Re: Weird and wonderful visual styling of applications

On Thu, 1 Mar 2007, Xavier Bestel wrote:

> Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 10:27:50 +0100
> From: Xavier Bestel <xavier bestel free fr>
> To: Alex Jones <alex weej com>
> Cc: desktop-devel-list gnome org
> Subject: Re: Weird and wonderful visual styling of applications
> On Thu, 2007-03-01 at 01:23 +0000, Alex Jones wrote:
> > As much as I applaud any effort to depart from uninspired default
> > styling, if we want visual wow, we should try to make it happen in a
> > consistent fashion, and then maybe we can make it look even better!
> I hope you don't mean "everyone should use the same effects". I
> personnaly appreciate being able to differenciate betweens apps from a
> quick gaze. If you have a look at plain GTK+ apps, they are all alike.

Visual inconsistency sounds awfully like broken accessibility to me.
Form must follow function.  Eye candy should only ever be an optional
extra and if it is in fact causing accessibility problems as I suspect it
just wont fly.

The described case of different styling in tree views is not one of the
cases which had previously grabbed my attention but rather other cases
like Jokosher which where doing specially themed buttons and application
colouring which seemed more appropriate for themes than application
specific changes.

> You'd be surprised. Even common controls under Windows are implemented
> using various different libraries, each with their subtle differences.
> IMHO the linux desktop is way ahead in this respect.

I wouldn't be quite as optimistic as to say "way ahead" but things are not
quite as intentionally broken as I think more than few developers
have experienced the likes of Winamp and other fully skinned applications
and learned quite a bit from the experience.

Hopefully this is one of those problems which will ebb and flow, and as
the more heavily themed or unusually styled applications get more
mainstream attention - and from interested parties such as Alex - they
will come into line with the same reasonable requirements as the rest of
Gnome but hopefully find ways to add new flourishes to Gnome without
breaking anything.


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