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Author Topic: other distros default designs  (Read 29077 times)
blurymind
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1082



« on: September 18, 2006, 10:46:39 am »

I think that we can learn something by observing other distro's choice for designs.  Smiley

They too tend to have their pros and cons tho.  Grin

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. Tongue

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  Tongue, 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 
 =)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2006, 10:48:49 am by blurymind » Logged

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GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2006, 03:08:47 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
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blurymind
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1082



« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 12:34:19 am »

well,yeah-you are right....its not such a big deal.
Everybody has his own taste Roll Eyes 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. Grin
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blurymind
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1082



« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 11:14:57 am »

well,to be frank , I dont like any of these designs.Maybe parts of them,but not the whole. Roll Eyes

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. Undecided
How do we achieve such uniqueness,so the distro doesnt look faceless to the mainstream? You tell me. Roll Eyes

hopefully I managed to explain what i see in the words "default theme" and the way that it is connected to Primal human perception.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2006, 11:17:41 am by blurymind » Logged

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The Headacher
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2006, 11:40:01 am »

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.
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blurymind
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1082



« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2006, 11:55:18 am »

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... Tongue

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. Embarrassed
« Last Edit: September 19, 2006, 11:56:55 am by blurymind » Logged

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Lyn
Vectorian
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Posts: 650



« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2006, 01:07:21 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.
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InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2006, 02:07:45 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

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InTheWoods
Vectorite
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Posts: 302


« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2006, 06:54:23 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

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salmonix
Vectorite
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Posts: 209


« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 10:20:24 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.)
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saulgoode
Vectorite
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Posts: 340



« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2006, 12:09:52 am »

The Beatles' White Album 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.  Wink
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Joe1962
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Vectorian
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2006, 03:06:57 pm »

The Beatles' White Album 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.  Wink
Indeed...  Grin
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blurymind
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1082



« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2006, 12:58:47 am »

The Beatles' White Album 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.  Wink
Indeed...  Grin
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. Grin
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hanimal
Guest
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2006, 07:16:58 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>
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lagagnon
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Vectorian
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2006, 07:54:12 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.
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