APR
28
2002

Mosfet.org on Desktop Elegance

Recently, there have been some comments in the press regarding KDE's look and feel which were, to say the least, rather unflattering. The comments centered mainly around KDE's icons and the overall elegancy of the desktop. Like many of us, Mosfet felt these comments were unwarranted and somewhat misinformed, but he took the extra step of writing up a public response. I'm glad someone did. A lot of people have always enjoyed KDE's default look and feel, but with sites like KDE-Look.org (includes icon themes), appsy's theme section, as well as the new dedicated themes section on freshmeat, there are now more possibilities than ever to adjust KDE to your personal liking. KDE 3.1 will offer even more.

Comments

True, but as far as I know, most newbies who have used a computer have used Windows. That the 'default' look of Kde is similar to Windows, IMHO, is a plus point.

For a true newbie, like some of my relatives, even OS X may prove confusing. Most of them try of memorize ways to do the simplest things and get stuck (Example "Go to the toolbar and click the mail icon to send the mail." "What do I do, there is no mail icon on the toolbar??"). For a new person to learn, he must find it intuitive enough to go about doing whatever he feels and get some result, so he learns through experience and logic. I have seen people delve into kde, change wallpapers, check out the games, and so on. I have not seen them do the same on others.


By Rithvik at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

...Is to identify the biggest things people complain when it comes to KDE (some of the things I mention affect all desktops, not just KDE). I think this list covers the worst (not in any particular order):

1. Performance
2. Icons
3. Fonts
4. Generic eye-candy

Then we need to figure out how to handle those problems:

1. Performance: KDE 3 is a step in to right direction (so I have heard, I still use 2.2.2). And I think the new linker in GCC 3.1 will significantly improve responsiveness of KDE. So we are in a right track here. Of course we should still explore ways to improve performance.

2. Icons: There are alo of nice icons available for KDE (and other desktops), so the question really is to have nice DEFAULT icons. Everaldos Crystal-icons would do the trick just fine :)

3. Fonts: this is the big one. Unfortunately there's very little KDE-folks can do about this, this is up to the xfree-folks. AA helps alot, but the rendering could be improved. I hope xfree 4.3 fixes the hinting, that should improve quality nicely. But we also need nice fonts. You can use the MS-fonts (I use them. One of the few good things MS has ever done), but we could use some fonts of our own, instead of having to live on the mercy of MS when it comes to fonts.

4. Generic eye-candy. This covers such things as window-decorations, transparency, color-schemes and the like. Again, we are on a right track. Keramik window-decoration for example looks really good, and I'm looking forward of seeing it in KDE :). The default color-scheme is nice and easy on the eyes. And transparency is nice, but it could be improved (like having REAL transparency where stuff behind the window get's updated. But that's up to the xfree-folks)

All in all, I think things are moving along quite nicely.


By Janne at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

> There are alo of nice icons available for KDE (and other desktops), so the question really is to
> have nice DEFAULT icons. Everaldos Crystal-icons would do the trick just fine :)

Which I don't like as much as the default icons which IMHO have a much cleaner look. I think you cannot make everybody happy by law... ;)

> But we also need nice fonts.

I personally think the GhostScript Type1 fonts which I'm using have quite a good quality. However maybe a font-section on kde-look.org with nice PS Type1-Fonts would be cool.

Greetinx,

Gunter Ohrner


By Gunter Ohrner at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I have always been very fond of KDE's default icons -- they really
are clear, crisp, and please my eyes. Not only mine: I remember
installing KDE on a friends laptop. He took it home with him. The
next day he told me his girlfriend had asked him to install those
beautiful icons on her windows computer :-).


By Boudewijn Rempt at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

"Which I don't like as much as the default icons which IMHO have a much cleaner look. I think you cannot make everybody happy by law... ;)"

True. I myself have no problems with the default KDE-icons. But the icons seem to be one of the thing people most often complain when it comes to KDE. I use Crystal-icons myself. Mayne Kpersonaliser should present the user with different icons he could choose from? I don't remember that does it do that already, it's been a while since I ran Kpersonaliser myself :).


