Home > KDE > Slicker, the Kicker/KDE-Desktop Alternative Slicker, the Kicker/KDE-Desktop Alternative Eugenia Loli 2002-12-17 KDE 68 Comments A creative team has posted some concept art and mockups about the creation of an alternative to Kicker, the KDE desktop and taskbar, named Slicker. In the meantime, KDE 3.0.5a was released, incorporating the latest security fixes. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 68 Comments 2002-12-17 6:48 am Anonymous interesting to see that this one has come this far, a nice new way to navigate… now it would be nice to have pie context menus also. but it is, interesting to see this development. All the Luck guys! 2002-12-17 6:56 am Anonymous BeOS Dano anyone? Thought so… Looks nice! 2002-12-17 7:01 am Anonymous not in any way does it bring BeOS Dano to mind, it isnt unprecedented the design of this but, it does bring something New. 2002-12-17 7:03 am Anonymous This is needlessly complex, and frankly looks like a mess. Oh, and where’s the code? 2002-12-17 7:10 am Anonymous How is it needlessly complex and why does it look like a mess? Frankly I think it’s a good concept (and that’s just what it is .. a concept). 2002-12-17 7:13 am Anonymous Software is more easy to write with a design, it looks like to me that they have good design. code should be easy to make with such a well design. 2002-12-17 7:18 am Anonymous The one thing that annoyed me most about KDE was the excessive use of gradients. Now they have dropped the gradients and are using all pretty curves. Someone should remind them that windows are still mainly rectangular and there is no good true transparency in X (e17 fans are welcome to flame me) which means you wont be getting much use out of this new Slicker. It does look pretty nice though. I’m still waiting for the gag reflex to kick in. For someone who uses WindowMaker daily, this looks way too candy-ish. 2002-12-17 7:29 am Anonymous Well, the current kicker is a strip along the edge of the screen. It contains everything in one place. You can add buttons or applets to it, and it works fine. It’s not innovative, it just works. They are proposing some great new scheme which tries hard to be innovative, but has no coherency. You have a taskbar in one corner, a menu in another corner, and a slider-thingy in another corner, and all these “Kards” stacked on top of everything. That’s what I mean by a mess. There’s too many places to go, too many ways to do things. No thanks, I’ll pass on this. 2002-12-17 7:38 am Anonymous of a couple of different WM’s. That “card” thing on the left side of the screenshot looks an awful lot like the slit in flux/openbox. It looks like the card idea is also derived from the detachable menus a la Window Maker (yes, I know Window Maker is a derivative). The most obvious thing missing is any sort of representation of virtual desktops unless KDE was planning on mapping desktop flips to the scroll wheel (or its emulation) in the next major release. As a user of a very minimalist WM (openbox most of the time) this would drive me absolutely batty in mere minutes but I can see how this would appeal to folks who used to having a desktop littered with icons and shortcuts while encorporating some of the features of the more pragmatic WM/DE’s. The fake transparency is pretty cheesy though and overly derivative of the Aqua interface (which I think is the Crystal Pepsi of UI) without adding much to it. You’ve gotta love the rounded corners explanation: The reason I have chosen rounded corners to the layout is that it is perceived by the user to be more ‘friendly’. The right angled corners of a lot of a lot of Os’s can be seen as hard and a lot less inviting. 2002-12-17 7:41 am Anonymous This project came about on KDE-look (top entry on the highest rated page). I personally think it will be nice. I think this is an example of open source inovation. While many complain that OSS does not inoviate they forget that first opensource has to catch up to the standard, and then start working on new features (look what is happening with mozilla/chimera/phoenix/…) Whether this works out or not, I think it will lead to better interfaces. I think it is a step towards the desktop as a information center. 2002-12-17 7:49 am Anonymous this looks somewhat similar to some concept sketches I did about a year ago that I planned to make for BeOS. But other projects got in the way. anyway, it’s nice to see some “new” concepts in the X11 world. Well, there has been a few of them before, but they have usually been pretty hard to use IMO. I look forward to trying this one out. As for looking like Dano. Have you ever seen Dano? this doesn’t look one tiny bit like it. However, it has some similarities with the Gonxbar/DockBert. 