SEP
16
2001

IBM developerWorks Announces Theme Contest Winners

Frank was the first of many to write
in to tell us that IBM
developerWorks
has
announced the winners of the KDE theme
contest
. The top prize (along with a $3,000 donation) goes to Matthias
Fenner of Germany for the
Winning theme (download), second prize (along with a $2,000 donation) goes to
Gregory Brubaker of the United States for the
Happy People theme (download), and third prize (along with a $1,000 donation)
goes to Vadim Plessky of Russia for the
Egypt
Office theme
(download). Each winner now needs to choose a non-profit, Open Source
organization to which developerWorks will make a donation on his behalf. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to IBM developerWorks for their sponsorship of this rewarding project!

Comments

I really hate to rain on anyone's parade, but all of these themes are grotesque, IMNSHO.


By ac at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

I'm not saying I could do any better, but I know I couldn't do any worse.

I guess I should have entered the contest. All I would have had to do
was take a basic KDE theme, make it BUTT UGLY and submit it, thus
winning myself a few thousand dollars. =)


By A. C. at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Well done IBM for sponsoring this and for donating money to open-source projects. Well done to the participants for having a go. However, if the aim was to create something either original or beautiful, then it has failed. Either there weren't many participants or the judges are colourblind (and are not aware of the existing range of KDE themes :-)

Are there any *original* themes out there? Something tasteful yet functional. I haven't seen too many KDE users using anything but the default theme (which looks bloody beautiful, thanks to Mosfet - a coder with artistic talent).

- Sertorius


By Sertorius at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Yeah, you're right, Mosfet rules!


By reihal at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Yeah, his liquid theme is soooooooooooooooo much better than all of those!


By dfgsfg at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Well... that's cause liquid has it's own widget style, which actually recodes parts of the UI drawing system, as opposed to just setting pixmaps and colors to things.


By Carbon at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

I remember seeing a Widget Designer on Mosfet's site a long time ago.
There was a screenshot, did anyone save this?
Maybe Mosfet himself could tell us about it?
Where are you, man?


By reihal at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

> ...liquid theme is soooooooooooooooo much better than all of those!

Well, it's your opinion, and I deserve it.
And I think that Liquid sucks, in all its variants.
At least in its current state - may be in one year it will become better :-)

BR,

Vadim Plessky


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

> ... if the aim was to create something either original or beautiful, then it > has failed. Either there weren't many participants or the judges are colourblind

Do you seriously expect that some good designers will work for $3000, even if money is going into his pocket (not a charity to Open Source project)?
Besides, I can tell you that good designers just *can't* design themes.
They are ok to paint background, but nothing else...
User Interface is rather specific thing.
There is a limitation on screen size, resolution is pretty low, and many icons have just 16x16 size (hopefully, KDE supports 21x21 as well :-)
It's quite difficult in such environment to create something tasteful and working at the same time.

As about originality:
May I ask you *where* you have seen something similar to my Egypt Office theme?
I doubt you have ever been in Egypt. Taking into consideration current political situation in the Middle East, I doubt you will visit Egypt in nearest future. Colors are original, window decorations - original. layout - original.
I hope you have also tried complimentary Widget theme - at least Egypt widgets (not Egypt Office, but..) are available on my web site, and on apps.kde.com

Best Regards,

Vadim Plessky
http://kde2.newmail.ru


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Going by the screenshot on the contest web site, I see only 3 of the 5 buttons on the top are original, making it look inconsistent, plus the scrollbars etc. look like they've been pinched from the SGI theme, just with a different colour. Likewise, apart from the colour, the panel is exactly the same as the standard one. The background is just the default KDE gradent... so from this it appears that the theme is just 3 new buttons and some new colours.

If OTOH you need some other bits to make this look decent then you should have included that in your theme package. If that was against the rules of the contest then it was a pointless contest... at least some open-source project got some funding I guess. I'll try your theme with the widget theme as well.

As to whether good designers will work for free, look at the fine work of Mosfet... some people (probably true for you as well I'd guess) do it for the love of the work. That's the same reason I write Free software...

- Sertorius


By Sertorius at Wed, 2001/09/19 - 5:00am

> Going by the screenshot on the contest web site, I see only 3 of the 5 buttons on the top are original, making it look inconsistent, plus the scrollbars etc. look like they've been pinched from the SGI theme, just with a different colour. Likewise, apart from the colour, the panel is exactly the same as the standard one. The background is just the default KDE gradent... so from this it appears that the theme is just 3 new buttons and some new colours.
--
Ok, I see your point. And I agree that screenshot for my theme (Egypt-Office) on IBM site is not good, at all!
Unfortunately, there was no option to include "reference" URL with author's screenshot (in IBM KDE Theme Contest).
I am going to prepare such page ASAP and post URL here.
In the mean time, pls see attached screenshot from my original submission (no changes from May 31st, 2001!)

