Some thoughts about xubuntu hardy

Jelle de Jong jelledejong at
Wed Nov 7 08:43:30 UTC 2007

jmak wrote:
> Hello all,
> It is time again to get some brainstorming about the next xubuntu
> release, as it relates to graphic issues. Probably, some of you
> already know that the ubuntu people are planning RAAAAADICAL changes
> in ubuntu's look and feel, which involves as they said "radically
> change the artwork and the theming behind the entire desktop from boot
> all the way through to logout." The art mailing list has become very
> busy and interesting ideas are flying around once again; it seems, the
> changes will affect theming and the current color scheme; they want to
> implement new theming engine (contemplating using murrina, hey, we are
> ahead of them), a brand new set of icons, and a completely redesigned
> boot splash.
> In this spirit of radicalness let me propose a few ideas relating to
> xubuntu next release. The most radical among these  would be the
> suggestion of changing the current gnome layout back to the original
> xfce layout. This is why. The two panels layout is a usability
> disaster for older machines with small monitor size. It doesn't
> optimize but rather restricts the availability of valuable
> screen-space. The two oversized panels simply takes up too much
> precious screen estate that users of older computers would like to
> utilize to the fullest. Furthermore, copying the gnome layout prevents
> xubuntu to develop a healthy personality, which is a fundamental
> requirement for a brand. It is like in real life, you are original
> when you are yourself, as soon as you try to imitate someone else you
> become a fake. In addition, the traditional layout is much more
> pleasing, but this is a matter of preference. It is my experience that
> new users, when they have choices, always prefer the traditional
> layout to the gnome mimic.
> Here is a mockup; it shows the way, I envision the visual appearance
> of our next release .
> Notice the themed panel. It is medium gray, from the usability point
> of view make more sense than using the contrasty white. It provides a
> more appropriate background for the application launchers.
> As the ubuntu people said, Hardy would be all about polish and usability.
> In the spirit of the above, I am proposing the following items to be
> considered for xubuntu Hardy. Some of the proposals require subtle
> fine-tunings but they are necessary to develop a consistent and
> polished look and feel.
> The list.
> 1) Let's go back to the original xfce panel layout.
> 2) Let's theme the panel
> 3) Add new icon theme-NuoveXT, the one we already agreed upon during
> feisty phase.
> 4) Take out the icon label backgrounds. They are distracting and are
> usability anomalies. And ugly too.
> 5) New gdm.
> 6) New usplash--let see how is the new usplash re-write program will
> affect the artworks' parameters.
> 7) New wallpaper
> 8) Keep the current murrina theme for the time being; however, if the
> ubuntu people come up with better ones we might consider switching.
> Look at some of the ubuntu proposals below, they are really great.
> 9) Customize the Gimp splash screen like ubuntu developers are
> planning. I already suggested this a couple of releases ago but then
> it was ignored. I still have the artwork, which can be implemented
> now.
> Any thoughts?
> jmak

Hello Jmak,

First i want to say i realy appreciate the work you are doing, some of
the changes in gusty artwork were very nice, and i can only hoop they
get improving.

However I have one really BIG issue. I want backward compatibility for
Xubuntu artwork. What does this mean: If somebody installs Xubuntu he
must be able to select the Xubuntu artwork of the previous release. This
will mean that If you make any changes to the current artwork settings.
I should be made in a way it can be easily revert back. So this also
means there must come another package for the previous artwork or
enhance the current artwork package to include previous released artwork.

I support most of your ideas here, but I will not do this without a
backward compatibility feature.

Best regards,


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