2002-12-17 7:59 am Anonymous I like the idea of the calendar app in the Kmenu, particularly if it integrates with a Palm pilot 🙂 http://slicker.sourceforge.net/images/menuthumb.jpg On the down side – I can’t help wondering what the performance hit would be each time Kmenu popped up!? rob 2002-12-17 8:06 am Anonymous http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic.php?t=24636&start=25 And more specifically: “It’s late, and I probably should stop coding for the night, but I want to post a screenshot of the way it looks now: http://home.earthlink.net/~zakariya/files/carddesk/carddesk1.png“ 2002-12-17 8:07 am Anonymous So I could fix that url. 2002-12-17 8:21 am Anonymous It looks very nice! 2002-12-17 8:26 am Anonymous And quite possibly what KDE needs to finally be set apart in the UI area. Luna and Aqua are great… for windows and Mac, but Linux has been needing something really distinct for a while now. I think the “screen shots” are great, and I would be interested in seeing the KDE teams response to this. 2002-12-17 8:26 am Anonymous It just looks so different. I like Gnome2’s interface with Bluecurve/LighthouseBlue theme with taskbar, quick lanch and etc. 2002-12-17 9:10 am Anonymous The descriptions point out that a lot of dynamic elements will be activated on mouse-over. This kind of mouse-over activation sounds like an awful idea — then you will always have to be careful not to move your mouse too far to the bottom to avoid accidentally popping up some “helpful” menu. The current design has a large area of empty space between the card-stack and the applet-type stuff; space that is basically wasted, especially when you use maximized windows. A pop-up taskbar is not really a new idea, Microsoft has supported this since Win95 — the problem is that the job of the taskbar is not just to make task switching possible, but also to make tasks *visible*, and once you auto-hide it, that feature is lost. Making the taskbar transparent is fluff that doesn’t help much. Innovation is needed in other areas. The web browser tab-interface is great, but it should not be handled on the application level but by the WM. I’d also like to have better ways to start apps — right now I use the slightly buggy mini-command-line you can insert as an applet into the KDE taskbar. This could be much refined — I should be able to start any program from anywhere by just typing a few keys, preferably with some standard option (with console, as user foo, as root etc.). Cycling through open windows using Alt+Tab is nice, but could certainly use refinements. Since Alt+Tab already creates a pop-up, why not make it a full-screen pop up with more information and functionality (while retaining the basic cycle function)? etc. etc. etc. 2002-12-17 9:11 am Anonymous I like it! Really small issues really, might want to be thought about before this gets towards implementation: variable height bits at the bottom and edges etc will reduce space available for minimising windows The curve ought to be less pronounced; much more like the later screenshot 🙂 2002-12-17 9:13 am Anonymous Yes, I can see how a lot of mouseover activation would be frustrating. The trick to that would be to conceal the mouseover effects behind an activation click. i.e. click to select then mouseover to navigate. 2002-12-17 10:14 am Anonymous Or, you could do it like I have my XP desktop setup. My taskbar is set to not stay in front. When I want access to it I hit ctrl-esc, and use alt-tab for task switching. I know. It’s one more step, but what is your left hand doing while you’re moving the mouse up or down? And I get maximum screen space for my apps. 2002-12-17 10:27 am Anonymous Okay this will require a lot of horsepower for the system, but anyway, this is the kind of UI I’d love to use – I’ll make me feel like I get some bang for the bucks by investing in a new high-powered machine. Until then my good old dual-PII 350 machine certainly does the job. As long as options like Window Maker og XFCE is around, I really like the OSS community to explore the UI innovations that can be made with the ever increasing power of PC’s. Imaging this headline in the years to come: “KDE4 leaves OS X 10.5 and Windows XP 2005 HOME TE in the dust when it comes to usability for inexperienced users as well as professinal information workers!” I really … … really like your mock-ups and especially the principles behind them. 2002-12-17 10:35 am Anonymous Slicker looks brilliant, wonder which distro takes it on first? *crosses fingers “SuSE”* Where can i donate to their cause? 