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design and programming portfolio of Derek Stevens: drkste@zoho.com

Steppenwolf GTK themes

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steppenwolf and steppenwolf-dark are GTK themes -- user interface themes for Linux desktops and GTK applications in general. steppenwolf is based on OneStepBack by Jean-Pierre Bucciol, and steppenwolf-dark is based on steppenwolf in turn.

Originally, steppenwolf was developed as a theme to provide sleek menus, tooltips, and notifications in grey-on-black that lend well to alpha blending and the simple style I use in my openbox themes, along with high visibility and low resource usage.

The dark theme takes more inspiration from Matcha, although the code, being from the OneStepBack lineage rather than an Arc lineage, is much lighter. How much lighter? Well, the GTK-2 port of Matcha is approximately 2000 lines of code, while steppenwolf-dark is 400, and the GTK-3 port of Matcha is 10000 lines of code, with steppenwolf-dark clocking in at 1100. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather parse 1100 or 400 lines of code than 10000 or 2000 to load my applications.

Both themes share the same aesthetic for the menus, tooltips, and notifications, and the same turquoise hilight color. The skeuomorphic widget styles of the original theme are traded in the dark theme for a more flat aesthetic. The GTK-2 versions require no external theme-engine dependency, using only the native and pixmap engines.

The steppenwolf themes provide a consistent look across applications with the GTK-2/3 versions and reasonable compatibility with the QGTK style plugin for QT5 applications. The GTK-3 themes, being written in a variant of css, make the theme spec easily translatable to most application frameworks, which is nice. To boot, the low resource usage makes them ideal for workstations or old machines where performance is the prime concern. If you're looking for a fresh theme experience on your Linux desktop or for your GTK applications on another operating system, look no further than steppenwolf!