VectorLinux

Cooking up the Treats => (Vector-)Linux Artwork => Topic started by: blurymind on September 18, 2006, 11:46:39 am

Title: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on September 18, 2006, 11:46:39 am
I think that we can learn something by observing other distro's choice for designs.  :)

They too tend to have their pros and cons tho.  ;D

I will be glad if everybody who reads this,posts his/hers opinion on different designs.What was liked about and disliked about them.Also which was the favorite...just comment them,so we will know what the masses likes these days. :P

pclinuxos
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/pclos93abd
kde,standart icons,weird decision to make the window's theme transparent,same goes for the bottom panel,desktop theme is a nature photo...

latest fedora
 http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/fedora6sp
fedora has its own icon theme,style...which is admirable.

kateOs
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/kateos3
very bright and glossy wallpaper.Nice,but too bright,custom icons...

xandros
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/xandros4
kinda dull, too much on the kde-ish blue,too much all-we-see-everywhere

mepis
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/mepis60r1
kinda bloated...too much useless icons in the bottom panel,too much stuff loading at startup as defaults...very nice wallpaper.Something that the user would usually like to keep for a few days before changing..2 desktops,panel too big..

ubuntu
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/ubu606r
wonderfull icon theme,wonderfull window theme...everything specially made to fit the earthly look,but this time with some nice glossiness to it.Ubuntu team showed some interest in the default designs...no ugly default old gnome icons,no defaults.They thrusted the brown to a more orange,which is a good idea too...hmm..also nice customisation on the menus  :P, but...2 panels take too much of the screen and the user oftenly removes one of the two.

symphony
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/symphony2006
very original user interface,that is pushing the limits of new standarts.Very cool.Wallpaper nice,but blue is overused and is to be avoided.

others...
http://www.tuxmachines.org/gallery/albums.php
pick one to review 
 =)
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: GrannyGeek on September 18, 2006, 04:08:47 pm
There's not a one that I'd keep any longer than it took me to change to my plain sky-blue background. I particularly dislike the Ubuntu brown.

I think the theme VectorLinux has used in the VL-5.1 releases is as good as any. I don't know why there's all this hoo-ha over changing it. I also don't there there's all this mystical meaning behind backgrounds and icon choices.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on September 19, 2006, 01:34:19 am
well,yeah-you are right....its not such a big deal.
Everybody has his own taste ::) but original theming of the default desktop gives the distro a nice polished look.Its afterall up to you the devs to decide it afterall...and if what you have is what you want to keep the same,then do it.I dont really mind it at all.Imho,just trying to help anyway possible. ;D
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on September 19, 2006, 12:14:57 pm
well,to be frank , I dont like any of these designs.Maybe parts of them,but not the whole. ::)

What these distros are probably trying to achieve is to create a unique feel to the default gui desktop. (imho, gui and desktop- two words annoying to real devs).
And if that look is somehow "magically" achieved by a special combo of simple elements such as "wallpaper","icons" "themes" and "colors",that will somehow leave its mark in the new user's memory...then,in order to leave a mark ,these elements need to be unique and better looking than the one's that the user has been seeing before that.
Seeing that same old blue,that we see in every kde-default wallpaper,with the same old icons,everything-same old,same old... leaves nothing in the memory of the user who tried a distro for the first time. :-\
How do we achieve such uniqueness,so the distro doesnt look faceless to the mainstream? You tell me. ::)

hopefully I managed to explain what i see in the words "default theme" and the way that it is connected to Primal human perception.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: The Headacher on September 19, 2006, 12:40:01 pm
I for one have never been converted by the looks of a distro. I just didn't like any of the debian based distro's because of the way they work. I used Gentoo for a while but the programs I wanted to use most badly didn't work properly for some reason (I used amd64 CFLAGS & CXXFLAGS, which might have been the cause). I also used Slamd64 for a while, but I missed the VL repo.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on September 19, 2006, 12:55:18 pm
yes ofcourse,  the way the distro works is waht makes the user keep the distro...

What I mean was really the first look of the user over the distro.That great first moment,the first log into desktop.Its part of the impression,you know... :P

I have to admit that debian is really lame.Comparing it to slackware based distro such as vec is like comparing my old boots to a pair of slippers,lol.

Gentoo is too hardcore.Everything is bleeding edge and the user has to loose weeks playing around to get everything he wants. :-[
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: Lyn on September 19, 2006, 02:07:21 pm
Looks are important, for many that is the only real difference between distros, and first impressions count. 

