Jump to content
mousematt

Mandrakelinux Default Desktop Discussion

Recommended Posts

i also agree.

 

i wonder if mandrake actually thoroughly tested their themmdk and galaxy design properly. they must have seen the problems. the buttons are hardly usable, classic galaxy loks even better than the "new" version and: the apps buttons (e.g. ok button) are way too big, thus wasting space and making the way from point a to b with the mouse somewhat long. also: why a grey to white gradient? it doesn't look professional.

 

i tested the aforementioned kicker pager, but it can't be used yet. it is too instable. it crashed after nearly 2 hours of use on two different machines. i hope this can be fixed by the author. nonetheless, it is better for every day usage than the normal pager.

 

as we are talking of virtal desktops. yes, the same wallpaper could be used on all desktops, although with a modification. use the standard mdk wallpaper on desktop 1 and add in the center of the desktop on virtual desktop2 a text that tells you "desktop 2". this must not be a bright-shining and extremely big text, but it could be added to the normal wallpaper as a transparent layer with e.g. 40-50% transparency.

Edited by arctic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i also agree.

 

i wonder if mandrake actually thoroughly tested their themmdk and galaxy design properly. they must have seen the problems. the buttons are hardly usable, classic galaxy loks even better than the "new" version

 

What is better about the classic galaxy layout when it is compared to Galaxy II. What needs to be improved and why?

 

Thanks for the wallpaper btw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is better about the classic galaxy layout when it is compared to Galaxy II. What needs to be improved and why?

okay, i will try to explain it. if we look at the current galaxy windeco (the one-color windeco in striking blue), we see that the buttons on the top right are somehow "killed" by the sheer weight of the windeco. it has a very "heavy", dominant apperance, and the blue makes the buttons look even smaller, they become some kind of unusable due to this. also, the black gradient on the lower part of the windeco adds to the "heavy" look it has. i always have the feeling, these windows must fall down onto the floor, that heavy they look.

 

so, what do we have in the old version? we have the same buttons, but they are not so "squeezed" into the windeco (this is a psychological thing), because the white-colored surrounding gives it an air or lightweight and gentleness. with the blue on the left part, we still have an eye-catching-effect, focusing our eyes on the name of apps, displayed in the toolbar. the dark gradient is broken up (much reduced) in terms of the dominant-heavy feeling of galaxy2.

 

it would be nice, if the galaxy theme would be less 3d, less beveled, a bit more of a flat approach, maybe like something as gently beveled as gnomes "milk2.0" windeco with rounded corners would be nice. i think the windeco need to give the user more of a lightweight-feeling, which could be achieved by changing the black gradient to a softer color type (left part dark blue, right part a fitting grey-shade?)

 

so, why do we need a lighter appearance? because the users focus should be on the apps they are running and not on the windeco, so the windeco has to be "nearly invisible". it is that simple. galaxy is too distracting in its current state, although galaxy1 was acceptable.

 

p.s.: i will continue this one later from home... work is finished. :cheesy:

Edited by arctic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

okay, i am at home now, so i will continue my posting.

 

now, i will talk a bit about thememdk, the applications-theme looking so akward. now, what is wrong with it? this style has, as i mentioned before, much too big buttons. buttons do need a certain size in order to be useful but if they become to huge, they are just the opposite of useful. they give a feeling of somthing that has grown too big for the average monitor. something that says: give me a 3200x2400 screen-resolution.

 

why is this so? well, i will try to explain it, using an example:

 

imagine, you want to create a nice illustration. you start gimp and the menu-boxes appear. maybe you have not two but 4 menu-boxes because you like to put them all on top for easy handling. now, what is the problem? you have to keep the x-ratio to a certain minimum because the buttons in the menus need a lot of space. compare e.g. thememdk with plastic here. plastic needs less space! the result is that you don't need to scroll in the menu-boxes in order to have enough space for the picture you are working on.

scrolling in menus is annoying, especially if you are working on graphics (i do know 'bout the right-click-menu... this is only an example). if you want to avoid scrolling, you have your menu-boxes bigger. this reduces the space available for the picture if you want to have everything on one monitor without getting into trouble with overlapping window-boxes.

 

so, what is needed is a button layout that is usable. it should not be too big (as thememdk (btw, the fonts look a bit lost on those buttons. too much dead space)), nor should it be too tightly packed, thus making aiming with the mouse a horror. plastic and other windecos are ahead of thememdk in this respect.

 

also: the grey to white rendering in the apps looks like something amateurish that was left abandoned in the middle of its evolution. it simply looks unfinished and not tidy at all. especially with the blue/white gradient progressbar. this really hurts my eyes and the overall look of the theme. a little bit of polishing work could do that (e.g. change the progress-bar gradient so that it goes from marine-blue to a lighter shade of azure-blue).

