Second xfce4-panel devel release, clipman and Greybird releases

  • October 28, 2017
  • Simon Steinbeiß

Most of this post is fairly old news, but still worth to be mentioned.

Also as a small gimmick (and because it was requested in my previous post), here is a gif of the new slide-out animation of xfce4-notifyd 0.4.0

I have read your comments and bugreports and have already been working towards some further improvements of notifyd, so I guess 0.4.1 is around the corner.

Finally, here goes the “historic news”.

xfce4-panel 4.13.1

After a longer waiting time I pushed out another development release of the panel. This one includes among as major change the port to GDBus, which was done by Ali. This means the panel now depends on xfconf 4.13 – recommended is at least 4.13.3 – and is not compatible anymore with xfconf 4.12.

A lot of bugfixes and translation updates accumulated over the last months since 4.13.0, the most prominent one is the fix of drag and drop (one of the bigger known regressions of the Gtk+3 port) thanks to Peter. A nice new improvement is the re-ordering of systray items, which was implemented by Viktor.

xfce4-clipman-plugin 1.4.2

We’ve had a lot of problems with keyboard shortcuts not working reliably with the panel plugin and systray version of clipman so Mike rolled up his sleeves and ported both to GtkApplication. I haven’t had a problem with my keyboard shortcuts since!

Greybird 3.22.5

This release features some small improvements including slimmer CSD/headerbars to save some vertical pixels, initial support for Xfdesktop 4.13 to help all testers of Xfce’s development releases and finally a fix for message dialog buttons.

I have since then been working towards supporting Thunar’s Gtk+3 port better in Greybird, which will be included in the next release.

Pidgin elementary style

  • January 15, 2017
  • Simon Steinbeiß

Status icon theme

A while ago I started working on making Xubuntu’s default messenger app Pidgin look a little more integrated by creating a status-icon theme for it. As Xubuntu relies on the wonderful elementary set for iconography (in a variant maintained by me which is while being distro agnostic slightly misleadingly labeled “elementary-xfce”) the Pidgin theme was obviously done in that vein.

available busy chat offline person away


Smiley themepidgin_elementary

Last week I extended this effort to emoticons and created an initial smiley theme for Pidgin. While it may not support all protocol standards yet it should be pretty usable already. I’m hoping for people to submit some bug-reports on github if they encounter a lack of support for a protocol standard for emoticons.
It makes use of all meaningful emotes provided by upstream elementary.

face-worried face-wink face-uncertain face-tired face-surprise face-star face-smirk face-smile-crying face-smile-big-squint face-smile-big face-sick face-smile face-sad face-raspberry-wink face-raspberry-squint face-raspberry face-laugh face-mail face-plain face-heart-broken face-kiss face-happy face-heart face-devilish face-embarrassed face-crying face-angry face-cool

Download and install

You can get both themes from the same github repository. To my knowledge, neither of them have been packaged in any distribution, so you will have to run the Makefile I included to install both themes.


Caveat: As Pidgin does not support system-wide status-icon themes, you will have to install that theme locally and it will only be available on a per-user basis. Hopefully this will be fixed/implemented in Pidgin upstream in the future.

Install the status-icon theme
make install-status
Install the smiley theme
sudo make install-emotes

Greybird 3.20.1 released (mostly bugfixes)

  • September 13, 2016
  • Simon Steinbeiß
Plank theme (by Sean Davis)
theme for Plank (a simple dock) by Sean

So the first bugfix release for Greybird 3.20 is here and while the changelog isn’t an overly exciting read, there are some goodies in this one!

The single new feature in this – otherwise – bugfix release is a Greybirdy theme for Plank (a simple dock), contributed by Sean.

Other than that I have tweaked or fixed the following:

  • less padding on some widgets, e.g. buttons (makes the whole theme feel more like the original and matches Gtk2)
  • less bold input focus line on GtkEntries
  • improved progressbar theming (no more tiny artifacts when the fraction is 0.00), also fixes LP #1617705
  • tweak the look of OSDs
  • mention librsvg build-dependency in the README



Greybird 3.20.0 (to be clear: with support for Gtk+3.20) released

  • August 16, 2016
  • Simon Steinbeiß

Finally – 5 months after the release of Gtk+3.20 – I’m happy to announce the release of the first version of Greybird supporting it.

Why has it taken so long? – you

The Widget Factory - 3.20
The Widget Factory – 3.20

may ask yourselves – and one reason was certainly me being totally busy with other things, but another one was that Ubuntu didn’t ship it in its 16.04 LTS release (which was a totally sane decision, by the way). Because of the latter it took some time before the issue of having a theme that supports Gtk+3.20 became pressing enough for me to take action.

Anyway, now it is done. (At least mostly.)

While porting the theme (in this case really: porting, not just: adding support for) I also decided to rebase it on Adwaita. Over the last releases so much stuff had piled up, so many quick fixes or patching up visual nuisances to support “the next Gtk+ release” that the theme had become an unmaintainable jungle – I frankly couldn’t have told you which line mattered anymore. While rebasing, I also went from CSS to SASS, which was the only right decision, as I’m sure now after having gone through with it. It made the code so much more maintainable and readable (kind of reminding me of the first Gtk+3 releases, when themes were still a lot leaner in terms of LOC).

So yeah, I’m pretty happy with where this has been going. There are still some rough edges (e.g. progressbars are probably not 100% greybirdy) and things I haven’t added support back for (e.g. elementary’s Granite widgets), but I think what is there now warrants an initial release as things still look consistent between Gtk+2 and Gtk+3 applications.

One final note: Greybird has recently switched to a new versioning scheme, which basically mirrors the Gtk+3 release numbers the theme works best with.