How about a dark GUI for TC?

English support forum

Moderators: sheep, Hacker, Stefan2, white

Post Reply
User avatar
petermad
Power Member
Power Member
Posts: 8518
Joined: 2003-02-05, 20:24 UTC
Location: Valsted, Denmark
Contact:

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *petermad » 2019-01-23, 17:15 UTC

I see only one apparently hardcoded white color
But there are several hardcoded black items (about half of the text in the Configuration dialogs) - see: viewtopic.php?p=345951#p345951
License #524 (1994)
Danish Total Commander Translator
TC 9.22a 32+64bit on Win XP 32bit, Win 7, 8.1 & 10 (1903) 64bit, 'Everything' 1.4.1.935 (x64)
TC 3.0b12 on Android 6.0
Get: Extended Total Commander Menus | PHSM-Calendar

User avatar
j7n
Member
Member
Posts: 149
Joined: 2005-08-07, 21:56 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *j7n » 2019-01-23, 17:37 UTC

On my XP system all text on the configuration panel (9.21a) changes in response to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Appearance\New Schemes\nn\Sizes\0\Color #18

And the spinner and listboxes to: Color #8

I do not know how to apply the color from the other key where it is updated and applied by Display Properties.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors\ButtonText

I suspect that it no longer works on Windows 7 because the radio buttons and labels are different somehow, and that maybe nothing can be changed within TC, short of using custom controls in their place.
#148174 Personal license
Running Total Commander v8.52a

User avatar
krstatzar
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 84
Joined: 2005-03-03, 01:52 UTC
Contact:

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *krstatzar » 2019-01-26, 00:04 UTC

Would really like to see TC supporting dark mode. Maybe it's time for TC to get total GUI makeover but keep the same functionality since that is the reason I use it all the the time :)

User avatar
Usher
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 459
Joined: 2011-03-11, 10:11 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Usher » 2019-01-26, 05:53 UTC

petermad wrote:
2019-01-23, 17:15 UTC
I see only one apparently hardcoded white color
But there are several hardcoded black items
Yes and no. Some colors aren't user defined, but they still can be easy changed (though maybe not all of them). I can explain how it works in Windows XP.

There are at least two layers of color config in Windows XP:
  • User defined - it's called "theme" and is fully configurable. Full theme config (color, sounds etc.) may be saved to a text file about 8 KB large. Themes are managed by "c:\windows\system32\themeui.dll" lib which passes user defined settings to the system layer.
  • System layer - is called "Visual style" and is defined by *.msstyles lib, kept in "c:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes" subdirectories. Windows XP uses only "Luna" style with 3 variants (Homestead, Metallic, NormalColor), each with its own shellstyle.dll kept in proper "c:\WINDOWS\Resources\Themes\Luna\Shell" subdirectory. Files luna.msstyles and shellstyle.dll contain other colors defined by visual style and its variants, and some colors defined there aren't changed by user theme - that's why some elements of system controls observed by @petermad and other users keep black or white color.
There's one catch - style definitions are not fully hardcoded. They are kept in above mentioned libs as text resources: ini files (about 64 KB each) in msstyles and css files (3-8 KB) in shellstyle. You can use ResHacker or other resource editor to save those settings to separate files. Then you can easy edit them even with Notepad. If you put edited files together with proper lib they will probably be used instead of internal resources.

In newer Windows you can expect more libs involved in both layers, settings split into other sections kept in other libs and some settings really hardcoded with no easy way to edit/change them.

In Windows XP you can also directly edit libs, they aren't digitally signed with certificate. But 64-bit Windows in most cases won't allow such action, so if some colors in visual style are really hardcoded in binary files, you may be forced to find and use another visual style…
Regards from Poland
Andrzej P. Wozniak

Thany
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 251
Joined: 2003-09-30, 09:20 UTC
Location: Netherlands

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Thany » 2019-02-02, 00:57 UTC

As of Windows 10 version 1809 (I got it today!) even more applications are dark mode enabled. The classic Windows explorer is included.

But also, a third-party classic Windows application: StartIsBack++. Its configuration panel is classic windows stuff, and it responds very well to dark mode. I can name a plethora of other applications that are dark, or can be set to dark.

It seems to me that it's just a matter of letting the OS do the drawing, and take OS colours.

Here's Windows Explorer in dark mode:
Image: https://imgur.com/SZVXmEQ

And here's StartIsBack++ config in dark mode. Please note, this application has NO dark mode setting!
Image: https://imgur.com/uguLrfP

User avatar
j7n
Member
Member
Posts: 149
Joined: 2005-08-07, 21:56 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *j7n » 2019-02-02, 16:54 UTC

Usher wrote:
2019-01-21, 21:57 UTC
Many devs use Qt Framework which makes creating multisystem apps easier, but it's a really huge thing…

You can look at Nomad.NET. It's written using .Net Framework. Well, NOW dotnet is just a part of Windows. You don't need to install it separately.
From user perspective, Qt is much better with all the required DLLs self contained in the application directory. Microsoft can patch something in NET and cause it to stop working with old software. Both of the frameworks are huge, and have a startup delay on less than current computers. I only download and install once, unless I was a beta tester, so the package size is less important.

