Which styles to keep?

Torsten Rahn torsten.rahn at credativ.de
Tue Aug 14 20:14:17 BST 2007

Hi Lubos,

>  Ok, and roughly how much paint would artists feel looking at something
> like http://ktown.kde.org/~seli/download/desktop.png ? 

Well, nice, that you took this example. To not repeat myself and  because it 
seems more appropriate in this case:

For those people who are not aware of it: I wasn't involved with any artwork 
for KDE4 except for the one that I created for the application Marble that I 
develop together with the Marble Team these days.

However I was the KDE lead (icon) artist for KDE from KDE 1.0 to KDE 3.0/3.1.
So the screenshots you are posting shows icons which in this case were by 95% 
created by myself alone. Yes, it's funny but almost all the icon on that 
screenshot were created by me (only exception being 2-3 icons which were 
created by Lennard Kudling and one icon by Everaldo).

And really while I'm proud of the work I did for KDE 1.0 Beta 3 to KDE 3.1 
concerning artwork I would feel pretty much embarassed if KDE 4 would 
continue to ship this icon theme. It doesn't reflect the way I'd do it today 
if I would start to work on icons again and it doesn't reflect KDE 4's 

> Warning for the weak 
> of the heart: KDE2 "default" window decoration, highcolor/B3 style and
> highcolor icon theme, it's been that way since KDE2.0.

Nice for people loving the old memories and maybe nice for some programmers. 
But a percentage of 75% really outdated themes doesn't match the amount of 
programmers among our target users.
Fine if specially packaged versions of this end up on kde-apps.org but I do 
not want to see stuff like this in KDE4 for the same reasons we never shipped 
an Apple II or Commodore 64 "compatibility" theme with KDE 3.

> Keramik was too big 
> and heavy on the eyes with the flashy gradients, Plastik's controls were
> not distinct enough with the thin outlines and Crystal was way too
> colorful. But, most of all, I've been simply used to that and I'm an
> engineer, not an artist, so I don't automatically consider old == outdated.
> It works for me and doesn't get in the way.

Yes, we need something new that focuses more on usability. But will you ship 
unmodified unported KDE 3 KWin code with KDE 4 just because nobody did the 
necessary work yet?

>  Sorry, but that's taking it too far. You're basically suggesting to drop
> all styles used by now, and just because they're not "modern" (which, as
> far as I can tell, probably means "flashy" 

No, you're not getting the point. I'm not talking about "flashy" 
or "impressing people". I'm talking about creating artwork that matches 
today's standards. The HiColor icon theme was created with different 
technical restrictions and possibilities than todays icon themes (NO alpha 
blending, sticking to the use of the old KDE 1 - 40 color palette being 
mandatory, etc.). 
And again I'm not talking about just allowing the Oxygen style but shipping 
styles that match today's visual trends and standards.

Of course this is a question of whether KDE 4 is meant to be a hacker desktop 
that just wants to appeal to old-school programmers and largely emphasizes on 
them to only ship a single new style while shipping a dozen outdated ones. 

Or we really want to create a desktop that appeals to the average guy. 
Don't you think it's kind of strange to have a style selection that offers 
the "average guy" who doesn't know and care about KDE's and Linux' past 
a "choice" of more than a dozen old outdated styles and ONE single new one?

I think that would badly reflect on our target group (unless you create KDE 
just for yourself).


 Torsten Rahn

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credativ GmbH, HRB Mönchengladbach 12080
Hohenzollernstr. 133, 41061 Mönchengladbach
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