Articles from 2007 June
This article introduces the latest version of Crystal Clear, which features an enhancement to the system menubar transparency that was described in an article last week. Although I didn't find time to work on the Crystal Albook icon set since the last release, Crystal Clear has a large number of enhancements in various button elements, as described below. I do hope to get some work done on Crystal Albook next time around.
- An experimental approach to solving the problem of "extra overlay shine" on most menu extras in the system menubar (statusbar). This approach can eliminate the visual discord created as menu extras overlay their own "toolbar" over the preexisting one. In opaque toolbars, this isn't noticeable, but it's bothersome in any toolbar with alpha transparency. (This part of the update is described in the recent Mars article, "Desperately Seeking Clarity: Wiping the Dirt from My Crystal Clear Menubar."
- Crystal Clear toolbar elements for Camino.
- New design for menu selection highlights in Crystal Clear Dark. Similar highlights also appear now in the Finder sidebar.
- Completion of pushbutton and popup button elements for Carbon apps (such as Photoshop). (The buttons were already complete for Cocoa apps.)
- New Crystal designs for the bevel buttons (butted and otherwise) that are the bane of my existence when theming Mac OS X. (O! Apple... Please make these go away in Leopard!)
- Reworking of the large metal buttons.
- Various other tweaks and fixes, plus a few more menu extras.
Future releases will work on standardizing the appearance of various otherwise-similar button elements, reducing the height of some pushbutton elements, and completing unfinished work on the slider elements.
I think of the menubar smudges as "extra shine," because that's kind of what they are: They result from a double layer of the menubar graphic in the space the menu extras occupy. This smudging might not be so distracting if it were applied evenly across all of the menu extras, but of course that's not the case. As a result, from the first menu extra over to Spotlight, the "smudge" comes and goes and can be visually disturbing if you let it.
This smudging is the number one complaint about Crystal Clear, and I'm very pleased to announce that the new version will offer a nice, clean, truly crystal-clear menubar with (virtually) no dirt whatsoever! Unfortunately, you can't download it today, because I don't have all the files quite ready. But I promise to make them available very soon.