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Tango Project to Make Open Source Beautiful? 284

DW writes "Steven Garrity has announced the Tango Project, fronted by himself and Jakub Steiner of Novell. The Tango Project is a collaborative effort of a variety of free/open-source software designers and artists to work towards unifying the visual style of the free (mostly Linux) desktop."
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Tango Project to Make Open Source Beautiful?

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  • My Question (Score:5, Funny)

    by AAeyers ( 857625 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:56PM (#13770478) Journal
    Tango Project to Make Open Source Beautiful?

    What could be more beautiful? Is it not?
  • Nice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wangxiaohu ( 736032 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:58PM (#13770486) Homepage Journal
    Is this the first project for standardizing the open source desktops?
  • Oh no, not again. (Score:4, Informative)

    by spankfish ( 167192 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @08:59PM (#13770491) Homepage
    Tango is also the name of the ugliest excuse for a web development platform on this green earth. It is, hands down, the most putrid language I have ever seen. Kind of like a mutant offspring of BASIC, RPG, and old ColdFusion.

    These guys should seriously consider a name change.
    • by Jambon ( 880922 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:07PM (#13770540) Journal
      These guys should seriously consider a name change.

      How about Salsa? Cha Cha? Macarena? Merengue? Polka? Any on this list [wikipedia.org] could be possible candidates.

    • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:47PM (#13770701)
      Tango is also the name of the ugliest excuse for a web development platform on this green earth.

      Tango is also the name of a defunct night club in Dallas, Texas. It had a collection of giant, brightly colored frog sculptures posed dancing near its entrance. After its demise, some of the frogs were moved to the roof of 'Carl's Truck Stop' along I-35 between Dallas and Waco. (I'm not making this up.)

      The point?
      Don't get too worked up about naming coincidence, and focus on the project.
      Which sounds a little like Eazel, but what the hell.

    • The first thing to come to my mind was the circuit lay-out program. The second and third were the music of Carlos Gardel and Astor Piazzolla.

      All good names have been taken. Many times.
    • Do you mean this [psu.edu] Tango, or something else?
    • >Tango is also the name of the ugliest excuse for a web development platform on this green earth.

      Tango was abandoned by Pervasive Software in 2001 IIRC. It is funny to still see ".taf" in URLs on occasion, meaning the site was developed and is still served with Tango's CGI.

      Last I heard, there are a group of developers in Australia that somehow have captured the source and are selling Tango still, under the name Witango [witango.com].

      I agree though... they should probably change the name.

    • Re:Oh no, not again. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Afrosheen ( 42464 )
      The name is actually funny because it's got 2 dudes running it. Of course, as the old saying goes, it takes two to tango.

      I don't think the *nix desktop itself needs to look 'integrated' or 'standardized', it's the apps. KDE and Gnome stuff generally looks the same in each environment, but take them out of that environment and occasionally either set of apps looks out of place.

      What *nix needs is a gui guideline set similar to the Platinum spec that Apple used before. You could sit down at nea
      • yes because people never write anything that uses a dis similar interface for apple or MS platforms. people will write their apps the way they want them to look for better or worse.
      • Re:Oh no, not again. (Score:3, Informative)

        by stor ( 146442 )
        What *nix needs is a gui guideline set similar to the Platinum spec that Apple used before.

        Agreed and work towards this is happening at freedesktop.org.

        However you also need some *designers* to realise a spec effectively. You can't get developers to "implement an icon from a spec", well you might but I wouldn't expect stellar results.

        This seems to be more about the actual practical work of beautifying icons, widgets, etc. Getting palletes not only standardised but nicely utilised in aesthetically-pleasing g
  • Will it be usable? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:01PM (#13770503)
    My big question is whether or not it will be usable. I get the impression that it will end up looking like a cross between Windows XP and Mac OS X. It'll be bubbly, and wasteful of screen real estate.

    I find I usually use a NeXTSTEP-inspired theme, no matter if I'm using GNOME, KDE, or XFCE. That's because such a theme is all about usability, and less about just looking "pretty". In the Linux, *BSD and Solaris worlds, the focus is on productivity. So I think there may be some conflict between creating a GUI that emulates the bubbliness of Windows and OS X, and creating a GUI that allows people to get work done efficiently and effectively.

