Originally Posted by Whyatt Thrash
Appearence Themes, man. Just like in OS 8... Or at least the ability to change a colour or two other than "Blue" and "Graphite"... Seriously, that's just ridiculous...
The only thing you could change in OS 8 that you can't in OS X was the color for the progress bars, scrollbar thumbs and menu selection.
The HiTech, Gizmo and Drawing Board windows themes were never released officially, there was no support from Apple if you used them. Maybe that's just a coincidence, but the last time I fiddled with windows-changing Appearance Themes under the Classic Mac OS, I was greated with a flashing question mark after rebooting; my HD was corrupted beyond repair. Looking at the HD using some utilities, I found that stuff pertaining to the Appearance UI had overwritten the boot blocks... But anyway this kind of thing couldn't happen under OS X, I was just pointing out that OS X wasn't such a step backward, since themes weren't really supported in OS 8 anyway.
When OS X was released, I was hoping that some hidden value would hold the main color for the Aqua interface widgets, and that simply changing this value would re-color the whole interface. I was wrong, as I discovered digging into the Extra.rsrc file, such a thing was not possible since each individual widget is composed of one or several bitmaps that are already aqua-colored.
Changing the aqua color to something else in 10.0 to 10.4 requires changing all interface bitmaps. In fact, there's a duplicate set of grayscale bitmap used for the Graphite theme.
But there's hope for Leopard, at least in the interface coloring department... Because of resolution independence, all standard interface widgets are being vectorized, that means interface elements can be easily recolored. To implement the Graphite theme in Leopard without having to duplicate resources, Apple would just need to use some global variable holding the main interface color.
It would be trivial for Apple to then implement a feature in 10.5 to change the theme color to something other than aqua and graphite. Even if they don't officially provide the feature, it'll be probably easy to hack, maybe a single Terminal command will do the trick.
So to get back on topic, the ability to re-colorize the interface is one of the few Windows feature I'd like to see on the Mac.