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Old 07-22-2008, 03:05 PM
Christoph Haas
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

Dear list...

the matter has been discussed at least twice already. Roberto C. Sanchez
brought the matter back up in January 2008. The response was very positive
but nobody wanted to implement that. Several Debian end users in my circle
would surely be happy about having screenshots available for GUI
applications to get a quick impression of how different GUI programs
look/feel like without tediously installing, trying and deinstalling them.
The "Description:" doesn't really give a good mental picture and different
maintainers choose different wordings there which makes applications hard
to compare by just reading the text.

So I'd like to get things moving. I assume we had to do this:

- Propose a new optional debian/control field "X-Screenshot:" pointing to
an URL serving an image file (PNG, JPG)
[debian-devel-announce as soon as we are ready?]
- Create a new tree on hg.debian.org to host screenshots.
- Alternatively provide a web service that hosts screenshots so that
packages can point to it (e.g. http://screenshots.debian.net/PACKAGE).
The service should also scale down the pictures to a reasonable
size suitable for thumbnail display (max 150x150).
(I can program that if needed. The only problem is probably
authenticating the maintainer. Maybe a simple email interface
checking PGP signatures will do. Needs further brainstorming.)
- Change packages.debian.org to show the thumbnail from the
package's control file. I will work on a patch if desired.
- Add this feature to package managers (synaptic, kpackage, ...).
I don't know enough about GUI programming yet that I could possibly
help here.

Actually that doesn't sound too hard. And it would be a neat little
service. Let me know what you think and please step forward if you are
already working on something like that.

This time we will really do it.

Kindly
Christoph
--
~
~
".signature" [Modified] 1 line --100%-- 1,48 All
 
Old 07-22-2008, 03:18 PM
"Leo "costela" Antunes"
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

Hi,

Christoph Haas wrote:

> - Propose a new optional debian/control field "X-Screenshot:" pointing to
> an URL serving an image file (PNG, JPG)

I don't think this is needed and could significantly bloat Packages.gz

> - Create a new tree on hg.debian.org to host screenshots.
> - Alternatively provide a web service that hosts screenshots so that
> packages can point to it (e.g. http://screenshots.debian.net/PACKAGE).
> The service should also scale down the pictures to a reasonable
> size suitable for thumbnail display (max 150x150).
> (I can program that if needed. The only problem is probably
> authenticating the maintainer. Maybe a simple email interface
> checking PGP signatures will do. Needs further brainstorming.)
> - Change packages.debian.org to show the thumbnail from the
> package's control file. I will work on a patch if desired.
> - Add this feature to package managers (synaptic, kpackage, ...).
> I don't know enough about GUI programming yet that I could possibly
> help here.

Instead of all that, why not creating this infrastructure under a
debian.net (like screenshots.debian.net) domain and when it's ready
asking for it to be linked from the PTS, for instance?
Package managers could - after the solution is sufficiently stable -
fetch from it when browsing packages.

You could adopt a standard url syntax for referring to specific packages
(like screenshots.d.n/<bin-package-name>) and create a way for
maintainers to upload screenshots to it (via email, as you suggested,
perhaps).

This way we don't have to change anything in our infrastructure and
still have a semi-official place to put this sort of information.


Cheers

--
Leo "costela" Antunes
[insert a witty retort here]
 
Old 07-22-2008, 03:24 PM
Michael Banck
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 05:05:03PM +0200, Christoph Haas wrote:
> So I'd like to get things moving. I assume we had to do this:

Before people submit dozens of screenshots all looking slightly
different, I suggest first deciding on some standards, like making sure
screenshots use the default GTK or Qt theme Debian uses.

Also, we should probably include window decorations to not make the
screenshot look funny (but exclude the rest of the user's desktop). But
then the question is, which WM to use and which theme? Personally, I'd
say use metacity's default blue theme, except for Qt apps, which could
use the default KDE theme.


Michael


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Old 07-22-2008, 03:37 PM
"Paul Wise"
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

A note: the games team has implemented goplay (debtags based game
browser that uses games-thumbnails) and games-thumbnails (a big .deb
of small screenshots).

--
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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Old 07-22-2008, 03:46 PM
"John H. Robinson, IV"
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

Michael Banck wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 05:05:03PM +0200, Christoph Haas wrote:
> > So I'd like to get things moving. I assume we had to do this:
>
> Before people submit dozens of screenshots all looking slightly
> different, I suggest first deciding on some standards, like making sure
> screenshots use the default GTK or Qt theme Debian uses.
>
> Also, we should probably include window decorations to not make the
> screenshot look funny (but exclude the rest of the user's desktop). But
> then the question is, which WM to use and which theme? Personally, I'd
> say use metacity's default blue theme, except for Qt apps, which could
> use the default KDE theme.

Not all apps are either GTK or Qt. Some are dockapps, meant to be used
with window managers such as FluxBox or Window Maker. Enlightenment has
the concept of epplets, which are similar to dockapps.

Window managers[1] deserve their own screen shots, where you would want the
whole desktop. X Display Managers[2] should be eligible, too.

[1] I count roughly forty-three window managers.
[2] Five of these.

--
John H. Robinson, IV jaqque@debian.org
http ((((
WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above, sbih.org ( )(:[
as apparently my cats have learned how to type. spiders.html ((((


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Old 07-22-2008, 03:50 PM
"John H. Robinson, IV"
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

Leo costela Antunes wrote:
>
> You could adopt a standard url syntax for referring to specific packages
> (like screenshots.d.n/<bin-package-name>) and create a way for
> maintainers to upload screenshots to it (via email, as you suggested,
> perhaps).
>
> This way we don't have to change anything in our infrastructure and
> still have a semi-official place to put this sort of information.