    • by BHearsum ( 325814 )
      This is EXACTLY why this project will never succeed. The userbase they are targeting has such a wide variety of preferences that a consensus will never be reached.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Are you high? This isn't about a concensus. It's about a standard. It's about a direction. It's about putting a cohesive package together that might not be ass-ugly. Oh yeah...and to say that you can't have function and attractive aesthetic is just silly. In fact, good visual design in a GUI *improves* usability.

        Of course everyone isn't going to like the same thing. But, finally someone is making an effort instead of siting back and bitching about what everyone else is isn't doing.

        my. $0.02 ;)
        • Consensus on this is the same as always when the majority sort of agree and the feedback is generally postive. This is also about inclusion i.e. geeting those oustide of coding more involved in the open nature of Linux. Graphics artists can now have an input into the future of computer use, it will be interesting to see what will come out of this and to see how non-coders view the graphical user interface.
    • by clackerd ( 797052 )
      CyricZ:

      the focus is on productivity with the windows and macos interfaces too, probably moreso than the free desktops and their themes. apple spends a ton on research for this type of stuff, and i am pretty sure microsoft does too. i suspect you'd be happier in front of a cli than any gui anyway.

      i am all for flair in an os, and i think as graphics get better, so should the cool effects. we are using computers, for pete's sake! they are supposed to look cool! and all the bubbly options on my mac that waste s
      • Indeed, I have been using computers for over 30+ years now. Probably longer than a lot of people here have even been alive. And the only real innovation was from NeXT. They produced the only GUI really worth using. Apple has bastardized it somewhat, to make it appeal to those who aren't very computer-oriented.

        "Looking cool" is pointless if it interferes with productivity. Even if it's just sending an email to a friend, today's GUIs offer far too much distraction. Thankfully most Linux GUIs offer a way to el
        • I can agree with you on that. The NeXTSTEP layout is very high on my list of preffered desktops, as is CDE, but neither of them are the best, ive got an empty spot at the top of the list and nothing has ever filled it, No GUI ive seen has ever given me the flexibility AND ease of use to take it.

          Im using an IDE, I want maximum screen realestate, i want to auto hide frequently accessed pannels and things like the start bar on the edges of the screens to make them ocupy less room. Im sitting at my deskstop abo
        • by Onan ( 25162 )

          "Looking cool" is pointless if it interferes with productivity. Even if it's just sending an email to a friend, today's GUIs offer far too much distraction.

          If an interface has been designed well, things which happen to look cool do so only secondarily to adding clarity and functionality.

          For example, macosx windows have dropshadows that give the appearance of visual depth, causing the focused window to appear to stand out from the others. Could the focused window simply have been made hot pink, to fu

    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @10:14PM (#13770789) Homepage
      While flashy, a lot of the OSX interface helps productivity in subtle ways. For example, because of icon scaling on the dock you can set your dock to be really, really small and still have it usable. Because windows "genie" themselves back into a specific spot on the dock, there is never a question of where to go to find the window. Because interface elements are always subtly textured, you quickly learn to ignore those portions of the screen when looking for content. The bubbliest thing you can do when using OSX is press the F10 key, but that pulls back all of the windows so you can select the one you want by what it looks like. (F9 does that in the current application, and F11 reveals the desktop)

      I used to run WindowMaker (NeXT) on Linux as well. The minimalist aesthetic appealed to me, even though it seemed like just a flashy way to open a lot of XTerms. And while NeXT was all about usability, it was also created under the eye of Steve Jobs. People forget that Apple's designs are created to be usable first and sexy second. The touch sensitive scroll wheel on the iPod may be luscious and indulgent, but I'll be damned if I can find a better way to scroll through a long list of songs (maybe Sony's click wheel, but that's patented).

      • by Eccles ( 932 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @10:40PM (#13770878) Journal
        I also love the bouncing icons when starting an app in Mac OS X, which at first I thought was silly eye candy. In contrast on XP, my impatient 8-year-old often has a half-dozen firefox windows when it finally opens, because she clicked the firefox desktop icon and didn't see any response (and again, and again...)
      • Uhm Window Maker isn't related to, derived from, or created by NeXT. It vaguely resembles NeXT's look (note I didn't say feel) and that's about it.

