2:30 AM

I'm going

posted under , , by Pinheiro | Edit This

This Friday I should be going to the Oxygen meeting #3 it is a joint event betwin, Kwin Plasma and Oxygen a sort of "all your rotten eggs in one big big basket" :).

Personally I think this is one of the most important meetings for Oxygen. As i think that oxygen in 4.5 will reach maturity on the set of goals we decided a few years ago (5?).

Oxygen set up to be a great number of things in what could be considered a silly over ambitious project. That would be...

  • A complete icon theme for KDE and the KDE ecosystem. ( we ended up doing a bit more than this)

  • A windeco theme. (that blended in perfectly with the window itself)

  • A qt theme that would blend in, and was coherent, yet innovative in a classical non obstructive way, that was fully animated not because we could but because it creates a more polished experience with more intuitive and natural flow of information.

  • A cursor theme.

  • A sound theme.

  • A plasma theme that should never be confused with the qt theme but yet retain the important similitudes that create a coherent desktop.

  • A complete revamp of the websites designs.

  • A general design platform for KDE, that could prove that open source can do good design.

And we did all of this and more, we did more than a plasma theme we did 2. we remade the designs for the websites more than once (must repeat kudos to Eugene for is wonderful design work on th most recent incarnation of kde.org).

Not all is done for example the icon set is something that should give me work for about 3-4 more years, the windeco still needs some work on the shadows so we can get them more configurable and 100% perfect. the qt theme still needs some more adjustments and there are a couple of things I'm still not totally happy with, others that will get better with improvements on the qt front. Plasma theme is still a exiting WIP we keep on coming up with new ideas to make the user experience more polished and enjoyable.

But the bulk of the work is done I would say that from the original goal we reached 80% done (apart from the icon set) and those reaming 20% are the really hard part that need's time and testing and sometimes that bit of luck that comes with a creative process.

So what I'm taking to this meeting is mostly questions, what is next?

I can see 3 possible paths:

  1. Create a new qt theme, something with a more "wow" factor that could appeal to a different kinda of user, a theme that used the full potential of qt animations in a very rainbow experience that would make you happy just from looking at it, something that would make your productivity drop by at least 50% :).

  2. Start taking care of the individual apps UI's, KDE as made huge progress in this area, apps are way less clustered than what they used to be, but just like oxygen is not finished, some apps have their UI's in need of a "closure" a touch of design and usability, that would match the oxygen experience.

  3. Just do icons and focus on finish Oxygen.

A few months back I made a poll right here asking what should we put more effort in, and the bulk of the requests were to finish the windeco and Qt theme, tanks to the Oxygen developers we are getting really close to having that "todo" mostly done. So i ask again what should we focus on next?

As promised in last blog post here is a couple of pointers from Hugo Pereira (one of our main developers) on the stuff that you can tweak in oxygen style but is not present on the UI. (no I'm not a fan of all you can do in a UI, I think its a good way to hide the simple stuff and scare most people away from playing with it we hope we can bring in more options to the UI in a "less boxes and check's and technical gibberish" way, and no we are not happy with what we have now there we hope we can provide more options on the future as i said)

so a word from Hugo

for the style, most animations can be turned on/off independently one from the other, and their duration can be tweaked.The non UI options are following (with hopefully self-explicit names):

// this goes under the [Style] section of the oxygenrc file

AnimationsEnabled=true // this is the global flag, present in the UI

GenericAnimationsEnabled=true // all buttons/editors hover/focus

ToolBarAnimationsEnabled=true

MenuBarAnimationsEnabled=true

MenuAnimationsEnabled=true

ProgressBarAnimationsEnabled=true


GenericAnimationsDuration=150

ToolBarAnimationsDuration=150

MenuBarAnimationsDuration=150

MenuAnimationsDuration=150

ProgressBarAnimationsDuration=250

StackedWidgetTransitionsEnabled=false // tab transitions, also present in the UI

LabelTransitionsEnabled=false

ComboBoxTransitionsEnabled=true

LineEditTransitionsEnabled=true

StackedWidgetTransitionsDuration=150

LabelTransitionsDuration=75

ComboBoxTransitionsDuration=75

LineEditTransitionsDuration=150


For the decoration: // this goes under the [Windeco] section of oxygenrc


UseAnimations=true // its a non UI unfortunately

AnimateTitleChange=false // this is only for title smooth transition when window title changes

AnimationsDuration=150

UseNarrowButtonSpacing=false // reduce the spacing between buttons

UseOxygenShadows=true

Have fun playing with the values :) personally i made the animations much longer than default, the values are in mseconds.

44 comments

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44 comments:

dh said...

I am sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but,

It would be nice to see the same kinds of options you are describing applied to transparency effects. To be able to choose what kinds of elements (windows) receive transparency, while keeping others (panels, etc) "solid" (opaque?).

Perhaps these are plasma issues, perhaps not.

Thanks for all you have done

Pinheiro said...

@dh plasma theming is incredibly simple just have a look at the source svg's and you will understand how it works, and how you can achieve such goals

Andrew said...