2002-12-17 10:54 am Anonymous But this concept will increase the mouse movement since three out of four desktop occupied. Can you imagine if all these three are activated by mouseover function how many accidental launching of menu will happened. I myself like the existing concept where the taskbar only located at one side so that anybody can later place at their favourite side, top, bottom, left or right. However if this design relocate the other two side taskbar to a single side, I will love it. 2002-12-17 11:11 am Anonymous Looks good, but the Open Source development model is heavily oriented towards ‘hackers’. The kind of project management needed to bring artists, designers and code monkeys together (typically found in for-profit companies) just doesn’t exist in the Open Source world. I predict that this effort will fall by the wayside – a pity because it looks so good. 2002-12-17 11:25 am Anonymous If Slicker makes is way into KDE then maybe I will return to Linux from Windows XP which I use today! It looks very professional and I think that newcomers with interest in desktop-oriented work will love to use Slicker. Coders should join this project now! 2002-12-17 11:26 am Anonymous Really well done concept photos if I may add. It’d be neat if you could have a special key (like the windows key or ctrl+esc) to hide all of the bars. I can see how separating each bar could hinder keyboard use however. I think this may _feel_ a lot more like an iconic rather than taskbar approach. What would be great is to extend this concept farther by finally implementing something like the MacOS finder on K. That way you could save a lot of screen space by getting rid of individual application title bars and finally have a consistent feeling between all apps. It’d be a sort of compromise between this eye candy approach and a more functional approach. Now if only they could remove the K from every apps’ name. I don’t mind it being called the K desktop, but why every Kapp? I really think that is stopping a good number of people from using it. Maybe we could start a K prefix removal project. Any ideas for naming such a project? Kremove? While this may seem silly to bring up, product names do have a big role in presentation and marketing. (I do use KDE and recommend it btw) 2002-12-17 11:39 am Anonymous *This is not a flame* But why is that everytime someone comes up with an original idea for an OS or a GUI, the former BeOS users screams, that’s nothing but a BeOS ripoff.. newsflash, not every great idea is bound to come from BeOS – if BeOS really was that great it wouldn’t have died now would it… BeOS is dead, live with it, instead try to be glad that other people than the BeOS developers can get inventive ideas… aaaahhh that felt so good to get off my chest… now go about your business. 2002-12-17 11:59 am Anonymous Looks soo cool! Even though I’m a gnoomer, I must admint I really like the screenshots. The desktop isn’t just a “start menu”, current programs and a background anymore. Just admit it. 2002-12-17 12:19 pm Anonymous I really liked it very much. My only complaint would be that it looks kinda, how to say, something-here something-there. It may not be a bad thing though. I don’t know how it would feel to use, but surely it looks really, really great! 2002-12-17 12:21 pm Anonymous …being greeted by this: http://slicker.sourceforge.net/images/slicklarge.jpg It might look good in Photoshop, but it won’t work in the real world. I honestly don’t think they could have made it more confusing even if they tried. I’m counting five different cards, menus or whatever — minimum (not counting the submenus). Two on the on the bottom left, one on the bottom right, one on the top and then another one on the right hand side. You really have to work your mouse to get something done in that environment. And what would you gain from all this, usability-wise? Not much. In fact, it would just confuse people. Furthermore, all the transparency, curves, and effects just won’t work well in X or low-end systems. 2002-12-17 12:29 pm Anonymous Looks, well, slick. It’s good. Even if you don’t like it, most people will be using it in a few months if it comes out with KDE. Microsoft, anyone? 2002-12-17 12:31 pm Anonymous Adding to my last post, Does ANYONE see that all the icons,colors and window title bars look a LOT like Noia and the Real One player? Wierd. 