        Using Window Maker does not make you clued about NeXT's OS, sorry. Completely different user experiences.
      • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <drsmithyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @11:20PM (#13771048)
        Because windows "genie" themselves back into a specific spot on the dock, there is never a question of where to go to find the window.

        Until you minimise and restore a few more windows (that all look the same) and change the order of the window list, that is.

        The Dock is a UI freakin' train wreck, and no amount of flashy graphics will change that.

        People forget that Apple's designs are created to be usable first and sexy second.

        They *used* to be. However, it's plain to see that OS X/Aqua was built to be flashy first and usable second.

        • It's simply a place to put things you need. If you need an application, you can put it there. If you need a document, you can put it there. If you need a folder, you can put it there. If you need a window, you can put it there.

          Computer geeks freak about the Dock because it's not well-defined. "Is is for applications? Is it for documents? Is it for windows? It's so confusing!" No, it's not. It is for things (anything) that you need. It is so useful precisely because it is not limited--you can put a
      • because of icon scaling on the dock you can set your dock to be really, really small and still have it usable. Because windows "genie" themselves back into a specific spot on the dock, there is never a question of where to go to find the window. Because interface elements are always subtly textured, you quickly learn to ignore those portions of the screen when looking for content.

        Because everything is frickin white, you find yourself constantly having to look away from the computer to give your eyes a break
      • A keypad. Just start typing. Oh wait, iPod.
    • conflict between creating a GUI that emulates the bubbliness of Windows and OS X, and creating a GUI that allows people to get work done efficiently and effectively.

      And you, you are one person with an opinion. Just like someone else. Just like me. However, what's not an opinion is that "bubbly" absolutely, without a doubt, means unproductive. What makes someone more productive in a "bare bones" work environment? The fact that their interface looks like the cubicle they work in and they flee to the command

  • Just as important (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zegebbers ( 751020 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:02PM (#13770511) Homepage
    is accessibility. These days, a lot of people who use readers complain about programs using images of test for buttons instead of text etc. There needs to be an attitude of addressing people who use non visual techniques for using computers.
  • Office 12 and Vista (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:05PM (#13770523) Homepage
    I am forced to wonder how much time they will spend examining the completion including the upcoming Windows Vista and Office 12 given that they both dramatically affect the way software looks on different platforms and they are now showing us how most Windows software will look for the next 5+ years.
    • I hope they do not draw inspiration from Office 12. The screenshots I have seen of it, with it's awful combined toolbar/menu monstrosity, sicken me. I do not want to use a Linux/BSD/Solaris desktop that uses a similar idea. It's nothing but a terrible waste of space.

      • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:42PM (#13770674) Homepage
        If screenshots are all you have seen then it is no wonder they make you ill... I suggest watching a demonstration of it some time and it actually makes perfect sense.
        • "If screenshots are all you have seen then it is no wonder they make you ill... I suggest watching a demonstration of it some time and it actually makes perfect sense."

          Good advice, but since this is Slashdot, you can expect 9 out of the 10 people who see a demonstration will ignore the obvious benefits and cook up other petty reasons to not like the software. "I don't see why they're bothering with this, it won't work if the computer isn't on! (Score 5, Insightful)"

          Just once I'd like to hear "Oh... well yea
        • Taking your advice, I went and watched one of the demonstration videos on MSDN (or some other part of Microsoft's site). It was long enough, that's for sure. Nothing they did really impressed me. I was hoping I'd see something revolutionary, but all I saw was wasted screen space. It's different, yes, but to suggest that it will increase productivity is questionable.

  • Long overdue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:06PM (#13770527) Homepage
    Creating a unified look and feel for graphical Linux apps has been long overdue. Say what you will about their own hideous violations of their own style guidelines, but Apple's style guidelines and freely available icons has helped ensure a consistent user experience across most applications for almost two decades. Such a thing would be great for Linux.

