MAR
8
2007

The Road to KDE 4: Oxygen Artwork and Icons

One of the big visual changes just happened in KDE 4, the
transition of kdelibs to the Oxygen Icon set. This transition is
still in progress, and it includes a massive icon naming scheme
change that affects thousands of files. But, the Oxygen artwork
project much is more than just an icon set, it's a unified way to do
artwork for KDE 4. SVG an essential part of Oxygen, so many
applications that are now capable of SVG display are also using
Oxygen styled artwork. Read on for more...

Please keep in mind that the artwork I am showing today is a
work in progress, but shows things that have already made
their way into KDE's SVN as the new default. Oxygen will be the
default art scheme throughout KDE 4, but many of the elements can
still use some tweaking. If you have constructive feedback on any
of the artwork demonstrated today, the Oxygen team would be happy to
hear about it in the comments. :)

Back on the first of January, I wrote an article showing some SVG
widgets making their way into KDE, thanks in part to Qt's new SVG
capabilities. Some of the artwork shown in that article was
placeholders that were produced by the Oxygen team. Since then,
there have been improvements to much of those graphics, but the
really big visual change that just happened is the inclusion of the
new Oxygen Iconset into the KDE libraries as the new defaults.

Oxygen is a far reaching project, and extends well beyond icons.
They have a sort of unofficial tagline: "a breath of fresh air for
your desktop", which encompasses the look and feel of the whole KDE
environment. They are a team of developers and artists that are
dedicated to making things look beautiful. And not just shiny
effects either, they are ensuring that KDE has a unified, easy to
recognize interface. For example, icons that end up in toolbars all
have the same shadows below them to give them a consistent look.
Colour palettes have been created for the artwork to ensure that
icons don't clash with one another, and yet are still easily
recognizable. All of the icon sources are SVG files create using
Inkscape (and other SVG capable programs), and having the sources
available makes it easier to make simple tweaks to the SVG files.

We also now have an official icon naming scheme for KDE 4.
Previous versions of KDE grew the naming scheme organically as KDE
evolved, so it was somewhat random in many places. The Oxygen team
was responsible for developing parts of this naming scheme, but they
did so as part of freedesktop.org so that there is less confusion
about icon schemes between Gnome and KDE (and other environments) in
the future.

So, rather than just talk about Oxygen, I have some screenshots
to show the icons in action.

Below is a screenshot of Dolphin showing Oxygen icons, and a shot
of Konqueror (from KDE 3.5.6) showing the same folder. Many of
these mimetypes also have previews available for them, when previews
are enabled.

You'll notice in the Dolphin shot that there are still a few old
icons sticking around, even though the Oxygen iconset includes
replacements to those icons. One of the biggest changes that
happens are part of the Oxygen transition is that many icons got
renamed. Old code may be referring to the old icon names, rather
than the newly corrected Oxygen names -- when the crystal SVG icons
are removed from kdelibs, it will become more apparent which names
are affected. For those who like the old icons better, they will
also get renamed, and be offered as an icon-theme within the KDE
artwork package.

As the Oxygen Icons have now been made the default, you will be
seeing them in all future articles in the Road to KDE 4 series, and
should get a better appreciation of how complete this artwork is.
Of course some icons still have room for tweaking, which is easy
thanks to using SVG sources. I'm not providing the screenshots of
the whole iconset in this article as you can find them in websvn or by
building KDE 4 yourself. The next snapshots of KDE 4 will of course include the new icons as they are now considered the default.

But, like I said, Oxygen isn't just about the icons. There are a
lot of other places within KDE where the Oxygen artwork is popping
up. Here is a shot of KDE 4's new logout dialog.

One of the biggest advantages to using Oxygen artwork in various
locations throughout KDE is that it is (mostly) resolution
independent. Which means, certain applications can be made to scale
to any size you want, and it will still look good. So, for
instance, if you are playing KBounce (from KDE Games), and you want
it to be big or small, it just adjusts the size for you.

So while KDE 4 is not a true, resolution independent desktop, and
this isn't necessarily a goal for KDE at this time, some KDE
components do now operate on a resolution independent basis.