Cheers,
Vadim


By Vadim Plessky at Thu, 2001/09/20 - 5:00am

I think there is a basic misunderstanding between "what was supplied to the contests", contest's rules and user's expectations.
I'd like to clarify at least my work [Egypt-Office] and reasons for my participation.
First of all, look at attached *original* submission.
As dor.kde.org doesn't allow to attach two files, I will attach Widgtes theme in second posting, next to one.
I have to admit here that Widget Themes are much more complex that Window Decorations. I fact, I had to draw/paint around 75 pixmaps doing my theme, comparing to around 15 for Window Decorations.
Sorry that my Egypt Widget Theme is not shown on IBm site. :-((
Really sorry!
Please try this attachement, together with next one, and than start blaiming me!..
Thanks.

Yours,

Vadim Plessky


By Vadim Plessky at Thu, 2001/09/20 - 5:00am

Here is a complementary Egypt Office Widget Theme. It should be used *together* with Window Decoration theme from me.
Screenshot (60k) is attached to my reply to mail from Sertorius.
So, you can try screenshot first, and if you like it - download both Widget and Window Decoration themes.
Note that there are two backgrounds included in my themes (textured dark brown color). If I remember correctly, first one is mapped to Desktop1, second - to Desktop2. So, switch between Desktop1 and Desktop2, and compare backgrounds.
(I supplied themes on May31st, 2001, so it's more than 3 months left, I don't remember such details...)

Thanks for trying my stuff!.. :-)

Vadim

P.S. You can find on my web site instructions how to install themes correctly.
URL: http://kde2.newmail.ru, "Themes" section.
For people who don't have time to browse my site, here is direct link:
http://kde2.newmail.ru/themes_install.html

Hope you willl find "missing 3 buttons" in title bar, after all. :-)


By Vadim Plessky at Thu, 2001/09/20 - 5:00am

Here is a complementary Egypt Office Widget Theme. It should be used *together* with Window Decoration theme from me.
Screenshot (60k) is attached to my reply to mail from Sertorius.
So, you can try screenshot first, and if you like it - download both Widget and Window Decoration themes.
Note that there are two backgrounds included in my themes (textured dark brown color). If I remember correctly, first one is mapped to Desktop1, second - to Desktop2. So, switch between Desktop1 and Desktop2, and compare backgrounds.
(I supplied themes on May31st, 2001, so it's more than 3 months left, I don't remember such details...)

Thanks for trying my stuff!.. :-)

Vadim

P.S. You can find on my web site instructions how to install themes correctly.
URL: http://kde2.newmail.ru, "Themes" section.
For people who don't have time to browse my site, here is direct link:
http://kde2.newmail.ru/themes_install.html

Hope you willl find "missing 3 buttons" in title bar, after all. :-)


By Vadim Plessky at Thu, 2001/09/20 - 5:00am

I don't know if I deservered to win or not, but I'm very happy I did... And that prize goes to a charity, in the winner's name...

Personaly, what I entered was what I liked, and that's why I'm glad I did place. It just so happened to be one of my favorite backgrounds I have made (while the entire view is obstructed, I truely do feal that the figures in the background are playing, and the simplicity of the figures, and their general desire to just have fun, and play... might just be what all of us are doing!!!)

Moral of this story... Next time a call to arms of this sort occurs, don't just sit on your lorals, actualy partisipate... you'll have fun, and might win!

P.S., While I'm not a huge fan of any theme that uses green [I actualy do kind of like Atlas Green], that Egyption Office theme is really cool...

So everyone whose being mean, grow up already! (and then go be a kid again with a new theme)

thanks,
Greg

P.S. Anyone willing to take up that challenge to get involved is more than welcome to come over and have fun with the Open Racer team (join the mailing list today):

http://openracer.worldforge.org for more information


By Gregory W. Brubaker at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

I know how you feel. I was expecting awesome widget themes with matching window decorations and appropriate background. Oh well.

But I should have expected it. I have written a few themes myself and they are not easy to do. The basic mechanics of making a new theme are easy. Making it look good is very hard. Widget themes are even harder.


By David Johnson at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

> ... but all of these themes are grotesque, IMNSHO.

Should we take this as a compliment?
"Grotesk" means "modern, new, original". At least in Font Design.
So, do you want to blaim us for creating new, MODERN art?..

As about "original" - well, everybody defines itself what for him original and what - not. For example, I think of some "water"-centric or "liquid" themes as of not very original. To be precise, not original at all!

Cheers,

Vadim Plessky


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Why do #2 and #3 have both kaiman/noatun running with the same song, and the same apps (in the taskbar) ?


By Charles Samuels at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Nah, I'd presume that the screenshots were taken by an IBM person who just switched theme and retook the screenshots.