Bad design can be damaging.  But that is more than just simple looks.  Bad design is about lack of consistency, menu structures that are too cluttered or not very logical, 15 confusingly named applications for one task, lack of tools – these are what matter more than just the visual gloss.  I think Vector looks good, the design job done on IceWM for Vector 5 standard was stunning, I had never seen that window manager look so good.  In a multi manager distro getting the menus to look the same, ordered the same way is important.  OK we are now moving to single manager/environment editions so that is less important, but even so care should be taken as to how they were structured.  The old Debian sub menus for KDE and Gnome applications looked awful and was wasteful and confusing.  It is all about ergonomics and utility.

Good visual polish certainly helps to grab attention but the rest of the design matters if you want to keep them.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: InTheWoods on September 19, 2006, 03:07:45 pm


I agree with Blurrymind. It does make a difference what the default look is to a new user. If it looks shabby and amateurish then one could think the rest of the distro is similarly sub standard.

Books are judged by their cover whether we like it or not. I initially looked at Vector back when it had the clawing wallpaper. I thought it looked cool and professional.

1.A proper default scheme is a lure.
2.The promise of features and usefulness is about setting the hook.
3.Easy intuitive use is about reeling them in.
3.Support is about keeping them.

People have varying levels of interest in each of these four areas.

Number 2 is primarily the concern of those who run the Vector Linux web site.

Everybody is in the forum for number 4 and so obviously considers this very important.

Linux in general needs a lot of work on no.3. Having said that there are two forks in the road here. Try to be like Windows TM following the KDE, GNOME, UNBUNTU way, or go a more technical GENTOO build your own way.

There are of course many steps between these two extremes. I think vector is one of them. People will hold your hand in the forum but you have to learn some command line stuff. I am the type of new user who likes this (although I would like to make the learning curve a little less steep) but not every new user will. The choice of xfce4 as the only desktop environment installed for Vec6.0 is I think reflective of this middle approach.

I think the default scheme should be reflective of what vector is.

It should have a graphic background that looks professionally designed.
This indicates the technical competency of the maintainers of Vector.
The Xandros thing is a good example of a graphic that indicates stable professional reliability.

No one will keep the default background for long.
There should also be really nice wallpapers available for screen shots. The DOE explosion shot ALTHOUGH REALLY COOL AND APPROPRIATE IN DYNAMITE doesn't belong in Vec 6.0 final. I hope that doesn't offend anyone but it could unintentionally scare off new users.

A good icon set similarly should reflect technical competence. At the same time it should be bright and inviting. On another sub forum I saw reference to icons used on the live CD distro Dreamlinux.
http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/english/saiba-screen.html

I love this. Of course I also love transparency and (horrors) blue.

From what Little I've read you can have transparency on xfce4 but you have to compile xfce4 yourself. I would like to see some xfce4 new tricks available on Vec6.0. Or at least some HOW TO,s.

Again a theme with this shows the technical ability of the distro to do whatever you want it to.

But what do I know.
However as a noob I can tell you screenshots do make a big difference in what you decide to try.

InTheWoods

Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: InTheWoods on September 19, 2006, 07:54:23 pm

I just looked at the wallpapers sub forum. I see Blurrymind and some others are all over that part of themeing.

I also just reread my post above. Please ignore my foolish ramblings. You people know what your doing and your doing it well.

What I said about the Dreamlinux icons still goes though.
http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/english/saiba-screen.html

InTheWoods

Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: salmonix on September 19, 2006, 11:20:24 pm
fedora install logo (the 8 sign) is very clever.
pclinux: the window-frames are fine as well their colous. the photo is not special.

kateOS is lovely but a bit chidren-cartoon.

xandros splash also has a fine design - a game with stones is transformed. really good set logo and environment. The rest is the same story told many times - but that story is not good to be told thrice.

mepis: no way. if U need 1st quality photos of Egypt, Piramids, Kasr, low-reliefs with strange winged hellenistic gods - just call me. This is mediocre.

ubuntu has professional design, but the window frames are not carefully selected.

symphony OS: nothing special.



