From PCLinuxOnline: “Red Hat isnt the only one getting into dressing up their main menus. Mandrake’s upcoming release will also be sporting new icons for their main menu. I posted some screenshots of the default KDE and Gnome look as it stands now. You can take a peek at them here. The mandrake screenshots are named mandrakexx.jpg.” Our Take: Nice touches, but Mandrake’s changes are not nearly as extensive as Red Hat’s. Their menus are still cluttered and this very grey color they use everywhere by default makes everything feeling a bit “moody”.
Mandrake Sports New Icons in Upcoming 9.0 Release
2002-08-23 Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris 29 Comments
One of the reasons I am against newbie friendly naming can be seen with Ksnapshot in this screenshot.
Since the menu expands to fit the name, Ksnapshot (Screen Capture Program) causes the menu to be huge. In that pic, the menu is at least 25% larger than it should be…… I think I am moody.
god those are horrible
It’s apparent: the bad economic situation. Many Linux companies just can’t affort great and expensive graphic artists and GUI designers these days.
I am just wondering what peoples thoughts were on this.
Should the various Linux/Unix distributions be working to have their own unique looks?
The upside of this is that we may end up with some pretty nice looking distributions (latest RedHat Limbo for instance), and the work put in by different companies could end up producing better looking desktops faster than any more centralized efforts (ala Gnome and KDE). Also, providing a consistent looks between Gnome and KDE desktops and apps could provide some benefit (though this has been disputed since KDE and Gnome behavior is also slightly different).
The downside is that, for new Linux users, different Linux desktops may not look and feel familiar. Non-open-source operating systems do benefit by having a consistent default look to their desktops/icons. Also, this could undermine efforts by the Gnome and KDE groups to provide consistent looks within their projects (Gnome icon color palette for instance).
We already have two desktop environments that look and behave differently. Will it hurt things that even within KDE and Gnome, there will be several default looks? Or, are the gains of unifying KDE/Gnome looks and the possible faster improvement of looks worth the lack of consistency between distributions?
Sorry if I’m rehashing old discussions, I’m just curious what others think about his issue.
> Should the various Linux/Unix distributions be working to have their own unique looks?
YES. They should. For more than one reasons:
1. Someone might create something better than someone else. This is called competitive evolution, and it is a good thing.
2. Companies should distinguish their products from the competitors. It is exactly what they will make them different and sell better (or worse). If everyone is the same, no one will sell better than the other, and this won’t be good in the long run, simply because we are living in a capitalistic society.
Remember, looking different, does NOT create any forkings to the actual codebase.
>Sorry if I’m rehashing old discussions, I’m just curious what others think about his issue.
Yes, we talked about it in the red hat story 2 days ago:
somewhat better, along with the background. not just that but boot splashes and other things have been updated to appear more like a home user’s desktop.
it doesn’t take long to change how icons looks anyways:
just a screenshot there, brinkster is funny on linking pics.
i’m still messing with that limewire icon, to look better.
or would we rather have another WinXP theme clone like ELX and Lycoris? I personally like XP classic gray look. not too colorful, not too “blah” either. i’m not for flashy headache inducing effects.
Those look like Win95 icons. Perspective is your friend.
Yeah I agree. They should remove the KSnapshot part
And the program part is superflous (sp?) I’d reword it as “Capture a Screenshot”. I’d maybe even make it “Capture a Screenshot …” as I believe the UI for KSnapshot is dialog-like.
If these desktop environments are going to include everything under the sun, I think they should go all the way and present the apps as if they are integral parts of the UI.
On http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/scre… we have a series of “verb noun” menu items that seem pretty clear (though I don’t know about “Edit Software Sources”), and one … well I don’t know. What does “Mandrake Update” Do? Would “Update Installed Software” mean the same thing? Maybe “Update System Software”? Whatever it is, it could be more consistent.
I also notice over on http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/scre… that “Edit Software Sources” is called “Software Sources Manager”, assuming they are the same thing.
On the GNOME screenshots: I hope that everywhere in the documentation that refers to the Application menu was changed to refer to the “Mandrake Menu”, assuming there is such documentation.
On http://ftp.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/contrib/texstar/scre… there is “Configuration->Gnome” and “Configuration->GNOME”. Why?
I would have liked to see what is in that “-> What to Do?” menu.
One thing I can say about Mandrake Linux.
While they have some userful tools (like their new control center), the rest of their UI and even the UI of these settings tools, is just awful. Their menus, default settings, coloring and icons, are just below par.
There was a time that Mandrake was a serious contender to Red Hat and they were really the “linux deesktop distro”, but today, others have made leaps too, and Mandrake is the same old, same old. It just doesn’t cut it anymore. They will have to make extensive changes to the way they have eveyrthing over there.
