This is the work blog for the KDE Visual Design Group a group of dedicated designers striving to improve community participation in design for KDE as well as design work in general for KDE applications and Plasma.

tisdag 29 april 2014

Monday Report #13 - lucky for some

In which we talk about wallpapers a competition and the magnificent prizes involved. A few things about Ask-a-dev weeks to come are touched upon. We mumble a bit about what the future will hold as it comes to releases and work on that AND we start talking about future projects and changes.

Soon time to start to test things IRL
Wallpapers - its the subject we hate to love and love to hate. One of the things people either say "Well it's the easiest thing to change" or "It's the first things users see". I agree with both personally because I think that a good wallpaper is essentially the "hello, my name is..." of a desktop and also that I have yet to meet a user who didn't change theirs.
But we need them! A while back I started a thread about it and it needs a reboot - the reception was luke warm at best and I thought "a proper competition - with fabulous prizes, like a car is whats needed!". Then I remembered that I'm not Oprah and this is Open Source and scaled it down a bit. With the help of the KDE eV we got funding so we can get the three winners the awesome book "Design Elements - a graphic style manual" (which is a brilliant and accessible book about graphic design that everyone should read) and the plan is to dig out some tshirts and stuff to to throw in the mix.

So how will this work? Essentially this is the deal - a group of community organizers/VDG people will pick out the ones that work, rank them into three piles and then let the community decide through a poll. "Wait wut?" you might say, why not let the community decide from scratch? Weeeeeell this is the catch with this competition. Some distros and DE's has had a not great experience with these things and as much as I think "come one, come all" is a relevant point - we also need to have a quality check of the wallpapers. The cruel bit is: if the VDG/Community Organizers don't feel like any are up to snuff - no one will win. They will try to make certain that all entries get help to get up to snuff, but if nothing happens - no wallpaper will be chosen.

More on the competition in the thread HERE.

Ask-a-dev is another idea but this is about increasing the exchange between the design community, the community-at-large and devs. Essentially every week we will pick a dev, introduce the poor man or woman - and start a thread where we can ask technical or design questions to that dev to help introduce the "behind the scenes" work. The thread will then remain BUT with the edit that "Dev has left building" meaning the dev might not answer more questions - that way the threads can be used as a FAQ section for the future and a place to talk about that specific work.
Now before that kick off please bare in mind I will monitor these threads like George RR Martin writes books - the devs have agreed on the condition that we play nice. This is not an opportunity for people to scream "Why did you remove X feature!!!111" and I will go all Red Wedding on anyone who does.

The first victim happy dev to be asked things this week will be David Edmundsson who can be best introduced as someone who works on Plasma and KDE Telepathy as well as a host of other things. He helped out with the work on the log-in screen and boot process and is "high protector of English cooking".

You can ask him anything HERE.

But lets get into Plasma Next again - what does the future hold? Remember when we talked about "bit-by-bit" implementation? Somewhere like 10 Monday Reports ago? Yeah this is when we talk some more about it. For the next version of Plasma we will keep some of the most experimental things as "Opt-In" instead of "Opt-Out". Essentially the issue is as follows: Aurorae is not a viable option to ship for many good technical reasons (which may be answered in full by Martin Grässlin in the Ask-a-dev thread of the future) so we will, for the time being ship with the Oxygen windec theme (please not the difference between Widget and Windec). So essentially the first version this June will ship with mostly Oxygen and then change over time as things get finished up.

So how will that work? Well hopefully we will ship with an aurorae theme and qtquick as well but let it be something you can pick during settings instead of something set by default - simply because it may be too heavy and clunky for now.
Aside from all that there is work on the fonts, the Plasma theme, the porting and work on icon themes. This summer the first version shipped for testing will contain a large chunk of the work but not that which we don't feel confident shipping by default just yet.

This is key: Opt-in is ALWAYS better than opt-out and I will defend this stand point to death. If we're not sure, we wont push it on you (tbh we don't push anything on you but ... yeah) :)

Next time we will try to talk some more about real world examples, show some screen shots and essentially some more pretty pictures :)

5 kommentarer:

  1. After using KDE for over a year now, I found another setting The wallpaper changer. It has 9 different types of wallpaper. Some of them are okay and some of them like weather didn't work. This is what i find wrong with KDE. A desktop environment team doesn't have to spread itself thin, introducing complexity, scope for bugs, and overall poor experience if it didn't work, to implement non-important features.

  2. On wallpapers, I'd love to have a cinemagraph (read: subtly moving, looping GIF / video ) for a background.

  3. For wallpaper handling would love to see some dual monitor support with spanning wallpaper across 2 monitors. As present have to find a 3350x1089 then manually chop them into 2 separate wallpapers which is a pain. Whether KDE chops them and puts them in the folder or actually some way spans it across both monitors. As setting separate wallpapers is cumbersome.

    Otherwise am loving the open forum and rash of new,fresh idea's and considerations to make KDE the best desktop OS.

  4. If you feel that prizes would increase the quality of wallpaper submissions in the competition, I would sponsor.

    1. Thank you but don't worry about it, we got it covered :)