QUESTION: this smoky/weily design so favoured? This is a Mac design but I see it always retransformed. (ex.Vector paper where V is hiden in the symmetrical smoky design on dark blue. That is fine. I don't know if it was intentional but works for me.)
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: saulgoode on September 20, 2006, 01:09:52 am
The Beatles' White Album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_%28album%29) is one of the 10 greatest albums of all time (by several different criteria). I suspect that the cover had little to do with that.  ;)
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: Joe1962 on September 20, 2006, 04:06:57 pm
The Beatles' White Album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_%28album%29) is one of the 10 greatest albums of all time (by several different criteria). I suspect that the cover had little to do with that.  ;)
Indeed...  ;D
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on September 21, 2006, 01:58:47 am
The Beatles' White Album (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_%28album%29) is one of the 10 greatest albums of all time (by several different criteria). I suspect that the cover had little to do with that.  ;)
Indeed...  ;D
yeah,but the beattles album is something we buy to listen,and not to look at.
Remember,the first impression,the screenshots,etc....they have their own roles. ;D
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: hanimal on October 08, 2006, 08:16:58 pm
We like the way Vector Linux looks. We especially like the VL 5.1 fluxbox-rox look...  we like it very much.

When we were distro-hopping, we were looking for a lean distro to run on our machine.  We found VL 5.1, and it worked more efficiently than any other software system available to us.  And it looked nice.  We never changed any of the defaults, because it already looked very professional. 

Now...  Vector Linux prompts you to select your window manager/desktop at every boot.  Perhaps each WM could be set up a little differently to capitalize on the different strengths of the WM in question?  Perhaps these could all have a common theme, then?

And perhaps the user may decide which setup "Floats Their Boat," (so to speak)? </meow>
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: lagagnon on October 09, 2006, 08:54:12 am
hanimal: with version 5.8 (beta 1 is now available) the developers of VL have decided to provide just one desktop environment (xfce). This avoids the confusion of window managers, the amount of development and fiddling associated with having each environment look good and work well, and enables us to provide more software on one CD.

You will still be able to add more window managers from the repository, however, if you so desire.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: hanimal on October 09, 2006, 01:45:14 pm
The abundance of window managers was one of the reasons that I chose VL over other distros such as Xubuntu...  Being able to completely change the look and feel of my computer, instantly, exemplified the VL 5.1 motto "when choice matters", which resonated with me.

I purchased the Vector Linux 5.1 Deluxe CD because it delivered lots of options for my low-performance computer that Xubuntu, nor any other distro, could match.

The inclusion of several default window managers made VL 5.1 unique for me.  Did other people feel the same way?  Or am I insane?

Of course, the many window managers will still be implemented on my personal machine; I just thought it was a refreshing default feature to have everything there for a new user.

Think about it...  Multiple WM/desktops to lure in an unsuspecting newbie...  Diabolical?  Definitely--I, for one, fell victim.  </meow>
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: kazuya on October 11, 2006, 05:55:46 am
I agree with you hannimal. Enlightenment, kde, xfce, icewm, fluxbox. These things are what hooked me in at first. Then I tried to replace VL soho with my mepis again, and ubuntu, but the speed of the system was too low.

The first thing that really made me say, VL Soho for me was the speed and responsiveness of kde on my 128MB RAM laptop. This looked beautiful and multimedia rendered awesomely than any other distro ever tested on it.

My first impression was, WOW. I have never seen fluxbox look so great , themeable and customizable on any other distro. I was sold.

The main reason, I ventured away from some time was that my VL CD was given to a friend, and my older PC malfunctioned due to heavy age, and CPU getting damaged...

I am still distro hopping until Vector Soho 6 comes out.

Right now, Zenwalk is the new slack-based distro trying to do and push the envelope on what VL has been doing.

The main thing making me use Zenwalk 3.0 over Vector dynamite is mainly, the XFCE implementation after installation. Zenwalk's XFCE looks slightly better to me than the VL dynamite default desktoip background.

I know it is still in dynamite stage. Also, the guys there have started to use gslapt like VL. Here I see VL as the innovator. I look forward to what they launch in VL 6 Soho.

Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: lagagnon on October 11, 2006, 07:04:48 pm
Zenwalk's XFCE looks slightly better to me than the VL dynamite default desktoip background.

So "looks" is all that matters?
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: kazuya on October 26, 2006, 12:12:47 pm
sorry for the long delay. Not really. But it makes a big impression. I could send you a snapshot of my default Zenwalk 3 versus Vector dynamite . I am glad it is just dynamite. Vector Soho was very polished compared to many other distros including its slack parent. Since the bar was raised so high, I am judging others including future releases on that.

It is also how easy it is for me to convince others to use it as they would be so drawn by the look and speed and want to have the same OS on their machine.

Zenwalk like VL has been making huge strides. Although slack-based, on their distro, you can do upgrade-all without breakage.

And now they have adopted VL's gslapt-gui. They are learning from VL and adding more innovations to their already existent designs.

