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Old 08-04-2008, 05:29 PM
jmak
 
Default aesthetics

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Vincent <mailinglists@vinnl.nl> wrote:
>
>
> On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 5:57 PM, jmak <jozmak@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 11:13 AM, Vincent <mailinglists@vinnl.nl> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 5:01 PM, jmak <jozmak@gmail.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> I agree with you. I am also running dreamlinux, in fact that is the
>> >> only distro that I didn't feel the need to change its defaults
>> >> setting.
>> >> This just shows what I said before; how important the look is. And how
>> >> important to understand the target audience preferences.
>> >> By the way, AWN developers are working on a standalone launcher that
>> >> works without compiz. Maybe, we can already start thinking about
>> >> replacing xubuntu's bottom panel in the upcoming releases with AWN
>> >> launcher.
>> >
>> > Bad idea, AWN isn't great in terms of usability. It leaves the two
>> > bottom
>> > corners, which are easiest to reach with the mouse (together with the
>> > top
>> > corners) unused. Besides, AWN takes up quite a lot of vertical space
>> > while
>> > we will still also need a top panel for the menu and such.
>>
>> Dreamlinux uses the similar set up but with engage. I find it
>> extremely usable.
>
> Well, it's a fact that the corners are the easiest to reach, so it's a waste
> not to use it.
>
>>
>> Because engage is sitting behind the applications
>> only one panel visible, that even optimizes screenspace.
>
> Having the icons behind the applications is really not that handy, see
> http://www.digiplace.nl/images/dream.png
> The margin at the bottom is distracting and meanwhile the dock is unusable.
>
>>
>> I like the
>> idea that the systemtray and the menu is on the same panel.
>
> That already is the case in Xubuntu IIRC.
>
>>
>> And in the
>> next awn release, you will be able position the launchers any side of
>> the screen.
>> In the last sentence, you meant its size? It is too large that's what you
>> meant?
>
> Yep, if it doesn't hide behind windows then it takes up a lot of screen real
> estate (with a lot wasted at both sides of the dock), which doesn't sound
> like a good idea after all the discussion on decreasing the panel size.
>>
>> >>
>> >> Even Mark Suttleworth indicated, it is possible that in the future kde
>> >> will be the main ubuntu desktop rather than gnome.
>> >
>> > No he didn't. He said that an LGPL Qt might be the basis of GNOME
>> > instead of
>> > GTK - with an emphasis on *might*, because clearly that would be a lot
>> > of
>> > work. Besides, GTK is also still improving.
>>
>> I was not sure exactly the wording; but now he starts talking about
>> the beauty of the macintosh and the fact that ubuntu has to look even
>> better, indicates that when kde 4 will be fully functional he might
>> make kde as a main ubuntu desktop.
>
> Can you cite a source? I'm quite up-to-date yet can't recall reading
> anything of the sorts. I do know he wants to out-pretty OS X, but no mention
> of using KDE to accomplish that. (Probably the most important step to
> accomplish that is a different colour scheme ;-)

Oh the source. I cannot remember where i read it; I think it was in an
interview. I wish I would have saved it. But the tendency is that Mark
gradually warms up to the idea that kde is the way to go. Eventually
he will realize that with the brown image of ubuntu he wont be able to
break into the mainstream.

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Old 08-04-2008, 05:41 PM
jmak
 
Default aesthetics

Funny, the ubuntu people are having the same kind of usability debate
as we do. Here, I copy one of the comments that is instructive for us
as well.

-------------------------------------

"Mark Shuttleworth has expressed that Ubuntu should surpass the
experience offered by the OSX. Perhaps before OSX can be surpassed it
must be equaled. The current usability of Ubuntu does not equal OSX. I
see there are members of the community who think Ubuntu should offer a
UI that is different from other offerings but this is a very difficult
to do and still meet the expectations of the general computing public
who we recognize as an important audience.

What is it that makes the OSX such a great UI?