By Janne at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

> But the icons seem to be one of the thing people most often complain when it comes to KDE.

It's always the same problem when you're happy with something, usually you're quite quiet so only unhappy people will be seen..

Maybe it could be solved by a poll or something like this.


By renox at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Lycoris? A MS WindowsXP look & feel clone. This is good, they are going to sell their product.
Crystal icon theme? A MacOSX & MS WindowsXP mixed look & feel clone. (90 % popularity on kde-look). This is also good. We can get new users from windows world.
iKons theme? MS WindowsXP look & feel clone. (90 % popularity on kde-look.org). Very, very good. We can attract new users from windows world.
Liquid? An MacOSX Aqua clone. (90 % popularity on kde-look.org). Good, we can maybe attract users from MacOSX world.
Future KDE look & feel? A mix of crystal, ikons & liquid. A mix of WinXP and MacOSX. We take the best from both of these environments. We can be the most popular desktop in the world.

I feel I am going to switch to Gnome 2.


By antialias at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I have to clarify above statements :) Of course I am not going to switch to Gnome, I just want to point that Mr. Bart knows that KDE is highly customizable. If he doesn't like the K (actually Go
button) he can change it. He can either hire an artist to do that for him or change it and replace it with Gnome foot. So, saying that KDE is ugly is contradictio in adjecto. If you are a tasteless person you will have an ugly desktop.

Default icon set in KDE is not made to please some adolescents. It is made with respect to all aspects of good (G)UI: clear, non-disturbing, consistent & effective. And the only icon-set we have for KDE that takes care about these elements is our default icon-set. That is the only icon set where I can easily recognize what is what, and which icon represents which application, and where mimetype icons don't look as if they are all the same and where you don't need to guess what is what.


By antialias at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

> I feel I am going to switch to Gnome 2.

and what do you think you get with this ? gnome 2 offers nothing, no browser like konqueror, no filemanager like konqueror, no mailer like kmail nothing. you dont get consistency in the menues etc. basically all you get with gnome 2 is anger, frustration, pissed off feelings, half working applications.


By desperado at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

WHAT!!!!!

I feel inclined to argue. GNOME I believe is much better than KDE. It is much less clunky and looks better due to GTK.

Inconsitency? No file browser?

The first point is definately wrong, and the file browser is nautilus. It integrates quite well with Konqeror if you need it to.

The themes are much better in GNOME besides.

GNOME 2 is much better than KDE.

Surse there are things in KDE which GNOME doesn't have that I wish it did, but overall, I think GNOME is best.


By NerdNetwork at Sun, 2004/03/14 - 6:00am

Good job, you replied to a post two years ago. And Gnome still sucks ass.

Plastik is a better theme than any gtk theme.


By anon at Sun, 2004/03/14 - 6:00am

I don't think so, and I hadn't noted the dated, I do apologise for the inconvenience.

However, GNOME's GTK I believe is a better theming engine than whatever KDE uses. I believe GNOME integrates with the network much better, and generally, acts better. Although, I do respect your opinion.

What version do you have (of GNOME I mean), and which distribution?

I have Fedora Core 1, with GNOME 2.4.

Of course, we are all subject to our opinions ;)


By NerdNetwork at Sun, 2004/03/14 - 6:00am

Now, I don't want to offend anyone here, but I think making the kermaik+crystal look default in KDE 3.1 is a horrible idea.
Distracting themes and icons is not IMHO, a good thing, they should be kept simple and efficient.

Having too many styles, icon themes and window decorations available in kcontrol is not a good idea either, as it's only confusing for the user.
In kcontrol, Look & Feel section, provide a link to kde-look.org instead.

A choice of 3 widget styles, 3 window decorations and perhaps 2 or 3 icon themes as well as 3 'metathemes' in the kcontrol theme manager consisting of the elements of the above mentioned styles, decorations and icons is IMHO, the way to go.