There is another two elements of Oxygen currently in development,
that are not yet complete. These are the Oxygen Widget Style, and
the Oxygen KWin Decoration. These have not yet been made the
defaults for KDE 4 as they are not yet far enough along. But owing
to the fact that it has not yet become the default for KDE, I'll
decline to show it off just yet. Just bear in mind that the Oxygen
Icons and related artwork are just a few elements of the Oxygen
project. The Oxygen team is making a lot of progress on the Style
and Windeco, but this whole project is an enormous amount of
work.

There are also other visual elements of KDE 4 underway that do
not directly involve the Oxygen team, but will work together with
them when required. These are things like KWin's composite branch,
or the Plasma Workspace theming capabilities.

For those that are interested in helping KDE out through
artwork, you should visit #kde-artists on irc.kde.org and get in
contact with some of the artists there. They are quite friendly,
and take constructive feedback from artists and non-artists
alike.

Individual KDE projects are also looking for artists: Recently,
Carsten Niehaus of Kalzium put out a request
for some help producing some kid-friendly icons to represent the
elements of the periodic table in an optional kid-friendly layout.
Anyone up to the task should visit the #kalzium irc channel.

Also, the Amarok project has recently informed me that they are
in need of some artwork for their upcoming 1.4.6 release (for KDE
3.5.x) which doesn't need to be Oxygen styled, as Oxygen is intended
for KDE 4. Join the #amarok irc channel if you're interested, and
talk to 'markey'.

Editorial aside: I'm glad that so many people are showing
interest in KDE 4's development, but please try to provide
constructive feedback to help improve KDE 4. Many of the developers
read the comments on the dot and implement things that users request
if they are well-reasoned. For example, Peter Penz implemented the
Tree View in Dolphin, and Rafael Fernández López made changes to the
Job Progress Manager based on your constructive feedback. Your
feedback is very welcome, but as last week's article has shown, when
the comments get out of hand, it becomes harder to sift through them
for the constructive ones. On the flip side, that article
absolutely demolished the previous dot.kde.org comment records.
Hopefully we can break those records again one day as the interest
in KDE 4 grows. Until next week...

Comments

> It is my hope de Oxygen style and decoration will mimick this as
> much as possible.

or maybe provide something nice, fresh and usable. the clearlooks/plastik styles are looking pretty dated, to be honest. it's also interesting that many people seem to have forgotten which desktop went for that look first =)

> They are outlined and this is currently not possible in KDE3

of course it is. it was even the default until 3.5. look in the configure dialog =)

though if you want visual simplicity, more bevels don't add much.


By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

strange, one of the reasons I use KDE is that I can't stand the way gnome looks. :) Plastik was my theme even before it became the kde default.
hopefully there'll be a good range of standard themes available to satisfy people migrating from different OS's or desktops. it's amazing how much I reduced the level of complaints from my mum just by changing her comp's theme to the redmond one ;)


By Chani at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

+1, though i prefer .NET )


By anonymous-from-... at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Please DO NOT put this breadcrumb nav bar! or at least allow config for not using it!

This nav bar is everything but usable in a day to day use. Why?:

1) can't go thru chmod 711 directory: exmaple: the /home directory is root.root owned with 711 permission: with breadcrumb: no way to got to ~user

2) can't enter directories starting with a dot

3) Far from bein as fast as autocompletion, and if there are lots of sub directories (example in /home on a filer), then the dropdown menu may exeed the sise of the screen or occupy a large surface and you'd have to find where is what you search for...

4) no way to use widlcard like ~/*.txt to see only files ending with .txt

As for the look, I don't mind a change for default to metacity with clearlooks, but personaly, I don't see much difference with the Plastik them (maybe I'm wrong though).
Personaly, I prefer MacOS X looks alike (Noia 2 in firefox is not perfect but quite cool to me).


By olahaye74 at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

> or at least allow config for not using it!

it already is. please try using the software?

> can't enter directories starting with a dot

this isn't true, actually. i fixed this last week.

the rest of your items are indeed something that i as a power user often use. they are mostly useless and irrelevant to the bulk of the desktop computing using public. this is why dolphin uses the breadcrumb with an easy, one-click method for switching to a traditional and fully editable label =)

> I don't see much difference with the Plastik them

iirc, we shipped with plastik and then later gnome shipped clearlooks in response to "the kde theme is much nicer" criticisms. so, yeah. i think the similarity is not coincidental =)


By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

>> or at least allow config for not using it!

> it already is. please try using the software?

