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:
- 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% :).
- 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.
- 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
StackedWidgetTransitionsEnabled=false // tab transitions, also present in the UI
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
UseNarrowButtonSpacing=false // reduce the spacing between buttons
Have fun playing with the values :) personally i made the animations much longer than default, the values are in mseconds.