2002-12-17 1:05 pm Anonymous I like it, can’t wait to use it. The taskbar has served us well, but I think better methods are out there, like this, like what WindowMaker does. I’m looking forward to this, because I use KDE, but also want something new. Another idea that I really like is that you have apps running (Hidden for the most of the time, not cluttering your precious space) that can give you info easily. For example, you could have your summary from evolution without having evolution open. Does ANYONE see that all the icons,colors and window title bars look a LOT like Noia and the Real One player? I love the noia theme, http://youthlive.com/snapshot6.png 2002-12-17 1:10 pm Anonymous There was a competition about making the NexGen BeOS UI for the OpenTracker project over at BeUnited once upon a time way back (or something similar, my memory may fail me) and many of the ideas actually resembled this, not saying that the concept artist of this slick beast even have seen that cause they are still fairly different, but since someone was so quick to bring down BeOS just for the sake of it (too many of those around these days) I thought I’d straighten things up. I love new radical ideas, I just think they’ll find that XFree isn’t the place to get new radical ideas (they’ve already gotten stuck on the slide in/out animation cause X simply can’t do stuff like that smoothly). Rooting for this project, may even get involved, I also hope it won’t become a Kicker replacement but a entire new desktop thingy cause I hate KDE. 2002-12-17 1:19 pm Anonymous I personally would like to try it before I jump to conclusions. I welcome innovation in this field and hope more people want to try designing a new kicker too. I like some of the ideas here and look forward to seeing what develops. 2002-12-17 1:20 pm Anonymous I wholeheartedly agree with you, except for this statement: if BeOS really was that great it wouldn’t have died now would it… BeOS is just one more proof that great things die. 2002-12-17 1:34 pm Anonymous I like the idea, but not so for the eye candy. XFree86 isn’t really famous for its semnitransperant and non-square object rendering. Even with XRender. It is such a coincidence because I was writing a complete UI shakeup of KDE 3.1 (reducing UI bloat, mainly). I have a different concept for Kicker, which is similar to the Dock, BeOS’ whatever-they-call-the-panel and Windows XP’s taskbar. Maybe I should post it as well. But one thing for sure, my mockups is not as nice as those. Well, I hope by the end of the month I can get it done. I hope. 2002-12-17 1:42 pm Anonymous This is the first decent linux desktop I’ve seen. Very clean and organized. Whoever made this, keep up the good work. 2002-12-17 2:28 pm Anonymous If the user was given a choice to use slicker or kicker that would be great. Slicker gives more flexibility and separates functions from the taskbar. Slicker looks great. It looks like it has tons of functions… cool!!! 2002-12-17 2:51 pm Anonymous All What do I see on arriving to work but an article about the thing I’m working on! Anyway, I’m the guy (gentoo user “TomorrowPlusX”) writing the code for the version mentioned in the gentoo forums and that screenshot (the real one, not the mockup). Anyway, let me tell you all a little bit. First: I don’t think I’ll be working with the slicker team — at least not yet. The reason why is I don’t want to, or intend to, replace the kicker. The kicker is quite good, IMHO, it doesn’t need replacing. What I want to do is make a framework flexible enough that if enough plugins are written replacing kicker functionality, one could simply stop using the kicker and use sLicker (or as I’d rather it be called, “CardDesk”) instead. For right now I’m concerned with functionality. My vision for CardDesk is usability and simplicity. The slicker team, bless their hearts, is perhaps a little too eyecandy oriented. They have no direction, and I’m not certain they’ve really thought through the functionality. Nonetheless: I encourage them to continue (or start) work, because there’s nothing like competing projects to get the ball rolling. I’m about 75% done with the framework. I spent about five hours last night just hammering on the usage to find usage/conceptual problems (and I found, and squashed many, but not all). I intend to write a number of plugins eventually: 1: A PIM card with calendar, addressbook, mail interface 2: A filesystem card, like in pre macosx when you could have quick finder access through tabs on screen edges 3: A drag-n-drop clipping holder 4: ? maybe a kmenu replacement ? Anyway, people keep on asking me to join the slicker team, and frankly, I don’t want to yet. It’s too early, and my code’s not solid enough. Oh, and to you folks yelling about BeOS, if you look at my site http://home.earthlink.net/~zakariya/projects.html you’ll see I’m a bit of an ex-beos junkee. Fact is, BeOS is dead. It’s time to move on. Nothing to see here. And… drumroll… somethings which are original aren’t copies of beos functionality, and some things which are inspired by other operating systems still aren’t necessarily beos inspired. 