[kubuntu-devel] Kubuntu default look

Flavio Tordini flavio.tordini at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 16:05:32 GMT 2006

Hi Jonathan,
thanks for your reply and for your incredible work on Kubuntu and KDE!

> > 1. Use nuoveXT (http://nuovext.pwsp.net/) as the default iconset. nuoveXT
> > looks very professional and is available for both for KDE and Gnome.
> > Kubuntu should come with both versions installed.
> Generally speaking I like keeping in line with KDE for look and feel,
> Crystal is popular and quite usable.  nuoveXT feels less usable to me
> and as others have said is too close to Windows Vista.

Keeping the KDE default look is reasonable for a distro. But let me stress 
that currently it is inferior to competing DEs. Hopefully this will change in 
KDE4. In the meantime Crystal Clear icons might be the solution as Marcel K. 

> > 2. Use DejaVu Sans Condensed instead of DejaVu Sans. The Condensed
> > version is smoother. The "sans" alias should be resolved to the chosen
> > font and not to Bitstream Vera.
> Looks terrible on my LCD.

I had a better idea: disable hinting. Edit ~/.fonts.conf and set hinting to 
false and hintstyle to hintnone. Also make sure hinting is disabled in the 
kcontrol font settings. The effect is much smoother antialiased fonts, much 
like OSX. I think hinting is good only for non antialiased fonts.

> > 3. Provide GTK+ libs configured with the ClearLooks theme, nuoveXT icons,
> > and Dejavu Sans Condensed. ClearLooks is cleaner and more stable than
> > GtkQt, users care more about great looking apps than identical widgets
> > everywhere (think OSX Aqua and Brushed Metal). A typical user will surely
> > need at least one GTK+ application, and it has to look good out of the
> > box.
> Clearlooks brings in a bunch of depends which I don't really want on
> the CD.  But I do agree that GtkQt isn't great.

At some point every user will have to install and configure gtk+. The default 
gtk+ theme and icons look crap, and you can't require a desktop user to able 
to tweak it.

> > 4. Use bigger icons, 16x16 icons are a relic from the past. The toobar
> > icon size should be 32x32. Some applications still have way too much
> > toolbuttons (e.g. KOffice), they should be simplified. Small icons should
> > be 22x22. Icons in the KMenu should be set to 32x32:
> > http://purl.org/net/flavio/download/kubuntu-proposal/kmenu.png
> 32x32 feels far too big on a kmenu.  22x22 is too big for window titles
> and panel taskbar.

IMHO the kmenu is much more usable with big icons, the same goes for the 
toolbars. Window titles and the taskbar currently ignore the small icons 
setting. It is for tabs, treeviews, menus, etc.

> > 5. The color set is too dark/bluish. The "Redmond XP" color theme is a
> > good starting point, especially the light gray background. The "Contrast"
> > setting should be set to "Low". The "Alternate background in lists"
> > should be set to white. The violet Konqueror filelist background should
> > be dropped in favor of a plain white one.
> The colours just follow the KDE default, which I'd like to keep.  Any
> rationale for using plain white on konqueror's file manager instead of
> the very light red/purple colour at the moment?  I don't think it is
> distracting and you get a bonus kubuntu logo if you look closely.

Well this is extremely subjective. If you feel it looks good, keep it.

> > 6. The Lipstik style should be configured as shown in this screenshot
> > http://purl.org/net/flavio/download/kubuntu-proposal/lipstik.png,
> > especially the menu gradients should be removed.
> What's wrong with the menu gradients?

Same as above.


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