Graphics Archive

Four Open Source Online Image Editors

If you use a photo editor to crop or convert your images, or to improve brightness, color balance and contrast, then you probably don't need a professional image processing suite. There are tons of web-based graphic editors that are available for free. However, if you are looking for self-hosted, open source solutions, you should definitely go in a different direction. Here's a list of four open source, self hosted online graphic editors.

Dealing with Complexity in UI Design

Over the past few decades, the software that enables us to be productive with our computers has become increasingly sophisticated and complex. Today's UI designers are faced with the challenge of devising graphical user interfaces that are easy to grasp and use, yet still provide access to a wide range of features. Here are some ideas about the nature of GUI complexity, followed by a couple of thoughts on simplicity that might just surprise you.

How to Improve Portability Across Personal Computers

Nowadays smartphones, tablets and desktop/laptop computers are all siblings. They use the same UI paradigms and follow the same idea of a programmable and flexible machine that's available to everyone. Only their hardware feature set and form factor differentiate them from each other. In this context, does it still make sense to consider them as separate devices as far as software development is concerned? Wouldn't it be a much better idea to consider them as multiple variations of the same concept, and release a unified software platform which spreads across all of them? This article aims at describing what has been done in this area already, and what's left to do.

KDE SC 4.7 May Use OpenGL 3 For Compositing

KDE SC 4.5 is about to be released and KDE SC 4.6 is being discussed. However, Martin Graesslin has revealed some details about what they are planning for KDE 4.7. According to Martin's blog post, they are looking at OpenGL 3.0 to provide the compositing effects in KDE SC 4.7. OpenGL 3.0 provides support for frame buffer objects, hardware instancing, vertex array objects, and sRGB framebuffers. Read more here

Jakob Nielsen’s iPad Usability Study

Ah, Jakob Nielsen. Anyone who has ever been involved with serious document design or web usability will know his name. If you've never heard of him, the best way to describe him would probably be this: he's the Richard Stallman of usability. He has a set of very clear ideas about user interface and document design, which more often than not get in the way of beauty. He has performed a usability study, with real users, on the iPad.

Hands-on: New Single-Window Mode Makes GIMP Less Gimpy

"The venerable GNU Image Manipulation Program is undergoing a significant transformation. The next major release, version 2.8, will introduce an improved user interface with an optional single-window mode. Although this update is still under heavy development, users can get an early look by compiling the latest source code of the development version from the GIMP's version control repository."

Typeface Designers Wrestle with the World of Pixels

"Imagine that you are a super-successful movie director, who's been given hundreds of millions of dollars and lots of whiz-bang technology to make a cinematic epic. Sounds good? Not once you are told that people will have to watch it on fuzzy old black and white television sets. Something similar happens to the text that appears on your computer screen whenever you log on to a Web site. The site's owner has so little control over the fine details of what you will see that the typeface in which the text appears is bound to be distorted. Pity the poor designer who struggled to perfect it."

Windows’ Scrolling Behaviour: Really, Really Annoying

For as long as I can remember, I've been having issues with scrolling in Windows and its applications. When scrolling via dragging the scroll blob, it seemed as if Windows had the annoying habit of randomly resetting your scroll blob to its starting position, which irritated me to no end. It took me a while to figure out, but I finally know when this behaviour occurs - now I just need to know: why?!

Touchscreen Tech, Windows 7, Tablet PCs

OSNews takes a look at the technology powering the latest generation of touchscreen personal computers. Have the stars finally aligned to give the touch interface the combination of price, precision, sensitivity, and software support to make it attractive to the mainstream PC buyer? And if so, what does that mean for the elusive Tablet PC? We take a look at a Dell Studio One, which is powered by NextWindow's optical touch screen technology. (With video)