I did a little bit and tryed to right click. Silly me, I forgot the aim is to become like a mac and there is no right-click there......

> the rest of your items are indeed something that i as a power user often use.

I disagree, going thru a 711 chmoded directory is not a power user feature. It's a common thing in multiuser environment were sysadmin takes care of security!
In an high school or in a company you often chmod 711 the /home directory so if a user makes a mistake on his home directory, other user won't see!

Olivier.


By olahaye74 at Sun, 2007/03/11 - 6:00am

just don't have some lame "basic" mode file selector like gnome. Its very annoying to be required to click on "advanced" every time you want to save a file, and to have two different file selectors for saving files. I use KDE mainly because gtk annoys me in this manner.


By kde-user at Sat, 2007/03/10 - 6:00am

I tried to make my application use these fresh new icons. KIcon("document-new") (and a lot of other tries) failed, though.

Then I went on to see how dolphin did it, but my Dolpin uses 100% crystal icons. So i grep:ed the source code tree in kdebase and kdelibs for uses of go-next and the like (which in the screenshot is oxygen), but alas! Nothing turned out.

So I wonder how I actually start using all these goodies in my playground application.


By The noob at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Wait a couple of days and that'll all settle down in SVN. You still need to run kcmshell icons and unset the old default.


By Troy Unrau at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Hey, now I'm replying to myself. :) What I mentioned above is only part of it.

There is a patch floating around that does the renaming in kdelibs. It hasn't been officially applied to kdelibs and kdebase quite yet, and it didn't even apply cleanly for me. However, it does exist, and will hit SVN very shortly. (I haven't checked SVN today, but I did hear "Thursday" as a possible check-in date. Latest is probably Monday.)


By Troy Unrau at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Thus, I will bide my time,
Though it does befog my ardour
And may fortune favour thee,
As thine writings endows us with joy


By The noob at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

They are in SVN now :)


By Troy Unrau at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

I noticed! :) My app runs them now. Hurray!


By The noob at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Hello,
I know this is not directly related to Oxygen icons & theme (which I really like), but will Dolphin get tabs? I tried olphin and I like it, but without tabs I will be forced to use Konqueror for file management. I really like tabs and I am used to it.

Please can you implenment it? Is it planned?


By Michal Krenek (... at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Yeh this is the feature I think it is missing. The split view makes up for it a little, but I really like using tabs instead of separate instances of an application.


By Luke Benstead at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

In one of the Dolphin articles a week or two ago, one of the examples given was that tabs were something that fit naturally in a web environment, but (somehow) wasn't considered useful for file browsing. The lack of tabs in Dolphin, as a file manager, was therefore considered an /advantage/ of some sort!!??!!

Personally, it looks to me like someone's trying to GNOMEify/simplify/dumbify things, as I not only regularly use tabs while file browsing, but also regularly use several of the other features the article deigned from the web side and confusing/complex in a file manager/browser app or the reverse (such as the up arrow being only useful while file system browsing, WTF???, that's a major bonus of using Konqueror as a web browser IMO!).

I DO like the breadcrumbs widget, if it works as advertised, and continues to be single-click (and I expect keyboard accel) switchable with the traditional path/URL entry widget. I hope Konqueror gets it as well, again with the condition that it continues to be toggle between that and the path/URL entry textbox with the appropriate click.

However, other than the breadcrumbs widget, I've yet to see a single thing in all the Dolphin previews and feature articles that I'd consider useful, and several things missing that I use all the time, so I'm very hopeful that as promised, Konqueror will continue to be available and configurable as the file manager of choice, and hopefully won't eventually have its file management functionality hollowed out for lack of maintenance as everybody focuses on Dolphin.

However, knowing the way KDE has seemed to be the choice of the power user, precisely /because/ it exposes so much configurability to the user, and /because/ it hasn't GNOMEed/simplified/dumbed itself into uselessness, I'm pretty optimistic the (apparent comparative) power user's choice, Konqueror, will remain and only become stronger.

Here, I expect I'll emerge the KDE4 Dolphin and play around with it for awhile, but unless it gets substantially more functionality than I've seen in the reviews so far, I expect at the first update, I'll unmerge it rather than updating it (unless it turns out to be a dependency of something I DO use, like say Kontact, which I don't use, apparently is at least on Gentoo, for KMail, which I do use).

