Graphics Archive

Grape Impresses; OSNews Gives Away Beta Access!

About a year ago, OSNews reported on Grape, a new way to manage your desktop. Back then, Grape was only a concept, a set of ideas without an implementation. This is different now: Grape has been turned into an actual piece of working software, and the people behind the project, Yann Le Coroller and Dockland Software's Stephane, gave us early access by means of a beta release. We are also giving away beta access, se be sure to read on to the end of the article to find out how you can get beta access (hint: post a comment). Update: The response has been more substantial than I anticipated, so the cut-off point is 50 comments. Twelve comments left, guys and girls, so hurry up! Update II: Sorry guys, we're full already (that was quick)! Thanks for the enormous interest from everyone. I'll send the invites out today! Update III: All invites have been sent out. Enjoy testing Grape, and be sure to post your findings here on OSNews. Also, report any bugs here.

pt. XI: Bling and Compositing

This is the eleventh article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. After a rather long hiatus, this eleventh instalment will focus on bling, desktop effects, and compositing, and what they can contribute to the desktop experience.

Show Us Your Desktop, 2009 Edition

A long time ago, we asked everyone to show their desktops, and we figured it would be nice, on this (for me) cold and dreary Monday to do that all over again, over two years later. The questions remain the same: cluttered or clean? Icons or no icons? Dual or single panel layout in GNOME? How free-form is your Plasma desktop? Are there any real computer users in here (as in, using CDE)? Read on for my own two desktops.

Adobe CS4: the Full Wrap-up

Geek.com gave a graphics designer a few months with the latest Adobe CS4 suite, and tells you everything you wanted to know about CS4. From the article: "It's been several months since the CS4 Master Collection became available, and the focus of this follow-up review is to highlight the new features that have remained on my radar since first installing the programs. While every Adobe release features a slew of new features, I usually find that only some of those features remain completely indispensable as the novelty wears off."

Interview: Martin Nordholts, the GIMP

High bit depth support, non-destructive editing (so called "effect layers") and colour management. Three hot topics in photography editing - that users have been waiting for for a long time now to appear in GIMP. Today Linux & Photography blog features an exclusive interview with Martin Nordholts, one of the core contributors to GIMP. Nordholts speaks about the current state of affairs, explains what is going on deep inside the GIMP (and GEGL) and also lifts a corner of the veil about what is to come.

Virtual Worlds User Interface for the Blind

Virtual Worlds User Interface for the Blind is a prototype user interface that enables blind users to participate in virtual world environments. It provides communication, navigation, and perception functions using GUI elements. As a way of enriching the virtual environment with descriptive semantic information, sighted users contribute annotations of virtual objects using a scripted gadget equipped by their avatar. These annotations are then made available to the blind users through the special user interface.

Organize Your Desktop Like a Real Desktop

Though this technology isn't incredibly new (the video is dated June of 2006, and OSNews has covered it before), it's still not publicly available; however, it'll supposedly have a beta out for subscribers to test someday. Branded "BumpTop," this new interface builds off of the idea of organization done on traditional desktops-- I mean the wooden, metal, or glass ones. People naturally organize papers and other items into piles that make sense to their own ways of thinking. This kind of organization is limited on operating systems today, but BumpTop makes an old idea new by turning your virtual desktop a little more real.

HP and Arizona State Show Off Flexible, Indestructable Displays

HP and the Flexible Display Center (FDC) at Arizona State recently demoed a new technology we thought was only possible in Minority Report. Dubbed flexible displays, these modern miracles not only may one day be used in netbooks, smartphones, and other mobile and compact devices (perhaps even digital paper), but are supposedly indestructible, use 90% less resources to manufacture, and basically sip electricity when compared to today's standard display technologies.

pt. X: the Window

This is the tenth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. Fitting for this rounded number, part X will detail the window.

GIMP 2.6.0 Released

The GIMP Project has released GIMP 2.6.0. Among some UI-based changes and additional fixes, it comes the long promised integration of the GEGL library. The promise of 16 bit per-pixel non-destructive editing goes back to 2002, but it's at last here. This means that GIMP is now ready for prosumer (and in some cases even professional) photographer's usage, and this can only be big news and a big win for the F/OSS movement. GEGL will also help in future releases with proper support of CMYK. UPDATE: I guess things are not as good as the release notes want us to think. GEGL was turned "on" in the Color menu as per instructions, but I still got a no-support message for high depth TIFF pictures. If GIMP can't read existing 16bpp pictures, the feature I earlier gave them so much credit for, is useless.

pt. IX: the Menu

This is the ninth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms . On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part IX, we are going to talk about the menu.

Patent: Application-Specific Windows Colourisation

The US patent might be a bit daft, especially when it comes to software, but it does offer some interesting insights into what crazy things the big companies might be working on for future products. One such patent emerged today: Microsoft applied in 2005 (and was granted in 2008) a patent which describes how different windows may be coloured differently, or that they may have different transparency settings. This sounds a bit weird, but it may actually prove to be quite useful.