Vincent imnotb at
Tue Dec 18 20:16:43 UTC 2007

On 18/12/2007, jmak <jozmak at> wrote:
> Hello,


I just managed to get this out of my spambox before I emptied it. Perhaps it
also landed in spam for other Gmail users.

Yesterday, ubuntu's art direction notes were released. The design and
> the direction of the outlined solutions are outstanding. Hopefully,
> they manage to solve all the outstanding issues presented in the
> specifications. Suggestion: let's syncronize xubuntu's visual
> development with these specifications, as much as possible.

Sounds cool to me, and plastic looks good too. Can't see to clearly what it
is that they did different, it's just darker I guess. Looks good in any

You can read the specs here:
> As you noticed from the specs, the new design direction is to move
> away from the glossy interface toward a flatter more plastic
> interface. This is the direction, I suggest for xubuntu development as
> well. This will require changes in the gtk theming, icon theming,
> window manager theming, among others. I already have some ideas; soon,
> I will put together a mockup for further discussion.
> But in order to be able to proceed, we have to settle a few issues
> right at the beggining. These are:
> 1) Panels. I conclude from the previous discussions that the dual
> panel setup will remain. But we still have to hammer out an optimal
> panel size and panel color.

Isn't colour decided by the GTK theme?

2) GTK themes. As you see, ubuntu designers want a completely new gtk
> design. Not sure yet, but they also use the murrina engine, that we
> are already using. The gtk theme is so unique that it is unlikely that
> we can find something even remotely similar to that among the
> available stock designs. So, one of the possibility would be talking
> to the author and ask him to create a color variations for xubuntu.

Haha, we were earlier to adopt the awesome Murrine engine than Ubuntu - take
that! :P

Seriously though, if that would possible I suppose it would be great :)

3) The icon theme. Possible candidates, crashbit and oxyGnome. Here is
> a screenshot:
> I personally prefer oxygnome becase they are not glossy but more
> plastic like, exactly that we want. And also very complete.

If it matches the GTK theme, fine with me.

4) Icon label backgrounds. This is something we already discussed a
> few months ago but haven't decided what to do about them. For me,
> these are one of the most annoying visual distractions in xubuntu.
> Ideas: get rid of them completely. In the mean time, create an entry
> in the documentation that explains users how to change the font colors
> of the icons. This is in fact very easy and I think is well within the
> expertise even for less experienced users. The other possibility would
> be to write a simple graphical configurator something like the murrina
> configurator.

Changing the font colours isn't really an option for me, since I have a
different wallpaper everytime I login. The labels are more suitable in cases
like that. Just my two cents.

5) Wallpaper. Dark-blue, multicolor? Work in progress.
> 6) GDM login. Work in progress.
> 7) Usplash. I've heard anything about it. Still broken? Anyone?

In my Gutsy installation the screen has a resolution of 1280x1024 while the
Usplash only takes about 800x600. It's a different kind of black than the
normal screen-black. Though I have to admit, the logo and progress bar look
prettier when smaller.

Notes: Obviously, we have to work with xfce built in limitations. We
> won't be able to match all xubuntu design elements exactly to that of
> ubuntu's. For instance, we wont be able to use panel transparencies,
> widget transparencies and drop-shadows, because we dont use compiz by
> default. But we have to strive to create an overall visual appearance
> that is as close to ubuntu as it can.

Murrine can now use transparency if compositing is enabled and fallback to
normal widgets if not:

Not sure if the version that will come with Hardy already supports it. Would
be useful, of course :)

Please speak up on the issues mentioned above, or add yours to the
> list, to be able to settle them as quickly as possible.
> jmak

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