclick me there’s something below!”
    As OsX for example (blue scrollbars, loved by thousands of men)
    About padding… no fixes IMHO. And is is indepentend to the theme (see Crux or other syles)
    Yes I know, with 3 toolbars and a listview they’re not wonderful, but use them everyday with gedit, rhythmbox, firefox, epiphany, evolution, eog, evince etc etc etc and you will notice the great improvement in visibility… And yes, I love them.
    “new” button is an Evolution bug… not a problem of mine. I’ve filed in the bugzilla 3 months ago but not fixed by anyone.
    3d-ish critics:
    Is this a church like “vi vs Emacs?” Probably, but Jimmac you can use ClearlooksClassic if you don’t like these, or try the -flat- Inverted.
    It’s just useless to rant about tastes, the important thing is to give the user the FREEDOM to change what he wants, to use a flat theme, if he prefer. You can use Classic if you like, but don’t criticize my _free_ work. Probably you’re payed by Novell for your job, mines is for the love to freedom and opensource, and trust me there’s nothing _worst_ than receive _awful_ words about your (mines) (i repeat) _FREE_ contribution.


  12. @Andrea: your work is appreciated of course, but that doesn’t mean we can’t say we don’t care for it.

    As for the Evolution toolbar drawing bug, fair enough that’s not your fault, but GNOME release team are supposed to make sure things like new themes work with the GNOME desktop apps properly, aren’t they?

    That said, I shouldn’t criticise too much with my extremely minimal involvement in the project.


  13. I find the “Java like” tabs derogating comments pretty funny. (I like them, but that’s not the point.) What they mean is of course the Metal look & feel. However in Sun Java releases from the past year or two, you can enable the GTK+ look & feel which simply uses whatever GTK theme engine you happen to have to theme its widgets!


  14. Just FYI. That Evolution toolbar bug has been there for a very very very long time. Evo doesn’t use a normal toolbar button, or follow normal toolbar practices for their custom widget.

    And this isn’t the first time it has been reported, and not fixed. Smooth themes with gradient toolbars have had this problem for 3+ years now. IIRC there was a custom patch that fixed it once, maybe 2 years ago, yet here we are.. Same problem.

    While this _should_ be an important fix history has shown the evo people just don’t seem to care, and I cannot fathom it. It is one reason why most Smooth themes from Glider on finally just gave up using gradient toolbars. And is the sort of problem with strange apathy in the gnome development community which led me to give up on theming and theme engines entirely. YEARS for a highly visible bugfix?


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