In the past I was afraid to upgrade from slack-current, because I did not want to lose the VL customizations and looks. This alone is evident of the impact of look n feel to a distro.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: JohnB316 on October 26, 2006, 08:15:11 pm
---snip---
Zenwalk like VL has been making huge strides. Although slack-based, on their distro, you can do upgrade-all without breakage.

We should be at that point soon with VL 5.8. It's just a matter of making sure the packages repo is completely populated before we invite people to test --dist-upgrade on a spare partition. You don't want to risk doing it on your main working partition.

And now they have adopted VL's gslapt-gui. They are learning from VL and adding more innovations to their already existent designs.

I've actually heard that Zenwalk has gone back to its previous package manager due to disputes among their devs.

In the past I was afraid to upgrade from slack-current, because I did not want to lose the VL customizations and looks. This alone is evident of the impact of look n feel to a distro.

That's something for us devs to keep in mind, making sure that the customizations are part of the repo.

Cheers,
John
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: kazuya on October 27, 2006, 07:02:46 am
---snip---
Zenwalk like VL has been making huge strides. Although slack-based, on their distro, you can do upgrade-all without breakage.

We should be at that point soon with VL 5.8. It's just a matter of making sure the packages repo is completely populated before we invite people to test --dist-upgrade on a spare partition. You don't want to risk doing it on your main working partition.

I would be willing to risk or compromise my PC for that purpose. I have my important data on a different partition and have a spare drive for doing just this.

Tell me when and I would be ready to do it and see how borked my system is. I guess I have to experiment with upgrading after installing VL packages only, and also do upgrade-all with added packages from linuxpackages, etc..

Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on October 28, 2006, 07:10:50 am
eye linux has a slightly extreme design...check it out:
http://shots.osdir.com/slideshows/slideshow.php?release=729&slide=1&title=eyeos+0.9.0+screenshots
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: LLL on October 28, 2006, 07:42:16 am
eye linux has a slightly extreme design...

It's coordinated well, and (strangely) appealing!
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on October 28, 2006, 12:57:13 pm
eye linux has a slightly extreme design...

It's coordinated well, and (strangely) appealing!
I find it rather bold. I never expect vec team to make such extreme choises in design.

they even made a weird demo at their site:
http://www.eyeos.net/eyeOS/desktop.php?a=%3B%3B

oooh,now I got it.Right right... this is a weird distro  :(

http://eyeapps.org
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: 789 on November 05, 2006, 10:21:00 am
I just got here; but if I may ...

All those wallpapers mentioned in the original post (and the ones not mentioned) are just variations of the same old, same old, easy on the eye ...  Goblin linux has a different look, if one is into gothica.
If you want to see a really impressive first impression try out Berry Linux.  Now that is some boot splash;  and the desktop, too;  perhaps a bit on the feminine side.

Personally, what really impresses me is when Knoppix recognizes and drives all my hardware !
______
On the direction of Vector :
It is too bad that Vector will only come with xfce.  I wish for an Icewm only version/setup.  I think the only thing I would like from xfce into icewm is that applet where we can change the desktop settings
Why has everything got to be jammed into the first iso?  Why can't there be an iso for the OS and one for the packages.  Vector 5.1 standard found a good ballance (if only, Firefox could be taken out of it), why ruin it ?  Isn't Xubuntu way ahead in that direction ?  Wolvix is already out with a 250mb Xfce distro.


_____________________________
>>> "yeah, but the beattles album is something we buy to listen,and not to look at."
True enough, but do you remember how many hours we spent looking at those covers;  (how many photos we purchased and stared at)
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: The Headacher on November 05, 2006, 11:30:47 am
Quote
It is too bad that Vector will only come with xfce.  I wish for an Icewm only version/setup.  I think the only thing I would like from xfce into icewm is that applet where we can change the desktop settings
I don't think those settings will work for IceWM.
XFCE was chosen because it's a complete desktop that's relatively lightweight. If you wish IceWM I'm afraid you'll have to compile and install it yourself.

Quote
Why has everything got to be jammed into the first iso?  Why can't there be an iso for the OS and one for the packages.
  Because it fits easily. One of the goals of VL is to keep it a one cd distro.
Quote
Vector 5.1 standard found a good ballance (if only, Firefox could be taken out of it), why ruin it ?  Isn't Xubuntu way ahead in that direction ?  Wolvix is already out with a 250mb Xfce distro.
I for one can't stand the way Ubuntu (and other debian based ditro's) works. Wolvix cub doesn't come close to the packages VL STD has to offer.. hunter (which is much bigger) seems comparable.

