Buzz Buzz!

With the Sprint behind us and the Freeze coming up next month, the VDG has made it’s agenda for the coming weeks, and I figured I’d share some highlights I’m working on, and a couple I’m personally looking forward to.

walls

Wallpapers

Andreas is doing a fantastic wallpaper contest which I hope many of you will participate in; the goal is to get wallpapers for weather-based wallpapers, and to also get several new wallpapers into circulation. It doesn’t have to be weather wallpapers – if you have a wonderful high-resolution graphic, submit it!

In addition to pulling in community work, we’re going to change up the release cycle for new wallpapers: Previously, wallpapers were updated every second version, but now we will add a new wallpaper for every release of Plasma!

lesscreepy

Avatars

The current crop of standard avatars have aged gracefully, but we’re looking to refresh them. We have a new crop of avatars based on history-changing individuals and fairy-tale children. Eventually we will expand the set to include a range of personalities.

Credit for the design goes to Jens Reutersberg who created the fantastic VDG profile pictures.

deco

Decorations

We may be looking forward to a new alternate decoration; originally based on Breeze and the result of a first-time hack gone too far, “Chroma” may be appearing! Somewhere! Where it shows up all depends on my laziness and incompetence. I assure you I am only mostly lazy and incompetent.

There’s a few things that need to be done with it, mostly in regards to properly breaking it out from Breeze to be it’s own decoration, and learning to properly submit it.

Akademy

Several VDG members are looking to show up at Akademy, so if you’re looking to hear an awesome talk or two there will be some design talks in the future. I won’t go spoilertastic, but I’m looking forward to it, or dying trying to get there – you should be to!

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24 thoughts on “Buzz Buzz!

  1. Hi!

    Any news about the window decorations?

    I really like those vibrant colours contrasting with the dark background.

    Thanks for the creativity 😉

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  2. I kind of like the oddness of the avatars… it’s a nice direction and I’m sure there’s something there…
    but I would be careful when adopting the style that is very overused currently in many designs… I mean the flat shading and especially the diagonal hard shadows… I don’t know if it was google or windows that started this, but it’s everywhere now, and many times with the hippest trends they don’t last very long before start to look dated.
    I myself already have changed the icon themes etc on my devices and tablets for something completely different..

    so… I kind of like it, but am hoping you could come up with something fresh and new. I know it’s hard tho..

    .b

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  3. Serious Nope on the faces. I don’t know how to put this nicely; I like what the VDG has been up to, and I’ve been very excited about what’s coming. I’m really looking forward to the new theme. I don’t ever want to see those faces again. They’re unsettling. They’re wrong. That said, I don’t want to discourage you guys from trying crazy new things or get the idea that I don’t appreciate what you do.

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    1. Alright, so after some serious ‘NOPE’ reactions on the faces I’ve tried another set of tweaks to de-creepy the faces. I hope it helps. 🙂

      (The new faces are already in the post)

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  4. Hello.
    First of all, I would like to thank you and thank every person involved in this.

    I love the new style, it’s really modern and «up-to-date». But there’s something I dislike. The similarities with Apple designs. Why we need to have by default the window buttons like traffic lights? This is something that defines a MacOSX window.
    I understand that people can like that kind of design, of course! One of the good things of Plasma is that we can change how it looks. So anyone that likes that traffic lights, can have them.

    But… by default? I don’t know, I imagine people saying «oh, like my Mac», and that is something I wouldn’t like to listen. Just because it could seem like a copy when it isn’t.

    Just wanted to leave my thoughts on this.

    Thanks again for your hard work, is really appreciated.

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    1. You don’t need to worry, this design will be an alternate – not the default. It started as an experiment gone too far, and without community input we decided to leave it as an alternate.

      On the whole Mac thing – I don’t think they have the monopoly on certain design elements; if something enhances at-a-glance usability I’ll take it in a heartbeat. Either way, I do plan on adding several configuration options for the rings, like no rings, faded, highlighted, and stoplight. When that’s done it could easily be configured to be blue, or whichever colour matches your highlight preferences. Fortunately, we don’t plan to copy Macs’ lack of configurability. 😉

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  5. Am I the only one who’s creeped out by these avatars? Breeze is really going in a direction I don’t like at all. Well, it probably never started in any directon I liked anyway, so no surprise these are horrible too.

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    1. Did you stop a while to think about what the author might feel if you call his work “terrible”? Please try to show some respect or, if you can’t, at least do not show disrespect. While I personally do not like the avatar’s very much either, I appreciate the work that went into them and I understand that other people have different tastes.

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      1. It’s fine; The fact is, anytime you go into a new direction, or go further into your bearing – there will be people that don’t want to go with you. Additionally, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is subjective, so I really don’t mind – if he said “the quality dropped” I’d be concerned.

        But KDE is customizable, and with Megathemes completly overhauling the look in a single click is steadily gaining traction – so even if he doesn’t like the direction, he doesn’t have to be left behind. He could just swap the theme and pick an avatar suited to his tastes.

        Now, creepyness is a very specific thing, and I’ll be looking at tweaking these further to avoid that. Fact is, there was an an entire first iteration we have squirred away in a folder called “old-creepy” because they had a really bad soul-gaze-of-doom feel.

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        1. First of all, fantastic work! Seeing the progress is always exciting.

          I think Jan’s comment was rude and unhelpful; however, I’m not a fan of these avatars either, so I will try to provide some more constructive comments on what I don’t like about them:

          1. Their eyes look hollow (like empty eye sockets). I think this can give off a “dead person/doll” vibe, especially if you stare at them. Maybe you can try to reduce the eye sizes a bit and see if that helps.
          2. I don’t like that you use actual people. As Bob shows, it’s easy to mistake them for a different person, which can be offensive to some people. I think more generic faces would be better.
          3. Personally I don’t think the style appeals to many children (at least I wouldn’t like them as a child). Because of their few colors and simple shapes, they look kind of bland/boring. I would rather have the redesigned Konqi and Katie as an avatar (http://tysontan.deviantart.com/art/Konqi-ver-2-494267237) – happy, full of energy, and doing an activity I can (hopefully) relate to, such as drawing, playing music, researching, etc.

          I don’t know how the avatar selector works in Plasma 5, but it would be cool if you could have different “avatar sets”, and you would get a few sets by default (e.g. VDG profile picture style, Konqi and friends, etc.).

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          1. Oh, c’mon please leave the kids out of it!

            What does this has to anyways with kids? Does KDE stands now for Kids Desktop Environment? Are you teaching kids to you use KDE? Well, than thats like your problem. No reason for KDE VDG to go all “happy & full of energy” .. 😉
            Personally I don’t think the Konqi and Katie style appeals to many adults (at least I wouldn’t like them as as an adult). (SCNR)

            I highly agree on the avatar sets tho…

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            1. > What does this has to anyways with kids?

              Considering the fairy-tale children portraits, some of the avatars seem to target children yes.
              Furthermore, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to try make the default appeal to as wide a demographic as possible, including children.

              > Personally I don’t think the Konqi and Katie style appeals to many adults (at least I wouldn’t like them as as an adult).

              Which is exactly why I suggested different “avatar sets”. (And c’mon, who doesn’t love cute green dragons!?)

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  6. Who’s the guy with the beard? Leonardo DiVinci, or Karl Marx? Please can we keep politics out of the avatars? One man’s “history changing individual” is another man’s “historical monster”

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    1. I think I picked pretty reasonable people; we have Da Vinci, Gandhi, Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Mowgli from Jungle Book, and Alice of Wonderland, and one generic.

      At one point we’ll do more and move away from named people, but to get started I picked from history as a first step before making too many.

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