Though it's more fun to think it's a conspiracy :-)


By Oz at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

So, which judge has the bad taste of using the Kaiman skin loader, and the bad taste of selecting that song? ;)


By Charles Samuels at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

It's definitely kitsch. The song used for the winner - Weird Al's "Alberquerque" if I'm not mistaken - is awesome.

No offence to the theme designers, but it looks like they spent an entire five minutes designing their themes. If I knew the standard would be this low, I would've entered the competition myself. Someone ought to give Mosfet a prize for his Liquid style engine.


By Yama at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

5 minutes? Are you joking?
No offense to you, but have you ever looked at kde.themes.org, when it was up and running?
No offence to themes.org team, but I started doing ownj themes when I found that I can't get good enough from kde.themes.org.
By the way, I prepeared soewhat 30+ themes, some original, some backports, and they were accessible (ready for download) for about 3 months already.
You can check apps.kde.com entry for tarball and and screenshots.
About themes' creativity and quality: you could just drop me an email and tell what you don't like in them. :-)
Remember there were special requirements in themes' contest (original design, easy of use, etc.) which prevented me from doing some more exotic design.

Cheers,

Vadim


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Bad taste in song selection? I guess "when it comes to songs, IBM ain't got nothin' to do with your selection." :o)

I'd say "when it comes to themes, IBM ain't got nothin' to do with my selection," but that's just me. :o)


By David Walser at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Those screenshots were obviously taken from the judges' computers.

The judges very obviously wanted to give you a common setting such that you were not judgeing something like the kia skin, but the actual theme. I don't think the screenshots best show off the themes, but IBM representatives are not miracle workers.

I do hope those themes are added to the kde themes collection

I also hope that everyone here who screamed bloody murder about the themes actual tries them... but only because I hate you.


By friend at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Let's assume that I'm a "coder with artistic talent", and that I want to create a theme. But this would not be only an "ugly colors + background on top of existing theme" theme, it would be a complete redesign of every widget + sound + mouse cursors + icons + fonts. Where would I get the information on how to design such a theme?


By Simon Perreault at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Right here. At least for the widgets.


By not me at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Just copy it to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc folder or in ~/.kde/share/fonts/override and restart X+KDE.


By Asif Ali Rizwaan at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

That is an awesome cursor


By Rorry at Sat, 2003/07/19 - 5:00am

:: Where would I get the information on how to design such a theme?

Is there an interest in starting a mailing list for theme and widget designers? I've mocked up what I want in Gimp, and I'm looking at doing it soon (I am under the impression that I need to have the source tree to KDE, and the space to compile it, and since I'm running at 99%+ disk usage at the moment, I need to get a new drive first).

--
Evan


By Evan "JabberWok... at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

You won't need the space for the *entire* KDE source. You only need the kstyle section of kdelibs. And you don't even need that, though it helps to see how other widget themes were done.


By David Johnson at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

Despite what others are saying... However, I must say I prefer Vadim's theme the most. Seems more work went into this one than the others but he only got 3rd prize. Anyone know how many total submissions there were?


By KDE User at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

The theme looks good, but can't you see the maximise and sticky buttons are not following the theme. That was always a problem with Vadim's themes. I can't believe that they included a broken theme into their top 3. Maybe they didn't even have more to choose from.


By JB at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

erm? thats a bug in the theme loader.


By Jason Katz-Brown at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Theme is ok. KDE 2.1 and KDE 2.2alpha1, alpha2 need special fix for "themes.mapping". I have posted instruction about this on my web site, let me guess, in the beginning of June 2001 (on Theme Install page)
I have notified during submission that to be fully operational, this theme needs fix to KDE. Just wonder now why screenshot doesn't have this fix.
By the way, in KDE 2.2 theme manager (corresponding pixmap themes engine) is broken, so to get "right" look you need KDE 2.1 with patch. I am currently investigating how to fix things in KDE 2.2, but as I mentioned, it seems to me that engine is broken, "standard 2.1 themes" are fine.

BR,
Vadim Plessky


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Oh, thanks a lot, I am pleased!..
And I think most important is participation, not winning. Finally, users will have better themes, choice of favourite colors, etc. Let's hope this is not the last contest, and we will have more flexible options for theme submission next time! (it was possible to submit only one theme in this IBM contest, which is somewhat unfare, in my opinion...)

Cheers,

Vadim


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

No offensse to the winners..but is this a joke or something ?
Such pathetic themes won a contest ? I seriously dont get it. Maybe only
three people participated.Any why it took IBM forever to publish the results ?
something's wrong !


By hackorama at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

How can you ask the last question? Of course it took IBM months of "balls gathering" to publish the results. I bet the suggestion "Lets do our own themes and submit them" was on the table at one point.