It seems to me you want VL to be smaller. You can remove the stuff you don't want with slapt-get / gslapt or removepkg.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: 789 on November 05, 2006, 02:53:06 pm
>>>"It seems to me you want VL to be smaller. You can remove the stuff you don't want with slapt-get / gslapt or removepkg."

I like Vector the way it is (5.1 std 300mb).  It could keep my machine going the next ten years.  The thing I would uninstall is Firefox, and the thing I added to it was GnomeBaker (which required all them gnome pkgs).  So I would like a 300mb Vector 5.8 when it comes out (with support for my SiS761 video).


My beef with Ubuntu and the major distros is that they are bloated beyond Bill Gates' belief;  and they developed this Microsoft attitude of taking over my machine and telling me what I should and should not do and use.  Ubuntu, for instance, never ask me if I want Office or not, it just puts it there, but when I want to install something it asks me if I have über permission to engage in such heretical activity.

Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: The Headacher on November 05, 2006, 03:45:43 pm
Quote
I like Vector the way it is (5.1 std 300mb).
--------------snip----------------
I would like a 300mb Vector 5.8 when it comes out (with support for my SiS761 video).

Actually, VL 5.1 STD is closer to 400 MB (399392 KB). It's true that VL 5.8 STD is going to be quite a bit bigger than that (RC2 is now 540750 KB). However, I'm not sure to how much you could trim it down. As for the video card, that's probably something kernel related, I can't predict if it'll work..

Quote
when I want to install something it asks me if I have über permission to engage in such heretical activity.
Unless I'm mistaking, you're talking about supplying a root password when you want to do system critical stuff? That is quite normal, it's a direct result of Unix's design philosophy. You could ofcourse log in as root and you'll never be bothered with it (which you probably can't in Ubuntu, AFAIK they 'removed' root and use sudo for everything), but it's generally not recommended.

Oh well, I guess we should all use what we like best. I for one love the 5.8 series and think it's a great leap forward.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on December 08, 2006, 02:38:01 am
fedora core 7 theming design candidates
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/FC7Themes
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: 789 on December 19, 2006, 12:13:47 pm
Quote
Oh well, I guess we should all use what we like best. I for one love the 5.8 series and think it's a great leap forward.

Well, Vector 58 is here
It has GTKfind -- an improvement;  no Turma yet
It does not like my ATI card and 1280x800 resolution ... so much for so much and 580mb ;D
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: JohnB316 on December 19, 2006, 07:04:41 pm
Quote
Oh well, I guess we should all use what we like best. I for one love the 5.8 series and think it's a great leap forward.

Well, Vector 58 is here
It has GTKfind -- an improvement;  no Turma yet
It does not like my ATI card and 1280x800 resolution ... so much for so much and 580mb ;D

If you're having a problem with your ATI card, you might want to post about it in the Hardware forum and give more specifics about your machine. This thread is not really the place for that issue to be addressed. Thanks very much. :-)

Cheers,
John
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: Joe1962 on December 20, 2006, 12:39:00 am
Well, Vector 58 is here
It has GTKfind -- an improvement;  no Turma yet
What is Turma?.... Never mind, just found it with a little googling. Looks interesting, I'll see what I can do about building a package. They list some pretty heavy bugs remaining though.

It does not like my ATI card and 1280x800 resolution ... so much for so much and 580mb ;D
I've had no issues on ATI cards, which model is yours? Also, I find choosing the last option "don't know" for the resolution during install works great for strange resolutions. That way it has correctly picked up 1280 x 800 on a Toshiba with Intel 900G and 1440 x 900 on an HP with Radeon X600, amongst others I've installed to.

Please open a new thread for this issue in the appropiate forum.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 20, 2006, 07:32:32 pm
I find choosing the last option "don't know" for the resolution during install works great for strange resolutions. That way it has correctly picked up 1280 x 800 on a Toshiba with Intel 900G and 1440 x 900 on an HP with Radeon X600, amongst others I've installed to.

"Don't know" didn't work for me on one of the RC installs I did on my system with a Radeon 9200 I run at 1152x864. It left me with a bit of an easily fixed mess. I find it easier to configure it for 1024x768 at the initial setup and then just add 1152x864 to xorg.conf myself.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on April 23, 2007, 07:32:47 am
Not good! Zenwalk's default wallpaper and design are way better than vec's curent ones:
(http://xs314.xs.to/xs314/07171/zenwalk-live-4.4.1.png.xs.jpg) (http://xs.to/xs.php?h=xs314&d=07171&f=zenwalk-live-4.4.1.png)
 :-\ those soft colors,so comforting...

sry,tiss my honest opinion.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: Freeman on April 23, 2007, 11:14:04 am
Have to agree on this one. I like the soft colors as well. Easy on the eyes and not overwhelming. But then again, I didn't really hate the blue of VL. In French people say: 'Le gout et le couleur on ne discute pas!'
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: uelsk8s on April 23, 2007, 12:03:30 pm
This is why we are lucky it is so easy to change the defaults cause if I had to look at that for very long I would surely get sick.