As a default style, something like a combination of Light Style 2nd and 3rd edition, and .NET style would be perfect.
More specifically, the tabs, sliders and scrollbars from Light Style 2nd edition, the menus from .NET style, and the rest from Light Style 3rd edition.

The default icon theme, should be something elegant, yet simple and illustrate an obvious function, something like the icons in QNX RTOS.

Kermaik and crystal should, IMHO, be one of the 2 remaining alternatives for the user, as well as the iKons and/or Slick icons themes ( as it is now).
Don't get me wrong, Keramik and Crystal are very nice and original, but I think a simple (but elegant) look allows one to be more productive.

I also think more resources should be donated to making good interface guidlines, like the ones Apple have published on their site, detailed guidelines for icons, widget placement in applications and so on, for better consistency between KDE applications.

I don't want to sound ungrateful or arrogant, in that case I'm sorry.
I'm also no expert in GUI design, infact, I don't know shit about GUI design, it's just that an interface like in QNX or BeOS feels more productive, and I think that is what we should aim for.

I have very little spare time on my hands, but I'm willing to donate most of that time to work on an icon theme, unless there's a complete lack of interest for yet another icon theme.

I just want to give a big THANKS! to all the KDE developers and everyone else involved in the KDE project, I've been jumping back and forth between GNOME, KDE and WindowMaker/GNUstep, and I've finally decided to stay with KDE, since it IMHO feels far more professional.


By Magnus at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

This is embarrasing, what I wrote was imcomplete.
To clarify; What I mean about interface guidlines, I ment MORE detailed guidelines, like the ones from Apple, I'm aware of the present guidlines, wich are great!, but Apple has published VERY detailed interface guidlines for OS X, like measurements between widgets in pixels, wich gives you a whole lot of consistency.

Sorry about that.


By Magnus at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

> Distracting themes and icons is not IMHO, a good thing, they should be kept simple and efficient.

I completely agree. That's why I hate keramik and liquid.I think there should really be no default, after all, that's what kpersonalizer is for.


By unanimity at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

I don't mean t say that you are not entitled to your own opinion but in this case I believe you missed the concept. Having multiple options for look and feel are the plus side to Linux. Windows users strive to get a truely unique look out of their not so unique Operating System. What you ask for is to limit Linux users to a few styles alone and that would mean leaning in the "Windows" direction. With that thought in mind I have to ask you this....who should be the one to decide which styles should be added to the default KDE collection and which should be left out? Maybe you? Maybe Bill Gates? No, variety and choice is good, it is conformity and limitations that are the bad idea here. Linux is great and getting better daily thanks to the "open" attitude whic dictates that the end user CAN have it his or her own way. Oh yeah, one last thing before I end this rebuttle.... the "kermaik+crystal look" (note keramik is mispelled) you dislike so much is very well liked by the majority of the KDE users. Don't believe me? Just go on to any Linux theme site read the posts under the keramik based themes.


By tekjunky at Sat, 2004/02/14 - 6:00am

Forgive me if this has already been asked, but is there any way to have konqueror the web browser and konqueror the file manager with completely different toolbar layouts?

Specifically, I want to get rid of those zoom icons(ugh! IMHO), also I don't see the need for an 'up' button whilst web browsing

I also have to agree with the general consensus that the default theme/icons aren't very nice ... ugly is a bit strong but they are not particularly eyecatching


By Gogs at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Yes!
Configure the toolbars, and save the settings with; Window -> Save View Profile


By Magnus at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Yes I've tried that, but that doesn't seem to save the actual toolbar icons...in other words once you change the toolbar it applies to all profiles


By Gogs at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Hmm yes..
I just noticed, sorry :(


By Magnus at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

I think that KDEs edge is the fact that you can have any look you like (icons, colors, window decorations and whole lot more). Windoze hasn't changed much since Win95 and Gnome has an ugly grey look >_<. I really like the eyecandy and I love kde-look. I visit it almost every day! Im always changing my desktop and it really rocks! Well done to all the hard workers who make the cool themes.