2002-12-17 3:01 pm Anonymous Quoted from Zakariya (TomorrowPlusX) in the forums.gentoo.org KDE look thread: >> …there’s one thing I can promise — if the edges of the cards are all curved and arcy, they won’t be antialiased… …there won’t be antialiased curved edges due to limitations in X… >> Being an X basher I’d like to know what are those limitations for the ‘DOS of window systems’, limitations?, hehehehe (;P) And speaking about edges, have you ever noticed that those edges are not antialiased either on Microsoft WindowsXP windows (window upper curved edges)? I wonder why the Microsoft UI designers did that, I’ve been trying to find a wise motive for doing it but it just looks weird to me, unfinished. It’s about the only thing I don’t see antialiased on that WindowsXP GUI (excluding small fonts). I find the Slicker look with cards an atractive UI idea, it somehow remembers me the Squeak/Smalltalk menus that you open as cards, though they are not overlapped (I guess that overlapping is the Slicker twist). It’s still a desktop UI, but I guess it could easily evolve/be applied into some document-centric UI in the near future. My only “problem” so far with this Slicker thing (as problematic as free beer can be), is the obsession surrounding the KDE interface in puting icons absolutely everywhere, all KDE menus completely covered with all kinds of fancy little colorful and artistic icons, what a mess, specially in context menus. I can turn off the icons in GNOME menus, but in KDE it’s icons flood you want it or not, ‘gotta love icons or choose another GUI. That is unless you pick other window manager for KDE (like waimea.org), and still you have to dig through ’em. 2002-12-17 3:14 pm Anonymous Hi Zakariya! first, congratulations for your website! in the middle of all these techno-trash sites is nice to see something which is both effective and nice to look at at! second: i am very pleased to hear that you are not following the sliker path. I lurked through the whole discussion about it on kde-look.org, convinced that nothing good would come out of it, and i am afraid i was right. As someone already pointed out slicker, as it is now, is an interface disaster, with no idea whatsoever of what a desktop is and how it should be organized. It is confusing it wastes space etc. I don’t have anything against eyecandy, but people should realize that eyexandy should also be functional. What i would like to ask you is to explain us better what you are aiming at with your project. I understand that you think of your carddesk as a completely modular tool, which is good, but still this application has to have an interface – what are your ideas about that? for instance, i am very much in favour of having the taskbar out of kicker, and showing more information about running tasks. let us know, i am very curious! fred 2002-12-17 3:16 pm Anonymous Why don’t they try in litestep, how usable it will be, before they code it? 2002-12-17 3:19 pm Anonymous Yes, you are a retard. I doubted it before, but you solidified it with this statement: ” if BeOS really was that great it wouldn’t have died now would it… ” Yes, and if Linux were so great, it would be 99% on the desktop, wouldn’t it? Business decisions (i.e. SELLING) has nothing to do with how “great” something is. Think, dink. 2002-12-17 3:33 pm Anonymous Quoted from M >> Being an X basher I’d like to know what are those limitations for the ‘DOS of window systems’, limitations?, hehehehe (;P) >> This has been delved into 1000 times. No more. If you’re an “X Basher” as you so proudly proclaim you should have the decency to know what you’re talking about. Now, with regards to M’s statement: >> My only “problem” so far with this Slicker thing (as problematic as free beer can be), is the obsession surrounding the KDE interface in puting icons absolutely everywhere, >> I emphatically, 100% agree with you. Though I have no idea why “free beer” is even relevant. This will be released under the GPL, when I’m ready. As it stands, plugins for CardDesk will be able to add, or draw their own icons, but it’s not necessry. Slicker seems to have the same