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Thread: KDE Software Compilation 4.3.4 Released

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftman View Post
    Show this Fedora devs please
    Well, this is the "New Wave" theme that ships out of the box on Ubuntu, so it can't be that hard to add it to Fedora can it? (Coincidentally, this is by *far* the most artistic, usable and polished theme I have ever seen, regardless of OS and DE).

    For the Gnome-impaired, a short explanation of the screenshot:

    This is Ubuntu/Karmic with the default Gnome desktop minus the top/bottom panels, plus the "New Wave" theme. Font rendering is light hinted with subpixel AA (to non-Ubuntu distros: *this* is how fonts should look like by default). The panel on the left is AWN, which hosts the gnome menu, application launchers/buttons and applets. The tabbed window at the top is a plain Nautilus view; central window is an application launcher (invoked through cmd+space); the bottom window is a weather report hosted in AWN; the icon is a plain ftp connection that opens in Nautilus (right click to disconnect).

    I'm not 100% happy with the side panel yet (this is a dev version of AWN, docky2 is even prettier but way more unstable/immature). I hope by the time of Lucid Lynx, either docky or AWN will have released a stable version.

    The central app is gnome-do, which is one of the best applications to come out of the Gnome side the last few years. It completely changes the way you use your computer: no need to search through gnome-menu, kicker or whatever in order to launch an app. Just type the app's name and there it is! ("F" for Firefox, "E" for Evolution, etc etc - it automatically learns your shortcuts). Gnome-do or its underlying engine should become part of the core Gnome desktop (if only to see the die-hard trolls frothing against Mono or whatever ). This is version 0.8.2 which suffers from a few bugs (wrong font size for example), but it's otherwise running great.

    In my opinion, *this* is how a desktop should look like: clean, uncluttered, providing clear focal points to the eye (unlike e.g. the tiny 8x8 pixel "logoff" icons to the far right of the KDE taskbar). The "New Wave" theme is understated, with dark colors, subtle gradients and strong visual cues. It does everything it can to get out of your way, while providing feedback on every meaningful action: buttons light up on hover and depress strongly on clicks; close/maximize/minimize window icons are cleanly marked and light up beatifully on hover.

    Compared to KDE/Oxygen, the latter gets half of this right. Oxygen also provides good visual feedback on hover/click events, but it's way too bright, aggressive (the horizontal lines on window titlebars are positively abrasive to the eye) and lacks good focal points (dolphin windows are cluttered with icons and panels and lack any depth. The taskbar suffers from the same issue).

    This is not meant as trolling or "my desktop is better than yours", just some constructive criticism by someone who loves good UI design. It would be great if someone with a highly customized KDE 4.x desktop could provide some screenshots/feedback/hints on what, why and how he has customized his.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by V!NCENT View Post
    What do you mean, nice try? It's the default Gnome 2.28 desktop, [blah]
    Of course this is not default Gnome 2.28! This is what I feel a good desktop should look like and it is what I spend most of my day with.

    Don't *you* customize your desktop? Because I sure as hell do, since nothing I've found works 100% for me out of the box: not Gnome, nor KDE - and definitely not Win7 or Mac OS X.

    (It's AWN, not Docky by the way, check my post above for more details).

    [blah] Windows 95 [blah]
    You must be kidding me, right? If anything, this looks very close to the Mac OS X dock or the Windows 7 taskbar.

    Edit:

    Compiz doesn't count because it is not the default Gnome WM.
    Where did you see Compiz on that screenshot? There is absolutely no difference between the Metacity compositor and Compiz as far as that screenshot is concerned.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Font rendering is light hinted with subpixel AA (to non-Ubuntu distros: *this* is how fonts should look like by default).
    Ok lets not go there. There is a heated discussion between Apple and Windows user that is going on for like ages about what kind of font rendering is best. Apple users think the non sub-level pixel method is the best and Windows users think sub-level pixel fonts are better. My opinion is that in larger non-crt displays with higher resolution the non sub-level pixel fonts are better and on lower-res CRT the sub-level pixel fonts are more pleasing.

    central window is an application launcher (invoked through cmd+space);
    This comes with KDE 4.3x and higher by default and is also able to search meta-data stuff and files like in Mac OS X spotlight. It can even do calculations etc, etc... I think this sucks bigtime. But I can imagine some people like it...

