Forum: DSL Ideas and Suggestions
Topic: more eyecandy!
started by: jaapz
Posted by jaapz on Feb. 23 2008,11:17well people, i think if DSL wants to attract more "customers" i think we'll have to come up with some nice eyecandy. I'm sorry but the background now in dsl.4.2.x is just too ugly...
Also, a more "clean" taskbar would be very nice.
I would really like to help with this, but i cant handle it on my own. Maybe we should set up a team of "eyecandy"-developers who will concentrate on the look of DSL?
Let me know what you think of it!
Posted by curaga on Feb. 23 2008,11:36Whoa, the fractal wallpaper of DSL 4.2 looks way better than the blue one of 4.1, doesn't it?
Of course you don't have to do it by yourself, but as different people have different opinions, do what you can. If you think a particular edit to some part would be nice, do it, and post a before&after pic so everyone can see it.
It isn't too hard, if you make a good suggestion it's nearly bound to get in
Posted by mikshaw on Feb. 23 2008,13:01Personally I never cared for the fractalMovement background. My favorite from DSL has been the previous dark greenish circle-like thing that you can barely see. Basically if I notice the background without specifically looking at it I don't think it's a good background...it should be as subtle as possible, in my opinion, particularly when aterms are transparent by default.
Then again, I don't know why people care what the default background is. I almost always change it soon after installation, and I've never once seen a desktop system whose default background image made any impression at all about how good the desktop is. If there are people who do feel that way I'd have to ask if they were dropped on their heads at any point in their early years.
Posted by jaapz on Feb. 23 2008,14:51
It's not about how good a desktop is, you know. The fact is that many people don't only choose a OS because it has a few good tools and it works on their computer. It also has to look good, because most of the time when something looks good its way nicer to work with and so you get a good user experience. And when something works nicer more people go work with it ;).
And i'm very sure i didnt drop on my head :P.
(wow, hard to tell it the good way in english :P)
But also, there are people who dont care a **** about how it looks if it just works.
@curaga: ok, i just posted it because i never ever have worked in a group to make a open-source program, so i dont know how it all works ;). But i'll just start with some backgrounds an then i'll post em in the forums!
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 23 2008,14:52DSL isn't about eyecandy -- regardless of distro, that's always been a personal thing best left to end users. There's a thread with a list of JWM themes I submitted and (iirc) I posted links to wallpapers and other stuff on my blog (website link below; see my JWM pages on my DSL-related pages). So the tools are already in place for you to do what you want.
Despite all the screenshots I have on my blog, I rarely see my background unless I'm using transparent terminals. And even then, I usually set my background to a solid color or gradient so I can see what I'm doing.
People are already attracted to DSL because of its utility. IMO, we can do without the kind of "customers" (not the most accurate term for users who download free ISOs) drawn in by graphics and styling and who care less-to-nothing about substance. Let them burn up their dual processors with beryl/compiz and spinning interfaces. Let me have a simple interface because I use my computers to do stuff, not to stare at backgrounds and decorations (note many of my screenshots lack window decorations altogether!) and go "ohhhh ahhh" with occular orgasms.
Posted by jpeters on Feb. 24 2008,00:07
Be very careful with that, as it can lead to ocular protuberances with marked elongation (sag.) of the vincular furrow.
Posted by humpty on Feb. 27 2008,19:15It is down to individual tastes, although first impressions do have some impact.
Personally I like switching to eye candy when I do casual stuff like web browsing, switch to a tiled woodgrain background when doing documents and it's almost always a plain black background during serious development stuff.
An easy way to switch themes would be a good idea.
Also recently 'j' submitted a 'gtk pixmap engine' in testing. Although there might be some drawbacks, I think jaapz might like it.
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 28 2008,01:04
That's why Robert wrote the theme-switcher application (setTheme.lua) last time this subject came up. See jwmThemes.tar.gz in the themes section of MyDSL.
Posted by roberts on Feb. 29 2008,00:11A new review of < v4.2.5 >
Good thing that Lucky13 contributed the new dark theme, as it is mentioned in the review.
It seems that eye candy is like "Marsha". Its always Marsha, Marsha , Marsha.
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 29 2008,03:12
Heh, exactly. Thanks for sharing that link!
Posted by jaapz on Feb. 29 2008,16:08
i count myself too young for that :P
but as some people like the idea and some people don't, at first i will just post some backgrounds, i will take a look at that pixmap gtk thingy and maybe submit some styles for it, it sounds interesting!
well, my first try for a decent background where me myself and i are not quite satisfied with:
< Click >
(xcf file for gimp also available: < Click >)
Posted by lucky13 on Feb. 29 2008,17:35
It's 375.28 KB (384287 bytes). That's not "damn small" -- it's bigger than most of the backgrounds that came with Vista (which are mostly in in the 60-80k range at 1024x768 or 800x600, iirc)! Most of the backgrounds DSL has used, like the one you said is ugly, are less than 20kb. I've posted some that are less than 10kb on my blog. (Edit: And the classic backgrounds extension in MyDSL is 236K compressed, fwiw.)