folder icon for every tab. That’s just confusing and not useful. When an icon is logical, use it, when not, it shouldn’t exist. Now, to fred: >> first, congratulations for your website! in the middle of all these techno-trash sites is nice to see something which is both effective and nice to look at at! >> Thank you! I should say, however, that by employment I am a graphic designer…. I just happen to love programming. >> What i would like to ask you is to explain us better what you are aiming at with your project. >> What I’m interested in at the moment is simply to write a better framework for services/gui items which are ever present but should be unobtrusive. Think of this as a cross between a system tray (Gnome, KDE, etc) and a full kde kicker. The slicker team has misrepresented itself by showing a desktop with too many cards & way too much eyecandy. I think a plausible usage would have fewer, and to have them be subtler. 2002-12-17 3:45 pm Anonymous Make it so. 2002-12-17 4:13 pm Anonymous I think it looks nice. It reminds me a little of the Longhorn screenshots that I’ve seen (this isn’t a bad thing and I don’t mean it in the “you are copying Windows” sense either). It looks like it is trying to pull the most common tasks (PIM and web browsing) into the desktop interface. The interface seems kindof appliance like. I honestly don’t think that many current Linux users are going to like it, but it might appeal to people currently using Windows and Mac. I don’t know if it will succeed, but at least it isn’t just copying/refining the same old window manager interface. Bravo. 2002-12-17 4:20 pm Anonymous Holy tomalle’ folks. This can’t be legal. This doesn’t look anything like a windows start button anymore! Can’t wait till I can give it a whirl. 2002-12-17 4:27 pm Anonymous Get some more cards/plugins etc etc. For example, I would like a tray-version of XMMS. Windows Media 9 has this applet-like thing that sits on the taskbar. I’m not asking anybody to copy stuff, but it’s really useful. 2002-12-17 4:38 pm Anonymous It’s not that I want to crush your certainties, but the statement that leaded you to the conclusion that I am definitely a retard not only is not mine, but I am very clear in my post: I don’t agree with it. May be you should go back and reread the said post with all your attention, from header to last point, eventually doing the same with the parent. Feel free after that to doubt I’m a retard, but I think you’ll have to wait a little more to solidify your opinion. And next time, may be you’ll not be in such a hurry to make a BeOS user (I’m one of them, you know) look like, how do you say, a retard? 2002-12-17 4:44 pm Anonymous It’s really a great concept. I love what you’re doing, Zakariya. I’m not personally fond of KDE (and tons of icons), and I’d like to use your cards independantly from it, but I would make the “sacrifice” to use them anyway. Very practical, useful, and definately new. 2002-12-17 5:25 pm Anonymous Zakariya, thanks for the answer, being an indecent X basher I deserved a bit of rudeness. Glad to know that you are a designer sensible to icons mess! By “free beer” I meant “take it or leave it”, not really a Problem, I have never had to buy KDE (well once, but a very cheap deal, a SUSE Linux box). And this is what you call a ‘dream guy’. The card overlapping-menus is a very neat UI idea, short of a cross between linear menus and pie menus (http://www.piemenu.com/punkemon.xml). They would be more similar to pie menus if those cards turned into Cross Menus when opened, a type of menus I haven’t seen yet, each card opening one menu on each side and another one on top. Implementing the cards over a KDE or GNOME desk certainly seems the best for a start, however I’m trying to imagine those card menus implemented over a deskless UI, that is over a a search engine, a file manager or browser (Nautilus, Konqueror, Mozilla,…). The ideal for me would be to have all those cards in the task bar (ocuppying the whole taskbar space), one next to the other, instead of having them separated. A lot of people are talking about how the Desktop metaphor is about ‘4,820 dog years old’ (David Gelernter dixit), …and that it has to be replaced with something smarter for actual needs, mostly for documents galore management. But it’s all text like mine, few of these people are actually giving any visual alternative. Gelernter, on the contrary, is actively demonstrating his LifeStreams idea (http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi96/proceedings/videos/Fertig/etf.htm), now turned into a beta app –> ScopeVision, http://www.scopeware.com/). [somebody at slashdot said that as a Corollary to Godwin’s Law, everytime someone mentions D. Gelernter the threads ends, hope is not the case here] Well, ‘looking foward to see more Carddesk screens. 