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  • #31
    everything in moderation...

    It is.. gray. There is no glass. There are no gradients. There is no depth. There is no elegance. There is just gray. It says: "I am kicking Windows 95's ass! Barely!"
    I think this translucent/glass fever needs to come to an end. Since when did those define "elegance"? It's the GUI equivalent of the fashion statement "wearing glasses makes you look sophisticated" (pun not intended). This Vista/Aero/glass/whatnot plague has also spread into our laptop designs and made them all glossy (screens, body, everything, pure finger magnets). The old saying, "not everything that shines is gold", applies. Of course, equally, the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" applies as well.

    Since I ended up using all these idioms, I should also point out that 'everything in moderation' is the rule of thumb. Just as curved corners are considered attractive, but only in the right amount, so does transparency/reflection/gradients in some places. What we see lately is design decisions that took it too far and made the desktop look like a 'prostitute'.
    Last edited by ioannis; 11-04-2009, 04:02 PM.

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    • #32
      @Joe Sixpack: with the exception of Epiphany (which just plain sucks), I prefer the Gnome alternatives to the applications you posted: Brasero, Metacity (which also supports composition), Transmission (for torrents) - and in the wider GTK camp, there's Gnome Do, XBMC, Banshee, Tomboy. It could be simple familiarity that keeps me to the Gnome side (although I make a point to test every major KDE release), but I guess I cannot see how "Gnome is lagging behind" in practice...

      I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

      Originally posted by Joe Sixpack View Post
      (Edit: I should also note that I didn't start this discussion. While you made the comment about KDE users always trolling about Gnome, you neglect to mention that the conversation started when someone took a cheap shot at KDE4. I then responded by saying their progress justifies their decision and pointed out the contrast between KDE's momentum and that of Gnome.)
      Actually, it all started when bullext opened the discussion by likening Gnome to Windows 98.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        Evolution, Accessibility, GStreamer (with automatic codec installer), Seahorse, Orca, Tomboy, Cheese, GVFS, Brasero, fast user switching, tabbed Nautilus.

        Cheese is practically a replica of Photobooth, Brasero wants to be K3B, tabbed nautilus is a wannabe konq, fast user switching wasn't anything new and GVFS is a "NIH"ism of kio.

        On Gstreamer, tomboy and Orca I agree.

        Evolution...urgh...won't even bother
        Last edited by _txf_; 11-04-2009, 05:36 PM.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
          @Joe Sixpack: with the exception of Epiphany (which just plain sucks), I prefer the Gnome alternatives to the applications you posted: Brasero, Metacity (which also supports composition), Transmission (for torrents) - and in the wider GTK camp, there's Gnome Do, XBMC, Banshee, Tomboy. It could be simple familiarity that keeps me to the Gnome side (although I make a point to test every major KDE release), but I guess I cannot see how "Gnome is lagging behind" in practice...

          I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


          Actually, it all started when bullext opened the discussion by likening Gnome to Windows 98.
          Fair enough

          Only one correction: Contrary to the belief of a lot of gnome users, Gstreamer is not a gnome app. In fact, isn't Gstreamer the default backend of Phonon? (BTW, the entire Phonon approach is nothing short of freakin genius)

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          • #35
            I think this translucent/glass fever needs to come to an end. Since when did those define "elegance"?
            Since Mac OS X (first) and Vista (second). Apple and Microsoft have spent many millions of dollars designing and testing these interfaces - yes, some people prefer the looks of Win98, but the vast majority of users appreciate elegance and - why not? - beauty.

            I absolutely agree with your "moderation" comment. To me, it seems that the theming/design community has matured significantly over the last few years and modern themes tend to be more professional and "mature" than older ones. Just look at the new Ubuntu icon theme (Humanity, I think?) or the "New Wave" theme: these are works of art! Simple, elegant and beatiful, with curves and chrome that actually improves usability (e.g. strong button highlights, differentiating colors) and the right balance of "glossiness".

            Of course, amateur designers will produce amateur crap 9 times out of 10, but design skills seem to be going up on average now that the initial "yay Compiz!" effect has worn off.

            @__txf__: what's wrong with Evolution? Yes, it used to be pretty bad in the past but it has steadily gotten better, to the point where I prefer it over every other client I've tried. Thunderbird 2 sucks, KMail sucks worse, Outlook is way too slow, Windows Mail is laughable, Opera mail is awesome but it's missing GPG and it hits the disk too hard for my linux-on-a-stick installation.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Joe Sixpack View Post
              Fair enough

              Only one correction: Contrary to the belief of a lot of gnome users, Gstreamer is not a gnome app. In fact, isn't Gstreamer the default backend of Phonon? (BTW, the entire Phonon approach is nothing short of freakin genius)
              Wikipedia to the rescue:
              GStreamer is a pipeline-based multimedia framework written in the C programming language with the type system based on GObject.
              [...]
              The GNOME desktop environment, the primary user of GStreamer technology, has included GStreamer since GNOME version 2.2 and encourages GNOME and GTK+ applications to use it. Other projects also use or support it, such as the Chameleo media platform, the Phonon media framework and the Songbird media player.
              So while it's not a Gnome app per se (it's not hosted on gnome.org), it's pretty intricately tied with Gnome.