    Why is this desirable? Quite simply, having a unified look and feel makes switching between applications faster and easier. There is no need to figure out where quit is hiding when quit is always the last option under the file menu. There is no need to search for the folder button when the folder button looks the same in your applications as it does in your shell as it does in your browser.

    Of course, I would like to see this go farther, and define voluntary standards for hotkeys, splash screens, etc. But an icon base is a step in the right direction.

    • Such a guideline will be useless if nobody uses it. I mean, the first thing many KDE/GNOME/etc. users do is switch the theme they're using. So unless it's the only theme provided by default, chances are people will switch away from it for an icon set they prefer.

      • Only power users even understand the concept of an icon set, let alone try to change it. Having a good-looking, well-integrated default icon set is important because 90% of users are not going to think about changing their icon set.

        And obviously, people will only switch away from it if there's another theme they prefer. So if this icon set is well-done, I can imagine quite a lot of people using it.

      • Pffft (Score:3, Insightful)

        I mean, the first thing many KDE/GNOME/etc. users do is switch the theme they're using
        Many? I'd expect the reality is more like:

        The first thing 1% of KDE/GNOME/etc. users do is switch the theme they're using
      • User interaction design has precious little to do with themes and icon sets.
    • Re:Long overdue (Score:2, Insightful)

      by schwaang ( 667808 )

      Why is this desirable? Quite simply, having a unified look and feel makes switching between applications faster and easier. There is no need to figure out where quit is hiding when quit is always the last option under the file menu. There is no need to search for the folder button when the folder button looks the same in your applications as it does in your shell as it does in your browser.

      Yeah and apparently Tango is the "look" part of the equation - providing icons and color theme guidelines. The "feel

    • Man, trying to standardize hotkeys in the *nix world is a dangerous thing. Do we really need to piss off the vi and emacs zealots yet again?
  • I think that some of the icons are too detailed, and as such are difficult to interpret when 22x22 px or 16x16 px. The 16x16 px document-print icon, for instance, looks more like a filing cabinet drawer with a document coming out. If used in a toolbar, it could easily be misinterpreted as the "Open" action rather than the "Print" action.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:07PM (#13770538)
    It's actually about visual guidelines for icons, not for "the desktop".

    I'd estimate that about 1% of my desktop is taken up by icons right now, though I do prefer nice icons to crappy ones.
  • KDE's Appeal Project (Score:5, Interesting)

    by billybob2 ( 755512 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:07PM (#13770542)
    They should get in contact with KDE's Appeal Project [kde.org], which has very similar goals, namely to provide:
    Consistent User Experience
    Breathtaking Beauty
    Usability
    Creativity and Innovation

    and to do it all in an open, receptive, adaptive and friendly environment for contributors.

    All the organizational effort companies like Novell are putting into bringing GUI developers together makes me really excited about the ever-accelerating Linux Desktop. Keep up the great work!
  • Usable vs. Pretty. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ExileOnHoth ( 53325 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:09PM (#13770548)
    First of all, this is a good idea. A Good Thing. Or, more accurately, A Good Start.

    Tango, at first glance, does seem to be oriented toward visual style.

    A Good thing. Now, in addition to visual goodies, I hope we will keep in mind when people say something is User-Friendly, or Easy To Use, they are not only talking about Pretty.

    They are talking about Usability, which means user-friendly naming conventions, and user-centered use-cases that make it seem like the software is offering you, the user, just the very options you needed just at that moment.

    Sometimes, I think some in the OSS community forget what it is that makes Mac OS X, for example, so popular with its devout users. It's not that Mac people love red blue and yellow jello-balls and silver gradients. It's that for the most part, Mac OS has engineered our interactions with the system so that the OS works for us and never the other way around.

    Being Pretty, in this case, is just icing on the great usability cake. A Good Thing, but not enough by itself.
    • Being Pretty, in this case, is just icing on the great usability cake. A Good Thing, but not enough by itself.

      Interestingly Donald Norman makes an aregument in his book Emotional Design that people find things that are pretty easier to use. There was a study with ATMs where they arranged the buttons in different was and found that the ones people thought looked better were also the ones people found easier to use.

