I guess I'll go through this point by point…
The_Tick wrote:- Without a border all the way around the window, it looks like some floating toolbar and then junk at the bottom
It does look a little weird, but as soon as you send a couple messages it fills up and visually links them together quickly.
Also, unlike, say, Safari (where you can turn on transparency from the Debug menu), the visual weight of Adium is focused at the bottom, not the top. So even with a large window and an empty message history, it still feels clear that they're linked together.
The_Tick wrote:- Shadow stops at the cocoa interfaces from what I can tell. You get a little shadow otherwise, but it really does look like the window just stops.
I don't see what you mean. OS X automatically applies shadows around whatever is opaque, including the window titlebar, scroll bar, chat bubbles, and text entry/tab area. I intentionally call -invalidateShadow to keep it in sync as new messages are displayed (although at the moment, when scrolling, it doesn't update until you let go of the scroll bar).
Heh heh. I'd liken it more to Adium's existing ability to change the contact list's background transparency.
The_Tick wrote:- Can already be achieved via third party tools
What tools? WindowShade and SetAlphaValue both change the entire window's transparency (using NSWindow's -setAlphaValue:).
I specifically punch a hole directly underneath the WebView (taking advantage of NSRectFill, which uses NSCompositeCopy to actually paint -clearColor), and it doesn't effect the transparency of the text or icons in the WebView on top of it.
The_Tick wrote:Catfish_Man mentioned that this would add a pref as well. I thought about that for a second, and realized that if left up to the authors of message styles alone, it would cause a huge problem for people who have vision problems. So a pref would definitely be required.
You can kind of see in my second screenshot—all I did was turn on the alpha slider for the existing color well control (with NSColorPanel's -setShowsAlpha:). Of course, message style authors can already specify the default background, and that wouldn't change.
Under the hood, I just modified AIColorAddition's -stringRepresentation to store the alpha value (and it turned out that -representedColor already knew how to deal with the alpha component—handy).
The_Tick, if you or any other Adium devs want to IM me, I can get you a compiled copy of my modified version, just so you can try it out. The screenshots don't really do it justice, but after playing with it I think you'll admit that it's actually pretty cool…
Nsma wrote:And if the background could be changed to different transparencies or colors or even add a background image it would be cool.
I just tried it, and transparent PNGs (and I expect GIFs and TIFFs too) work perfectly. As for transparencies and colors, see the second screenshot—the background is set to a 36% opaque powder blue.
Nsma wrote:It does look a little rough though.
Well, I'm open to suggestions for improvement…