FAQ: Ubuntu new theme

Here is a small FAQ that we’ll complete as we see new common questions being asked.

When will the new theme released?

Simple answer: when it’s ready! Creating a theme, with correct icon assets, is quite long. Especially as we have multiple variants of it (GTK2, GTK3, Shell, Qt…). We don’t want to rush and we have a great theme currently.

It means that if the theme is ready for 18.04, it will be the default. If it still needs works, we keep the current Ambiance theme as default for the next LTS. We’ll make a ppa with instructions on how for people to try and follow this work in progress and it will be made default on a later ubuntu release. We mainly just want to release a quality theme and complete icon set, from day 1!

Does that means all work stop on Ambiance (current default theme)?

No! As there are a lot of current theme fans, this one isn’t going to vanished. Also, as stated in the previous question, there is some chance for this theme to still be the default in 18.04 if the new theme isn’t ready. For all those reasons, we continue polishing and fixing the current theme, and you can help too! Here is the corresponding thread if you want to give a hand: https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ambiance-gnome-theme-bugbears-and-what-can-be-done-about-them/1637/11

Why don’t you just take popular theme X, Y or Z?

A lot of popular theme (United, Arc…) have been suggested. The good thing is that this team is composed of many contributors of those popular (and other) themes, and starting from scratch help having a nice neutral ground, where designers can freely create mockups on.

We also want to stay as close as possible to upstream GNOME theme (Adwaita), and for maintenance purposes, reusing and modifying their sass files. Indeed, we have already been in our own css road and we know it’s hard to keep tracking what upstream is improving on. See for one of the example the suggested-actions class we patched late for 17.10: https://didrocks.fr/2017/10/16/ubuntu-gnome-shell-in-artful-day-15/. Basing on upstream sass files and having an easy way to derive from that will ensure we are always up to date and can notice latest upstream changes.

Why is this section read only for most people?

We want to have focused conversation within the theme working actively on the theme, limiting chit-chatting. However, we want this work to be public, hence the fact that it’s available for reading by the entire community.
There is the other threads to get inputs from the community at least, and I think most of people from this team will keep an eye on it: https://community.ubuntu.com/t/call-for-participation-an-ubuntu-default-theme-lead-by-the-community/1545/80.

How can I contribute?

I think we start to have a great team formed who answered to the first call for participation. Let’s try to get cracking for now and see how far we are in.

How can I test this new WIP theme?

This is covered over on the github project.

Would the icon theme provides icons for third-party applications?

No, Suru won’t provide that. The fact of the matter is that third-party application icons are brands and, like it or not, it’s not a software vendor’s place to override branded icons. Logos like that of Firefox, Skype etc. are copyrighted images and to modify and ship altered versions of logos would be an infringement on their copyright.

Any other question that should be in there? Do not hesitate to request them on https://community.ubuntu.com/t/call-for-participation-an-ubuntu-default-theme-lead-by-the-community/1545/80 :slight_smile: