situation with window decorations

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Thu Aug 27 19:06:03 BST 2009

On Thursday 27 August 2009, Lucas Murray wrote:
> Oxygen = The way the designers want the decoration (Pixel perfect and not
> ugly!) Nitrogen = The way the users want the decoration (User customisable
> and better usability!)

let's be thorough instead of glib. here are two sets of issues here: defaults 
and options.

for defaults, it can be refined further:

* appearance
* usability

nitrogen still left justifies the title bar text by default, but it turns off 
the stripes. this all seems a bit random from the appearance POV.

usability wise, i think it's a wash between the two still. neither is 
remarkably better than the other.

for options:

oxygen's options are minimal and also poorly laid out in the configuration 

nitrogen is a rather random slap-dash arrangement of things. wtf does "KDE 
4.2" mean for "Button Style"? this is what makes me most nervous about 
nitrogen: yes, it is trying to improve on oxygen, but it's doing it like we're 
back in KDE 3.1 and the name of the game is "lots of features and don't worry 
about the results!".

if nitrogen wishes to win support, i'd suggest a few things:

* don't dump it into kdebase until it's ready. that's what we have playground 

* pay attention to the configuration options and take care with what options 
are put where and how. e.g. if the options for Buttons is "KDE 4.2 " and 
"Default", then there really doesn't need to be an option. the wording of the 
rest of the options also should be looked at; it's far too geeky. 

* consider if things like a "drag handle" are needed or if that's just there 
to satisfy someone's personal itch; or how about those stripes: do we _really_ 
need them at this point or can Oxygen keep them for those who like them and we 
can be done with them in Nitrogen? remembering that we _all_ pay for 
additional configuration options due to config ui and code maintenance.

the good things in Nitrogen? it has those Exceptions which should allow us to 
tune it to work better with other applications. cool.

but right now it seems like an honest attempt at compromise that is leading to 
a chaotic mix of features and configuration UI. work on the elegance, which is 
the ingredient that got us this far to begin with on the look front.

personally i'd like to see just one window decoration in there, as Frank seems 
to be leaning towards as well. can Nitrogen be that? and can we also drop the 
silly "names of gasses" puns and just stick to Oxygen, so we can get back to 
building brand instead of making forks?

> Unless the Oxygen team can live with the customisation settings (All

let's leave ultimatums out of it until we have an actual impasse.

Aaron J. Seigo
humru othro a kohnu se
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

KDE core developer sponsored by Qt Software
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