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SOI_7
Contributor

Well, actually this is a feature that I'd like to see in the whole OS, but since it existed in the old Edge, I'd love to see it in the Chromium version as well 

45 Replies
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Hi @SOI_7, thank you. We have heard that many people want us to extend our Fluent design, including Acrylic, to the preview channels of our browser.  We are still working on our user experience, and are trying to be very careful with the performance impact of these changes.

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@Elliot Kirk 

I understand the concern for performance impact. Keep in mind that many of us are still using this on full-fledged desktop computers. One possibility is to make "transparency effects" in Edge an option under Appearance in Settings, with the default off. This way, the power users who really want this can go turn it on.

On the other hand, acrylic in the Edge title bar could be toggled by the larger Windows 10 transparency option. Why would these effects be a concern for Edge only, if not for all other places and apps where it occurs? Windows 8's Metro design language eliminated all transparency for concerns about lowering battery life in portable devices. But if Fluent Design reintroduces transparency (and acrylic is probably the most attractive implementation of transparency I've ever seen, even on par or better than what we see in today's MacOS), this must have reflected a decision by Windows engineers that such performance concerns are not worth giving up on transparency effects altogether. If Microsoft's own apps don't implement acrylic, why would anyone else, and why did Microsoft invent Fluent Design in the first place?

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@Elliot Kirk Addressing that is as simple as a toggle.

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@Elliot Kirk  "We are still working on our user experience, and are trying to be very careful with the performance impact of these changes.

 

So long as transparency and other visual effects can be turned off (e.g. Control Panel, System and Security, System, Advanced system settings, Advanced tab, Performance, which is what I use along with turning off transparency to eliminate the visual effects that affect performance/battery) it makes sense for Edge Chromium to be consistent with Fluid Design principles. 

 

I like the idea of a toggle (Fluid Design versus Performance Design, for example) switch in W10 Settings that would change design/performance settings across Windows 10.

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Acrylic isn't possible in Win32 apps, and so the Edge team are trying to just hide / bury this fact under various excuses. Acrylic will never come to Edge Chromium until Windows itself supports acrylic in Win32, which it probably never will either.

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Is that true (no acrylic for win32) @Elliot Kirk ? Can you answer that? It's not that these forums are flooded with comments for you to miss (ignore?) these. 

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@FileTrekker Wrong, XAML Islands added Fluent Design support to Win32 apps as well, and you can already see this in the new Xbox Beta app, which is made in Electron and has acrylic effects as well

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Yeah true,
I like the Acrylic style, remind of of Aero feature in Windows 7 with its transparency effects
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Hi @chivoyage, we are very aware of the ask for Acrylic touches on the window chrome.  So far we have been focusing on all of the controls that show up in the browser, updating them to match our current Fluent design specifications.  Many of these changes are subtle, but they add up.  I believe that @Drew1903 has posted some side by side screenshots that make the changes that we have made more obvious.  We are still continuing the work to update the user interface.  I don't have a timeline for Acrylic changes.  Thanks - Elliot

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  • @SOI_7 There is no support for Acrylic outside of that enclosed ecosystem so it won't be coming to Chrome Edge. Sorry but it just won't ever happen.
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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:
  • @SOI_7 There is no support for Acrylic outside of that enclosed ecosystem so it won't be coming to Chrome Edge. Sorry but it just won't ever happen.

 

And who said that? source?

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@Elliot Kirk Do "current Fluent Design specifications" call for Acrylic panes and title bars, or is Microsoft design moving back towards opacity? Can WinAPI apps incorporate Acrylic at all? What about the Reveal effects, which are not seen in the new Edge either?

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@HotCakeX Edge Chromium is now feature locked until the final release in January 2020 and no new features are being added. As I predicted. There's no acrylic coming to Edge Chromium and the dev team know it.

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Edge chromium is Not feature locked,
Edge version 79 is feature locked.

so not the whole browser, only one version which is version 79 which is marked for stable release.
the rest of the browser, version 80 has no locks or anything and it is actively being developed and new features being introduced to it.
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@HotCakeX Which is why there's absolutely nothing new in this week's Dev channel build other than bug fixes, and only a few, very minor things now on the 'planned' list, and by the way, acrylic is currently not a planned feature. ;)

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TLDR; you're not getting acrylic, they don't know how to do it, and if they do, not in a way that won't tank performance.

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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:

TLDR; you're not getting acrylic, they don't know how to do it, and if they do, not in a way that won't tank performance.


