Quick-customizing Snarl styles

An impatient search of Google for Snarl style customization, or some reference for Melon styles was fruitless (har har). Perhaps that old crank Dvorak was right about Google. At any rate, here is the problem:

Snarl is at best beta software at this point (current version 2.06). It’s chunky, clunky, and the styles are ugly. As a universal screen-spammer, however, it does have some promise. There’s little for a non-programmer such as myself to do at this point than play with it until it becomes too annoying or eventually matures. The existing styles have the same aggressive, hard glass of a Windows Vista theme, or are simply dull:

2008-11-19_133446_snarl_ugly

That top one there is my own modification. Yes, it’s ugly as well, but it’s a start. Note for one how the text size is larger, the overstated glassy effect is removed, and the color matches my desktop. Again, I’m just getting started.

Some quick searching in your profile’s application data folder turns up some styles files: c:\$YourProfile$\Application Data\fullphat\snarl\styles.

As good sense would have it, these are just text files. Yep, Snarl draws its own gradients, and doesn’t rely upon bitmaps or other nonsense, which is greatly in its favor.

Just open up a style file in the text editor of your choice, save them elsewhere in the \snarl\styles heirarchy, and puzzle out the style syntax. It’s pretty simple.

For example, I opened \snarl\styles\glass2.ezstyle\Grass.scheme, and saw the following. A number of these are already useful for some quick customization, and I’ve bolded them below (thanks to this WordPress theme, though, it can be a little hard to see the bolded bits, increase the size of your font to see it better):

[background]
type=v-gradient
edge-type=solid
edge-colour=63,63,63,212
colour1=63,63,63
colour2=94,193,60

[title]
font-size=9
font-style=outline,bold
font-face=Segoe UI
font-colour=255,255,255,245
outline-colour=0,0,0,132
margin-left=6
margin-top=6
margin-right=6
margin-bottom=2

[text]
font-size=8
font-face=Segoe UI
font-style=outline
font-colour=255,255,255,245
outline-colour=0,0,0,132
margin-left=6
margin-top=2
margin-right=6
margin-bottom=6

[icon]
align=left,top
alpha=222
offset-x=8
offset-y=4
width=32
float=no

[effect]
type=glass
value=33%

Unfortunately, at this point, I am not aware of a reference that would allow you to come up with alternatives to the distracting type=glass effect, or to alter the width of the popups (though I did set the glass value to 0%, and am much happier as a result). However, you can painlessly alter colors and font types and sizes by changing above variables.

Once done, save the file under a unique name and a new folder , named your_style.ezstyle or some such. Copy and edit an existing ezstyle.conf file (like the style file, it is also a text file) into this directory, and load the style up in Snarl. Poof, custom style, more readable, with maybe 20 minutes of effort.

Addendum: I’m temporarily settling on the following style, until something better comes along, or a scheme reference shows up:

2008-11-19_224518_snarl_less_ugly

It’s designed to match my blackbox style, scrip.

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