Tiny Tiny RSS: Community

Bring back classic look?


Is there currently any way to bring back the original design of tt-rss? i.e. this one:

I use one of those versions and hugely prefer its classic look over the current design choices.
Now I would like to upgrade my server to PHP7, but unfortunately my version is not compatible with that. Tried installing a version “only a bit” newer (15.7), but nope, it is redesigned already.
It seems like if I want to keep this, I will have to create a separate VM for my tt-rss instance and stay with PHP5 on it forever. Or comb through all the PHP7 breakages and fix them myself (already tried once, but hit an encodings issue in the end and bailed on it).

i wouldn’t recommend staying with old versions, if only because some (minor) security issues were fixed since then.

also, this is like the fourth major iteration of tt-rss design. hardly an original.


  1. you should be able to go back to dijit claro theme, although it would require some minor code hacks, i.e. replace body class flat with claro, include claro.css in default.less, rebuild default.css.

  2. this won’t restore pixel icons, but you should be able to add those back without core changes using css3 overrides, stuff like i[class='net-alert'] { content : url("old-icon.png") } or whatever.

  3. you would also need to merge back tt-rss specific UI styles. you won’t be able to simply copy old CSS style definitions because a lot of styles got refactored and simplified since then.

i’m not sure if going back to pixel aesthetics of vanilla dijit would be worth going through all this trouble. my suggestion would be letting this one go.

e: here’s some quick screenshots with claro theme on trunk: one, two, three.

e: here’s one with minor css updates here.

How about creating a custom theme?

Luckily with self-hosted apps it doesn’t have to be like that, there are options aside from either putting up with it or switching to something else.
The version that I currently have is 100.00% perfect for me; and it’s probably my most important day-to-day tool, at least as far as web apps go. Certainly wouldn’t want to lose it, and don’t see a reason to compromise on it becoming less convenient or visually ergonomic either.
For the record I do realize the new design is in line with the “modern UI” trend of current OSes and websites. But to me it is only a very sad and misguided trend that I hope to see someday reversed.

From fox’s reply I get an impression this is not possible without code changes. And personally I feel even with those it will be far from the same, in some subtle but annoying ways.

yes, my evil plan was making the UI worse because le modern trends. you got me. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

let’s look at what had really changed between your op screenshot and now

general UI stuff:

  • i’ve increased base font size somewhat, normalized dependent font sizes, and added some margins here and there. i think those changes improved legibility of the UI while not falling into the common pitfall of endless fields of white space everywhere common to much hated, by some, “modern design”
  • i guess i’ve removed some bright borders and shit. tt-rss is primarily a tool for reading, in my opinion article content takes precedence over application UI which should fade into background until you need it[1]
  • stuff like ES6 templating / mutation observers made UI work faster while using less resources on the client, with cleaner frontend code as a nice bonus, imagine that

icons & theme:

  • i had to remove bitmap icons (even though i like them) because they look like shit on hidpi screens,
  • icon fonts are easier to deal with for me because it’s cleaner markup, can be easily styled and resized with CSS, and are entirely vector so scaling just works
  • claro theme had to go because it had tons of hardcoded blurry bitmaps (see above) in unmanageable tilesets which were an absolute bitch to override. it didn’t scale properly past 96dpi, even if you set your browser to 110% on a low-dpi screen it started to look like shit
  • le modern flat dijit theme tt-rss is based on now has all necessary bells and whistles to make tt-rss UI work, including (finally) bootstrap-style role-colored buttons, is entirely vector, uses faster and cleaner markup, and can be easily recompiled to provide for proper functioning variants of different color, i.e. night theme was a horrible hack before, it is a first class citizen now, all thanks to that

in short, not everything new is automatically bad.

  1. the idea to reduce UI contrast changes i took from the ergonomics study used for the original IBM PC mentioned here.

@fox, tt-rss looks great and behaves great. Too often in the public arena we get criticism and not enough kudos. You have a great system and a fabulous price. Keep up the great work.

I have benefitted a lot by the simple css hooks and love the customizable css feature in prefs. Outstanding.