Hi @josh_bodner 

is there any comments about acrylic theme for new Edge?

 

 

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Through a 3rd party dev, was able to get Edge Chromium to use acrylic title bars and it is absolutely stunning. Microsoft should definitely integrate this natively into the app. So for those who think its not possible, if a 3rd party dev is able to do it, Microsoft should be able to.

 

acrylic.png

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@matthewj15 


@matthewj15 wrote:

Through a 3rd party dev, was able to get Edge Chromium to use acrylic title bars and it is absolutely stunning. Microsoft should definitely integrate this natively into the app. So for those who think its not possible, if a 3rd party dev is able to do it, Microsoft should be able to.

 

acrylic.png


 

Wow that is stunning. Awesome job!

please share the program with us, would love to give it a try.

 

@Elliot Kirk @IrinaL 

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@matthewj15 this isn't true acrylic, this is Aero Glass with an acrylic type effect which has been hacked into the core OS, as your explorer window gives away. They won't be able to add true acrylic effects to Edge.

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@HotCakeX he won't respond because he knows they can't do it.

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@HotCakeX this is the "hack" being used - http://www.glass8.eu/ - but I don't recommend it because it's broken in Windows 10 1909 and tends to screw things up with major update releases. 

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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:

@matthewj15 this isn't true acrylic, this is Aero Glass with an acrylic type effect which has been hacked into the core OS, as your explorer window gives away. They won't be able to add true acrylic effects to Edge.


Why not? any technical reasons?

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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:

@HotCakeX he won't respond because he knows they can't do it.


if a 3rd party developer can do such thing for a closed source OS like Windows then Microsoft developers should be able to do it too

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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:

@HotCakeX this is the "hack" being used - http://www.glass8.eu/ - but I don't recommend it because it's broken in Windows 10 1909 and tends to screw things up with major update releases. 


Oh well I'm on build 2004 (insider)

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@HotCakeX I mean, they *could* do it, but it would mean either major changes to Windows itself, which the Edge team have no control over, or to drop support for other operating systems other than Windows 10, or maintain two separate branches of the same browser, which they don't want to do, and the open source nature of Chromium may also play a factor also.

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@HotCakeX It's not worth doing, the hack the guy used has more problems than just being a weird hack of Windows 10. It requires you to run Chromium in Windows 7 compatibility mode, resets on close / relaunch, adds ugly black borders to the window frame because of the fact that it's being run in Windows 7 compatibility mode, and also adds an ugly watermark to your desktop unless you pay for it. It's also not true acrylic, just a fake effect which isn't blurry enough or the right colour so it mismatches with the rest of Windows 10 anyway. This is even if you can get it working, and ignoring the fact it'll keep breaking your OS with any major update. It's really not worth doing and is why I say it's not true 'Acrylic', just a cheap acrylic imitation using hacked in Aero Glass to the DWM.

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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:

@HotCakeX I mean, they *could* do it, but it would mean either major changes to Windows itself, which the Edge team have no control over, or to drop support for other operating systems other than Windows 10, or maintain two separate branches of the same browser, which they don't want to do, and the open source nature of Chromium may also play a factor also.


source? proof?

 

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@filetrekker1360 


@filetrekker1360 wrote:

@HotCakeX It's not worth doing, the hack the guy used has more problems than just being a weird hack of Windows 10. It requires you to run Chromium in Windows 7 compatibility mode, resets on close / relaunch, adds ugly black borders to the window frame because of the fact that it's being run in Windows 7 compatibility mode, and also adds an ugly watermark to your desktop unless you pay for it. It's also not true acrylic, just a fake effect which isn't blurry enough or the right colour so it mismatches with the rest of Windows 10 anyway. This is even if you can get it working, and ignoring the fact it'll keep breaking your OS with any major update. It's really not worth doing and is why I say it's not true 'Acrylic', just a cheap acrylic imitation using hacked in Aero Glass to the DWM.


I don't care about that 3rd party tool.

Microsoft should do it themselves

 

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@filetrekker1360 Did it maybe occur that some of us are busy? I saw the deluge of responses in my inbox and I'll add in what I did.

 

Trying to implement acrylic-like effects across all Win32 apps is what I intended to do for my Windows desktop and the best way to do that at the moment is that glass8.eu tool. That program is very buggy and requires attention with every major Windows update, however the community for the hack has been able to make scripts to fix certain error messages that have popped up. It essentially requires you to stay on the same version of Windows 10 for extended periods of time. I have moved from c. 1803 to 1903 directly and I'm okay with not staying on pace with what Microsoft releases. 

