ideas for look and feel
two ideas really. one is basically a revamp of the gtk engine look, the other a suggestion for the level meters.
first, the gtk revamp.
one thing i notice when i look at screenshots of programs like protools and logic, i think that the controls etc look much more modern than ardour's. i believe this is mainly due to the use of clearlooks as the engine. whilst it can give a clean appearence, i think it lacks the 'wow' feel a bit. i'm not suggesting anything over the top, and i don't think this is an urgent issue, but maybe we can work on an 'unofficial' skin for ardour that is more up to date in appearance. i have been playing around a little bit, and one thing that struck me is that changing the engine in the gtkrc file to something like murrina makes a *huge* difference. is there any technical reason as to why i should not look down this path (even to make an unofficial skin for myself)? maybe performance or compatibility with osx??
anyway, here is a little snapshot of how much of a difference it makes (i kept the colour scheme the same for now, but i will play around with that too). click on the image for a fullscreen shot.
if there is no technical reason why i should stop, i'll keep playing :)
second: i tried to do this myself a bit, but i got out of my depth.
i find the level meters don't seem to fit with the look of ardour. i think it is mainly the colours used. i played around in the 'fastmeter.cc' file and got some nice blueish peak meters, and also got a (hackish) red overload area working. i think they look quite cool:
what i haven't been able to do is get an 'rms' or 'average' reading on the meters, as well as the peak level reading. this is for two reasons - 1: the actual calculations i am not certain of, and 2: how to put them on the meter correctly. i have a feeling that this will be rejected outright, as i seem to recall that these calculations are very slow, but maybe we can have some sort of approximation that would still be fast? the rough look i wanted is as below (sorry about my crap inkscape skills) and is basically the peak level being at 50% opacity, and the rms level 100% (this could be cheated with darker colours etc):