  • Why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yurnotsoeviltwin ( 891389 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:11PM (#13770553) Homepage
    I think it's a great concept. Think about it - OSX has aqua, which is arguably one of its most attractive parts, particularly for the non-geek. Windows doesn't really have anything quite like this, and it could really use it - the only thing is that companies already have their UIs all made up for their Windows products and won't want to change them. Since Linux is a) relatively new to the mass market and b) open source, it would be much easier to adopt a standard GUI style at this point, and it's not something that Microsoft is likely to implement for themselves anytime soon.
  • Give people a reason to use Linux instead of Windows. We all know the free-ness factor is not a driving factor to most people. The shiny-ness doesn't play a huge part anymore. People buy a PC, it comes with Windows. They don't associate paying $ with the OS.
    XP / OS X are already 'very pretty' - being another runner-up or also-ran-as won't help.

    Give people a killer app that doesn't exist in the Windows world. Something that the average joe will say 'wow, that saves so much time...' or 'wow, I didn't kno
    • It is the look! Everything in Windows looks the same and can be expected to act the same - when you hit "Alt-F" the "File" menu opens and there are always (ok, not always, but the vast majority of the time) three little buttons in the upper right hand corner of the window that always do the same thing. That's what a typical end-user cares about. I personally believe that a unification in the look and feel of operating system and it's applications will go a long way towards having larger user-base embrace a
    • Let me list what I see as the important items:
      • browser (CHECK)
      • office (3/4 of a CHECK). OO is nearly there.
      • Simple app for viewing pics. (CHECK)
      • graphical app (1/2 of a CHECK). Gimp UI devs need a sharp rap across the knuckles. Otherwise, it would be a CHECK,
      • dont require users to dive into config files and command lines (e.g. wpa anyone??). Every app should have a GUI admin. All config should be done through a control panel (collection of admin tools).
      • having 100 possible text editors is not something to be pro
    • Give people a killer app that doesn't exist in the Windows world. Something that the average joe will say 'wow, that saves so much time...' or 'wow, I didn't know it was that easy to do that'

      I actually do get Windows users looking at my desktop and saying stuff like that. Or a Windows user asks how I do something and I say something to the effect of "well in Linux I just blah blah blah, but I don't know how you'd do that in Windows" and they get a dissapointed look and I get a smug one ('cause I'm a jerk)
  • I see the icons [tango-project.org] and palette both have a lot of the SuSe puke green look. In fact the palette even labels those colors "chameleon" [tango-project.org].
  • Basically at this point the Mac/Windows style interface is creaky and aging. Does your gut tell you that this style of interaction with the computer is really the best way to go?

    I'd like to see some really innovative desktop environments... for myself I tend to experiment with the tabbed window managers that maintain your layout, for me Ion3 seems to be doing the job.

    On top of that it would be nice if the interface was more naturally productive. Basically, your applications should be persistent and state sh
  • by jdub_dub ( 874345 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:20PM (#13770588) Homepage Journal
    I was hoping that this would be a set of guidelines similar to Microsoft Windows' style guides (e.g. standard sizes for font sizes, using 'F' as a shortcut key for the File menu, all that jazz).

    At the moment it seems Tango is only for icons, so I hope that in the future they consider the above aspect as well. To me, Linux applications always seem quite wildly different (different styles of menus, different locations of buttons, etc). This could be a useful way to integrate applications together.
  • Is anyone else looking at that webpage in Firefox on Linux with font smoothing enabled and set to "Best Contrast"? Their choice of font looks terrible. I'm not sure if it's an accident or if they're trying to make a point.
  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @09:59PM (#13770745) Homepage
    Every time GNOME or KDE or some distro vendor decides to change their theme, TigerT, JimMac, and Steven Garrity have to redesign all the icons. I predict that soon after the Tango project is finished someone will decide that "it looks too XP/Aqua-like" or "my distro looks just like all the others" and the designers will be back at work.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @10:00PM (#13770746)
    The icons are licensed under Creative Commons Share-Alike. The Creative Commons licenses don't meet Debian Free Software Guidelines, so would not be inlcuded in Debian.