Back on Oxygen, for icons and widget colors, all too often, desktop defaults seem sickly drab/pale/washed-out/gray to me. The below URL has a now slightly dated (KDE 3.5.1, composite was still pretty new) example of my preferences.

http://members.cox.net/pu61ic.1inux.dunc4n/pix/screenshots/index.html

Duncan


By Duncan at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Well, hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised by the time 4.0 hits the streets. :)


By Troy Unrau at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Indeed. Quite how KDE has managed to create and maintain a desktop environment that is so completely customizable to the way I work, except that they have /not/ been afraid of giving the user those options (unlike other desktops I'm sure most of us have tried), remains somewhat of a mystery to me. Few others even come close, but KDE... once customized, is much like a glove to my hand. It's quite amazing, really, but certainly, given that as past and current history, I'm quite looking forward to KDE 4! =8^)

(OT for this particular article, but the new audio framework by itself, is the single most anticipated improvement here. How many people, both user and developer, have fought the morass that the once great idea that was aRts became over the years? Certainly here, that was the single worst part of KDE to deal with, the /only/ really bad part, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to be glad KDE is finally freeing itself of what unfortunately became a huge millstone dragging it down. That alone is anticipated to be worth the wait for me -- everything else then being just bonuses, but what a huge lot of them! =8^)

Duncan


By Duncan at Sat, 2007/03/10 - 6:00am

Im also missing Tabs very much. What I have seen of Dolphin is quite nice, but it lacks tabs, so i won't use it. What also disturbs me very much that the split view is not extendable to 4 or more parts, and theres NO chance to configure it! Is KDE getting as ugly, unconfigurable and unusable as GNOME?

I want

*Tabs in Dolphin
*MORE options to configure Dolphin! Please!
*An option for splitting the split view to 4, 8, 16... Parts
*Please, no Gnomization of KDE. Every Time i work on Gnome, I hate it. It's ugly and "prevents" me from working with such idiotic applications like nautilus.


By blueget at Thu, 2007/06/14 - 5:00am

Why don't you just use Konqueror? Sounds like Dolphin is not for you.


By anon at Thu, 2007/06/14 - 5:00am

Dolphin is cool, and its a good filemanager, but it is very limited. Konqueror is a Internet Browser, not a filemanager.


By blueget at Sat, 2007/06/16 - 5:00am

I too feel the lack of tabs in Dolphin feels very Gnomish. Saying that Konqueror is a Web Browser not a filemanager is just..well... the best I can say is that's one point of view, definitely not shared by many many users.
Surely it has always been one of the strengths of kde that the user gets to choose as much as feasible, how things work. Nobody HAS to use tabs - but yes some do, and depend on them.
However things pan out, the whole kde experience is really excellent. Keep up the good work one and all.


By skoff at Sun, 2008/01/20 - 6:00am

Hi,

It's nice to see how Oxygen is progressing, most of the icons are a lot better than Crystal, with a modern look and feel.

But I cant' say the same for the folder icon, because it appears worst than the one in Crystal, it's so 2D, so simplistic it almost disappears in the middle of the other icons (in the Dolphin screenshot).

Just as a example, the folder icon of this iconset below is a lot better than the current Oxygen one. Maybe you can improve that concept or update the Crystal folder icon...

http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=38467

Anyway, you are doing a great job. ;)

Thanks and sorry for my bad english.


By kde.fan.from.brasil at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

KDE should follow the proposals from Mandriva and implement standard directories in home for
- Videos
- Documents
- Images
- Music

That would be useful in the sense that if you download a ogg file it defaults to the Music folder etc.

The locations described by Dolphin are kind of "devices". What you really want is the document driven approach.


By benk at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Thankfully, all of the icons shown on the left in Dolphin are fully configurable :) So distros like Mandriva can simply change those defaults.

That said, I don't disagree with you. :)


By Troy Unrau at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

That is being discussed as an XDG implementation, with input from Mandriva. We'll hopefully get it in KDE 4.

Which in turn means we need icons for those dirs.


By Thiago Macieira at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Nice to hear it. May I ask how will you change the location?


By ben at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

I'll be numerating my points, so that they are clearer:

1 - I really like how Gnome (and now windows vista has it as well) uses previews of multimedia files for their icons. So you are dragging pictures around, deleting movies, or hearing previews of sounds on mouse-over.

