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I've looked for a few places about certain themes and what not that are supposed to make some windows transparent so you can see things going on behind them(Konsole, and instant messaging). Does anyone know of a transparency program that would run "*smoothly*" on my Mandrake 9.0 'Box'?
I've seen abit here and there about this, and this is NOT newbie stuff. I forget what it was called, but look around in the desktop screenshots threads. It gets mentioned in this in some places. I think I found a link in one of them. Hope this helps...
Transparency is not applied by themes (to my knowledge anyways) but rather by a program itself. For example take aterm, which is a replacement for xterm. It supports transparency while xterm does not. To activate it you have to run it with the parameter -tr. You can also get it to apply a color tone to the original background with -tint <color>. This makes for some very nice eye candy. An example how I call aterm is this:
aterm -tr -trsb -tint blue -fg green -bg red -fn 6x16
So if you see a screenshot with a program that has a transparent window, look into the program's documentation for any parameters/switches that enable transparency.
The transparency generally available (for specific terminals, etc) is only a fake transparency, and therefore only shows the root window. I've noticed KDE's transparent windows do show the program behind them, but have been unable to make this happen elsewhere. I did find a thread regarding this on another forum, but on setting it up, all i could get was a broken x-server, I'd recommend against trying it at the moment.
"I've noticed KDE's transparent windows do show the program behind them"
Can you elaborate on this?
If I may...
The difference is that with fake transparency, you will always have the root window (which is called the desktop in windows) as the background of a program window, even if there's another window underneath it.
With KDE it seems like you can actually see the program that is covered by the window on top through it instead of just seeing the root window.
The latter is much more preferable imho as it actually makes transparency a useful feature rather than just eye candy.
Currently it's not possible to get true transparency on X. There are some alpha previews of a new X server (kdrive) which offers this ability, however it's still under heavy development and should not be touched by end users.