2002-12-17 5:39 pm Anonymous This is so totally new. Ideas like this is what we all are waiting for in the Linux world. 2002-12-17 6:09 pm Anonymous I can see the start of the revolution in a sense on those scopeware links. The problem unless there is a “desktop” or total immersive GUI built around the card view document relationship D. Gelernter is proposing the whole thing could be argued as a very nice graphical find/preview tool. Hope the concept builds a bit. Be interesting to see it in use. 2002-12-17 6:18 pm Anonymous Looks like the devisive nature of OSS rears its ugly head again. The product is not even to alpha code yet, and it already has bashers. I hope they get it to work, and it is widely-adopted, just to spite you neah-sayers out there. Good luck guys. I’ll be following with much interest. Chris http://holycow.sytes.net 2002-12-17 6:21 pm Anonymous Nice to see something new. This is a weakness right now in KDE. It has a very boring rigid design on the desktop unlike Gnome. I like the idea of having different grouping a functions put together. Makes it logical and you can have access to more information quickly without having to launch the full app. I am sure it is going to slow things down, but when it is ready I am sure people using the newest GUI will have the hardware for it. I am sure it will be possible to havejust a plain kicker if that is what you want. 2002-12-17 6:50 pm Anonymous I started hating 3d buttons a long time ago, so i love the way slicker looks it kind of reminds me of my xp desktop http://clientes.netvisao.pt/qu011612/mydesk.png 2002-12-17 6:55 pm Anonymous My only “problem” so far with this Slicker thing (as problematic as free beer can be), is the obsession surrounding the KDE interface in puting icons absolutely everywhere, all KDE menus completely covered with all kinds of fancy little colorful and artistic icons, what a mess, specially in context menus. I can turn off the icons in GNOME menus, but in KDE it’s icons flood you want it or not, ‘gotta love icons or choose another GUI. That is unless you pick other window manager for KDE (like waimea.org), and still you have to dig through ’em. Abolutely! and what’s even worse, not all entries in a menu have the icons! is complete nonsense! fred 2002-12-17 7:11 pm Anonymous I like the taskbar, and the bottom right section, the kmenu needs less or 0 icons, and the ability to remove the quicklaunch area, etc. Id really like a dock type thing for launching apps, with their taskbar, and bottom right thing 2002-12-17 7:37 pm Anonymous I’ve always been extremely wary of anything UI-wise which comes out of the open source world. There’s OS X with such a beautiful, polished look. Luna comes off a little goofy, but it’s still much better than bluecurve. I look at screen shot after screen shot of KDE’s “dock” and find that in my mind it can’t match the simple elegance of the Windows taskbar. Well, all I have to say about what you’ve done here is that from the screenshots, it looks *good*, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever said about an open source UI ever. Keep up the good work, and let’s hope that one day this thing comes to fruition. 2002-12-18 3:57 am Anonymous For example, I would like a tray-version of XMMS Yeah, I hope this slicker (Or CardDesk) does something like this. It would be great to have a basic applet for common programs, which is “present but not intrusive”. It would be good to display basic information (Eg. evolution would show new emails, weather and upcoming appointments, while XMMS mights show current song & artisit and how far into the track it is [time]. ) Then by middle or right clicking it, you get a list of basic controls (Eg. evolution would have refresh, open main window, and compose email, while xmms might have stop/play, next song, previous song, open main window) The difficult part would be getting it to display all the necessary information on screen (No need to click) while not taking up too much space, or getting in your way (Popups are bad). Here comes the bad part, not too much eye candy. I have no oposition to making it look nice, but too much eye candy will make it stand out. Remember, we want it to be there, but not to be a distraction. If you’re trying to browse the internet, but can’t help pausing and admiring the beauty of your desktop, then somethings wrong. Abolutely! and what’s even worse, not all entries in a menu have the icons! is complete nonsense! I haven’t noticed this with KDE 3, I really didn’t even notice the icons where there. They are pointless. I remember in KDE2 the icons in the start menu where sometimes missing, but not anymore (Mandrake 9, default install). But still I agree with you, there’s no use. As long as the start menu remains text based, it shouldn’t need icons. However they are necessary for things like quick launch, which I pretty much always use instead of the startmenu. 