I used to use Mandrake last year, but for the last 7 months I don’t boot into it frequently. It just doesn’t feel as good anymore.
While I am NOT a Red Hat fan, Red Hat 8 is indeed the distro that is closer. Not “there” yet, but closer to something that makes sense. And this would be my next distro indeed.
Gentoo does not cut it as a desktop. It is my main distro for many nonths now, and it is just a pain in the a$$ to maintain all its problems after you upgrade it every few days.
As long as Linux keeps going the way it’s going, it’ll never be as friendly or look as good as Mac OS X. If all the Linux companies out there can hope for is to steal Windoze users, they’ll never see me come back to Linux. If RedHat or Mandrakesoft really want my business, they can start by giving me a decent package management system so that I can at least install any app I want without having to worry about dependencies.
> What does “Mandrake Update” Do?
> Update Installed Software”
Update installed software is Mandrake’s manual apt. It allows you to change what’s installed and install new stuff.
Mandrake update is an automatic update of the system.
Both BTW are excellent.
Mandrake made a name as being KDE for RedHat. Since version 6, they’ve moved ahead through inovation, gradually tidying up the rough edges around configuration and package management. IMO, Mandrake is the most usable distribution (in terms of being able to get things done) and Mandrake 8.2 is certainly better in this regard than RedHat 7.3.
However, having said all of that, now that the red hatters have turned their attention to the desktop, they seem to have done a very good job – replacing the woeful Gnorpm, integrating good looking config tools and providing the best customisation of the Gnome desktop I’ve ever seen.
For Mandrake, this is the moment of truth, the moment where they either fumble the pass and drop the ball, or hold the pass and make a home run (jumbled metaphors here!).
RedHat have reworked Gnome2. Mandrake desperately need to do the same with KDE3, working with the basic tools KDE provides , extending them an inovating around then the way RedHat has with Gnome2. For starts, rationalise the control center – users don’t want two control centers, one provided by KDE and one provided by mandrake. Integrate the tools in Mandrake CC into the stock KDE CC. Next, decide that from now on in, all customisations are going to use the KDE libs/QT rather than GTK+ – then we can get consistency of look (if not feel) across the complete desktop. Next, kill those ugly, ugly icons – lay them to rest. Either adopt one of the new icon themes or develop your own (or even modernise the existing uglyness).
Like I say, I think this is a critical time for Linux distros especially those playing to the desktop audience. RedHat is the proverbial 8000 pound gorilla and they’ve got most of the mindshare – but there were rumours that Mandrake outsold redhat last year or the year before in the US. If they put in
put in the work now, they’ll reap the rewards later – especially from this user!!!
> Should the various Linux/Unix
> distributions be working to
> have their own unique looks?
I don’t know, probably yes. But I think they should agree on a common basic structure for the desktop, so that moving from one dist to the other isn’t a problem. They could agree on how to arrange the menus, for instance. End users will benefit.
Mandrake update is an automatic update of the system.
Then I guess I would call it “Configure Automatic Update” to fit the “verb noun” scheme of the other menu items. It’s a small nit, but these things add up.
Thanks for the info.
They could agree on how to arrange the menus, for instance.
I think the guys at http://www.freedesktop.org/ are working on just that, among other things.
I use Mandrake exclusively on my desktop system. I love the wide selection of included software and configuration tools. That said, an out of the box drake system is the ugliest garbage I’ve ever laid eyes on. These new icons more or less sum it up. Flat, boring, and ugly with a blue and yellow pallete that makes me cringe.
I spent a couple of hours with the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines
http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/1.0/icons.html and produced a minimal set of desktop icons http://franksalim.com/perl/forum/newtopic.cgi?topic=235. I am not a professional. By the looks of it, neither are the Mandrake designers. I realize their icons span a much larger scope (program menus and whatnot), but that’s no excuse for trying to pass off subpar look and feel in a marketed product.
Those are KDE screenshots, but, knowing Mandrake, they’ll mirror the menus and desktop in GNOME. Even ignoring the color scheme issues, that desktop is BROKEN by the interface guide standards. I know my icons have problems (like i said, I’m not a professional), but that experience proved to me that it’s not all that hard to make a decent set that follows the guidelines.
/me dons flame-proof suit.
Ez: For starts, rationalise the control center – users don’t want two control centers, one provided by KDE and one provided by mandrake. Integrate the tools in Mandrake CC into the stock KDE CC.
That would be harder than it sounds. Mandrake uses mostly Perl for its control center applets, and there isn’t a QT3 binding for Perl. They would have to rewrite all of it in a different language (say Python).
frank: Those are KDE screenshots, but, knowing Mandrake, they’ll mirror the menus and desktop in GNOME. Even ignoring the color scheme issues, that desktop is BROKEN by the interface guide standards.