    See here for a summary of the problems with Creative Commons licenses:

    http://people.debian.org/~evan/ccsummary.html [debian.org]
  • by Duncan3 ( 10537 )
    Unifying... open source.... hahahahahahahahhaha

    On a serious note, it's about freaking time. Hurray!
  • by strider44 ( 650833 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @10:07PM (#13770766)
    The server has been pwned. Coral Cache works [nyud.net].
  • ...but was helpless since I am neither programmer no coder!

    I'd like slashdotters to tell me one cross-platform application that is more beautiful and therefore more pleasant to look at, [and use] on Linux, as compared to its Windows counterpart.

    I'll answer that: None!

    From OpenOffice with its huge icons, Firefox with its terrible fonts...may I go on?

  • Whats wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    with bazzilion other themes,icons ,widgets ,windows managers and other crap? - yet so far no linux distro has side mouse buttons working by default ,shift+numpad is still fucked up as well. not even mentioning the horrid stat of APi, binary and packages compatibility. Linux is already pretty. -prettiness is not linux problem nowdays ( I dont think honestly it ever was) .
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @10:35PM (#13770863) Homepage Journal
    If it's fast, and has the capability for "flashy" to be added in easily, so that people can download a theme to cover over it or modify their darn icons into stupid creatures or shapes, then I'm sure it will be adopted as a godsend by the Windows hordes looking to migrate to something that is familiar.

    Linux has suffered too long by having its brand diluted with no unifying logo besides the penguin Tux. And there's only so much you can do with a chubby little black and orange/yellow bird. What's most important is the "Start" buttons work the same as they do in windows, and that Radio Buttons don't show abmiguous shadows so you never know if it's pressed in already, or if it's popped out.
  • by Athenais ( 922233 ) on Tuesday October 11, 2005 @10:43PM (#13770891) Homepage

    Something like SymphonyOS' [symphonyos.com] usability guidelines becoming popular in the OSS community would be awesome. In my experience, the second biggest problem people have with changing software (after file compatibility) is having to re-learn where everything is within the menu system, context menus, etc. Having a 'cockpit' of a program's most-used functions laid out in front of you with no nesting, scrolling, or drilling-down is very natural and easy to interact with, and addresses one of the biggest computer interface problems of today.

    ...But the ugly-colored icons are nice too.

  • It seems to me like this is "a guy's idea (not a bad idea but anyways)" that he wants to popularize. Meanwhile, the Linux developers will keep doing the things they do, the way they want.

    Unless this initiative has the support of major players I doubt it'll bear fruit. And that's bad, because Linux (the movement, not the kernel) needs standards badly.
  • What, were they not expecting a good, healthy slashdotting? I mean, after going public with something as nerdlicious as new icons?
    All cheap shots aside, the one icon I saw looks pretty clean.
  • This has been tried before. It's called bluecurve. It never got to be the standard it wanted to be because zealots of each Desktop/windowMananger/Toolkit complained that it compromised X's power and/or beauty.
  • A sure sign of a discpline having been developed, established, and saturated...

    The Scientists are mostly long gone. Time for the Engineers to move on too. Biotech? Nanotechnology?

  • As Terry Pratchett said: Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of different directions.

    Free Software gets pulled in all kinds of different directions, this is a natural consequence of the "Free" bit. We need to recognise this as a strength and stop trying to imitate the Tyrant and the Despot. Attempts to imitate them are probably doomed, anyway.
  • can it run linux?
  • One of the main reasons why I use KDE is because it looks and feels like KDE. I love the look and feel of KDE. I sincerely hope that it does not go any other way. Why should we submit to what other people want? I know that sounds arrogant, but so what. I like what I like, and if people don't like it, then don't freakin use it.

    Having said that, I can foresee an "option" to use the "original-style" KDE, which I could live with too. I am not trolling, and not flamebaiting. This is truly my opinion.
  • Tango clarification (Score:3, Informative)

    by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @06:57AM (#13772188)
    From http://planet.gnome.org/ [gnome.org]

    Bits of Tango clarification

    Slashdot got it nearly right, but a bit wrong: the Tango Project is about unifying the Open Source desktop, but it isn't by Steven Garrity and Jakub Steiner alone. Steven and Jakub presented it at the GNOME Summit in Boston over the weekend, but Rodney Dawes, Tuomas Kuosmanen, Anna Dirks (site currently down), and myself all had a lot to do with making it a reality. A few others helped out along the way too, such as Trae McCombs.