* consistent widgets across all applications;
* extremely smooth, stable and polished visual behavior from startup
to shutdown;
* sophisticated use do color, contrast, texture and placement of
widgets and decorations;
* attention to detail (seems that they have thought about the sizing
and placement of every element and every mimetype);
* seamless integration of visual and aural elements (for example, in
Ubuntu the very long default logon sound is often over before the
desktop is ready for use);
* visually strong wallpapers;

This attention to detail is what draws users to OSX. I think Ubuntu
has to do the same. I don't know if the current UI toolkits like QT
and GTK are up to the task.

Ubuntu designers need to get over their aversion to looking like Vista
or OSX until they have mastered the best those UI's have to offer.
Ubuntu is not going to re-invent the usability wheel any time soon.
Vista. Office 2007 and the Novell "slab" have shown how disastrous
this mindset can be. Modern GUI users expect toolbars, icons, menus,
form fields, etc. They expect them to be in places where they are used
to finding them. You cannot simply do something different just for the
sake of being different. Keep in mind, Apple and Microsoft are
leveraging years of UI development research. Apple does a far better
job and is the horse to beat. OSX is not perfect; for example, Finder
is a clumsy file manager. This lack of usability is not the fault of
the UI artists, however. They do a miraculous job".


jmak

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Old 08-04-2008, 06:54 PM
Vincent
 
Default aesthetics

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 7:29 PM, jmak <jozmak@gmail.com> wrote:


Oh the source. I cannot remember where i read it; I think it was in an

interview. I wish I would have saved it. But the tendency is that Mark

gradually warms up to the idea that kde is the way to go. * Eventually

he will realize that with the brown image of ubuntu he wont be able to

break into the mainstream.


AFAIK he's been using Kubuntu for ages. AFAIK the community can also play a huge role in changing the colourscheme, which, for the sake of Ubuntu, I hope quickly happens. For Xubuntu, however, that isn't really relevant as our colourscheme works quite nice.


If the applications cover the dock that's better than in my screenshot, yet the panel being visible (with optional auto-hide) is still less confusing and what people are used to (" You cannot simply do something different just for the sake of being different.").

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Old 08-04-2008, 08:28 PM
Jari Rahkonen
 
Default aesthetics

jmak wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 6:15 AM, Vincent <mailinglists@vinnl.nl> wrote:
>>
>> On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 2:57 AM, jmak <jozmak@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> If we pick Unity as our default theme the panel color should be:
>>> bg[NORMAL] = "#d6d6d6"
>>> -Add this line to the panel code just above the 'xthickness = 0' line.
>> As Jari said, that should be a modification of Unity of course (Wasn't it
>> possible to specify application-specific background colours? I believe there
>> even was an option to theme panels. If so, this might even be an idea to
>> suggest upstream
>
> Yes, that would be the ideal. But unity already packgaged and in the
> repository. I personally don't know how to modify the theme to include
> the panel color. I might ask the author, maybe he can give some clues.
> But if from whatever reason, the modification wouldn't be possible;
> would it be acceptable adding a workaround suggestion to the
> documentation that explain how to comment out the line from the
> gtkrc-2.0 if need be, or changing the color to something else. I can
> write this part of it if necessary.
>

You should be able to move the required line(s) from your gtkrc-2.0 to
/usr/share/themes/themename/gtk-2.0/gtkrc.

By the way, I found an article from April 2007 in your blog that details
the necessary gtkrc changes to set the Xfce panel color. It seems the
single color definition wasn't enough by itself back then:


style "panel"
{
bg[NORMAL] = "#d6d6d6"
xthickness = 0
ythickness = 0
}

widget_class "*Panel*" style "panel"
widget "*Panel*" style "panel"
class "*Panel*" style "panel"


I substituted the color you specified in your mail, otherwise that's a
direct quote from the blog entry. You can find the entry here:
http://jozmak.blogspot.com/2007/04/optimizing-xubuntus-user-interface.html

I don't claim to know the gtkrc format, but it seems you should be able
to make sure the style is only applied to the xfce panel by using more
specific widget and style names. That way there would seem to be no
reason not to include it in the upstream theme. I'd assume that as is
the theme would be applied to any gtk widget with "Panel" as part of
it's name. The friendly people on the xfce-dev mailing list would
probably be able to tell you which widgets you should be interested in.