 :D
Uelsk8s
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: GrannyGeek on April 23, 2007, 06:38:07 pm
I think the Zenwalk wallpaper is ghastly.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: Lyn on April 23, 2007, 11:51:06 pm
I think the Zenwalk wallpaper is ghastly.
--GrannyGeek

Not my taste either, but then wallpapers are trivial to change.  I think Zenwalk does well because its got a simple focus, ie one application per task.  That helps simplify things for people.  One of the criticisms I hear of linux is that there is too much choice and it is confusing for newbies.  So you get a distribution that works out of the box (mainly) with simple choices and you have a winning combination.  Of course Vector has different strengths, this is the advantage of Linux, its flexibility.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on May 28, 2007, 08:28:37 am
Since i think that out main index page doesnt impress me at all, here are links to other distros websites:

Look at them carefully,with their layout,what information they provide,how it is updates,whats in it for the user to visit oftenly and stay there:

pclinuxos
http://www.pclinuxos.com/

Main page shows: Users online,latest screenshots,The links are easy to view,because the list is not long,the fonts are visible, there is navigation at top...

Wolvix:
http://wolvix.org/
Looks exactly as its forum,its all integrated into one. Good and easy navigation at top right corner,
Main page shows:
*latest comments,new forum topics,Latest packages at the repo,latest release page (link),active forum topics,login,who's online,Distrowatch latest post-- its like a god damn RSS,trying to show latest information of its user/info network and even other networks (such as distrowatch).

It has a filebrowser,which makes graphic files easy to access and list and organise...not only graphic files,any files.It has a "albums"page, which users can upload to.A documentation page with proper instructions in a wiki form (so others can update it,without having to write a whole new html and upload it)...Some of the links link directly to forum sections..Ads and paypal links are shown everything and the user doesnt notice them so much,because the overall look of the site and its layout are mostly the same whereever you go at it.

http://www.sabayonlinux.org/
Has a GREAT design!  Links are easy to find, main page looks impressive,its chat is easy to access without new users to have to start irc clients and set them up. I have to say that it immitates ubuntu's layout in a way.

http://linuxmint.com/
Notice: Look at how important it is to show a flashy screenshot of the distro's latest version at the main page. Its what the user will first see when he or she visits it.And vector didnt even have a screenshot of its latest version for months and the newbie will have to dig it out from the links navigation somehow.

http://www.zenwalk.org/
Let me be honest with you. Curent Zenwalk website puts curent VL website to shame. The colors are very well executed,the fonts in the banner arent ordinary, the banner's colors  fit the color of the whole color scheme, Links are very well made and easy to navigate, we have light blue with vanilla yellow- soft colors (unlike what VL website had to offer)...
Lets talk about integration:
It has a rss link,loginbox,that shows how many users are online and new messages in inbox,recent news,there is alot of information shown in its right side,but unlike wolvix,its admin only posted system info...The screenshot of its brand new latest version is flashy and its at top- the first thing that you will see when you visit it- a screenshot of the desktop of its latest version..

http://www.dreamlinux.com.br/english/index.html
Dream linux focuses exactly on that! Its main page exposes and shows-off the glossy desktop with screenshots!

Older vec site had a glossy kde-ish blue, which looks better than the curent Light-blue. Light blue shouldnt be everywhere on the site (a background color). It should be lighter and not so defined. It shouldnt be used as a bg color too.It looks good on the forum.If you manage to make it look the same at the website...
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: GrannyGeek on May 28, 2007, 09:44:35 am
Thanks for posting all those links. I liked Zenwalk's the best, although I don't like their default desktop in the screenshot at all. PC Linux's was nice, too, although there's not much content on the home page.

I thought Wolvix's was unspeakably horrible. I hate light text on dark backgrounds. All those little banners and ads make it look junky and it shares one problem with VL's current home page: too much information "under the fold." Only those who are really interested will bother to scroll down and down and down. I did like the navigation links at the top of the page.

Sabayon's had the hated black background with white text, and the big icons look garish. There is way too much "stuff" on it. I was not impressed and if I were just looking at distro home pages, I'd leave this one in a couple of seconds. And their forum--horrible! How could anyone stand to read through the messages? No, no, no. That one is a loser.