2 - I also like the minimalistic aproach of Gnome's nautilus, but for new users to computing, I'm seeing a nice feature in the right pane, where it appears dynamic contextual actions that can be done with file selected.
I usually see newbie users in windows XP using those options a lot (in the left pane).

3 - Also, have you guys gone and look at the original nautilus idea? Instead of the minimalistic spatial file browser that it is now, it was intended more as an organizer/finder/browser/player/wathcamacallit document finder program. It introduced emblems back at a time when tags weren't in anybody's mind, previews of multimedia files in the icons themselves, zoom levels, side-pane contextual options, special views, like music view for a directory full of mp3's, etc.

4 - Have you also looked at the Journal idea from the olpc? It seems to be a step forward, in that it won't be as much a media player as the original nautilus ideas was, and will throw away the directory metaphor, and instead use time, and tags for browsing, collecting, and searching documents.

5 - Finally, you might want to head on to conferences where people with proven usability skills hangout, and share/take some ideas from them. For example, you might want to talk with Andy Herzfeld, the leader of the first version of nautilus. He probably has some great insight on what was good about his vision, and what he eventually figured out was not.

6 - Test every other operating system in the world for fresh ideas! Have a MacOSX and a Windows Vista machine nearby, and see how they work, what pleases and displeases you, and what pleases and displeases other people.

7 - The biggest advantage I see KDE has over any other desktop (maybe MacOSX has this as well) is the integration. It's a very well integrated desktop, everything talks to everything, kwallet is beautifull and still unmatched by any other desktop's password system, etc. Now it's time to bring forward those things, so that even the "commons" can have acess to it as well.


By jobezone at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

As an side: Anyone remember Eazel? Nautilus was made by that company who burnt 17 millions in the process of creating it, well starting it. That was an amazing waste of investor money back then. The company went bankrupt, Nautilus was a mess and not maintained for a long time.

Also, you make suggestions like you would to an individual. Do you really think the KDE project as a whole not already has individuals who do everything they find useful to gather ideas. Ideas can be collected and suggested on their own merits by anybody and reported as wishes on bugs.kde.org and then KDE mailing lists, so why should anybody go out and gather? I mean, there are still people with Amiga experience, lots with OS/2, some know how NextStep was doing things and some yeah, some knew how it was without GUIs. ;-)

It's my understanding that KDE is now creating a file manager, with at most support for emblems on top of managing files in directories. It's a freaking damn file manager to be after all. Obviously Konqueror has always already made previews, I am using that since KDE 2.2 at least.

And furthermore, KDE is having other projects that are aiming at making the desktop be something of a next generation, or semantic desktop, buzzwords there are many. But that's not going to be ripe to be forced into Dolphin.

One reason why Eazel failed with Nautilus was its pushing for integration of not yet possible things, before it even being useable as a file manager. Lets just continue to solve those problems independently, until both are equally well understood.

And yours talking about "proven usability skills". Pardon?

Yours, Kay


By Debian User at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Hello fellow Debian user (as I too am one), my suggestions were according to the request made in the main story:
"I'm glad that so many people are showing interest in KDE 4's development, but please try to provide constructive feedback to help improve KDE 4. Many of the developers read the comments on the dot and implement things that users request if they are well-reasoned."

As far as Eazel and Nautilus, you are very correct, the thing was heavy and bloated from the beginning, and took many versions to get to at least be a good file browser (when early on it tried to be many more things). Still, you can learn from other people's mistakes, and that was my point with interacting with the ex-eazel guys.
And I wasn't implying that there are no people in KDE with "proven usability skills".


By jobezone at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

1. we've had that since 2.x
2. dolphin++
3. yes, and we'll be bringing nice features like this in the sidebars during the kde4 cycle
4. this is one of the points of nepomuk/strigi. it'll take a while to percolate "up" into the apps, but we've been mulling how to do this for the last 3 or so years.
5. good idea. and people often do that. not everyone, but some.
6. curious: you really don't think we do that?
7. "commons"? i'm not sure what you're suggesting there (though i'd like to =). i do think we've brought things forward as much as we reasonably can; we've even taken things like hot new stuff to fd.o and take things from fd.o (among other places) regularly ourselves. that said, not everyone shares the integration / framework vision that the kde project embodies. it's sort of a matter of leading the horse to water ... good news for kde is that kde4 adds even more of these nice bits and pieces for anyone to use who would like to.