By Jörgen S at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

rotflmao!!! ;-)

seriously - props to IBM for making the donations and/or giving out the prize money - whatever the winning themes were. May the winners spread the joy with pizza and soda/beer among co-workers and fellow developers...

thanks for the earlier tutorial zip file - I'm not the least bit surprised that mosfet (the king of graphic hacks w/Pixie, liquid-theme, to name a couple) is the author.

(excellent work as always mosfet - love the latest high perf liquid efforts ;-)


By jason byrne at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

I couldn't believe it as i saw the "winning" theme. I think this is a bad joke ... Use a standart theme and use CDE colors and you have $3000 ? No no i think they must create own buttons and window decorations and so on ... but here is nothing of such stuff. I think i saw a little of such things on the 3rd place theme but the first two were only a joke .. (I think)


By Andreas Scherf at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Yes, it really feels like a joke.
Thanks to IBM for giving a few dollars away though...


By Al_trent at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Do you guys watch the Special Olympics and laugh too???

sad, sad, people...

You'd think with the current problems in the world, you'd find something better to complain about...

Greg Brubaker,
New York, USA


By Gregory W. Brubaker at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

>>Do you guys watch the Special Olympics and laugh too???
You are not *seriously* comparing yourself to Special Olympics
participants, are you? :) I mean, few people laugh at that stuff,
but effectively calling yourself a retard is a different business.

Seriously, this IBM contest looked disconnected from the reality
from its very beginning.


By KDE User at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

It's really a paradox...

If you didn't enter, do you loose?

If you are sore, and did not enter, are you a sore looser?

I only believe I know the answer to this one:

If you would have won, but did not enter, has the entire world lost?


By Gregory W. Brubaker at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Yeah, by the time IBM had even bothered to announce the contest on a forum with more than 3 KDE people on it, there were only something like 2 weeks left.

I kept saying to myself "man, I bet anything there will be like 10 entries at most, and none of them could possibly be concieved of and refined in that short a time, that just isn't nearly enough time!

Maybe next time IBM will give at least 6 months and announce on the Dot immediately; it is after all news central for KDE.


By Chris Bordeman at Mon, 2001/09/17 - 5:00am

> Seriously, this IBM contest looked disconnected from the reality
> from its very beginning.

And waht you were expecting from contest where winner (1st prize) get nothing, and $3000 is charity donation?
Do you think people doing themes do not deserve to get some money?
Do you think $3000 is enough to support, say, KOffice, and make MS Offfice filters for KWord/Kpresenter working?
No. No.
$3000 (or $1000 donation, which I won) is better than nothing, but *it is not enough*
Even Quake championship in US had $40000 1st prize.
And yes, I think I am more talented and skillful than Quake players..

Not to offend someone, but that's just my opinion.

Cheers,

Vadim


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Certainly not.
And I am not laughing at your theme either, it's a nice theme, but it has really nothing great. I always respect other's work, especially when done for free

I was anticipating some great themes coming out of this contest, and I got surprised to see those three 'standard' themes winning the contest.
Netscape had some great themes for its Netscape 6 skin contest, I was expecting the same level here.

All of this is my personal opinion though, upload your theme to themes.org and we'll see if I am the only one thinking this.


By Al_trent at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

To be honest, so was I...

but I'm hardly about to complain :o)


By Gregory W. Brubaker at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

> All of this is my personal opinion though, upload your theme to themes.org > and we'll see if I am the only one thinking this.

well, that's exactly what I did.
You can find my work here: http://apps.kde.com/na/2/info/vid/3239
There are about 1500 downloads from this location, plus around 2000 from www.astralon.ru and my site (http://kde2.newmail.ru)

Note that I was not ripping Matrix, Star Wars or whatever.
And "Mummy Returns" appeared on screens *after* I did my Egypt theme :-)

There are some limitations in KDE Widget and Window Decorations engines. I can't overcome them. But current choice I have on my desktop is superior to Gnome, SawFish and IceWM. That's was my goal when I started doing my themes. I am pretty happy that I succeeded. Going to make more in the future! :-)

Vadim Plessky
Author of Egypt Office theme (and some other KDE themes)
http://kde2.newmail.ru


By Vadim Plessky at Tue, 2001/09/18 - 5:00am

Laugh at the special olympics??

Dude, are you trying to tell us that you are quadriplegic or something? I serioiusly doubt it, because some chap with no arms, no legs and just his tongue to type could do way better than these themes. I think most people can see that there were probaby only 3 entries. Hell, I should have entered the default theme with a new background image, that surely would have won.


By Cabbage Head at Sun, 2001/09/16 - 5:00am

Obviously Cabbage Head didn't have the guts to leave his email for responses. You obviously haven't stopped whinning since you left the crib. You also know nothing about the contest or its judges. I can hardly believe I'm responding to your garbage.

http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-kde-c/?dwzone=linux


By Peter at Wed, 2001/10/03 - 5:00am

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