 

i really hope that mandrake wiill clean up the theme, because the way it is right now, it us unusable for everyday work. that is my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i really hope that mandrake wiill clean up the theme, because the way it is right now, it us unusable for everyday work. that is my opinion.

 

I think this is a bit harsh. Thememdk (Galaxy) is a little less refined than Bluecurve or ThinKeramik but I would not call it unusable. I agree with your other points - and I agree there is a lot of room for improvement; but I actually prefer the understated style of Galaxy: it's very Mandrake - if that makes any sense.

 

In the past ten days or so this thread has reallyt hrown up some fascinating ideas and I am convinced it will continue to do so. I have taken lots of notes and will present my first mock-up based on this thread tomorrow evening (AWST). I welcome your comments them.

 

Please keep the excellent work. Mandrakesoft watch this space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i really hope that mandrake wiill clean up the theme, because the way it is right now, it us unusable for everyday work. that is my opinion.

Please keep the excellent work. Mandrakesoft watch this space.

 

So THAT's why there were 5 anonymous users watching this space all of a sudden a few days ago? :o

 

 

As I promised, I would compare with SuSe. Think about it as a 'let us learn from other distros' topic.

 

But first, one remark about the Xandros desktop:

- Xandros has a kind of 'Link Wizard', that guides you through the process of creating a link to an application or an icon on the desktop or... I am talking about when you right-click on the KDE desktop and you choose 'Make new -> ... ' . The wizard is set up this way it is very easy to do this task. More importantly, a *linear* process is taken when doing so (a kind of decision tree). This makes it almost impossible to make a mistake, and very easy to e.g. link to a program.

 

Now about SuSe;

- first, one thing I DO NOT like: SuSe puts there logo by default on all Window Decorations. For me, that is the first thing to go. Even if it is *their* product, I do NOT want my desktop to be treated as some kind of advertising space. I've had quite my share of that on Windoze (especially on laptops)

 

- they DO in fact include a 'my computer' icon. Although I do not use it myself, I must admit it is quite handy, you have quick access to your devices, your printer, etc. Clean and friendly.

 

- SuSe does not mimick the windoze 'my documents' approach though. I think (personal opinion) 'mimicking' this is a waste of time: you will put a lot of effort making it accessible through all possible locations and just make a mess of it, while 'My Documents' is meaningless, by itself. Could as well have called it 'My stuff' or 'My sh*t'... you get my drift. I mean a mess like Lindows/Linspire made of it, with symlinks and all (at least in 4.5). Categorizing it like me and arctic did is, IMhO, much more sensible and intiutive (especially with the icons as a visual aid).

 

- SuSe makes things integrate with KDE *very* well; e.g. in the Konqueror (file manager) context menu, you can choose 'Actions -> add to Yast as directory source' and when filetype is RPM, 'Actions -> Install with Yast'. Or 'actions -> Encrypt file', or 'Actions -> Extract' when filetype is tar/bz... maybe some of these things are KDE's efforts, but the fact remains SuSe integrates its tools *very* well with the K Desktop Environment and with the (Konqueror) file manager. Plus they have configuration tools for about anything. I could pick a different 'mouse pointer' style in the KDE Control Center (again, KDE-specific?) with ample choice of mous arrow icons.

 

They made sure you can reach Yast from anywhere: from the menu, from the Konqueror, from the KDE Control center. You may take different paths but always have the option to use it. No matter how good the program, that does not help me if I cannot find it when I need it.

 

- The Yast Online Update is simple, but very efficient. It is basically an icon sitting in the system tray telling you when there are recommended and crucial updates. I heard it breaked things for some people once, but my experience has been problemless and great.

 

- However, they *did* BREAk :angry: xinelib, due to licensing problems, something I think Mandrake would have never done. It took a lot of us SuSe users a lot of work to get DVD's and certain video formats playing, by installing Mplayer from RPM's or source or Kaffeine from RPMs... of course you will not be able to if you do not find the Packman website!

 

- The KDE menu makes sense. Of course it is not as compact as the Xandros menu, but that is because they include so much more things. It is well thought-out, never going deeper than 3 levels.

 

It's not that I use Yast a lot, but if I compare it to MCC, I really have to say it is much, much more complete. I am always sure there is a GUI-tool available to do the job if I do not want to spend a lot of time on the CLI. On the other hand, the CLI is there when I want/need it. In the best of possible worlds, most task could be completed both CLI-style and Gui-style.

 

- Oh yeah, and SuSe put ONE bookmark in Konqueror. That's right: 1. A folder in which other SuSe-related links are stocked. Comparing it to MDK bookmarks, which are spread all over the toolbar, I must say I like the folder better. Takes much less space and it's less distracting. Plus it's less work if I want to remove it. And I might just decide it is unobtrusive enough to let it live. While I would start deleting the Mdk bookmarks and delete them *all* .