By Norman at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

Having read most of the above comments, I feel something is missing from the discussion:
Although Linux currently is being tried mostly be technically oriented users, these are not necessarily IT-people. Installing a new theme by compiling like Mosfet's Liquid, is not what a user expects or wants.

The easiest way I think is how Mozilla does it, go to the View-menu, choose "Apply theme"/"Get new theme" and off you go to a theme web-site where you can install a new theme in the most easiest way imaginable.

If KDE really wants to make it easy for its users to change the default theme or icons, one should have to go to the Control Center, click on "Look and Feel" / "Change" and a browser would pop up with a link http://www.kde-look.org/(...blablabla...). Each theme then having an option "Install theme". Now that's ease of use.

Users really should't be bothered with compiling themes. Do you really expect your mother to *compile* a theme?

(I know this doesn't have to be done with icon-themes, but most KDE 3-themes require me to do so. All current KDE 3-themes *by default* fail to install with SuSE 8.0.)

cheers,

Patrick


By Patrick Smits at Sun, 2002/04/28 - 5:00am

What about the installation of the apps and for that matter kde?.it's defly not easy to downlaod and install and upgrade kde.whew!, to install kde 3.0 you have to remove kde 2.2?.sorry, but thats tough for papa:), who likes the next,next,finished interface.
saw a thread on kde-devel discussing this topic.anything came outta that??.
caio,
-c


By corleone at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Let's take this argument one step further!

If people want Linux to be adopted widely, then compiling has to be abolished completely! Not just with KDE Themes.

I realize this is a KDE site and it's not their responsibility, but I just had to reply.


By Rocky1138 at Thu, 2002/05/09 - 5:00am

I agree with this guy 100%. Im new to this Linux thing and and the only way we are going to get more people to switch from SOFTMICRO is for Linux to become as easy to use as them.
Theyve got the easy install down to the most part now work on abolishing any compiling for the newbies.


By Greg Parsons at Sat, 2002/06/01 - 5:00am

Good points. Even though I'm a computer programmer for the past 12 years (admittedly, mainly on windows), I have a tough time "installing" anything from applications to themes.

If Linux is to pose a serious threat to Windows, and I hope it does, it has to come up with an installshield like application to make these tasks as easy as they are on Windows or MacOS. Certainly, the fragmentation between distros is not helping but the UnitedLinux consortium (which DOES NOT include RedHat) gives one hope.


By Anjan at Fri, 2002/05/31 - 5:00am

Check out gentoo linux... haven't had any problems with it. Real easy to use.

http://www.gentoo.org


By bob at Wed, 2002/10/16 - 5:00am

Hi all. I just have to reply to this...

First off... LINUX is NOT WINDOZ!!!
Linux was NEVER intended to be a wintendo replacement. Linux is a UTILITY OS not a freakin playstation.
Secondly, if you start to break up all the tools of Linux, such as the compilers, you will then have to find a way for things to work/talk to the kernel. In doing this, you will end up with a microsloth system.
Thirdly, cuz yes it is a word today, the reason LINUX is so hard for most people is because it is a complete open core OS. It's meant to be tweaked by experienced or semi-experienced ppl.
Your everyday dumb dumb wintendo player "all i know how to do is check e-mail and play mp3 music cuz im to freakin lazy to try to read or learn something new" should not use linux.

LINUX IS NOT WINBLOZ!!!! get that thru your head. Stop comparing apples to oranges.

L8rz.

<--LINUZ: More configurable than a Mr. Potato Head!!!-->


By LiquidFlex at Wed, 2002/10/16 - 5:00am

Right, Linux /isn't/ meant for everyone. Neither is Windows. Or MacOS for that matter. People who don't have time, patience, or interest enough to delve into the intricate matters of linux (or darwin, or bsd, or anything like this) use windows because it's something they're comfortable with and doesn't make them have to go out and buy a $50 o'reily book (btw, i love o'reily ;). A lazy user is a user who wants to use a computer to its fullest (usually involving *nix), but doesn't want to do any of the work towards it (i.e. RingTFM, typing 'make', or things spelled out for you by the developer). So if a user doesn't want to learn linux, that doesn't neccessarily make them lazy, probably just uninterested.