 

In terms of applying the program, it does require intensive setup procedures and troubleshooting with initial installs and it does have that ugly watermark. I'm personally a big fan of the Windows 7 interface, so I donated ~$5 to the guy running the project. The hack is totally at your own risk and it is a good implementation, in my opinion, of a way to apply Acrylic-like effects. There are multiple registry flags available for the hack to change various aspects of the transparency effects, so you can tweak it as you wish. It also has options to change how the background transparency works. Once you do needed tweaks, the program has been quite stable in my usage. I have been using it since the developer started with making it for Windows 8.1 and I find is not great, good -- but adequate.

 

What I did to make it apply in Chromium Edge was apply the flag --disable-windows10-custom-titlebar to the end of the Google Chrome executable shortcut. I didn't run it in compatibility mode. The same flag works in Google Chrome.

 

It would be great for Microsoft to implement true acrylic into Win32 since it would provide true UI uniformity across Windows and I believe they would have the technical knowhow to modify the title bar to allow recent Win32 apps to hook into Desktop Window Manager to let such effects occur. 

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The new version of Edge is based on Chromium, which is written in C and C++, Acrylic effects can't be used in native C++ codebases, your source here, from the horses mouth - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/dotnet/mixed-native-and-managed-assemblies?redirectedfrom=MSDN&...

As others have mentioned, there are some ways to cross into other Windows 10 languages to possibly enable acrylic effects in a predominately C++ app, but it requires a significant rewrite and will break compatibility with other operating systems, whereas currently, they can maintain one codebase and compile for whatever they like.
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@matthewj15 I wasn't really looking for a response from you either way, sorry if you felt I did. I was merely explaining how you did it - which, by the way, I was right, so my comment still stands, it's not true Acrylic. I did experiment with the --disable-windows10-custom-titlebar flag but it seems to have been removed or disabled somehow in the recent beta branch at least, so I couldn't get that to even work.

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@filetrekker1360 It seems to still work for me.ctx29019.png

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Personally, I think a better way to go would be not a transparent title bar but rather a design like Safari on macOS where the entire top browser chrome shows part of the website underneath (the Microsoft Store app also does this). The problem with transparent title bars is that they can get ugly depending on what's underneath (I'm looking at you, OneNote under old Edge).
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@filetrekker1360 

 

Spoiler

@filetrekker1360 wrote:
The new version of Edge is based on Chromium, which is written in C and C++, Acrylic effects can't be used in native C++ codebases, your source here, from the horses mouth - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/dotnet/mixed-native-and-managed-assemblies?redirectedfrom=MSDN&...

As others have mentioned, there are some ways to cross into other Windows 10 languages to possibly enable acrylic effects in a predominately C++ app, but it requires a significant rewrite and will break compatibility with other operating systems, whereas currently, they can maintain one codebase and compile for whatever they like.

 

 

"Acrylic effects can't be used in native C++ codebases"

source for that statement.

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It looks nice
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Does Edge classic's title bar get ugly depending on what's underneath?
any example of contents that can maybe it ugly?
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I found OneNote's purple under Edge in dark mode a rather unpleasant combination.
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@adrianghc 


@adrianghc wrote:
I found OneNote's purple under Edge in dark mode a rather unpleasant combination.

What, this?

 

Annotation 2019-12-01 003750.png

 

 

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No, I mean when OneNote's window is under old Edge's window so the intensive purple shines through under the dark grey acrylic.
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@HotCakeX I literally provided you with the source in that sentence. But here's another, again from Microsoft themselves - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/design/style/acrylic - it's only supported in XAML or C Sharp.

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Ah,
i liked it actually
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I'm sure Microsoft can extend it to other languages,
they created it, set the limits and rules themselves, so they can extend it.
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They can, but like I say they don't want to because it means maintaining two seperate codebases, if you start adding Windows 10 specific API's and instructions in you can't just maintain one codebase, and just build for any OS you like. Currently they can maintain one codebase for Windows, MacOS and Linux, whereas they'd have to maintain an entirely separate branch just for Windows 10, just to have some transparency effects, which they just won't do. The other alternative is to bake some kind of fake acrylic in, which they can't seem to figure out or don't want to do for performance reasons. So this is what I mean, they don't know how they can do it and not make it too difficult to be worth it.

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That sounds like a good explanation about the whole thing, i wonder why "they" are not saying anything about it.
they added transparency effect to their to-do list, it's currently still under review, they could just decline it in the beginning you know
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