              Phonon is indeed a great abstraction over the multimedia pipeline/codec issue.

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              • #37
                Yeah! Delay that GNOME 3.0! Make it depend wholly on Mono, so Ubuntu 10.10 Masturbating Monkey can have finally a reason for its name! And, while you are at it, please rewrite GTK+ so I can, after 25 years of computing evolution, FINALLY change the colours of my applications with a GUI!

                Just kidding.

                I tried GNOME Shell and it is promising, but it isn't still there. You still need the rewrite; you'd love to do the kind of effects Clutter does with plain GTK+. And I'd love to see it.

                Personally, I prefer KDE. But GNOME has that kind of attention to detail that makes me forget about it. GNOME doesn't get in your way, and that's a definite plus.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                  So while it's not a Gnome app per se (it's not hosted on gnome.org), it's pretty intricately tied with Gnome.
                  As far as I can tell, it's no more "intricately tied with Gnome" than GTK+ is. That is, GNOME does use it as a component, but it doesn't depend on GNOME.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                    As far as I can tell, it's no more "intricately tied with Gnome" than GTK+ is. That is, GNOME does use it as a component, but it doesn't depend on GNOME.
                    Never said otherwise. It's intricately tied in the sense that if you take it out, half of Gnome will break.

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                    • #40
                      evolution of GUIs

                      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                      Since Mac OS X (first) and Vista (second). Apple and Microsoft have spent many millions of dollars designing and testing these interfaces - yes, some people prefer the looks of Win98, but the vast majority of users appreciate elegance and - why not? - beauty.
                      OS X is a good example of realising things went too far. In the early days of OS X (after MacOS 9), Apple fell for the same trap as everyone else with an overdose of transparencies. They gradually turned those down as the GUI design 'matured'. Microsoft is now experiencing the same symptoms with Vista and Win7, a perfect example of what I call the 'prostitute effect'. No, Vista's GUI is not elegant. It's the first attempt to escape from the ugliness of the Win98 GUI era.

                      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                      Just look at the new Ubuntu icon theme (Humanity, I think?) or the "New Wave" theme: these are works of art! Simple, elegant and beatiful, with curves and chrome that actually improves usability (e.g. strong button highlights, differentiating colors) and the right balance of "glossiness".
                      Exactly. Another good example is Moblin. To some, a bit cartoonish, but overall represent an example of beauty and elegance by simplicity and minimalism. Non-obtrusive graphical design and effects that are soothing to the eyes.


                      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                      Of course, amateur designers will produce amateur crap 9 times out of 10, but design skills seem to be going up on average now that the initial "yay Compiz!" effect has worn off.
                      This has traditionally been the problem, with code developers doing the graphical design work as well. It's like calling a house painter to do your portrait. These days, all major DEs and distros have dedicated professional graphics designer teams and it shows!
                      Last edited by ioannis; 11-05-2009, 07:33 AM.

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                      • #41
                        Please don't generalize, there is no such thing as the typical KDE or Gnome user.

                        Use what you want to use and be happy with that.

                        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                        Evolution, Accessibility, GStreamer (with automatic codec installer), Seahorse, Orca, Tomboy, Cheese, GVFS, Brasero, fast user switching, tabbed Nautilus.
                        Well tbh Nautilus having tabs is not a groundbreaking feature -- rather a sign for the stubborness of the devs as that was a real old feature-request -- neither is fast user switching or Tomboy or Evolution (what groundbreaking changes were there, IMAP?).

                        Imo there are other, better examples that happened in the Gnome ecosystem, like PackageKit, ConsoleKit and DeviceKit. Great basis for future developement and used by other DEs as well. E.g. look at that new tool to manage your drives that uses DeviceKit, really nice that you can look at the S.M.A.R.T figures and make a test etc. from a nice gui. There happened a lot though imo Gnome devs -- or the ones deciding what comes in -- often are too conservative and don't use the potential Gnome could have --> options are not bad neither are they evil! Still their conservatism is also one of Gnome's strengths, its like Ying and Yang finding a balance and that is pretty hard.

                        On the window decoration part, nearly everything is possible with the changes Marco Martin (IIRC!) did, you could make the windows look like the plasma widgets etc. there just needs to be someone writing a theme for it. I have forgotten the name though.

                        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                        Consistency, man, the point is consistency. If I hover on a button, I expect it to shine. I expect a tooltip to unfold and explain its function. If neither happens, it's broken and should be fixed (at least in the Gnome world, but I doubt KDE views this differently).
                        Don't generalize please. There are lot's of KDE devs that aren't really happy with situations you outlined above, there are also some who don't really like the new notifications etc. (heck I e.g. don't like the new "thingy" to add plasmoids, the dialog was not ideal either but could have been improved but that is just my opinion) but as it often is devs can be stubborn, especially on their brainchild. --> heck if I have compositing on I also want the option to turn transparency of my plasma widgets off, I don't like transparency.