    In my opinion, *this* is how a desktop should look like: clean, uncluttered, providing clear focal points to the eye (unlike e.g. the tiny 8x8 pixel "logoff" icons to the far right of the KDE taskbar).
    I like the minimalistic, doesn't distract the brain vision of KDE4; all icons and UI design is meant to not get in your face. That means that the contents that you are working with in your app is the most important and the center of attention. Depth and all of that stuff is the worst design mistake you can ever make! The logout icon is not there by default in KDE4. It is just that whenever I have to get away from my PC really fast I can just ram my mouse to the bottom right and left-click so I can get away from my desktop ASAP. I can also make it 1024x786 pixels and put it upside down if I'd feel like it.

    Compared to KDE/Oxygen, the latter gets half of this right. Oxygen also provides good visual feedback on hover/click events, but it's way too bright, aggressive (the horizontal lines on window titlebars are positively abrasive to the eye) and lacks good focal points (dolphin windows are cluttered with icons and panels and lack any depth. The taskbar suffers from the same issue).
    The horizontal lines inly appear on focus. You can turn it off if you'd wanted to. The colors can also be modified. There are darker colour schemes included with KDE4 that come by default. It lacks depth because of the point that I made earlyer and that is a good thing. If, in KDE4, something requires the users attention than that is done by animation, like fade-in effects. That corresponds to how the human brain works. Gnome can learn a lot from this.

    This is not meant as trolling or "my desktop is better than yours", just some constructive criticism by someone who loves good UI design.
    For KDE4 there has been a lot of research on usability design. For example; you may find the new default KDE4 theme a little ugly, but it is functional: it doesn't get in your wau from a visual point of view. In other words; it doesn't introduce a major focus headache like that screenshot of yours. It is also good for the wallpaper that you like, so you don't have to match your wallpapers to the theme, but the theme makes sure you wallpaper doesn't mess up the design.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Don't *you* customize your desktop? Because I sure as hell do, since nothing I've found works 100% for me out of the box: not Gnome, nor KDE - and definitely not Win7 or Mac OS X.
    Yes of course I like to modify my desktop. That is why I like KDE4 in the first place. Plasma is a widget holder. Every widget can be programmed (ofcource) and can have SVG, bitmap, OpenGL and is fully rotateable. So that makes Plasma a desktop canvas. Everybody can make a new style tasbar in no-time and use that widget as the deskbar. You can even make a Star Treck style desktop if you wanted to. That is what maked KDE4 so awesome!

    You must be kidding me, right? If anything, this looks very close to the Mac OS X dock or the Windows 7 taskbar.
    I can uncheck the option of showing the names of apps next to the icons, have it rotated to the left and bingo. Just like your screenshot.

    Where did you see Compiz on that screenshot? There is absolutely no difference between the Metacity compositor and Compiz as far as that screenshot is concerned.
    AWN requires it. Have a nice day

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    Quote Originally Posted by V!NCENT View Post
    Ok lets not go there. There is a heated discussion between Apple and Windows user that is going on for like ages about what kind of font rendering is best. Apple users think the non sub-level pixel method is the best and Windows users think sub-level pixel fonts are better. My opinion is that in larger non-crt displays with higher resolution the non sub-level pixel fonts are better and on lower-res CRT the sub-level pixel fonts are more pleasing.
    Personally I like the exact opposite: grayscale AA on CRT and subpixel AA on high-DPI LCD monitors.

    Light hinting is right in the middle of Windows vs Apple: it hints on the y-direction where resolution is lower but doesn't hint in the X-direction where subpixel AA effectively triples the DPI. It's genius really: it combines the improved contrast of Windows without compromising the typographic accuracy of Mac OS X. Only downside: it needs subpixel AA and an LCD monitor to really shine.


    I like the minimalistic, doesn't distract the brain vision of KDE4;
    Sorry, but KDE is not minimalistic at all. XFCE is minimialistic. KDE is not. (Gnome isn't either).