As for Linuxmint, one screen shot is great. A pageful of them? Not so much. Where is the actual content? You don't want to assume people will click on a link to find out some details about a distro beyond what the desktop looks like.

Dreamlinux inflicts Flash on the visitor. I don't see anything special that Flash adds to the page and for sure, some visitors will be annoyed. You have to scroll to get to any content, and the links on the right look like ads.

Of these, I'd rank Zenwalk at the top and Sabayon at the sub-bottom.

I do agree that we should have a cleaner look, ditch the outlines on all those boxes, get rid of the wide ribbed top borders on boxes, and have a nice screen shot "above the fold." I think the old announcements of VL releases should go somewhere else than the home page.

By the way, for forum members whose native language is not English, "above the fold" and "under the fold" are newspaper terms. A large newspaper folds in half horizontally when it is displayed in a newspaper stand from which you buy it. So only the top half displays and therefore the most important stories are placed above the fold. Under the fold would be where the less important stories, or those less likely to entice someone to buy the paper, would be placed. On a Web page, "above the fold" refers to the initial screen before you do any scrolling. This is where you want the features most likely to get a visitor's attention. You can never assume a visitor will be interested enough to scroll down one screen if the first screen doesn't grab attention, and scrolling down two, three, four and more screens--well, only the most interested will do that.

I must repeat what I've said before: making critiques of the VL home page is fine, but the question is who is going to volunteer to do the work and keep on doing the work. I don't see anything wrong with this discussion. Good ideas will come from it, such as having a nice screen shot above the fold on the home page. But until there is a realistic possibility that a qualified person will volunteer to do the work for the long haul, good ideas will remain just good ideas.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: rbistolfi on May 28, 2007, 10:32:52 am
Quote
I must repeat what I've said before: making critiques of the VL home page is fine, but the question is who is going to volunteer to do the work and keep on doing the work. I don't see anything wrong with this discussion. Good ideas will come from it, such as having a nice screen shot above the fold on the home page. But until there is a realistic possibility that a qualified person will volunteer to do the work for the long haul, good ideas will remain just good ideas.
--GrannyGeek

I agree with your reviews of those sites, Granny. And you are rigth about the main problem is who will take the job, as Jhon pointed in another thread. Vec suggested a team in another place of this forum. I think is a good solution. To develope a site is fun, and sometimes a real challenge to a programmer, since the languages involved are complex enough to do almost anything you want. But maintaining a site is not that fun. And sometimes just boring and a heavy charge. So I think a team can do the effort better than just one person, who can easily get tired and bored. The needed tasks can be made by members of the forum in special topics, we can make text and improve them with good quality results, as the tagline thread. We can request for images and graphs and the members can post alternatives, and the community can choose for the bests, as in the newbie-friendly button thread. The site is important because is our main publicity place, with the reviews. VL has not another way of showing himself.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on May 28, 2007, 01:07:38 pm
why not start a thread and plan it out. I promise to put man power into this,if i have vec's trust or whoever gives the ftp access (to a single directory?) ...You see, this brings us to the problem of trust,thus less people can be appointed to work on it.

I know someone who is using Vector Linux and will gladly help. I've worked on a few websites with him in the past. Not sure if he will be avaiable these days ,but he is pretty good and does the job fast ,and gets over obstacles fast. I'm not putting myself for the design part,but i do volunteer.Why not have a contest- everybody to make a design of main page- a mockup or something like that..after the layout has been planned and confirmed.
If its me- I will make a light blue design,that imitates this forum's look,without being too flashy or standing out. (and with the same color scheme or a close one)

Granny suggested some good ideas and insights. I do agree black is dreadfull, and while bringing alot of info,the wolvix site tends to be cluttered. There are some really good ideas there.

I would love to have a main site that shows information of whats latest at the forum:
*a box that shows latest 3-4 new threads at the "new packages" section of the forum or/and the latest packages that are at the testing repo (this is possible)... That will show the users important information and the first time visitor will get the impression things are moving in the comunity fast.
*a box that shows wheter the user is logged or not, how many PM messages are in his/her inbox and the number of users onli (i've seen that with the kind of forum vec has,this is absolutely possible.Pclinuxos has it)
* a box that shows the last 5-6 active threads (new posts)

Move the navigation menu at top (imitating the placement and look of the forum's menu)
Put these boxes on left and right side of website (or somewhere else)..

