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My ideas on Linux - Desktop - design/application


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#1 hexdef101

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 02:58 AM

Ok in response to a comment I posted on Paz's current theme page, Paz said she would like to see my Idea. with that I propose to outline the basic Idea here for comment and discussion.

 

 

 

I have noticed that in almost every case Linux Desktop environments are a little haphazardly thrown together. There isn't much cohesion, and they never seem to be unified in any way. Currently I am using Cinnamon as it was closer to what I was looking for while E17 didn't work properly on my system. Currently Elementary is looking pretty good, though I still have hopes for Cinnamon, as they seem to be going in the same general direction as my idea.

 

The first part of my Idea thereby is Unification of Discordant elements. Take as an example....

 

first you run Grub2, then Plymouth, then MDM, then Cinnamon. Now all of them graphically do many of the same exact things. I suppose you cannot fix Grub2, but Why not combine Plymouth,MDM, and Cinnamon into one main program. All using the exact same Libs and Theme formats.

 

On the Theme side of this would be Chameleon Theme Manager. Chameleon was/is intended to replace the discordant Gtk/Metacity/Cinnamon theme system with one based like cinnamon on Html5/Css. This is similar to the design of the Aqua Desktop on Mac which uses Carbin/Cocoa. To further this the Chameleon Libs would replicate and merge the GTK and Metacity Libs, and include simlinks to point any third party programs to Chamelion.

 

Another issue I have is Redundancy and Plain old Bad design. Take for example If you run a dock, and your system includes desktop widgets, you can have clocks in three different locations, all three are seperate and specialized apps on their own. The same thing happens if like me you use Cinnamon/Universal Menu's App (cinnamon) and Cairo Dock.

I am aware that you can streamline the os manually, but why should the user need to configure a well designed system.

 

Speaking of cairo dock/awn/docky/etc Why isn't the Dock implemented in the Panel App. Is there a specific reason. Gnome has multi panels and you can set it to work like a dock launcher (sorta). Is there a specific reason that this function shouldn't be included by default. I am aware that some systems have their own implimentation of the dock api but they are all without fail seperate.

 

And then There is Applications....... Especially gaming. Why not simply use Java/Flash apps I hate having to go through a bunch of hoops to configure a bunch of java apps that should be (mostly) drag and drop. I get security, but sheesh really.

A major sticking point on getting my bosses to switch to Linux is Quikbooks..... Why oh why hasn't anyone even considered accounting software.... Linux has a dozin calculators, yet no accounting software.

 

Then there are hardware issues. Really this should have been fixed years ago. Wpa Supplicant has existed forever to use the Windows Drivers in case wireless connectivity fails. Why not implement this in relation to the video and sound drivers as well. The Windows Api's are well known in either case.

 

Look and Feel. Apple did a great job in this. Even Microsoft gets Look and Feel (though admitedly they do it badly)


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#2 hexdef101

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 03:47 AM

If I was redesigning Linux..... I would have to start with the install program. Every one of these I have ever seen on Linux Sux. I would also seperate the live install version from the standard install version.


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#3 diabol

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:09 PM

Not gonna happen.

 

And that is a good thing.

"Linux" has in recent years (the last 15 or so) been moving towards some sort of design consistency and when I say linux, i mean each distribution for itself.

 

I agree that it's bothersome when your Qt application doesn't look like your Gtk applications and Java takes on this awful 90s look, however, that problem is solved.

You can set Java to use Gtk (or Qt i believe) to render it's controls, effectively making everything Java look like your native system. The same goes for Qt and Gtk, they each have a theming engine which makes them use the other's controls.

That is awesome and the right way to go.

 

It gives you more choice.

 

Forcing the one and only theme format on everyone gives you one choice and takes away all the others.

Bad idea.

If a central authority did this, people would be pissed.

But gladly, the GNU/Linux ecosystem consists of people and is not built by a central authority, so that is not gonna happen.

 

Theming engines all have their pros and cons and are usually chosen or developed for their respective purpose.

 

That being said, major distributions usually have some design guidelines (or their design guideline is to not have one).

Take Ubuntu with it's messy Gnome stuff for instance or every distribution based on KDE. Yuck.

 

Gnome tries to look like OSX and KDE tries to look like Windows, all of them move into a shitty direction where they try to "redefine the way you work with apps".

Before I start a full-blown rant on why modern design moves into a shitty direction because they have to "innovate", let me just say that choice is a good thing.

 

I am not trying to stop you on your glorious quest of unifying everything Linux, I am just trying to tell you why it won't work


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#4 hexdef101

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:35 PM

The idea isn't to force anyone to use just one system. The Idea is to try to make a better looking desktop environment. Thats always been one of my biggest gripes on Windows/Mac........one theme to rule them all (so to speak)

 

As you mainly commented on Chamelion Diabol I will keep it there for the moment.

 

Chamelion isn't entirely intended as a complete replacement of anything, it is intended to simplify the process. Think of it as a frontend (sorta).

a Html5/Css theme renderer wouldn't be anything different then what Gnome already has. (murine/pixbuf/etc) And optimally it would be compatable with everything. I admit I have difficulty explaining the concept (which seems to be a major hurdle)

 

Also One of my Ideas was to give the end user the ability to switch the base theme style immeadiately upon first run. Like the Windows desktop config [click here] like the Mac desktop config [click me instead]. What I see now is while Linux distros are infinately more configurable, They don't go in for much styleistic choice, nor do they really even consider the end user.

 

Simplification without loss of functionality. This is one of the areas Apple failed its user base. In an effort to simplify unix, it ended up treating its user's like children. The same thing happend to Ubuntu with Unity, Gnome 3 same thing, Windows 8 oh god yes. Thats a bridge too far in my book.

 

Take the generic menu/ generic dock config as an example.. Ideally the Panel menu should be System level Apps only. stuff to setup various hardware configs. The Dock should realistically be user level programs (a glorified graphical menu). by doing it this way you streamline the system. Where Windows tried to take away the menu itself, I would place it front and center (so to speak).

 

In the end I am more talking about how to make a better Distro, then how to dictate the entire Linux world.


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#5 diabol

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 02:47 PM

Well, if you want to make another distro, go ahead.

 

However, implementing any of these ideas is going to be a ton of work.


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#6 hexdef101

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:46 PM

I agree there Diabol. Admitedly it is a ton of work. The truth is I've given up hope of ever getting the design implimented. This is why I put the Distro Design on the back burner..... for now. Until I can manage to get a team together who at least agree with my direction its a futile effort. I am at best a graphical designer, not a developer. until then I will continue to use whats available. I do have a few interesting Game and Application Ideas, Like a Diablo 2 style game that uses third party scenario's. (something like a graphical version of the old Frotz infocom emulator).

 

I really only posted my ideas because Paz said she would like to hear them. Maybe see if others at least thought they were interesting ideas.


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