Is there a way to get a kde3 color scheme into kde4?

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Sat Jul 18 17:41:01 BST 2009

MW was good enough to send me a private mail which clearly indicated 
that he didn't understand what I was talking about and it does appear 
that the problem was that what I said didn't make sense.

I was apparently having a bad day yesterday.  I apologize, I have CFS 
and some days I have what is called "brain fog" (if I wasn't ill, I 
would have a job and would not be available to work on KDE)  I also find 
that trying to avoid math jargon does not work since having learned it, 
I don't seem to be able to explain things without using it.  So, if you 
know that math, you will probably understand, if you don't, my apologies 
for talking over your head.  You might know more math and can correct me 
if what I say is incorrect.

So, I will try this again.

James Richard Tyrer wrote:
> Matthew Woehlke wrote:
>> Duncan wrote:
>>> I have a kde3 color scheme I'm very happy with after having fine tuned it 
>>> over the years.  Is there a way to get it into kde4?
>>> [...] I'd REALLY hate to have to hand retune it
>> Not likely to happen; KDE4 has quite a few more colors than KDE3. The 
>> chances you won't need to do tweaking are virtually nil (especially 
>> since, to import a KDE3 scheme, we would have to make wild guesses how 
>> to assign the colors that didn't exist in KDE3).
> Question: is the KDE3 color scheme schema a proper subset of the KDE4 
> color scheme schema.

> If the proper subset relationship exists, then it should be possible to 
> either convert a KDE3 color scheme to a KDE4 color scheme or to modify 
> the code so that it will use a KDE3 scheme.  If not, IMHO, this would be 
>   a bug -- a design error.

Having looked at the issue further, I find that the subset - superset 
relationship is a sufficient condition for backward compatibility. 
However, it is not a necessary one.

MW advised me by private email that I had not understood when he said 
that this subset - superset relationship does not exist because several 
colors in KDE3 were completely dropped from KDE4.  That may be an issue, 
but it should not effect backward compatibility.

Given that the subset - superset relationship does not exist, what is 
necessary for backward compatibility is for it to be possible to map the 
KDE4 colors *onto* the KDE3 colors.  I should note that this would mean 
that more than one KDE4 color would be mapped *onto* some (or all) KDE3 
colors.  We can then reduce the mapping so that each KDE4 color is the 
same as a KDE3 color and we should have backward compatibility.

A simpler way (without the Finite Math) of looking at this is that the 
same things exist in KDE4 as exist in KDE3.  However, in KDE4 we use a 
lot more different named colors to color them then in KDE3.  It should 
still be possible to color the same things with the more limited palate 
of KDE3.  So if one type of thing was colored with one named color in 
KDE3 but now this type is divided into several subtypes in KDE4 and each 
of those subtypes is colored with a different named color, is should 
still be possible to color these subtypes with the same color that was 
use for the base type in KDE3.

Having tried to say that.  MW has made a commit to


which I have reduced to a patch [attached] which is supposed to convert 
KDE3 color schemes to KDE4.

I have some issues with the patch which I will work on.

I have to also say that I do not fully understand how the color scheme 
works for KDE4 and the SystemSetting (KControl) KCM for setting them is 
somewhat confusing.

Perhaps there is full documentation for this, but I have not been able 
to find it with Google.  If someone knows where it is, it would be 
greatly appreciated in you could point me to it so that I could avoid 
another bad headache. :-)

James Tyrer

Linux (mostly) From Scratch

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