By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Thanks aseigo for replying.

1.Yes, I know, but was this the default? Or it was something you choose during the first run on KDE (the ammount of effects, etc) I wondered about this, because the dolphin screenshot in this story doesn't show it like that, but I understand it's still early in its development.

2.Yes, I was complimenting the screenshot of dolphin showing the various options :)

3.Ok

4.Didn't know there was software effort in that part, great!

5.Yep, one of the biggest advantages in free software "world" is that people from "apparent" competing positions, can cooperate with each other.
There is a great quote by Pietro Ubald (Italian philosopher) which says : "The next great evolutionary leap for mankind will be the discovery that cooperating is better than competing"

You should definitely someday meet with Seymour Papert, or Alan Kay, and hear their vision of computing. You can also look up Papert's constructionist theory, which, in a superficial way could be summarized as being Piaget's constructivist theory (you learn by doing), applied to computers.
In fact, there are many videos and texts of all of them on the web, and I would advise everyone in the KDE4 effort to have a look at them.

6.Ok, you guys do, excellent!

7.Commoners was perhaps the proper word, but not meant in any pejorative way :) It was meant as the person from the street, which never had a spectrum when he was a kid. :)
The latest Linus vs Gnome discussion delved into an important point: That computing in general should be easy to grasp for someone new to computing, but at the same time leave enough room to get more power from the computer (low ground and high ceiling someone called it). I think Gnome managed to have an excellent low ground (in my opinion), but then they cut off the opportunity to evolve much beyond that, except using gconf-editor (and even so...). This is the reason why there are "Tweak"-like apps for GNOME, but none for KDE. KDE has a gigantic high ceiling with nice stairs leading up (for example, manDVD, a great DVD-movie authoring program, fully developed using kommander!), but the ground could get a little lower, or, in my opinion, to as low as you could possibly go (so that a person who just bought his first personal computer, can immediately and to the most of his abilities, get functional with KDE4).

Oh, and the "hot new stuff" is wonderful, and I fully miss it in Gnome.

Keep up the good work, and looking forward to trying out KDE4 (and maybe switching to it).


By jobezone at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

1) default
2-6) =)
7) we're working on that.


By Aaron J. Seigo at Sat, 2007/03/10 - 6:00am

1. It's in View->Previews, the Enable/Disable Previews toggle. And it's by default enabled (unless you moved the eye candy slider way to the right in the first time wizard). I'm sure about that because previews are the first thing I have to deactivate in every OS (big resource hog for minimal gain; and audible previews gotta be the worst "feature" ever dreamt up by man, ymmv)


By ac at Sat, 2007/03/10 - 6:00am

7) But if we have a "low floor" won't that mean that everyone will use KDE? You can't want that

Just kidding :)

In a more serious note, I'd say KDE's floor is about as low as its going to get. Any further would require real computer skills to be taught in schools. Right now people just think that because it involves a computer they cannot learn it. So they don't try. Being even easy won't help that, and once the education system fixes it I think we'll all be pleased to see KDE is already easy enough.


By ben at Sun, 2007/03/11 - 6:00am

Great work! I like the clear and sane look!
But the image-icon reminds me very strongly to windows... (I always prefered crystal when compared to Windows - its a pity if he Oxygen-Style takes that direction)
Concerning Dolphin: I like the approach of having a simple application for filebrowsing. One thing came to my eyes in the sceenshot: the preview seems to be a seperate area in the main-window (just like in Windows and OSX). I actually liked the way Konqueror presented previews - as tooltip: very screen-efficient, everything vou have to know without wasting screenspace.
Since the preview in Dolphin is in a seperate area here my proposal: when previewing an audio-file, why not have a 'play' button there? (same for video) Macs 'finder' does something like that.
What happened to all the cool ideas on the Appeal-Website and the KDE-Artist-Forum? Things like zoom-effect on mouseover and grouping possible actions directly around the selected icon really make sense!


By Heiko at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

In the end session screenshot, the selection method used (putting a dotted rectangle around the edge of the button) seems really out of tune with the rest of the graphics (and a bit ugly).

Have you guys considered making the selection brighter somehow? For instance, in the screenshot you could make the box which is selected have a lass transparent background, and it could stand out in this way.