This whole nitpicking about aesthetics is something that won't sit well with those of us who are anti-bloat because you're invariably arguing for style over substance. That's why it's best left to personal preference. Many people are using DSL because it has low resource requirements. A wallpaper that's a third of a MB (!!!) requires a lot more RAM than one that's only a few KB and reduces what the rest of the system can do. People need to keep this in mind when saying why DSL isn't as "flashy" as everything else.
Posted by mikshaw on Feb. 29 2008,20:21You can easily see how this affects performance particularly in those flashy systems that have everything from the default fat to (sometimes) minimalistic themes in a given desktop. I had Xfce running with Rox in a Vector desktop a little while ago, and wondering why the heck this supposedly light and fast desktop was so sluggish. After a quick change of the theme and desktop image, its performance shot up dramatically.
It makes me wonder sometimes about how much smaller and faster a *ubuntu or Windows or OSX system might be if all the developers of its parts were to simply replace all graphics with lighter and less flashy stuff....do nothing different but cutting back on the image load, and leave it up to the users to decide what visuals they wanted. I'm guessing it would save a lot of resources in a default install.
Posted by jpeters on Mar. 01 2008,03:00Maybe some kind of 12 step program for computer paraphilias are in order.
Perhaps the next step is some kind of fabric, producing tactile as well as visual stimuli, or hair like strands hovering around the monitor. I get excited just thinking of the possibilities for improvement.
Posted by u2musicmike on Mar. 01 2008,16:06The program imagemagick works really good for reducing the size of an image without reducing the appearance. In fluxbox I have a style that chooses a random background image when it starts so I keep my images pretty small.
Posted by sweetshort on Mar. 01 2008,21:14I agree with both views that looks are important to inspire, and to make some people feel comfortable in their own home workspace, and that looks, however, can heavily bloat a system.
I'm all for substance, but for beauty from time to time. I find that substance is lacking and that too many distros and OSes are focusing on the looks. Beauty is great when doing web browsing and that sort of stuff. Most of the time or even all the time, however, I turn all that junk off because I don't like lag. Why wait for a cube to turn to change workspace when I can simply change workspace with a click? Why wait for a theme to load when I don't have to?
No offense to Mac people, but I think OS X triggered the beauty contest. Macs have a balance between beauty and function, which makes them popular; nonetheless, I find OS X to be very bloated compared to OS 9. Why?
Windows 9x, aside from the crashes and viruses, works very smoothly and does a lot of things well on a 486. Why does WindowsXP and up feel very bloated?
For those OSes like Ubuntu that are for the general masses, it's normal that they will try to make their OSes look beautiful like a brand new car. They are trying to show that a Linux OS can be as great, as easy or better than ___. In some ways that's great because mentioning Linux instead of Windows or Mac will scare less people.
DSL has a specific niche; it isn't Ubuntu for that reason. I find DSL is okay the way it is in terms of look; it is bare, fast and bloat free. If someone wants to make it beautiful afterwards, it will be their choice. Perhaps there can be a beauty package or site for those who want to turn DSL into their own beautiful workspace.
Posted by mikshaw on Mar. 02 2008,00:53Or perhaps a forum thread or wiki section could be devoted to teaching users about setting background images, changing Gtk/jwm/murgaLua/fluxbox themes, making terminal apps more attractive, changing desktop icons, etc.
Posted by newby on Mar. 02 2008,11:52
Reminds me of the researcher, Francis S. Gilbert, who used Rasch analysis to prove that the only ones of the 12 steps that contributed to sobriety are the first three ones.*
So, in that light, I propose...
"I admit I am powerless over Windoz. I can not indulge in eye candy, no matter what. I turn myself over to the power of *nix."
(* Journal of Studies on Alcohol , 1991, 52:4, pp 353-360)
<SERIOUS MODE ON>
I use graphical interfaces when they make the puter useful and the job at hand easier, like image editing. Beyond that, I still haven't found the limit to what can be done on an 8-bit processor with 16k ROM and 32k RAM.
Posted by roberts on Mar. 05 2008,05:34
I really do appreciate the effort to contribute a new background.
Since it is low color I was able to cut it down to size (30.5k)
But it is quite noticeable that the x in Linux is cut off.
The D in Damnsmall is also partially off the screen.
Perhaps you could correct these two things?
Posted by jpeters on Mar. 08 2008,05:32
Obviously...no appreciation for art!
Posted by jaapz on Mar. 13 2008,08:24actually that was quite on purpose cos i think it looks pretty good :P
but i will make a new version with the text more in view.
im sorry for the late reaction btw ;)
Posted by jaapz on Mar. 15 2008,16:01ok heres the new one:
< http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/566/bg1pz6.png >
of course its big again, but u should be able to make it some smaller again
I'll try to make some more, but as i have not much time it wont be very soon
Posted by roberts on Mar. 16 2008,18:21Thanks! I have resized it to be size consistent with past used backgrounds. Looks nice.