Also, if you do want to push linux so much, you have to make it more than a "utility os". I think id and epic are on the right track by making their games so versatile. If you /don't/ want other people than you to use linux, then that's being selfish.

P.S. It's hard to take an opinion full of "winbloz" and "microsloth" seriously, it makes you sound like a script kiddie.


By kaworu-sama at Sun, 2002/10/20 - 5:00am

The problem though is with this statement..

"Your everyday dumb dumb wintendo player "all i know how to do is check e-mail and play mp3 music cuz im to freakin lazy to try to read or learn something new" should not use linux."

The reason why I say this is a problem is because I'm not to lazy to read and to learn.. the problem is the lack of documentation. It's unbelievable. I can understand little documentation for cutting edge open source stuff coming out but where is the documentation on how to install the mosfet-liquid theme? I went though and read on how to do the whole tar, ./configure and then make install but then when I'm still stuck. The last little info after make install says to add some XX to your path which I did in my etc/profile, but then what? How do I get this to work the SuSE 8.1 distro? The theme manager says to add a theme you can browser for the .theme of what was created. Well I did a find and I only found .themes for the current ones I can select from nothing related to mosfet or liquid. So now what? Point being why isn't there more on all the main theme pages about how to get themes working for your linux distro? The directions at kde-look.org are incredibly weak. Maybe I'm an idiot but I don't think it's too much to ask to have some more "how to's" around and yes I've searched all over Google.

For another topic I can go off on how incredibly painful it is to get any of my other browsers to run java applets (besides the default Konqueror).

I do Java programming for a living and I'm not a lazy idiot, and I'm really working hard to learn this. The problem is even the books available are not that great. The only way I'm really getting any answers is from those helping me on mailing lists. What I'd love to do is be directed to some RTFM pages, but those seem few and far between as I scour the net. I don't mind working with config files and doing stuff from the command line, but it would be nice to have more instructions around for specifics once you get past the whole untarring, /confige, make install process.


By Rick at Fri, 2002/11/22 - 6:00am

The problem though is with this statement..

"Your everyday dumb dumb wintendo player "all i know how to do is check e-mail and play mp3 music cuz im to freakin lazy to try to read or learn something new" should not use linux."

The reason why I say this is a problem is because I'm not to lazy to read and to learn.. the problem is the lack of documentation. It's unbelievable. I can understand little documentation for cutting edge open source stuff coming out but where is the documentation on how to install the mosfet-liquid theme? I went though and read on how to do the whole tar, ./configure and then make install but then when I'm still stuck. The last little info after make install says to add some XX to your path which I did in my etc/profile, but then what? How do I get this to work the SuSE 8.1 distro? The theme manager says to add a theme you can browser for the .theme of what was created. Well I did a find and I only found .themes for the current ones I can select from nothing related to mosfet or liquid. So now what? Point being why isn't there more on all the main theme pages about how to get themes working for your linux distro? The directions at kde-look.org are incredibly weak. Maybe I'm an idiot but I don't think it's too much to ask to have some more "how to's" around and yes I've searched all over Google.

For another topic I can go off on how incredibly painful it is to get any of my other browsers to run java applets (besides the default Konqueror).

I do Java programming for a living and I'm not a lazy idiot, and I'm really working hard to learn this. The problem is even the books available are not that great. The only way I'm really getting any answers is from those helping me on mailing lists. What I'd love to do is be directed to some RTFM pages, but those seem few and far between as I scour the net. I don't mind working with config files and doing stuff from the command line, but it would be nice to have more instructions around for specifics once you get past the whole untarring, /confige, make install process.


