Is there any way to make V9.x flat mode look like V7/V8?

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Rekrul
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Is there any way to make V9.x flat mode look like V7/V8?

Post by *Rekrul » 2017-11-21, 10:08 UTC

I just checked out the 9.10 version of Total Commander. It's the first 9.x version I've tried and I have to say that I don't like the new look of the interface. V7 and V8 had a simple and elegant look in Flat mode, while in my opinion, V9 is kind of ugly.

For comparison;

Image: https://s17.postimg.org/721nft6a7/TC_comparison.png

(I'm using the classic Marine theme because I like the mild green)

Even in Flat mode, V7/V8 had a subtle 3D look to them because of the coloring of the dividing lines. V9 just looks like someone draw the lines on with a pen and it makes it look like something from the 90s.

To be clear, I've never thought that TC looked "outdated" as some people claimed. I was always happy with how it looked, however the V9 graphics are a huge step backward in my opinion.

Is there some configuration option I've missed to bring to back the subtle 3D look of the previous versions?

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Post by *MVV » 2017-11-21, 14:16 UTC

Unfortunately it is so... There was a complaining topic but nothing has been changed.

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Post by *Rekrul » 2017-11-21, 15:56 UTC

MVV wrote:Unfortunately it is so... There was a complaining topic but nothing has been changed.
That's a shame since I hate the new look.

I've seen the complaints that TC is ugly or that it looked outdated, but I always liked the way it looked. I really don't understand how making it look like a Windows 3.x program in flat mode is modernizing it in any way. User interfaces started off looking plain and flat, then became more 3D looking as time went on. Going back to a completely flat look really makes the UI look dated much more than anything in the previous versions. In fact, take away the color and it looks like something you'd find on a classic Mac.

I know there's a 3D option, but that's just horrible. It makes the display way too cluttered. Frankly, I've never known anyone who's ever used it and I don't see why that's still an option.

It would be better to get rid of the 3D option and replace it with an option to return to the look of the pre-V9 versions.

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Post by *MVV » 2017-11-21, 18:05 UTC

I don't like new look too but I have to live with it... and fortunately a bit adapted to it, but I would be glad to return old classic style.

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2017-11-21, 21:59 UTC

Before I made the change, I got many complaints that TC looks like Windows 3.1 or so - I didn't get any of these since then. It's unfortunately not so easy to support both old and new mode because the new one uses different line widths (e.g. one pixel instead of two), which changes the entire layout process in various places.
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Post by *Rekrul » 2017-11-21, 23:18 UTC

ghisler(Author) wrote:Before I made the change, I got many complaints that TC looks like Windows 3.1 or so - I didn't get any of these since then.
I saw some of those complaints online and a friend of mine even once complained that it was ugly, but I've never understood why people feel that way. I will say that I've never been crazy about the default font choices and file lister display settings, but they can be easily changed.
ghisler(Author) wrote:It's unfortunately not so easy to support both old and new mode because the new one uses different line widths (e.g. one pixel instead of two), which changes the entire layout process in various places.
I have an idea. I don't know any windows programming so I don't how feasible this idea is, but it seems logical to me.

First, go back to using two pixel lines for the entire layout as in the pre-V9 versions. Then if the user wants the V9 look, simply hide the second line by making it the same color as the rest of the window. Since the layout would always be using two pixel lines, there wouldn't be any need to change the layout based on whether the user wanted the old style or the new. The only thing that would change is whether the second line is visible (old style) or hidden (new style). Technically the one pixel lines would be offset by one pixel (to account for the invisible second line) rather than being mathematically centered, but I doubt anyone would be able to tell.

If the color of the lines is defined by assigning standard Windows elements to them, it should (in theory) be a simple matter to switch the second color between the Windows hi-light color and the Windows frame color. You could even offer an option to swap the two line colors so that all the lines look like thin ridges instead of grooves. I'm not sure if I'd use such a setting personally, but it makes for an interesting look. :)

An alternate, but more ambitious approach would be to allow the user to customize all the colors of the interface, including the colors of the two-pixel lines, but I imagine that would take a lot more work. That way the user could change the look to anything they wanted, even eliminating the lines by making them the same color as the frame if they so desire. Such a change could even be put in the config file rather than the UI, so that only people who really want to change the appearance will make the effort and it would save having to program a new configuration window for it.

Anyway, I know you can't please everyone, but if my first idea (use two pixel lines and optionally hide the second line) isn't that difficult to implement, it would please people who like the new look and those who prefer the old look.

Just my two cents... :)

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Post by *MVV » 2017-11-22, 06:56 UTC

ghisler(Author) wrote:Before I made the change, I got many complaints that TC looks like Windows 3.1 or so - I didn't get any of these since then. It's unfortunately not so easy to support both old and new mode because the new one uses different line widths (e.g. one pixel instead of two), which changes the entire layout process in various places.
Actually V9 looks more like Windows 3.1 than V8 because V8 uses Windows 95-like 2-pixel 3D borders (you can compare screenshots e.g. here). And I believe that most of users who have complained about old look use Aero or other standard themes, not classic one that is discussed here...

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2017-11-22, 08:28 UTC

It's just that people who actually use themes get less of a Windows 3.1/95 look than before. The only ones with problems are those using Windows classic theme.
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Post by *MVV » 2017-11-22, 09:21 UTC

I don't think that ones who uses classic themes will complain about oldschool style. :)

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Post by *j7n » 2017-11-23, 18:51 UTC

Rekrul wrote:I know there's a 3D option, but that's just horrible. It makes the display way too cluttered. Frankly, I've never known anyone who's ever used it and I don't see why that's still an option.
I use the non-flat option for main interface with a flat (office 97) button bar. I find that in the flat version the status bar with file sizes and the top bar next to the drive selector has too little padding around it. Text bumps against the edge of the screen. In the non-flat mode, the status bar looks just like the one in Explorer or numerous other programs with the classic theme (sunken 1-deep), and is intuitively identifyable as a status bar.

The F3-F4 function buttons I do not use at all, and have them hidden. Yes, in the 3D mode they look bold an imposing with 2-height, compared to the button bar, which is used more frequently.

I think the boldface MS Sans Serif font, which is also used on the function buttons, makes the program look dated (bold looks like the System font from Win 3.11). I'm still on TC v8, not interested in bleeding edge development.
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