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GNUstep Icons and look proposal
GNUstep Icons and look proposal
Wed, 18 Aug 2004 01:51:31 +0200
GNUstep Icons and look -- proposal for improvement
How something look is important if you want people to use it. That's
also true for GNUstep, even if GNUstep is a programming framework. Most
people and programmers will just have a quick look on some screenshots
and just think that it looks old and "therefore" *is* an old,
deprecated technology. Even if we know they are "wrong", it's just the
human nature, and is totally understandable.
If we want to attract more developers, then improving the look of
GNUstep is something we should try to do.
Icons are one of the very important key in how a program looks. And
frankly, the current icons set in GNUstep is not very sexy and looks
old (by the way, it has nothing to do with the "NeXT theme" -- most
NeXT icons are relatively beautiful even by today's standards :)
We could want to change the look of GNUstep apps (eg, themes), but one
thing that needs to be changed in the first place is the icons set,
because icons are comparatively much harder to do than the themes
support (eh, looks at
http://www.roard.com/screenshots/screenshot_theme37.png for what's
coming on soon..).
So, we want and we need new icons.
Sadly for us, we are a bunch of programmers, not graphists. Most of us
are not very good at icons design, and the few of us that are not too
bad do not have much free time left anyway. We could try to rip
already existing icons (for example, the rather nice GNOME icons..),
but they won't automatically fit with our guidelines and, moreover,
they won't give us any originality or identity, which kind of defeat
the whole purpose.
The solution is obviously to ask real icon designers.
Quentin has got in touch with fifteen professional icon designers to
ask them about the possibility to collaborate with us for free. Two or
three of them expressed some interest to such project, but they said
they were already invested in other open source projects during their
free time and as such they didn't want to engage in yet another
project. Finally they said like others they would be interested to work
with us... if we pay them.
As much as we would have prefered to have free icons, it doesn't seem
to be possible, and waiting for a nice graphist doing all our works
doesn't seem to work either. On the other hand, if we pay somebody for
this work, we will be sure to have our icons.
But first we need to have some guidelines -- we want to have coherence
as much as possible to provide a smooth user experience, and as anyway
the icons (in general, hopefully not the "standard icon set") will be
created by different persons, we need guidelines to have some basic
control. That's why we wrote a first proposal of theses guidelines,
http://www.quentinmathe.com/gnustep/documentation/UI/icons/ . Obviously
we would like to have opinions and suggestions about it.
The whole base icons set, enumerated in the GNUstep icons UI guidelines
document, would have a creation cost of appromatively $ 1500, then a
near $ 35 participation from 40 persons would permit to pay an icon
designer to create such base icons set to start an all new GNUstep
look. We believe that it's a goal we could reach.
Additionally, for our icons, we would like to have some kind of more
powerful mechanism than just plain images. We could like to have
mechanism to build icons on the fly, apply different effects, compose
icons with other graphical elements, have the ability to badge them
We thus started the IconKit framework, whose goal is precisely that.
For the moment, basic compositing of elements is done. Future TODO
includes graphical effects (automatic shadow, blur...).
IconKit also supports to retrieve and set icons (Free desktop
compatible thumbnails support included) with a cache mechanism nicely
integrated with NSWorkspace current features set.
The IconKit (hmm, not compiling _right now_ :-), but you could have a
look at the source) is currently hosted in the Étoilé cvs, Étoilé is a
small and innovative desktop environment project started by Quentin,
organized around an advanced workspace application designed with
Document store support in mind (a bit like Microsoft WinFS or Apple
Spotlight) and other things, a rough description of the project can be
found at https://gna.org/projects/etoile .
But IconKit -- because it has been written as a separate project (not
designed with Étoilé in mind or like an Étoilé part) -- should move
later to the GNUstep cvs or to the GNUstep kits repository (GNUstep
kits is another project started by us to centralize the most important
GNUstep frameworks in one repository).
To sum up
- We consider that improving the current look of GNUstep UI will help
tremendously to attract people
- We consider that one of the most important part of this work is the
creation of new, modern-looking icons
- We propose to pay a graphist for theses icons and share the bill
among us. It should be possible to use Adam Fedor's paypal account for
- We propose an Icon's guidelines document to help keeping consistency
- We started a framework to help icon's management and creation, by
reusing graphical elements and providing new dynamic capacities
Now... what do you people think about all of that ? If you could at
least indicate if you want to contribute ($$) and how much, it would be
a good start. Furthermore, we would like to reach an agreement about
the icons guidelines. We tried to do our best, but the ideas expressed
in the documents are ours, and possibly not the best :-) so if you have
better solutions, it would be nice to make the guidelines evolves.
Nicolas Roard <address@hidden>
Quentin Mathé <address@hidden>
- GNUstep Icons and look proposal,
Quentin Mathé <=
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, Riccardo, 2004/08/18
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, Marciano Siniscalchi, 2004/08/18
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, Marciano Siniscalchi, 2004/08/19
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, Fred Kiefer, 2004/08/19
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, Nicolas Roard, 2004/08/19
- Message not available
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, M. Uli Kusterer, 2004/08/20
- Re: GNUstep Icons and look proposal, Nicolas Roard, 2004/08/20