This would look better and more consistent with the new KDE look.

Keep up the good work, guys!


By Gustavo at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

The end session artwork is relatively new, so there will likely be some polishing before it's shipped. And also, I only have two buttons in that shot, as I used 'startkde' to launch KDE. If I had launched from kdm, there may have been additional buttons there that aren't shown in my screenie.


By Troy Unrau at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Yeah, I'd envision the button focus made evident by a chenge in button tint or, say, an orange halo around the edges.


By jazzuban at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Another problem with this screenshot is the icons used to represent the "end current session" and "cancel" actions...

In my opinion, the icon for "end current session" seens to invite the user to back to the session, and not end it;

But were said, the work on KDE 4's new logout dialog is just beginning and I believe that this is going to be revised...

Anyway, congrats for the excellent work on KDE 4, I can't wait to begin using it!!

[]s


By Saulo A Moraes at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

I really like this new icons' style but, please, make them look 3D, so that they really have three dimensions.

Right now it looks like they are 'shot' (drawn, of course) as if your standing right in front of them.

On this picture [http://static.kdenews.org/content/the-road-to-kde-4/vol11_4x_dolphin.png] the selected icon looks very ugly - no one can figure out where from the light comes and the shadow is like an alien ;-)

The red old fashioned "Root" icon looks much prettier.


By Artem S. Tashkinov at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

> make them look 3D

heh... some people want usability, others want flash and 3D and ... yeah. it's hard to ballance all these things. in any case, complex icons are actually a downer for general use. still, someone could indeed make such an icon set. i don't see it being the default for kde4.

selection drawing is not finalized for kde4. there are far nicer patches floating around and one of them will undoubtedly be making it in for 4.0


By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

Will performance degrade with the use of SVG graphics?


By Youssef at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

no, they are pre-rendered into png's and those are loaded. i think we can do better than that, but at least at this point it's no worse than it was before.

the icon naming spec and mimetype system may help make it worse, however, now that there is a name based degredation heuristic (e.g. if you can't find foo-bar-baz, the loader is supposed to try foo-bar then foo in certain cases; for mimetypes there's a default icon that one is supposed to fall back to). iow, we'll likely end up doing even more disk seeks in the future...


By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

I think the new icon set is really cool but a lot of work should be done. The question I have is that the SVG artworks needs time and CPU resources to be rendered; So what are the probable sln to get these eye candy thinks work but without consuming CPU time?


By Landolsi at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

Well, there are a couple of things: KDE pre-renders png images for a few default icon sizes, such as toolbar icons. For the really big ones, it renders on the fly. There is also some discussion about caching icons at various sizes so that they don't need to be rerendered. This of course breaks down for some of the really dynamic, more animated stuff, as you'd have to be caching a high-res, lossless movie...

So, in summary: most icons are drawn from pre-rendered png's that are generated from the SVGs.


By Troy Unrau at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

I like KDE and I have used it for about 5+ years now.
All this huplaa around those new Oxygen icons makes no sense to me at all.
So we have a pile of new icons... but those look nice only when they are at size _"huge"_.

Way too many details! It's almost absurd. (look at the "DEVICES")

Sorry, but those icons look almost useless when "small" or "tiny".

dict.org: icon is a _symbol_, especially a symbol whose form suggests its meaning or the object it represents.

Picture (in absurd detail!) of a camera is NOT a symbol!

dict.org:
Icon (computer science) a graphic symbol (usually a simple picture) that denotes a program or a command or a data file or a concept in a graphical user interface

cheers!


By Brrrr at Thu, 2007/03/08 - 6:00am

most of these icons are not meant to be used at 16px or 22px sizes. there are special versions of several icons for those sizes that eliminate much of the detail, but some are plain not expected to be used in those situations.

welcome to the world of sane screen resolutions; 1984's 9 inch black and white monitors are history.


By Aaron Seigo at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

some of us are using itty bitty laptops and need all the screen space we can get for content, not icons :)
even on this page, I have a horizontal scrollbar :(


By Chani at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

On my last test, just a view days ago, I saw that GNOME is not really usable in resolutions <= 1024x768. Please don't make the same mistake with KDE!
Some icons (I looked for the prerendered .png currently in svn) simply are to detailed...
But in general, I think I like the style :-)


By birdy at Fri, 2007/03/09 - 6:00am

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