I feel that you've started something great with advising application developers on their interfaces. I think it might be a good idea to solicit applications that you could help. You could advertise more that developers can come to you with their KDE application and you (and/or the oxygen team) will help them tweak the visual appearance and layout of their app.

KDE4 is vastly better in terms of application and configuration interface quality, but this could be even better and I think a continued effort on this front is a very good idea.

zorael said...

As for where Oxygen should go next, I would vote for a reworked sound theme. I really like the icons and the "brand" the overall look conveys, but in my ears the sound doesn't seem to fit that. It's difficult to put in words. Look is crystal, sound is dull?

I like having sound effects tied to events to give extra feedback, but I only ever hear the login tune at first user creation - after that it's straight into system settings to disable that and the logout sound.

Diederik said...

I'd vote for all three. :) In balance. They are all good idea's. :)

Tomasz Dudzik said...

Woow! A new Qt theme? :D This sound amazing :D I really love the new one, and i'm wondering if you can do something even better :D Can we expect some mockups, Nuno? :)

shamaz said...

First, congratulations for what you achieved with the oxygen team.
Asking your users what they want you to do is very noble. We appreciate that.
But, after all that you made for us, you may need to do something *you* want :).
Please, 'Be Inspired' and create something beautiful !

Pinheiro said...

@Tomasz Dudzik :) thanks and no there is nothing yet and i would try to bring new blood to do it so it would be something that truly might appeal to more people, oxygen was thought as a default theme, something that would not stand in your way for years.

Anonymous said...

I would appreciate you giving some love to the Qt theme. I really like the new scrollbars that came some time ago. But for me menus and contextmenus have a way to big border and the corners are rounded too much.

Tomasz Dudzik said...

@Pinheiro I can't wait to see first work done ;D Are you going to have something new for 4.5? :)

SexyMimi said...

About the icons, I just wanted to ask if you're going to do individual icons for the plasma widgets ? It's actually kinda hard to find plasmoïds because of the lack of icons for them.

About the classy 2nd Qt theme, this is a great idea ! Something with the style of Oxygen and the "wow" effect of Bespin would be great !

Poldark said...

Hi Nuno.

First of all thank you very much for the hard work done beautiful-ing the KDE Soft ;)

I think that in this moment, the most appropriate thing to do is (in conjunction with the HIG team) propose drafts of layouts for the most used / basic applications.

For example KMail / Dolphin / Amarok / K3B

They are correct in functionality but they could be more pleasant to our eyes, and in that case you are the most appropriate candidate to do that ;)

Thanks again and regards from Spain!

Juan Manuel Márquez

Naproxeno said...

I understand you're very proud of the cursor theme but there's no need to mention it twice in the list. :-)

(Just kidding)

Thomas said...

I think it would be wisest to tweak the oxygen theme. I like it's overall appearance, but many people are right when they say that a lot of space is wasted.

Try to get out as many pixel space as you can. That makes the theme look cleaner.

Back in the days when KDE4 was still a dream, a lot of mockups arised. some had quite good ideas regarding contrast and simpliness, I can only find this one though, which is not that old afaik:

http://tinyurl.com/yaj4pwa

It is quite boring compared to oxygen, but it also is not that cluttered.

And if I may suggest another thing to work on, it would be the buttons - they always look a bit out of place IMHO. I'm not as visionary as you are, I can't really come up with a better proposal than the iTunes buttons, but I hope you'll revise them.


I think it is important to start with the widget theme before tweaking the apps UIs.

Still, I really appreciate all the work and effort you spent on KDE4.

Thomas said...

It just came to my mind: What about transferring the style of the new window decoration buttons to all buttons? I think they would look great, both in shape aswell as in colours.

And maybe I was wrong when I blamed the qt style for bad pixel usage - the date and time dialog, for example, is 12px too wide on all sides, minimum - that is not an issue of the style.

GvH said...

kde-look is full of people who do wild and crazy themes for all sorts of tastes. But there are very few of your caliber, who have the skills and the perseverance to create a consistent, professional theme. So please focus on your unique skills and leave the creation of wild and crazy theme to those that love to do that. There are enough of them!

Pinheiro said...

@Naproxeno fixed thanks :)
@thomas most of the apparent waste of space is not due to oxygen, but to the rather clean decorations it as that are not as filed with divisions and other elements as other decorations used to have, and the individual UI of the app in case.
Some refurbished apps in the 4.x era take great advantage of oxygen cleanness to provide very elegant ui's with a good balance between "white space" and content.

Anonymous said...

A new Oxygen Qt theme would be fantastic news...

The two Plasma themes are truly beautiful.
The Qt theme on the other hand doesn't really fit in with this desktop beauty:

1) Backgrounds are mainly just dull plain grey. Giving them some gradient/watermark/translucency love might make the UI a lot more interesting and fun to look at.

