Ostinato Themes

1 minute read

Amongst mostly positive Ostinato reviews on Capterra, Ostinato user Tamás mentions that the Ostinato UI looks “old school”. And I agree.

Ostinato uses Qt as the GUI toolkit. It uses Qt widgets and was built for Desktops before QtQuick for mobile first GUIs became available. Being the one-man-band of Ostinato and having the wisdom gleaned from being a programmer for 30+ years, I know that redoing the UI is not prudent (much as I might want to start from a clean slate!).

However, I knew that Qt offered ways to change the look and feel of the UI widgets using Qt Style Sheets – CSS brought to desktop widgets. Now, while I know CSS concepts and can tweak a few things when pushed, I’m not really a front-end guy. Moreover, from experience I know that if I start on that road, I will end up spending days and weeks pixel tweaking!

So, I looked for ready made QSS themes. What comes up as the first result is QSS Stock. While it has several themes, they didn’t feel very professional to my eyes. Next, I looked for open source projects and found two that I liked.

The first - qt-material aims to style Qt widgets as per the Material Design guidelines. The second was QDarkStyle.

I made the necessary tweaks required to integrate their respective QSS files along with the icons with Ostinato. Here’s a video with the end results -

There are some things that I’m not happy with and would like to change, but for the next version Ostinato 1.2, I plan to release it as it is and tag it as EXPERIMENTAL.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below.

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