But seriously, changing the programming language to switch UI colors (usually to worse ones) is a strange reason. Nothing beats Delphi in size and compatibilty.
#148174 Personal license
Running Total Commander v8.52a

User avatar
Usher
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 459
Joined: 2011-03-11, 10:11 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Usher » 2019-02-02, 22:27 UTC

j7n wrote:
2019-02-02, 16:54 UTC
Microsoft can patch something in NET and cause it to stop working with old software.
Wrong. That's why SxS folder exists. The system doesn't delete older libs, they can be used if needed.
j7n wrote:
2019-02-02, 16:54 UTC
Both of the frameworks are huge, and have a startup delay on less than current computers. I only download and install once, unless I was a beta tester, so the package size is less important.
Dotnet framework is currently a part of OS. You don't need to install it and you don't need to wait. Libs may be preloaded on OS startup if needed. However, there is a huge delay when installing dotnet update…
j7n wrote:
2019-02-02, 16:54 UTC
But seriously, changing the programming language to switch UI colors (usually to worse ones) is a strange reason. Nothing beats Delphi in size and compatibilty.
I know. It was just en example to show that skinnable programs are still available. Want Delphi - see Unreal Commander…
Regards from Poland
Andrzej P. Wozniak

User avatar
Dalai
Power Member
Power Member
Posts: 6701
Joined: 2005-01-28, 22:17 UTC
Location: Meiningen (Südthüringen)

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Dalai » 2019-02-02, 23:40 UTC

Usher wrote:
2019-02-02, 22:27 UTC
j7n wrote:
2019-02-02, 16:54 UTC
Microsoft can patch something in NET and cause it to stop working with old software.
Wrong. That's why SxS folder exists. The system doesn't delete older libs, they can be used if needed.
It wouldn't be the first time an update (for Windows and/or .NET framework) breaks .NET framework, causing applications depending on it to stop working correctly. Add the "reliability" of Microsoft's updates over the last three years, and you come to the conclusion that you don't want to depend on frameworks unstable and unreliable like this.
Dotnet framework is currently a part of OS. You don't need to install it and you don't need to wait. Libs may be preloaded on OS startup if needed.
Well, none of these points say anything about performance of applications depending on .NET framework. I only know one application that is fast (FB-Traffic), but a lot of them are really slow (especially on startup), and thrash the disk when using them (Mipony, WMI Multi, Advanced Date Time Calculator, Microsoft's Windows System Image Manager, Windows PowerShell). And, what's been a mystery since the existence of .NET framework: such programs don't start any faster when restarting them either, just like nothing is cached at all!

Regards
Dalai
#101164 Personal licence
Athlon X4 880K, 16 GiB RAM, Gigabyte F2A88X-D3HP, Win7 x64

Plugins: Services2, Startups

User avatar
Usher
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 459
Joined: 2011-03-11, 10:11 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Usher » 2019-02-03, 16:34 UTC

2Dalai
I think you are describing problems common for all frameworks, including Qt and CEF. Any popular framework is used mostly by newbies who don't know or lamers who don't care how to do things well. But it doesn't mean that it's impossible to write a good application using such frameworks.
Look here at the tool and results of its use ;-)
https://www.google.com/search?q=wycinanki+%C5%82owickie+no%C5%BCyce&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&sa=X&biw=1402

I'm not a MS advocate, but it's obvious that dotnet framework seems to be the most popular. And I don't remember cases where dotnet update broke any popular program. Would you be so kind and name some of them, please?
Regards from Poland
Andrzej P. Wozniak

User avatar
Dalai
Power Member
Power Member
Posts: 6701
Joined: 2005-01-28, 22:17 UTC
Location: Meiningen (Südthüringen)

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Dalai » 2019-02-03, 19:52 UTC

Usher wrote:
2019-02-03, 16:34 UTC
I think you are describing problems common for all frameworks, including Qt and CEF.
AFAIK Qt doesn't use a just-in-time/runtime compiler, which is one of the reasons why .NET applications are so slow.
Any popular framework is used mostly by newbies who don't know or lamers who don't care how to do things well.
Newbies like Microsoft? OK, yes, in a sense, they act like they don't know what they're doing...
And I don't remember cases where dotnet update broke any popular program. Would you be so kind and name some of them, please?
Just a random selection:
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/bf3c5ad8-376f-4cde-926f-5101cfd5ef0c/fyi-update-kb4340558-net-framework-broken-causes-install-error-0x80092004
https://appuals.com/microsoft-update-kb4345421-totally-breaks-net-framework-no-workaround-available/
https://answers.sap.com/questions/565393/net-framework-472-update-breaks-crystal-reports-wi.html
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/a854ce00-b78e-4a50-8262-b1063dfec02d/latest-net-security-update-breaks-sharepoint-2010-datasheet-view

There's even a .NET Framework Repair Tool, so it's quite certain it can break, and was broken in the past, otherwise MS wouldn't have bothered creating and publishing such a tool.

