Graphics Archive

Stardock’s Windows Vista Road Map

"Windows Vista has finally arrived! Many people have been asking us what are Stardock's plans? What can we do to take an excellent new OS like Windows Vista and make it better? There have been a lot of articles on how users of Windows XP can get a lot of the visual benefits of Windows Vista using Stardock Object Desktop. And while that may be true, Windows Vista provides us a whole new canvas of cool things we can do."

Open Source OpenVG Implementation Released

OpenVG is a standard API for hardware accelerated vector graphics. It's meant to accompany OpenGL on the road to fully hardware accelerated rendering framework. Unfortunately up till now there was no Open Source implementation of it. Zack Rusin just released the first implementation. He talks about it in his blog and this posting to the Khronos OpenVG forum.

Show Us Your Desktop!

Since it's year end, I thought I'd post one more "fun piece" for everybody. After Thom posted an article on his customized KDE desktop, I thought it might be interesting to compare desktop screengrabs and see what other OSNews'ers desktops look like. Are you cluttered or clean? Are you minialist? What's your wallpaper? Upload a picture to an online service or your own website and show off your desktop. I'll start: Adam's desktop (312kb).

Why User Interface Actions Occur on Release, Not on Press

"If you pay close attention, you'll notice that most user interface actions tend to occur on the release, not on the press. When you click on a button, the action occurs when the mouse button is released. When you press the Windows key, the Start menu pops up when you release it. When you tap the Alt key, the menu becomes active when you release it (there are exceptions to this general principle, of course, typing being the most notable one). Why do most actions wait for the release?"

UI: Choices = Headaches

In this article Joel talks about the number of choices in applications. "This highlights a style of software design shared by Microsoft and the open source movement, in both cases driven by a desire for consensus and for "Making Everybody Happy," but it's based on the misconceived notion that lots of choices make people happy, which we really need to rethink."

GUI Championships 2006

"The GUI's is an inter-website contest in which top graphics designers from around the world compete for USD 15000 in cash and prizes. This year's contest focuses on WindowBlinds visual styles, IconPackager Icons, and Wallpapers. Anyone can participate as an individual or part of a team." The winners in the two icon categories are already announced (most original | most usable), and the finalists in the most prestigious category, that of visual styles, are also announced.

Flash Player 9 Beta for Linux Released

Adobe has released a beta for Flash Player 9 for Linux. "While we are still working out exactly how to distribute the final Player version to be as easy as possible for the typical end user, this beta includes 2 gzip'd tarball packages: one is for the Mozilla plugin and the other is for a GTK-based Standalone Flash Player. Either will need to be downloaded manually via the Adobe Labs website and unpacked."

Interview: Pavel Kanzelsberger of Pixel

"Pixel (formerly Pixel32) is an image editing program, similar to Photoshop or Gimp, that runs on a large variety of platforms: Linux, FreeBSD, Zeta, OS X, SkyOS and more. In an 8 year period, it has grown to become a very pleasant-looking and usefull application. Unlike Gimp, it has support for CMYK and uses its own GUI toolkit called eLiquid. Pixel can work with PSD files and work is being done to improve this feature. Pavel agreed to answer some of our questions regarding Pixel."

Mac OS X Icon Creation Guidelines

This new chapter describes the overall philosophy behind Aqua icons and shows how to design application, document, toolbar, and other types of icons for Mac OS X. To represent your application in Mac OS X, it's essential to create high-quality Aqua-style application icons that scale well in the various places the icon appears - the Dock, Finder previews, alert dialogs, and so on.

Why GUI Matters the Most in Computing

"The current generation of operating systems is much more powerful than they were in the days of DOS. We demand more from them now than ever before, and they've had to keep up with all of our needs and wants. As you know, an OS isn't just another standard piece of software. Instead, an operating system has to manage a complex set of system-level processes all at one time, and it's quite literally responsible for running the show. Therefore, it's easy to see why these systems take so long to develop and successfully release."

How Colour-Blind People See Your UIs

"The color blindness is the inability to perceive differences between some or all colors that other people can distinguish. According to the medical studies, eight to ten percent of male population suffers from some kind of color blindness (figure for female population is much lower). What does it mean to the average Swing developer? Well, if you rely too much on color differences, you may be not conveying the information as well as you thought. Now you can run your application in debug UI mode and have a live preview of your UI as viewed by the color-blind population."

Stardock Delivers Object Desktop 2007

Stardock on Tuesday released the 2007 version of its popular Object Desktop suite of Windows customization utilities. The package of tools enables customers to completely change the way Windows looks and functions to suit their personal tastes. Included in Object Desktop 2007 are the latest iterations of WindowBlinds, IconPackager, DesktopX, WindowFX, RightClick, Keyboard LaunchPad and more. Enhanced File Dialog is a newcomer to the suite, providing a much more expansive Open and Save dialog window than that offered in Windows.

Kodak P850 Review

Geeks.com, as usual a great source of Kodak digital cameras, sent us a Kodak P850 for review. The P850 is a current camera in the Kodak lineup, announced exactly a year ago. It's the lower model in Kodak's "performance" P range (the other ranges are the entry-level C cameras, super-zoom Z cameras, and pocket V cameras). As a member of the P range, the P850 has a few features that are only found in some high-end point-and-shoots and in DSLRs, e.g. the ability to record raw files, or to use an external flash via a hot shoe. Note: OSNews is a broad tech site (and has been for years), such non-software reviews are welcome here even if our focus remains towards "system software".

AmanithVG First Technology Preview Released.

AmanithVG is an implementation of OpenVG, the new application programming interface (API) for hardware accelerated 2D vector and raster graphics, created by the Khronos group. Differently from any other OpenVG implementation, AmanithVG is entirely built on top of OpenGL (from 1.1 to 2.0, using extensions where available) and OpenGL|ES (1.1 and 2.0) APIs. You can watch the AmanithVG video at YouTube.