Ambiance GNOME theme bugbears and what can be done about them

Small check and radio buttons are a regression from GTK 3.20 and onwards. In Ubuntu 16.04 and GTK 3.18 they had a normal size.

Note that notebook tabs have also regressed since then, you can see in the screenshot.

Can the green " OK " button theme be replaced with something Blue. Even Cyan and Torquise blue are better and less aggressive on eyes than green.

Important issue with Ambiance:

Gnome software doesn’t show search results until a focus/geometry change

I can’t reproduce this with the new Communitheme.

1 Like

@3v1n0 something to track ^ Thanks @merlijn-sebrechts :wink:

Indeed, thanks.

Not sure it should be still an app issue, though. As the theme isn’t per se wrong if it works after a resize.

Bug in the application menu in the header bar in session-ubuntu.

1 Like

I’m using Ambiance on a 13 inch laptop, is there someone like me noticed that the three buttons(* minimize button , maximize button *,and * close button *) not fit with others. Other buttons are like square but these three are round. The worse thing is they are too small and hard to click. While the button size in communitheme and adwata theme I think is OK. You can see from the picture I upload. Last pic is ambiance.

Hey guys,

There are various theme fixes and improvements going on, also based on @paullinux (thanks!) changes, please give this PPA (EDIT: changes are in bionic now, just upgrade) a try while we’re preparing a release.

Details are linked in the bileto ticket:


Some comments:

  1. Nautilus sidebar looks awful The look makes it apear as if the icon is separate from the text, which it is not. Makes hover and selection in sidebar feel laggy - as in the text hovers, but the icon is only selected later. Very odd. Also, because it is a similar shade to the headerbar, it gives the impression you can drag the window by this, which you can’t. The dark shade also makes the ‘eject’ buttons from removable media really standout.
  2. The tab in notebooks is still not connected to the selected notebook page. This looks horrible, and it makes it harder to determine which is the active tab. This really makes the theme look unfinished.
  3. Switches in (some) header bars are still too big - see ‘Extensions’ section in ‘Tweaks’
  4. Checks/radios have a dotted focus rectangle, but other widgets have a solid focus rectangle (some even with a semi-transparent orange fill)
  5. Very hard to determine active element in the stack switcher. (Not sure of the widget’s actual name, but its the joined buttons widget in the headerbar of most applications’ about dialog). Perhaps at least use bold text to indicate the active item? Could also do this for the active tab.
  6. The triangular part of popover menus is not attached to the bubble - the bubble’s border goes around the whole bubble, and the triangle has a lighter border.

Menu icon in terminal with bug

1 Like

I see your point, I also have some concerns, and things can be improved, but the main change has been signed off by design. See
So feel free to discuss it there, in case we can adjust things code-wise.

In general after you get used isn’t so bad :slight_smile:

Thanks for pointing out the issue, this can be fixed in a new iteration. And I’m already on it.

I agree, tabs need love. We need some design guidance though.
Feel free to submit the issue on the said github project, and we can get something.
Any proposal is more than

welcome though.

In my TODO

You mean the linked buttons? Like the ones in nautilus or somewhere else?

ACK, to my list too

@initu-icr mh, I thought I had fixed this before… That’s weird. However it isn’t something default so for now it has lower prio. Feel free to help, though.

Apparently this bug only appears on the terminal. What I can help would be reporting bug because I’m not a desinger, well I wish I was!

Something went wrong with the PPA link…

Changes are not in main repository.

gnome-builder headbar could have some improvements:

@mozit not needed anymore, changes are now in ubuntu

@initu-icr ahh… That’s using mutter-side decorations, so maybe my fix wasn’t covering them


I 100% agree. What’s the reason for changing the appearance in the first place? :thinking:

I old design was waaayyyyy better IMO.

1 Like

I’ve noticed several GNOME themes, such as Arc, change the Activities button to “…”. I’ve read in another thread that Canonical’s position is to keep the “Activities” word on the button but I wonder if it could be styled differently for two reasons, aesthetically and functionally:

  1. For aesthetic reasons, I think it should be moved to the left a bit. Because it sits right on top of the dock, I think it would look nicer if it sat cleanly 100% on top of it. Right now, it’s sitting on top of it, but hanging off, as if it might fall off. Oh no! :slight_smile:
  2. Another thing is that because it doesn’t look like a button it looks as if it is saying that the activities ARE the dock – that “Activities” is the name of the dock and each activity is each application. Somehow it needs to be styled to look like it’s clickable.
1 Like

This can be done for sure :+1:

1 Like

I really really really do not understand the reason for staying with ambiance anymore after such big and really questionable changes. Maybe someone can explain it to me and please do not tell me the alternative (Communitheme) was not tested long enough or Ambiance is “rocksolid”. After this changes it is obviously not.

I don’t have a problem with the Files sidebar.

There is no reply other than the one @didrocks gave you, he basically gets the final say, we’re not on the desktop team, we don’t get to make these decisions. Note that you can join the desktop team and make decisions like this in the future, if you satisfy the requirements (which include experience, so you’ll need to contribute to Ubuntu first, we’re a meritocracy ( /dictatorship, due to the nature of the self-appointed benevolent dictator for life! ) not a democracy):

Sometimes they ask for our opinion and consider the different opinions and use them to inform their judgments, but the final say is entirely up to them. There’s nothing than we can do other than accept the decision and meet the objections so that this doesn’t happen again next time and helping as many as possible to get onto the Communitheme (i.e. helping to make the snap, promoting the snap, developing the theme, holding the desktop team to account on their promise to get it in 18.10 early in the cycle (remember they never promised that it would be default in 18.04, it was always only a possibility)).