    That means that the contents that you are working with in your app is the most important and the center of attention. Depth and all of that stuff is the worst design mistake you can ever make!
    Try telling that to Apple. Depth cues and shadow effects make up half of the window management - and it does work.

    The logout icon is not there by default in KDE4. It is just that whenever I have to get away from my PC really fast I can just ram my mouse to the bottom right and left-click so I can get away from my desktop ASAP. I can also make it 1024x786 pixels and put it upside down if I'd feel like it.
    No idea, it's there on openSUSE by default and it's really 8x8 and doesn't touch the side of the taskbar (so you can't move the mouse so quickly). Seems like openSUSE fucked up majorly here, and I was mistaken to count this against KDE.

    (Your use case makes sense and I agree with it - gnome/Ubuntu does the same thing by default on the top panel, right corner)/

    The horizontal lines inly appear on focus. You can turn it off if you'd wanted to.
    I know, that's the first thing I do.

    The colors can also be modified. There are darker colour schemes included with KDE4 that come by default.
    Unfortunately they suck, as they are way too dark / low contrast.

    It lacks depth because of the point that I made earlyer and that is a good thing. If, in KDE4, something requires the users attention than that is done by animation, like fade-in effects. That corresponds to how the human brain works. Gnome can learn a lot from this.
    Animations are good, but KDE suffers from animation overload. When I drag & drop an icon, I don't want it to bacome translucent *and* animate / change size when I initiate the drag procedure - that's just overkill!

    For example; you may find the new default KDE4 theme a little ugly, but it is functional: it doesn't get in your wau from a visual point of view. In other words; it doesn't introduce a major focus headache like that screenshot of yours
    (1) my screenshot merely showed off the capabilities of my desktop configuration.

    (2) even so, there's no focus problem:



    Sorry, but this looks way cleaner than your Dolphin screenshot. Edit: you didn't post a Dolphin screenshot, I apologize. I wonder which thread I was reading...

    I can uncheck the option of showing the names of apps next to the icons, have it rotated to the left and bingo. Just like your screenshot.
    Yeah, and Win95 is a desktop OS just like Mac OS X, where you click icons and stuff. There's really no big difference, is there?

    Come on, get serious.

    AWN requires it. Have a nice day
    I said metacity compositor when I meant xcompmgr compositor, my bad. I don't have a system that can't handle this requirement, so I don't really care. If I had to run without composition, I'd probably use something other than AWN - no big loss.
    Last edited by BlackStar; 12-09-2009 at 12:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Sorry, but KDE is not minimalistic at all. XFCE is minimialistic. KDE is not. (Gnome isn't either).
    I meant the design of the applications. My bad.

    Try telling that to Apple. Depth cues and shadow effects make up half of the window management - and it does work.
    For the WM stuff I agree. KDE4 has that. But I was talking baout the applications.

    No idea, it's there on openSUSE by default and it's really 8x8 and doesn't touch the side of the taskbar (so you can't move the mouse so quickly). Seems like openSUSE fucked up majorly here, and I was mistaken to count this against KDE.
    Well I can hit the last pixel on my screen and it still works. Maybe OpenSuSE ships with a dev version of KDE4. OpenSuSE and Mandriva are know for shipping dev version KDE4 code along with their distro's. This is probably why they 'fscked up'.

    Unfortunately they suck, as they are way too dark / low contrast.
    KDE4 comes with the 'Get Hot New Stuff' function. That means that you can get new themes and wallpapers from the internet with a single mouse click. I mean: does New Wave come by default with the latest Gnome?

    Animations are good, but KDE suffers from animation overload. When I drag & drop an icon, I don't want it to bacome translucent *and* animate / change size when I initiate the drag procedure - that's just overkill!
    That may be a little bit too much eyecandy. Just like that snow effect. I agree with you here. On the other side I don't really mind the eyecandy...

    (2) even so, there's no focus problem:
    For me at least there is. The contents of the folder is the last thing I looked at. Thirst thing I noticed is the path button, seondly the refresh button. Then I noticed the New Wave bar and then the quick links to places bar. Then the folder icons and then the actual files!