2) Some important UI elements just look plain ugly to me. Please don't take offense, that's just how I feel personally. I'm talking specifically about push buttons and similar widgets - they look really brutish, distracting and unprofessional to me... so much so that everytime I try to give the Oxygen theme another chance, I switch right back to QtCurve which I'm using as an alternative currently. (Btw, some other Oxygen widgets do actually look quite nice: tab widgets, group boxes and progress bars are good examples).
I suppose different people just have different opinions - if there were two official themes, there would be a greater chance that everyone would be satisfied with at least one of them!

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Thomas said...

Pinheiro:
Yeah, you're right on this point I guess. However, keeping that point in mind, I think it would be an awfully bad idea to create a second theme. At least, if you do, it should behave similar like oxygen, which means that applications designed for oxygen should look good on that second style, too. And I think that's nearly impossible.

I think you should really focus on tweaking the current style and UIs to fit oxygen.



Still, I'd love to suggest again to change the button's style. Try to use the style you used for the windeco buttons. Those look awesome.

Anonymous said...

>I'm talking specifically about push buttons and similar widgets - they look really brutish, distracting and unprofessional to me...

I agree absolutely. I do adore the Oxygen icon theme. It is simply incredible. The Plasma style is ok. But the Oxygen widget style is far from perfect. Especially, the buttons look coarse and brutish. Windeco is also dull and rather primitive, with its buttons being inexpressive. It is only my opinion, I very much hope it will never offend anyone. But I am waiting for a new KDE style so much.. And I would dare to wish the artist all the luck and inspiration to make the new theme truly incredible. You are talented, you will succeed.

John said...

My vote goes on polishing existing theme and UI to complete the whole clean/smooth visual experience across the desktop. Lets file down those rough edges. This would be both in Plasma and in the most popular apps. For instance, the Device notifier in 4.4 has the great new feature of listing the possible actions for a device within the widget, but unfortunately it looks awkward and unbalanced, it needs a little polish.

Артур said...

This comment has been removed by the author.
Артур said...

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20071206/double-decker-longhorn-taskbar/
I've found this concept (it've been made by M$ years ago) and it's still looks so cool, sleek and sexy. I want to know, do you like it? It would be GREAT o have some parts of this concept implemented in future KDE releases. Because it's too cool to be just concept.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see that new style.
But Oxygen is already very nice.

This idea seems very good to me:
http://kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=119331&forumpage=0

yman said...

I'd like a Plasma theme that follows the system's color scheme, and matching Qt and windeco thems. Matching as in that it's the same theme, like using Air for Qt and windeco.

I'd like an easy way to create Qt and windeco themes using SVG, similar to how Plasma theming works. You could say that I'm asking for a theme engine that allows easy creation of themes using stuff like SVG and CSS.

I'd like to be able to manage the appearance of GTK applications from within System Settings with at least as many options and as much control as provided by gnome-appearance-properties.

yman said...

I'd rather have all the applications I run have a uniform Look & Feel, and Oxygen rocks more than any other theme I've seen out there. Therefor, I'd like to upgrade the appearance of all non-KDE applications on my system so match the appearance of the KDE applications. This means I'd like an official, up to date, port of Oxygen to GTK+.

Tim said...

my priorities in order of personal importance.

1. work on Qt theme

2. work with KDE apps to integrate style

3. work on sound effects.

Unity is key, as fun as other styles and themes are, you really need to tighten, and integrate everything for now.

Mourinho said...

Good!!!
But a question, why not talk about KDM.
I think that KDM has a old look and incosistence with the rest of KDE.
Thank you for the great work.

Anonymous said...

I wish the wallpaper of the KDM were the same of the desktop (optionally)

Rowan said...

I agree, it would be nice to be able to change the background of the KDM Login - without changing the whole theme.

Maybe have an option dialogue with values 'Default' or 'Use Desktop Background' in system settings?

--

One other thing. I love the Oxygen win deco. My only Gripe is the buttons. I believe the bevelled style is a huge improvement over the previous etched style, however a little more work could make them perfect.

1) Allow the buttons to change colour according the background colour (this may not be as simple as i think?)

2) The buttons seem a little to bevelled, at this point when you focus on them they are a little 'Pimply' looking on the smooth background.

Looking at the Aurorae 'Ambiance' theme - i think this is the way these buttons should go.

Sam said...

The Qt theme is the best theme I've seen any desktop use.

What I can't stand, and must always change, is the plasma theme. They're both meh.

Take a look at the plasma media-center, something entirely written plasma. Look at the awkward almost-swirls.

That, and the sound theme is nice, but could use solid tweaking.

K.H. said...

I love the latest Plasma theme and Oxygen icons. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the QT Oxygen Widget Theme - the widget theme has a very "flat" appearance, particularly the buttons. Compared to Windows or MAC OS X, the Oxygen widget theme really appears blase and unappealing. I would definitely work on either sprucing up the current widget theme or creating a new one altogether.


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As for where Oxygen should go next, I would vote for a reworked sound theme. I really like the icons and the "brand" the overall look conveys, but in my ears the sound doesn't seem to fit that.

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