Also,it would be sweet if we had a simple gallery for the users of the forum,but limited somehow.A gallery would suggest additional need for moderation=more work for the mods. ::) So not sure how a good idea is a gallery,but it will make a good advertisement campaign for vector. vector user boasting with their cool and flashy desktops and visitors checking the screenshots curiously. Mepis used to have a whole website dedicated to that and it turned into a huge comunity,which made mepis very popular.. another con is that  gallery will also eat more bandwidth.

Also,mepis is another website,which integrates very well with its forum:
http://www.mepis.org/image/tid/64
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: rbistolfi on May 28, 2007, 02:01:42 pm
Quote
why not start a thread and plan it out. I promise to put man power into this,if i have vec's trust or whoever gives the ftp access (to a single directory?) ...You see, this brings us to the problem of trust,thus less people can be appointed to work on it.

I can put manpower too. I understand what you say about security, but I am not suggesting free ftp access, just one guy need it to upload files...
I agree with you about the gallery, may be is enough  keeping  a screenshots section updated and alive.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: kazuya on May 29, 2007, 12:19:00 pm
great points. I like PCLOS format as well. This older VL forum looked nicer and more appealing to work in. I guess it was the colors.
http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum1/index.php?www
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on May 29, 2007, 12:28:04 pm
great points. I like PCLOS format as well. This older VL forum looked nicer and more appealing to work in. I guess it was the colors.
http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum1/index.php?www
its a question of personal tastes. I personally like this one more,because it doesnt have so much grey,and it shows properly my avatar.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: rbistolfi on May 29, 2007, 12:33:44 pm
I agree with blury, may be I am used to this one. I think the actual theme is nice to read a lot without get tired. Too much ligth hurt my eyes (I guess this old 14'' curve screen is a posible cause too).
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: blurymind on June 11, 2007, 04:28:10 am
http://www.linux-gamers.net/

Linux gamers has a VERY well made website.
The theme of the forum fits the theme of its main site.The main site is very well integrated with the forum as well...and the design is good too. 8)
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: muskrat on August 02, 2007, 08:35:41 am
I really love the splash screen in VL5.8 with the enlarging pinguins. That is a great job will done by VL, I've seen a lot of differnet distros loading splash and I think that one holds number 1 in my judgement.

Keep  up the good work developers. ;D

One issue I take with all distros, they take it upon themselves to rename and reoganize the menues. For example KDE has what  they refer to as the "control center", that's as good a name as one could hope for since that's what it does. Yet Mepis calls it "personel settings", which is misleading because there are a number of settings in the control center which require root's password and become system wide.

So when I'm helping some friend with thier linux, which my be debian based the same as my box, or might have a KDE desktop the same as I'm using here in OpenSuse right now, And I tell him where to find such and such, it's not there because said distro has moved it, or renamed it.

I'm all for each distro having a unique look and feel. Much like each car has it's own look and feel. But they don't place the turn signal switch on the right side of the steering colume. Although they do rename the inside light. Some call it a cargo light, others call it a dome light.

That's just my pet peve. When I tell a newbie to go to the control center in KDE, only to find that his distro, (which I've never used) has renamed it something else.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: Joe1962 on August 02, 2007, 02:23:46 pm
I really love the splash screen in VL5.8 with the enlarging pinguins. That is a great job will done by VL, I've seen a lot of differnet distros loading splash and I think that one holds number 1 in my judgement.
Great to hear that, muskrat. So far most mentions tended to be negative... :(
I guess the old saying is true, people yell louder when they don't like something... ;)
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: exeterdad on August 03, 2007, 05:46:30 am
I happen to like the penguins, and the very informative text at the bottom.  It's nice to verify something is going on while waiting for the machine to boot.  But....  I prefer text only.  I like to see everything that's going on in the background.

And my four year old REALLY loves the penguins.  When the machine is booting, he makes comments that the penguins are getting bigger.  And tells the penguins "Goodbye" when they shrink.

We are penguin fans here.  Real life penguins are awesome.
Title: Re: other distros default designs
Post by: rbistolfi on August 03, 2007, 12:40:26 pm
I happen to like the penguins, and the very informative text at the bottom.  It's nice to verify something is going on while waiting for the machine to boot.  But....  I prefer text only.  I like to see everything that's going on in the background.

And my four year old REALLY loves the penguins.  When the machine is booting, he makes comments that the penguins are getting bigger.  And tells the penguins "Goodbye" when they shrink.

We are penguin fans here.  Real life penguins are awesome.

I like the penguins too, and as you, I prefer the nice console view to see what is going on.
To be completely fair, the real penguins are awesome, but some fictitious too, like the one from Batman  :D