By Rick at Fri, 2002/11/22 - 6:00am

sorry for the double post:) I wanted to make sure the X notify by email button was checked and I think I missed it the first time. Maybe I am just an idiot after all:)


By Rick at Fri, 2002/11/22 - 6:00am

Not only is KDE interface opinion functional AND estethically pleasant, it has been so from the very start,
imho.

I very well remember when i switched to SuSE (from slackware) and the reason: I wanted to chek this new thing called KDE. And i remember very well the first impression I got: it was quite simply the best looking desktop I had ever seen. I was a simple computer user back then (yes, the mythical average user, not too advanced, neither completely clueless) but I could tell a desktop environment from a simple GUI (like fvwm) and THAT, however primitive, was a desktop, no doubt about it. It would take GNOME a lot of time to have the functionality KDE 1 already had way back then. But more important than my own good impression was that of a friend of mine to whom i immediately showed the new shiny toy. He was then a very cynical hard nose sysadmin, the one that would never appreciate a piece of software if it were not really functional and useful for some specific purpose. His comment when he saw KDE was: "Finally something professional on Linux!". THis guy now is a webmaster at the language lab, and he designs the system and the web pages that allow the teachers to teach lanaguage courses on line -- believe me, the guy really can tell a good interface from a mediocre one. We spent a whole afternoon dissecting KDE, loooking into the libraries, studying the overall structure, we even looked at the source code of the page of kde.org, and his impresion was thoroughly positive: "these people know they trade".
If I look at screenshots of KDE 1, i still think that my first impression was correct: that desktop was really magnifecnt: the kwin look was sober and original at the same time (i particularly liked the "teeth" on the top of the windows) and the file manager and panel were so intuitive anybody could use them -- i started to explore my linux file system beacuse of kfm.
A few days later, I erased my window partition and haven't used windows (at home) since then.
I would like to know who designed the kwin look of KDE 1 and the original kde.org website and say them "thanks" -- my friend was right: those people really knew their trade.

Federico


By Federico Damonte at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Am I the only one who noticed that the KDE 3.1 screenshot for Konqueror looked like it had tabbed browsing?

I've been using Mozilla for a week now (my first time ever) and the tabbed browsing feature has me hooked. With the MMB opening up a new Tab, and with background loading, it's totally superb. It'll be great when Konqueror gets this.


By John at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Yes, KDE 3.1 will have tabbed browsing. The patch came too late to get into KDE 3.0.


By Jon at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

If you get one of the daily snapshots of download from CVS you'll find tabbed browsing is a really nice feature. I particularly like the fact that tabs are saved in the profile. This way when stating konq you have a tab for file managing and a tab already set to start web browsing. It suits my style and saves lots of screen real estate.

regards


By Wheely at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

I think the konqueror icon looks like an eggyoke. Can't someone change this image into more appealing? Also I think the K gears look a bit outdated. Perhaps there should be a contest.


By Pieter Philipse at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Is KDE ugly? Wel, that is totaly personal.

Should KDE change the default look & feel to make it more appealing for novice users?
Nope, it is a waste of time.

Why?
Because novice users usually don't see the default look of KDE, they see the default look of their distro. KDE out of the box on SuSE has a different look&feel compared to Mandrake, etc..
Users who compile KDE theirself will see the default KDE-look, but users with that much experience usually change their desktop in whatever they like, dispite how good it looks when they installed it.

Rinse


By rinse at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Why?
Because novice users usually don't see the default look of KDE, they see the default look of their distro. KDE out of the box on SuSE has a different look&feel compared to Mandrake, etc..

Those distributions have indeed a somewhat modified look, but IMHO it's all based on the same default look..


By rve at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Well, by default, Mandrake ships with its own set of icons, which IMHO look quite a
bit worse then the KDE ones. This is probably mostly a matter of colorscheme, since a mix
of light-blue, purple, and yellow isn't going to produce too many pieces of beauty....


