Scrollbars hard to see

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Mon Nov 30 13:48:13 GMT 2009

> A lot of it depends on the monitor and its brightness/contrast (aka
> hardware) settings, and on the configured gamma.

That could be, I have two monitors in use with this system (internal
laptop and external LCD) and one is mearly difficult to see with, not
impossible like the other.

> Dotan, have you tried fiddling with "The application formerly known as
> kcontrol" (generically aka system settings, tho it's really kde settings
> and has little to do with the rest of the system, so kcontrol is more
> accurate /and/ less generic), Computer admin, Display, Gamma?

Regarding the System Settings name, please comment on this bug:

I do not want to alter the gamma as I have a fix (use a different
theme's scrollbars).

> According to the kgamma handbook (khelpcenter), the defaults are 1.00 X,
> 1.80 Mac, 2.20 MSWormOS (my name for it, FWIW).  If you haven't done the
> calibration, go ahead and do it, following the procedure outlined in the
> kgamma handbook.  On my LCDs, I ended up with an RGB gamma of 1.25 red
> and green, 1.65 blue.  That /dramatically/ improved the contrast at the
> dark end of things, for me.  Note that CRTs will likely come out with far
> different numbers, and there's all sorts of other factors involved as
> well, from the backlite (florescent or LED) on LCDs and possible screen
> coatings on CRTs, to typical ambient lighting conditions, to make and
> model of monitor, to specific monitor on the same production run, to
> personal preference, to...
> That will make a big difference, or at least it did here.
> As for changing the scrollbar specifically, that's controlled by look and
> feel, appearance, colors, but there's not an individual setting for it.
> After your gamma is set correctly, you may want to tweak the colors a bit
> anyway.
> Here, I have a STRONG preference for light foregrounds/text, dark
> backgrounds, AND for way more color than the wimpy/sickly default mostly-
> grays so I started by finding a scheme that came at least reasonably
> close to meeting my needs. Of the default kde themes, Obsidian Coast and
> Wonton Soup came closest, being at least light on dark, but they were
> still way too sickly weak for my tastes.  kdelook to the rescue! =:^)
> The best one I found there was darkblue-deb, a theme Debian may ship,
> apparently, or at least a Debian fan created! =:^)

Thanks, I will take a look at that.

> But it wasn't /exactly/ right, either, tho it came reasonably close.  So
> I had to tweak it a bit.
> If you are going to do *any* color tweaking on your own, besides changing
> the schemes, you **NEED** to read the associated help page.  If you
> don't, you will not understand what you are doing, and will likely get
> /something/ wrong, such that you'll get a dialog or tooltip text or
> /something/, with "invisible" text (or invisible thumb buttons on the
> scrollbar, as in this thread, etc), simply due to not paying attention to
> how the various color sets and color roles combine, in some cases with
> automatic settings based on the others.  After Mathew and I hashed things
> out on this list a couple versions ago, the color settings dialog is
> /much/ improved over what it was, but kde4 has an incredibly rich and
> complex color layout, WAY more complex than kde3, and if you don't read
> that help text, you WILL miss some of the nuances and very likely screw
> /something/ up.
> That said, the most important point to remember is to check any changes
> you make in the preview.  Note that on the colors tab, choosing any color
> set other than the default "common colors" from the dropdown, you get a
> more detailed preview of how the various roles of that color set in their
> normal and alternate state look.  If ANY of those words don't have enough
> foreground/background contrast to easily read the words, you WILL have
> problems when the associated color set and role comes up.  Thus, if you
> can't read any of those words, you better go back and tweak your colors
> some more!
> One other detail to note!  The Oxygen style (kcontrol, look&feel,
> appearance, styles) does button gradients/hilites that the other styles
> don't do.  I don't know the precise algorithm behind it, and the effect
> only seems to be noticeable if the button color is dark enough so many
> probably won't see it at all, but if your chosen button background color
> is dark enough and you're running Oxygen style, you should notice a
> definite difference between the button background color you set in
> colors, and the actual button background color as shown on the system --
> the color will be the same hue, but lighter than the color selected in
> the color settings dialog, due to the Oxygen button hiliting effect.
> FWIW, once I realized that, after a bit of experimentation, I settled on
> a very very dark red (with an even smaller touch of green, #140800), so
> dark many people would call it black, as the button normal background
> setting.  The hiliting effect lightens it to a dark (but not black)
> brown, which sets off nicely against the window and view background blues
> of darkblue-deb, as well as the bright yellow I chose (another mod from
> darkblue-deb) as my button text color.  However, during the
> experimentation I tried green as well, and noted the same lightening
> effect there.  I expect that blue would have it as well, but didn't test
> that since with window and view normal backgrounds already dark blue
> (from darkblue-deb), dark-blue buttons wouldn't show up so well!
> Meanwhile, the precise color settings controlling the scrollbar are
> window normal background, for the scrollbar background, and button normal
> background, for the scroll button.  Again, be sure and check your
> previews when you change them tho, ensuring that all the text roles still
> show up as sufficiently readable, and if you're running Oxygen style and
> have a dark button normal background, consider the effect when it's
> lightened a bit due to that hiliting, when you check those previews!

Would you mind sending to me your modified colour scheme. It sounds
like I could learn a lot from it. Thanks!

Dotan Cohen
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