2002-12-18 6:27 am Anonymous >> As long as the start menu remains text based, it shouldn’t need icons. However they are necessary for things like quick launch, which I pretty much always use instead of the startmenu. >> Jason, you read my mind there, that was precisely what I was thinking of when I posted hours ago: the only place where I’d preserve icons is in the Quick-Launch bar. Having said that, I go to sleep everyday hoping (hyperbole) that the next day a usability expert like Jef Raskin or Alan Cooper, …, or some Usability think tank (as they call it now) will tell the computing world that having a GUI with thirty different icons (and counting…) with different shapes and colors is BAD, BAD, BAD. And sometimes I even go further and think: can’t we just get rid of all of them (the icons)? <<—- thinking again No, getting rid of all the icons may be over reacting a bit, they are very useful creatures, the problem really is domesticating them. This could be done in various ways: 1. First, put them only where absolutely needed, where there is no space for text AND where there is NO text (which I always prefer) —>> The Quick Launch bar. Though I’d rather find space for text there. And that space for text is precisely something I see in this topic’s UIs with cards (Slicker and Carddesk). With such extensive and overlapping cards who needs stinking icons in there? 2. Second, have them designed in a way that invites order. I believe this is not a completely lost cause if icons have similar shapes, like in the NEXT (or AfterStep, Windowmaker) GUI where icons come inside squares, I guess buttons would do also. 3. Third and last, let the user control his GUI to some extent, give him options; if the user wants to have an icons zoo (maybe he’ll never notice) that is fine, and if he doesn’t, well that’s even better. Jeff Raskin disagrees on options, but he is a genius, we aren’t. 2002-12-18 7:10 am Anonymous I think for an end user, as long as they arent too flashy, tons of icons are good. Its faster to recongize an icon then it is text and its friendlier. I have seen desktops where you can barely make out what is being shown because of all the flashiness of everything else, yes thats wrong. I do agree, let the person choose their degree of icons. The problem is people are picky about a lot of little things. If include everything in teh config program(s) then its bloated and hard to use. One option is to hand configure config files for advanced stuff. This can low it down some, so maybe for teh speed demons, make a compile option for what is run time and what is a compile time option kinda thing 2002-12-18 11:21 am Anonymous For menus, I couldn’t really find any need for them because of their small size. Because of the small size, 16×16, it is quite hard for it to attract attention. Plus, for majority of the programs on any OS, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS, they do not have icons that show what the app does, but instead uses a logo. May be good in some cases, but it defeats the whole purpose. 2002-12-18 3:06 pm Anonymous I want it now, fantastic looking work. 2002-12-18 4:32 pm Anonymous It seems like the “tabbed folders” concept of MacOS 8/9 applied on a more general level. The only real complaints I have, from looking at the screenshots and playing with the flash mockup, regard the KMenu. First, it looks like you should be able to click on the *whole* K-Button (including the grey button-shaped thing under the word “menu”) and you can’t, at least in the Flash mockup. Also, it doesn’t look like the KMenu as they’ve envisioned it obeys Fitt’s Law. 2002-12-18 7:40 pm Anonymous For example, I would like a tray-version of XMMS I can’t remember what it’s called right now as I’m not in front of my Linux box… but there is a kicker applet that can control XMMS… it’s not terribly fancy (no EQ or spectrum analyzer) but it works nicely for play, pause, track forward/backward, even track position. I am running KDE-3.1_rc5 (gentoo) and it’s in the default installation.