By Sad Eagle at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

I totally agree that the Mandrake iconset isn't nice either, but it's not all blue/purple/yellow.. there are many default icons too (folder and mime-type icons for example)


By rve at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Yep, but this means that KDE has no influence on what the desktop on distro's looks like. If KDE uses Liquid and Crystall as the default, and Mandrake/SuSe don't like this, they would still change it into something that appeals to them.

I agree that the Mandrake icons are quit ugly ;)

Rinse


By rinse at Tue, 2002/04/30 - 5:00am

Can anyone tell me, what's the difference between a Theme and a Style in KDE?
I've noticed that the Themes which were available in KDE1.1.1 are still avaulable in KDE2/3. What's the preferred method now, styles?
Why do styles not exists as a complete theme?


By Ez at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Well, Style = a coded plugin that defines how widgets look. You need one of these to see anything interesting on your screen ;-).

As for "Theme", there are really 2 things -- one is "pixmap themes", which
are a bunch of pixmaps describing how widgets look, and a .themerc listing them.
These are actually used through a single style plugin -- KThemeStyle -- but appear in the widget style menu as distinct options. From the user's point of view, they are quite similar to styles, exacept you don't need to compile them, and they're not as flexible -- they don't adjust with color changes, have limited abilities for shaped widgets, etc. On the other hand, no coding is required to create one..

The second use of "theme" is for the theme manager themes. These date back to KDE1, and are basically a collection of icons (possibly) wallpaper, color schemes, etc. There was some discussion on KDE development lists to update the theme manager for 3.1...


By Sad Eagle at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

Hi SadEagle, this is a bit off topic, but do you plan to add menu translucency to you Light theme second & third revision?


By antialias at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

First of all, I LOVE Light Style 2nd and 3rd revision. However, I've noticed some performance issues with em both, it's more severe in 2nd (try maximising a window, and see the artifacts).
Are there any plans for a 4th revision?
And yeah, menu effects would be wonderful!


By Magnus at Wed, 2002/05/01 - 5:00am

Not me nearly certainly -- I don't maintain Light*; I merely commited
a few minor bugfixes to it... No idea on what other people may be planning..


By Sad Eagle at Fri, 2002/05/03 - 5:00am

The default look of various desktops:

Win95/98/Me/NT/2K: butt ugly utilitarian.
WinXP: crayola eye-candy
Mac OS 9: halfway decent utilitarian
Mac OSX: gorgeous eye-candy
Gnome: halfway decent utilitarian (but very customizable)
KDE: very decent utilitarian (and very customizable)

Default desktops should be utilitarian, because they offend no one. I know several people who have chosen not to upgrade to WinXP or OSX precisely because of the eyecandy. They don't take it seriously. But at the same time, the desktop shouldn't be ugly.

KDE wins the prize for the best default desktop in the aesthetics dpartment. If it still isn't good enough for your tastes, you're not stuck with it, because it's extremely customizable.

On the other hand, if you don't like the look of default WinXP or OSX, there's not much you can do about it.

p.s. I'm not ragging on Gnome. It's *default* desktop is very plain however.


By David Johnson at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

I don't get it. The KDE default theme is very attractive, in my opinion. And I've certainly never met anyone that felt differently. People seem to fall into two categories about KDE's look, and they are:

1. "Wow, this is really beautiful"

2. "This isn't Windows. I'm scared!"

Note that most of the people in category #2 also find WinXP unattractive... because it doesn't look like 9x.

The most notable quote on KDE's look that I have heard was when the cable guy came to my house to install my cable modem. He sat down and put his hand on the mouse. A moment later a look of awe came over his face, and he said, "Woah....this is REALLY beautiful...what is this, a Macintosh?" Exact words. And yes, I was using the default KDE (2.x) theme, icons, etc. The only difference was that I had wallpaper from Propoganda.


By Adam Wiggins at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

I couldn't agree more! It is puzzling when you hear people with completely different but extremely harsh opinions of the same beautiful desktop, enought to make you doubt their sincerity.


By ace at Mon, 2002/04/29 - 5:00am

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