Themes ...


Now, I know no one has yet build a theme thingie for OSX (or am I completely misinformed?) I heard that Kaleidoscope may be ported to OSX. What I was wondering is would it be possible to get into the resources of the widgets, window borders, etc. and create your own theme from scratch, by hand? I'd love to be able to recreate BlueSteel on OSX, since I cant stand the Aqua GUI and the gumdrop widgets.

Just wondering. Heh
Yes it is possible, and yes it has been done. I remember when it happened back in the PB, this guy (I forget who, and I wiped my X partition when the final came out, so it's all lost now) actually made two of them. I seem to recall having something to do with the window manager (/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Window Manager). I've tried running it through QuickConvert, however, with no luck. I believe that Apple has changed things around so that it may not be quite so easy as it was before.

Unfortunately, I totally forget where it was that I found the files, it really sucks. It may have been on here, or perhaps on another news forum. Ahh.. maybe somewhere at I'm sure that whoever made the themeish files, if he still populates this site, will stand up (unless he's been brutally silenced by Apple).
Check and you can find an OS X theme in the theme archive.
Its an OS X theme. Its an edited copy of the extras.rsrc file. I think its called Pastel Blue or something similar.
I dont think that Kaleidoscope could be ported to OS X because, correct me if I am wrong, I am under the impression that OS X innerds are different from OS 9's thus the windowing would be different, so it goes to reason that kaleidoscope would have to be completelly re-writen for OS X.

I think you can still use kaleidoscope under classic but it will only take effent on classix apps.
LOL...imagine having the win2k theme in classic, then you run a classic app and the user gest confused... LOL... (seinfeld voice)"Heeey heeeey heeeeeeeeeeyyy!!! I thought this was OS X !!!!!"

LOl :p

the themes that are out there now have problem when you try to use Cocoa apps. Also, all of them replace the Extras.rsrc file, which is in a new place compared to earlier verion of OS X (DP3 or DP4) it was in /System/Library/Frameworks/HIToolbox.framework/,
but the current versions it is in /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Versions/A/frameworks/HIToolbox.framework/Versions/A/Resources/. Also the earlier version, if removed completely returned the system to the Platinum theme of Rhapsody/Server/DP1-2. This doesn't work now (in other words don't try it or you'll be rebooting from your 9 boot disk to fix it or having to completely reinstall OS X). Also it should be noted that the theme files I've seen are quite small compared to the actual Extras.rsrc (like half the size) which makes me wonder what was left out.
Fortunately, it IS possible to theme OS X. You have to edit the Extras.rsrc file found somewhere in the /System directory. (it's the only file on the system with that name, so running the unix command 'find /System -name Extras.rsrc -print' will find it). There was a piece of software called Theminator which was written to make the theming task easier. You used QuickConvert to convert the data fork of the file to a resource fork, then open the pxm resources in Theminator, which displayed them as actual images you could copy and paste into a graphics program to edit and paste back.

Unfortunately, Apple didn't like people doing this. They slapped the author's hand, and said 'No! Bad hacker!' and made every site they found remove the Theminator software. It is not accessible anywhere. I've searched google as well as Hotline, IRC, etc. Unless you know someone who managed to get a copy of it, then you probably won't see it again until Apple decides to lighten the hell up.

Personally, I find Aqua to be a bit repulsive. I can't wait for some good hacks to OS X. Especially something like WINDOW SHADE. I hate minimizing windows into the dock. It's a nifty feature, but a pain in the butt for me to deal with. It actually has made my productivity using OS X slower than classic.

Well... anyways, that's just my $0.02.
With Aqua (or any windowing scheme/theme) comes names recognition.
Apple wants Aqua to sit in, and to become synonimus with apple, and most of
all MacOS. Apple realeased and made themes for pre OS X MacOSs due to the
fact that the windows and icons and so on had had the same look for five, six, seven years
and there was no problem on the part of recognition. When any of us see the platinum
appearance on TV or on the Web or in print we imeddiatelly thing "Hey that's a mac!"

Apple wants to accomplish the same effect with Aqua. Once Aqua becomes recognizeable
as being MacOS X then themes will be released for it by apple and third party developers
(without apple's lawyers on their 6 trying bite ther @$$ off )

For some reason I think I am reitterating what someone else said....
This cant be an original thought :p

Theme projects have definitely been started for OS X. The problem with the whole thing thus far is two fold.

ONE - being careful not to tread on Apple's intellectual property rights. One of the more promising theming apps, that was in the works, has been shut down by Apple legal, because in writing the program the guys who were doing it, used Apple code, verbatim. Apple is being very finicky about theming on OS X, they are taking a hard stance about the distinctiveness of the actual GUI elements and there close relationship to the whole operation of the OS.

TWO - finding all of the UI elements to make a whole theme. to date, most of the resources have been located, but there are still a few that are lacking. There is also the problem of making sure that all of the changed elements work consistently for various formats of programs (i.e. carbon or cocoa).

There are extensive threads on theming and several in the works projects that you can find over at And, if you do a search on for Unlined Charcoal, you will find at least one currently available theme for download (it is a, IMHO, crappy attempt to replicate the Platinum appearance of 9).

Hope that helps!