    Yeah, and Win95 is a desktop OS just like Mac OS X, where you click icons and stuff. There's really no big difference, is there?
    Yes there is: widgets and window management. The rest is all applications and features...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Font rendering is light hinted with subpixel AA (to non-Ubuntu distros: *this* is how fonts should look like by default).
    I know I'm with the minority about this, but I find it incredible that you don't notice the colour bleeding in those fonts. They look wrong at any distance. From far away I can tell that there's something wrong with them and I unconsciously try to constantly re-focus my eyes on the screen. From a closer distance, on the other hand, you notice all the not-so-sublte tricks the antialiasing and subpixel rendering do. It may have something to do with different sensitivities to colour and contrast among different individuals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yotambien View Post
    I know I'm with the minority about this, but I find it incredible that you don't notice the colour bleeding in those fonts. They look wrong at any distance. From far away I can tell that there's something wrong with them and I unconsciously try to constantly re-focus my eyes on the screen. From a closer distance, on the other hand, you notice all the not-so-sublte tricks the antialiasing and subpixel rendering do. It may have something to do with different sensitivities to colour and contrast among different individuals.
    Or it may have to do with the fact that I'm using a full 8bit, color-calibrated, S-PVA panel at 129DPI (if my calculations are correct, that's 1680x1050 at 15.4''). The colored subpixels are all but invisible at 60cm (my normal viewing distance).

    Human eyes are very adaptable. If you calibrate your fonts to be consistent (so you don't have a point of reference to contrast your fonts with) you'll gradually stop seeing the colored outlines - provided the monitor allows you (e.g. 17'' 1280x1024 monitors are too low DPI and the outlines will always be visible). Once you become accustomed to the subpixel AA, you'll notice that grayscale AA causes ugly imbalances to diagonal lines (e.g. the letter 'x'). Medium/strong hinting causes even more issues, because it "chews" the grapheme outlines and destroys their aesthetics.

    I don't know, but for me (and most people I know) it took about two days to become fully accustomed to subpixel AA and I couldn't go back afterwards. I guess people with glasses might disagree, since the glasses may cause chromatic aberration, but I don't know anyone who has actually switched back from subpixel to grayscale once becoming accustomed to the former.

    I understand this is a religious isuse, but there must be a good reason why both Windows and Mac OS X default to subpixel AA. Myself, I'd love to see 300+DPI displays so we can do away with hinting and color bleeding completely!

    PS: the first image is (lightly) jpeg compressed, which causes artifacts around the letters. Check the second picture (png) instead.
    Last edited by BlackStar; 12-09-2009 at 02:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackStar View Post
    Nice try, but no. I prefer something like this.
    Still looks mediocre to me. Not the desktop itself, rather the applications.

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    Well, I do wear glasses, but they don't play a part on this. It's a battle between aesthetics and readability. You acknowledged that you have to get used to the subpixel renderering effects, so it's not like they are not there or are only noticeable by folk with glasses. In my case, it's not a decision about grayscale antialiasing and subpixel rendering, both look blurred to me--although the worst case is antialiasing a bad font with the automatic hinter. Simply intolerable. I use plain b/w rendering without any effects, and I always make sure I remove the horrible default fonts (dejavu, isn't it?) and put instead Microsofts'. Sure some characters look jagged, but they are as cryspy and clear as they can get given the physical limitations of current display devices. Until we don't have something like 300 dpi all that's left are hacks that try--and for most people succeed--to cheat your eyes. The only problems I get appear in some pdf files that use fonts that are not designed for the screen and are rendered rather badly. Also, microtypographic features like font expansion may look bad on the screen if no 'cheats' are used, with some characters appearing visibly bolder than others (antialiasing washes off the fonts and it makes them look OKish).

    But yeah, this is another useless crusade ala kde vs gnome.

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    It is a religious issue. Just make sure that your eyes are removed as far away from the screen as possible, the screen is large enough and has enough DPI. Then install KDE4, enable compositing and see how t3h be5t d3skt0p ev4hr scales everything up percentage wise and see how the entire font issue is completely rendundant...

    Oh boy... am I glad that my eyes aren't that good anymore and I refuse to wear glasses xD

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