Regards
Dalai
#101164 Personal licence
Athlon X4 880K, 16 GiB RAM, Gigabyte F2A88X-D3HP, Win7 x64

Plugins: Services2, Startups

User avatar
Usher
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 459
Joined: 2011-03-11, 10:11 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Usher » 2019-02-03, 23:33 UTC

2Dalai
1. Whatever Qt uses, it's huge and hard to learn.
2. I'm afraid you don't know what boys and girls learn at school.
3. The selection isn't random, there are mostly newest problems described. Only the last link reports a problem with Windows XP+.
4. Repair tool is quite a common thing - you can find such tools for antivirus or internet security software. I did use such tools to make cleanup after incomplete uninstall or broken update. But it looks like it's even worse with every Windows Update.
I think it's a consequence of an old design decision - you cannot run MS Installer in safe mode in NT-based Windows. Baron Münchhausen could easy manage is such cases but, unfortunately, his whereabouts are unknown.
Regards from Poland
Andrzej P. Wozniak

User avatar
Dalai
Power Member
Power Member
Posts: 6701
Joined: 2005-01-28, 22:17 UTC
Location: Meiningen (Südthüringen)

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Dalai » 2019-02-03, 23:52 UTC

Usher wrote:
2019-02-03, 23:33 UTC
1. Whatever Qt uses, it's huge and hard to learn.
It doesn't matter if it's huge or not. Important is if the applications written with it are slow or not.
2. I'm afraid you don't know what boys and girls learn at school.
This doesn't matter. And I also don't care what people learn*. I'm a user and an adminstrator with my own experiences, and so far I made the experience that .NET applications are slow for the most part. Yes, one can write fast applications in any language and framework, but they're quite rare in regards to .NET.

*) In some aspect I do care what people learn because I find wrong and obnoxious that they learn "Microsoft" at school, not how to use and create programs regardless of their developer.
Only the last link reports a problem with Windows XP+.
Huh? Win7 and 10 are not XP or higher?
you cannot run MS Installer in safe mode in NT-based Windows.
Yes, you can. I've done it, also with other services. One just needs to tell Windows that this service is available in safe mode, see e.g. this HowTo. But we're getting really OT now.

Regards
Dalai
#101164 Personal licence
Athlon X4 880K, 16 GiB RAM, Gigabyte F2A88X-D3HP, Win7 x64

Plugins: Services2, Startups

User avatar
Usher
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 459
Joined: 2011-03-11, 10:11 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Usher » 2019-02-04, 03:20 UTC

2Dalai
1. Common users prefer apps which have common (system-like) look-and-feel. Qt apps which I know, seem to be somehow different and start slowly. But YMMV.
2. I'm afraid people will still learn "Microsoft" when we already die.
3. Wrong logic. We are talking about common problems, so you should read "Windows XP AND newer".
4. Thanks for the tip. However, there is one thing missing there - this part of registry is protected by Windows Defender and probably other security software, so the changes may be silently undone by that soft (which runs in safe mode).

That's all, thanks for discussion.
Regards from Poland
Andrzej P. Wozniak

Thany
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 251
Joined: 2003-09-30, 09:20 UTC
Location: Netherlands

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Thany » 2019-02-20, 08:55 UTC

Usher wrote:
2019-02-04, 03:20 UTC
2Dalai
1. Common users prefer apps which have common (system-like) look-and-feel. Qt apps which I know, seem to be somehow different and start slowly. But YMMV.
2. I'm afraid people will still learn "Microsoft" when we already die.
3. Wrong logic. We are talking about common problems, so you should read "Windows XP AND newer".
4. Thanks for the tip. However, there is one thing missing there - this part of registry is protected by Windows Defender and probably other security software, so the changes may be silently undone by that soft (which runs in safe mode).

That's all, thanks for discussion.
1. Qt apps feel "off" on Windows. Like a curry that's just gone past its expiry date. Their UI widgets are always "not quite right". Keyboard navigation is messed up, and indeed, slow.
2. Irrelavant. Also Total Commander is Windows only (the Android app is a totally separate codebase), so it doesn't matter what it's written in, as long as Windows can run it.
3. Windows XP has become obsolete.
4. Whatever framework TC uses (or will use) has absolutely zero to do with the installer. However, the TC installer is pretty damn weird to today's standards. Also, not relevant to the topic.

User avatar
Usher
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 459
Joined: 2011-03-11, 10:11 UTC

Re: How about a dark GUI for TC?

Post by *Usher » 2019-02-20, 13:16 UTC

@Thany
ad 1. Agree.
ad 2. Do you really want to use Ghisler? I prefer TC.
ad 3. Windows XP is still supported by MS Visual Studio (after installing XP toolset).
Thany wrote:
2019-02-20, 08:55 UTC
However, the TC installer is pretty damn weird to today's standards.
It's vintage.
Regards from Poland
Andrzej P. Wozniak

Post Reply