Nautilus broke it, why not Mandrake too? (Nautilus broke it by using a icon that symbolizes its name, not its task. Plus, Nautilus is pretty much inconsistent with the rest of GNOME…)
Mandrake has always been the greatest and the easiest distribution for me. But I feel that this version 9.0 is going to be sucked. I mean look at the new look of mandrake 9, it does not look as nice and smooth as Red Hat 8. Red Hat is far ahead in the UI design, and this is the time first Red Hat looks at Desktop as profitable while Mandrake has been working on Desktop extensively.
well, good luck with their future ..
If RedHat or Mandrakesoft really want my business, they can start by giving me a decent package management system so that I can at least install any app I want without having to worry about dependencies.
I don’t know about Null/Limbo (I never tried to install an RPM on it, yet), but Mandrake has a wizard to take care of dependancies, either by using the installation CDs or going to the web.
I think Red Hat has something similar, but I’m not too sure.
What’s that background pic in the redhat screenshots?
It’s really nice. If anyone knows what it is please say so.
Their menus are still cluttered and this very grey color they use everywhere by default makes everything feeling a bit “moody”.
Eugenia, I wholeheartly agree on that and I love this website, have you noticed that “this very grey color” in Mandrake that makes you so moody blue is about the same very moody grey color in OSnews.com? How about some new paint for OSnews also?, a lighter one, OSnews8.0
Having your window decorations and other peripheral parts of the UI be drab or low-key is a good thing. The content of your apps (especially with something like a web browser or image app) should be where the excitement is, and is where you attention should be.
Of course you need the right shade of grey. KDE’s grey is OK. I think GNOME’s is kinda ugly. It looks like its been left out in the sun or something.
In any case, these desktops need to pick a default look and stick to it. How is someone supposed to write KDE for dummies when thier screenshots go out of style every couple of months? And KDE’s choice of Keramic (sp?) for the 3.1 default is a big mistake IMNSHO. Words like “gaudy” and “festooned” come to mind. What was so wrong with the 3.0 default?
That’s enough rambling for now.
The osnews grey color is way more lighter that Mandrake’s and it is not everywhere. If it is not lighter for you, fix the gamma correction of your monitor.
The excitement and attention in this little white boxes we write on, I suppose should be on what we write (normally black, do you know of a lower key?), the context is white (same question the other way around). The ‘peripherals’ low-key color attention theory that you apply to KDE doesn’t make much sense. Try to apply what you’re saying to the Apple Aqua interface (they know a bit about GUIs). It is not about low or high keys, it is just about contrast, about combining those keys one way or the other, playing with the full range of color shades.
Secondly, just saying “KDE” doesn’t say much, just saying “GNOME” doesn’t say much either. You have to specify version even when talking about the project standard, and it would be more helpful specifying also which distro. The GNOME2 theme that the RedHat Null beta uses by default (the GNOME2 that we were using for comparison), is not by far the same as the GNOME2 standard setting, as you most probably know.
Other than that, it is clear that you like the KDE2/KDE3 same moody low key grey seen in Mandrake8x and Mandrake Linux 9.0 betas, and that you dislike what many here are excited about: the beautifully polished new looks in GNOME2 and KDE3 of the coming RedHat8 (same default theme). I make that assumption, because we were comparing Mandrake latest betas and RedHat’s, and because some other GNOME2 is very low key.
Fine, that choice is good. Not Grey. Grey is grey. Some more appealing pleasant brighter contrast would be the good thing, graphically speaking, some lighter shade of grey. Your attention and excitement could be enhanced that way, IMrantingHO. And then the rest, someone mentioned icons.
Enough ranting for me too.
as delicate as always, fix yourself.
Sorry, in Greece we do not use the word “please” a lot. It might sound that I am rude, while it is not the case. It is that I am thinking in Greek and I am just translating my thoughts to english. And that might come out rude.
Greek people in Germany (there are about 2 million Greeks there), also have the same problem, as Germans talk very kindly as well, while the Greek language mostly gets the “kindness” of the tone of the voice and not so much of the adverbs used.
And yes, that puts me in trouble many times. I am trying to use the world “please” more, but when I am in a hurry, I do not put a lot of thought on it.
Yes. Contrast is a better way to think about it. I guess its a matter of taste, but I would think that if you make the defaults more complex and artsy, you risk offending a wider array of tastes than with something clean and simple with muted tones.
The grey I was referring to was KDE 3.0.0 from RH 7.3 and GNOME 2.0.1 from Garnome.
My comments on Keramik were based on vague memories of some brightly colored screenshots, so I went and grabbed the theme to try it myself. I have to admit it is not bad combined with the default KDE 3.0.0 theme. It looks even better with the Mozilla modern theme.