                        On Gnome 3 what I'm missing is Gtk 3, there is nothing groundbreaking for Gtk 3 really, look at the changes of Qt, look at what we will have with Qt 4.6 in a few weeks --> animating has become so easy, I know there is Clutter, but clutter needs OpenGL Qt does not. On the Qt board there happened so much and in the following months there will happen even more (QMF for one).

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by mat69 View Post
                          Well tbh Nautilus having tabs is not a groundbreaking feature -- rather a sign for the stubborness of the devs as that was a real old feature-request -- neither is fast user switching or Tomboy or Evolution (what groundbreaking changes were there, IMAP?).
                          I listed both evolutionary and revolutionary features to counter the claim that Gnome is stagnant.

                          Tabbed Nautilus is an evolutionary feature in itself, but it has actually revolutionalized how I use my computer (actually, this was the single KDE 3.x/4.x that I missed in Gnome).

                          Evolution: several features have been introduced over the years. For me, the biggest is exchange support (I haven't been able to get this to work on any other open source mail client). Laugh all you want, but this is the feature that allowed me to stay with Gnome/Linux while working for a Windows shop.

                          Tomboy: this is an innovative little application that packs a punch. It just keeps getting better with every version, with remote sync being the killer feature. Dammit, I used to enter my notes into version control just to be able to sync them between my workstations!

                          Imo there are other, better examples that happened in the Gnome ecosystem, like PackageKit, ConsoleKit and DeviceKit.
                          No argument from me here - I just listed a number of applications that have changed my day to day experience when using Gnome.

                          Consistency, man, the point is consistency. If I hover on a button, I expect it to shine. I expect a tooltip to unfold and explain its function. If neither happens, it's broken and should be fixed (at least in the Gnome world, but I doubt KDE views this differently).
                          Don't generalize please. There are lot's of KDE devs that aren't really happy with situations you outlined above, there are also some who don't really like the new notifications etc. (heck I e.g. don't like the new "thingy" to add plasmoids, the dialog was not ideal either but could have been improved but that is just my opinion) but as it often is devs can be stubborn, especially on their brainchild. --> heck if I have compositing on I also want the option to turn transparency of my plasma widgets off, I don't like transparency.
                          Don't take my comment out of context. I replied to a very specific comment, which roughly said that (a) a specific example of inconsistency is fine (posted in the blog I linked) and (b) any user who is thrown off by this inconsistency is an idiot.

                          I don't believe that KDE developers are happy with such inconsistencies either, nor do I believe they are the result of stubborness. In all likelihood, they will be fixed sooner rather than later.

                          I do believe, however, that Gnome developers take a more proactive approach to such issues - which is also why they are delaying Gnome 3.0. It's simply a different approach to development - release earlier with some issues (KDE 4.0) or hold back and polish (Gnome 3.0). (Note: both approaches have their merits, I'm not advocating one over the other).

                          On Gnome 3 what I'm missing is Gtk 3, there is nothing groundbreaking for Gtk 3 really, look at the changes of Qt, look at what we will have with Qt 4.6 in a few weeks --> animating has become so easy, I know there is Clutter, but clutter needs OpenGL Qt does not. On the Qt board there happened so much and in the following months there will happen even more (QMF for one).
                          An OpenGL dependency is not bad now that most (relevant) open source drivers have reached ~1.5 level. Given current trends, I'd expect more and more applications to use hardware acceleration as time passes (Qt included).

                          If you are willing to look out of the box, there's a lot of innovation going on on the Gnome side, too: Moonlight on the desktop is simply awesome - and it doesn't require OpenGL either. (I expect a Clutter-based renderer will be implemented in the future, right now there's a Cairo and a OpenVG(!) based renderer.)

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                            Never said otherwise. It's intricately tied in the sense that if you take it out, half of Gnome will break.
                            I'm really not trying to argue with you, but that comment is completely insane and so is the reasoning behind it.

                            If you remove libjpeg or libxcb half of Gnome would break. The same for glibc. None of the aforementioned packages are part of Gnome or KDE. Let's not take it back to 2003 when every package written in Gtk+ or began with the letter "g" was called a Gnome app. The "g" stands for GNU - not Gnome.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Joe Sixpack View Post
                              I'm really not trying to argue with you, but that comment is completely insane and so is the reasoning behind it.

                              If you remove libjpeg or libxcb half of Gnome would break. The same for glibc. None of the aforementioned packages are part of Gnome or KDE. Let's not take it back to 2003 when every package written in Gtk+ or began with the letter "g" was called a Gnome app. The "g" stands for GNU - not Gnome.
                              Note, I said "intricately tied" which means something different than "part of". Gstreamer is intricately tied with Gnome, because Gnome is its primary consumer. For example, I really doubt that Gstreamer would break its API/ABI without first communicating with the Gnome developers.

                              Gstreamer is obviously not part of Gnome in the sense that it relies on Gnome libraries or infrastructure - it is a depenency and a significant one at that.

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                              • #45
                                It would be nice if GNOME 2.30 would have the option to login in to GNOME 3.0 (alfa/beta/...)

                                So users will have the option to switch whenever they want from 2.30 to 3.0 and back. More people will test and give their opinion and comments on the upcoming 3.0 release..

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