I like the url suggestion. I propose one modification:

http://screenshots.d.n/<bin-package-name>/0
http://screenshots.d.n/<bin-package-name>/1
http://screenshots.d.n/<bin-package-name>/n

where image 0 is the default image displayed in rendering agent. For
simplicity, they should be all the same format. I would suggest PNG.

I am less certain how to handle the full/medium-sized images vs the
thumbnail.

--
John H. Robinson, IV jaqque@debian.org
http ((((
WARNING: I cannot be held responsible for the above, sbih.org ( )(:[
as apparently my cats have learned how to type. spiders.html ((((


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Old 07-22-2008, 03:57 PM
"Bernhard R. Link"
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

* Michael Banck <mbanck@debian.org> [080722 17:27]:
> Before people submit dozens of screenshots all looking slightly
> different, I suggest first deciding on some standards, like making sure
> screenshots use the default GTK or Qt theme Debian uses.
>
> Also, we should probably include window decorations to not make the
> screenshot look funny (but exclude the rest of the user's desktop). But
> then the question is, which WM to use and which theme? Personally, I'd
> say use metacity's default blue theme, except for Qt apps, which could
> use the default KDE theme.

As I already said on irc, I think having standardized screenshots makes
people believe those are part of the window.

I'd rather see no decorations at all or some randomized WM used for each
image, so people see the decorations have nothing to do with the window.
(Perhaps with some exception if some program uses some shade of green
that clash with twm's window titles or things like that).

Hochachtungsvoll,
Bernhard R. Link


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Old 07-22-2008, 04:13 PM
Raphael Hertzog
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

On Tue, 22 Jul 2008, Christoph Haas wrote:
> - Propose a new optional debian/control field "X-Screenshot:" pointing to
> an URL serving an image file (PNG, JPG)
> [debian-devel-announce as soon as we are ready?]

You don't need/want such a field. It serves no practical purpose. There's
no reason to tie this information with the package's life. Screenshots
should be able to evolve independently and shouldn't have to wait until
the package is uploaded to be displayed/usable.

You also probably want to have multiple screenshots for each application
to preview all the important screens.

And last, I like to remind the few reflexions we had when we discussed
a framework for all kinds of (user-contributed) meta-informations during
Debconf 6:
http://wiki.debian.org/CRMI

It might give you some ideas if you want to work on something more generic
that includes the screenshots DB.

Cheers,
--
Raphaël Hertzog

Le best-seller français mis à jour pour Debian Etch :
http://www.ouaza.com/livre/admin-debian/


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Old 07-22-2008, 04:26 PM
Roberto C. Sánchez
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

Christoph,

Thanks for prodding again on this matter. I've been extremely busy.

On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 05:05:03PM +0200, Christoph Haas wrote:
> Dear list...
>
> the matter has been discussed at least twice already. Roberto C. Sanchez
> brought the matter back up in January 2008. The response was very positive
> but nobody wanted to implement that. Several Debian end users in my circle
> would surely be happy about having screenshots available for GUI
> applications to get a quick impression of how different GUI programs
> look/feel like without tediously installing, trying and deinstalling them.
> The "Description:" doesn't really give a good mental picture and different
> maintainers choose different wordings there which makes applications hard
> to compare by just reading the text.
>
> So I'd like to get things moving. I assume we had to do this:
>
> - Propose a new optional debian/control field "X-Screenshot:" pointing to
> an URL serving an image file (PNG, JPG)
> [debian-devel-announce as soon as we are ready?]

I agree with other comments that this is not necessary. If the service
is centralized (like the screenshots.d.n that you suggest below) then
looking for non-existent screenshots should simply indicate that no such
screenshot exists.

> - Create a new tree on hg.debian.org to host screenshots.

I'm not sure about this. But I personally am not a fan of hg. I think
some sort of webservice that accepts signed uploads would be better.

> - Alternatively provide a web service that hosts screenshots so that
> packages can point to it (e.g. http://screenshots.debian.net/PACKAGE).
> The service should also scale down the pictures to a reasonable
> size suitable for thumbnail display (max 150x150).
> (I can program that if needed. The only problem is probably
> authenticating the maintainer. Maybe a simple email interface
> checking PGP signatures will do. Needs further brainstorming.)

Yes, I like this better.

> - Change packages.debian.org to show the thumbnail from the
> package's control file. I will work on a patch if desired.

I don't think that this needs to reference the control file. Simply
checking the web service should be sufficient.

> - Add this feature to package managers (synaptic, kpackage, ...).
> I don't know enough about GUI programming yet that I could possibly
> help here.
>
> Actually that doesn't sound too hard. And it would be a neat little
> service. Let me know what you think and please step forward if you are
> already working on something like that.
>
> This time we will really do it.
>
I know I have really wanted to get started on this, but keep lacking the
time. I feel like we can probably get something substantial started
this time. Perhaps a meeting on IRC would be a good idea. Maybe on a
Saturday to get maximum participation?

Regards,

-Roberto

--
Roberto C. Sánchez
http://people.connexer.com/~roberto
http://www.connexer.com
 
Old 07-22-2008, 04:37 PM
"Paul Wise"
 
Default Screenshots of GUI applications (again)

On Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 11:05 PM, Christoph Haas <haas@debian.org> wrote:

> (I can program that if needed. The only problem is probably
> authenticating the maintainer. Maybe a simple email interface
> checking PGP signatures will do. Needs further brainstorming.)

This is something that non-developers can easily help with (like
debtags) and possibly get excited over, so it would be great if users
could easily contribute. I'd suggest an accept-by-default model with
the website doing size/etc checks and people watching uploads for
spam/etc.

--
bye,
pabs

http://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise


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