    In addition, Tuomas recently posted on his blog a bit more about Tango: Remember, Tango is not "yet another theme", what I am even more interested in is to really look outside our "Gnome/KDE/Whatever" sandbox and try to fix the overall user experience on "Linux Desktop" - we need to co-operate really. Unified look and feel is one step in that direction, and a logical one for me as an artist.
  • by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @07:52AM (#13772396)
    It's called the appeal project (http://appeal.kde.org/ [kde.org] and this Tango project has simply been dreamed up as a response. It's a direct rip-off actually. I mean come on:

    The Tango Project is a collaborative effort of a variety of free/open-source software designers and artists

    Jakub Steiner even talks about standards (freedesktop.org!! - standards!!) on his weblog (http://jimmac.musichall.cz/weblog.php [musichall.cz]). Err, sorry but you're not creating yet more non-existant standards to throw around just so you can say certain people aren't collaborating. This is a solution looking for a problem because the problem is already being alooked at. I can't see KDE adopting anything like this as a standard, and I doubt whether Gnome would as well because it would mean some large changes to their HIG as well as other things. This sentence kills the project stone-dead before it has even started:

    While there are things you can already grab and start using on your desktop, we are making this public in an early stage as the key elements of the project are the actual standards we want people from various projects agree on.

    Right. So we create an independent project, create lots of Gnome-oriented stuff, possibly submit it to Freedesktop and then push it as a standard? Right......

    and he makes this comment further down:

    Chris, the goal here is to find a sane compromise. We need to get rid of those icon attributes that would make an application feel out of place. If everyone else is using saturated colors, going against the stream isn't going to help us.

    What project is going to adopt that! This guy has certainly got the wrong end of the stick here. I can't see this lasting at all.

    If making apps not look out of place really is their goal though they can do worse than to just ask the KDE people and adopt the QtGTK theme engine and work on it. Somehow I can't see any of that happening.
  • by windowpain ( 211052 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @08:30AM (#13772630) Journal
    They designed the Firefox and Thunderbird logos? They're terrible. They look good when they're a couple of inches across in Photoshop or whatever but they sure don't look good on a toolbar. The IE "e", AIM's walking man, Word's "W" and Yahoo Messenger's open-mouthed smiley all look better and are more distinctive.
  • by sgarrity ( 262297 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @08:36AM (#13772676) Homepage
    Thanks for the link! I want to clarify, though, that while Jakub and I gave the presentation (well, Jakub gave the presentation - I just helped introduce), there are more people than just he and I on the project. Garrett LeSage (another Tango-er) clarifies [linuxart.com].
  • by xethair ( 692050 ) <robert@concordantthought.com> on Wednesday October 12, 2005 @11:40AM (#13774363)

    I'd like to appeal to this and every other icon and beautification project. You are very valuable, but please take some effort to give us this one thing: freedom of color. Let the user pick the colors. Really. Make your icons and shadows and such derive from a set of user selected colors, and don't forget to handle the implications of that, especially for example, the difference between light-on-dark and dark-on-light.

    I know there are some people already thinking this would never work, that they need to pick an effective color-scheme to have it look nice, but that simply isn't true. Given key colors, you can generate a nice palete for icon drawing which still lets you have distinctive differences and subtle consistencies between icons. You'd probably want two sets of colors, one for generic things (light foreground, background, various accents) and another for topical things (like warning, default, movement...), and then you'd generate your icons from template code that could blend the basic colors to match.

    It probably won't be perfect, but it won't be that difficult, and you can do it so that *your* chosen color scheme still comes out perfect, while mine comes out somewhere between nice enough and beautiful, without every user needing to hack up icons or have them look glaringly wrong if they dare to use different colors.

    Plus, your icons then become more than a set. They become a pattern that can survive many design changes, and not just be replaced or redone poorly when you aren't around. They become true free software icons.

For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken

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