 

 

Darkelve

 

P.S. mousematt, are we being productive enough? :juggle:

You didn't seriously think I would forget the context menus or the comparison with SuSe, did you? </grin>

Edited by Darkelve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this is a bit harsh.

Mandrakesoft watch this space.

okay... it is harsh. and it was from the perspective of a user getting frustrated with wasted space in gimp ... that is... me. :P so, you mandrake-people... it was not meant as an offense. ;) i am glad to hear that they are following this topic.

 

okay, now, what i wanted to add is: i made a rough sketch (i know, baaaad qualitiy, but don't expect more in 15 minutes with gimp) of how the galaxy-theme could be made less "dominant". please watch the attached image.

 

 

 

as you might see, there is no visual edge between the windeco and the style. it blends together. thus a more consistent look can be achieved... at least this is what i hope. also, the buttons are bigger and the symbols in it are black, thus adding more contrast. the blue on the left fades into the style-color (grey in this sketch), thus giving the coloring-background for the window title and at the same time keep the consistent overall look. as i said, this is only a rough sketch made in a hurry, but i hope you get the idea. the windeco nearly fades into nothing, becomes "unimportant" as a distracting factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Adriano

Yes, all the buttons should have the ideographs of the same width and (if possible) height. But yours was a quick sketch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not bad at all. :) But if you want to go with these large buttons the text to the right needs to be bigger as well.

 

I miss a border round the window. Even if it's just a few pixels wide it makes it stand out against the background.

 

Good effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

    3.  The desktop is too flat.  It makes Linux look an IBM PCjr in a room full of Amiga's.

 

Yep once again plenty of choice but they choose the retro look!

now one thing to add to this: if they choose the retrostyle, they should stick to it and make it more consistent. look at the kicker. it is flat, retro style. the crystal buttons are modern 3d-style. the galaxytheme is also a "modern" beveled 3d style. this breaks up the overall look of mandy. i will try to improve my theme-sketch from above and try to create a flat-good-looking-retro-style-desktop picture. it might take some time....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my latest mockup of a new default Mandrake desktop. I have based this on the excellent suggestions from many on this board and added a little Mandrake identity.

 

To be a bit different from Windows, Mac and SUSE; I have arranged the desktop icons horizontally and followed the GNOME HIG and named applications for their function rather than their application name.

 

I have rearranged the default bookmarks in the filemanager and customised them so that they are more distinctive.

 

In the kicker; I have added a "Productivity Applications" sub-menu and included some of the productivity apps I would consider essential. I have also given them human names rather than application names.

 

In the system tray, I have preloaded SMB4K (the KDE Samba Networking Tool): this allows for dynamic access to windows shares. This will probably be standard in 10.1 anyway.

 

I have also used arctic's excellent Mandrake Galaxy background. Please note: I have hidden the text which reads "Welcome and explore the". This text is a great idea except Mandrakelinux is used in a multitude of languages. This text will make almost no sense to a non-english speaker and will quickly get removed from a french, russian, vietnamese or arabic desktop. I think this wallpaper would be even better if it just said "Mandrakelinux Galaxy"

 

I'd still like to add KControl to the desktop (as Configure Desktop) and use a different window decoration. What do you all think? Is this a reasonable suggestion? What do I need to change? How can I make this more "unique" and more Mandrake???

 

Forgive the jpeg compression. I like to be nice to those without broadband.

post-805-1094137873_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think the background is to dark :) but on the whole it's pretty impressive.

 

I would change 'personal information manager' (just adressbook, diary right?) to 'agenda'. Everyone knows what that is and it sounds french. :D

 

And word processor.... change that to 'publisher' or something like it. (Change it to one word, two words (word processor) don't look right).

 

But a very good effort.

 

<edit>Forgot something: Change the clock style to 'simple'. 'Digital' doesn't look right (and no shadows)

Edited by devries

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would change 'personal information manager' (just adressbook, diary right?) to 'agenda'.

it is more than an adressbook. have you never taken a look at kontact? it is similar to evolution. ;)

 

about the wallpaper: here is a "lighter" and somewhat changed version:

http://www.gnome-look.org/content/download...tent=15916&id=1

it doesn't have the "welcome" text. you are right, mousematt. an arab or latin american won't have lots of interest in an english text i guess.

 

otherwise: very nice effort. and yes, the windeco still sucks. i am currently working on an improvement of my windeco-proposal of above. trying to make it more mandrake-like. not easy at all. :)

 

here is a pic with an icontheme that i would like to see there (krystal) because it gives a nice contrast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...