- Jari


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Old 08-04-2008, 09:33 PM
Eero Tamminen
 
Default aesthetics

Hi,

On Monday 04 August 2008, Jari Rahkonen wrote:
> style "panel"
> {
> bg[NORMAL] = "#d6d6d6"
> xthickness = 0
> ythickness = 0
> }
>
> widget_class "*Panel*" style "panel"
> widget "*Panel*" style "panel"
> class "*Panel*" style "panel"

AFAIK style specifications like "*name*" are noticeably slower than
specifying things using "*name" or "name*" (because those can be
short-circuited) if there are lot of these style items. As styles are bound
at item creation, e.g. treeviews in file selectors with thousands of items
could get slower enough so that user notices it, at least of slower
machines...

(maemo distro has huge gtkrcs for defining styles and they were one of
the reasons why maemo uses maemo-launcher to speed up starting
the applications.)


> I substituted the color you specified in your mail, otherwise that's a
> direct quote from the blog entry. You can find the entry here:
> http://jozmak.blogspot.com/2007/04/optimizing-xubuntus-user-interface.htm
>l
>
> I don't claim to know the gtkrc format, but it seems you should be able
> to make sure the style is only applied to the xfce panel by using more
> specific widget and style names. That way there would seem to be no
> reason not to include it in the upstream theme. I'd assume that as is
> the theme would be applied to any gtk widget with "Panel" as part of
> it's name. The friendly people on the xfce-dev mailing list would
> probably be able to tell you which widgets you should be interested in.

Maybe xubuntu themes could have separate gtkrc for panel and panel
could load it by itself from current theme (directory)?


- Eero

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Old 08-05-2008, 12:11 AM
jmak
 
Default aesthetics

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 5:33 PM, Eero Tamminen <oak@helsinkinet.fi> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On Monday 04 August 2008, Jari Rahkonen wrote:
>> style "panel"
>> {
>> bg[NORMAL] = "#d6d6d6"
>> xthickness = 0
>> ythickness = 0
>> }
>>
>> widget_class "*Panel*" style "panel"
>> widget "*Panel*" style "panel"
>> class "*Panel*" style "panel"
>
> AFAIK style specifications like "*name*" are noticeably slower than
> specifying things using "*name" or "name*" (because those can be
> short-circuited) if there are lot of these style items. As styles are bound
> at item creation, e.g. treeviews in file selectors with thousands of items
> could get slower enough so that user notices it, at least of slower
> machines...
>
> (maemo distro has huge gtkrcs for defining styles and they were one of
> the reasons why maemo uses maemo-launcher to speed up starting
> the applications.)
>
>
>> I substituted the color you specified in your mail, otherwise that's a
>> direct quote from the blog entry. You can find the entry here:
>> http://jozmak.blogspot.com/2007/04/optimizing-xubuntus-user-interface.htm
>>l
>>
>> I don't claim to know the gtkrc format, but it seems you should be able
>> to make sure the style is only applied to the xfce panel by using more
>> specific widget and style names. That way there would seem to be no
>> reason not to include it in the upstream theme. I'd assume that as is
>> the theme would be applied to any gtk widget with "Panel" as part of
>> it's name. The friendly people on the xfce-dev mailing list would
>> probably be able to tell you which widgets you should be interested in.
>
> Maybe xubuntu themes could have separate gtkrc for panel and panel
> could load it by itself from current theme (directory)?
>

Hi Jari, Eero,

Actually, Unity includes panel theming code. I made a stupid mistake
of not checking this out but assuming that unity is like the default
theme that do not. So everything is fine and looking good. The
bg[NORMAL] = "#b6b6b6" is not needed in the gtkrc-2.0 file but the
rest still needs to be there in order to improve icon rendering on the
panel.

Thanks,
jmak

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