Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oxygen and more

On Monday we had a semi-spontaneous meeting concerning the Oxygen style and window decoration. Actually, we had already started this stuff but nothing really ever became of it and in the meantime some very courageous people stepped up and started work once again.

So here is what it was all about

1. Explicit division of labour (e.g. who's doing what)

Boemann has been and will be working on code. Ruphy will help on this as well.

Zack and Aaron will help both by fielding questions/issue as well as probably contributing code (see below).

Pinheiro and Eriolloan will keep making the artwork.

Ken will help with disseminating artwork information as well as trying to coordinate things.

Zack would like to see graphical side of things build from blocks. He'd like most effects in kde4 based on an actual physical model - that's what will give them organic nature. For that we need an image manipulation framework that does animations and physics engine connected to it. Zack has code
started on each of those elements.

2. Communication between artists and coders

We need to put everything in reach of the public in order to gain as much support as possible and to avoid bitterness from all sides. With things out in the open we can move as quickly as possible without any deterrents or wasted time/effort.

In addition, we will soon experience a problem with our style/windec and certain applications which do not behave well. This information needs to be attained as well as acted upon. By having a central place for code people can test it.

Once we know which problems are occurring we can do one of two things:

a) Let the developer in question know of the problems and ask them to fix them.
b) Fix them ourselves. Aaron mentioned that he has done and will do such in the future on a case by case basis.

3. communicate our expectations for this style to each other so we're working with the same aim in mind

In order to properly communicate the artistic needs to developers we need to include not only mockups of new ideas but also simple storyboards which explain interaction ideas (the organic building blocks from part 1).

Once an idea is "ready for coding" the artists need to include the mock-up and storyboard as well as precise details on the placement, size, and coloring, gradient definitions, et cetera, of all elements as well as any other information deemed useful.

In certain cases, including screenshots of gradient information taken directly from the graphical editorshould/could be very usefull. This information needs to be very fine, as Boemann put it "he wants truedecimals" :-) Using a copy/pasted and much simplified information cut from an SVG will be very useful here.


So that is what happened, as best I can remeber :-) Things are finally rolling along. Oxygen is really close to a first release and all is well.

Ohhh...almost forgot: you can get all this warm-goodness in the kde-svn/playgound/artwork/Oxygen


  1. what about Thomas from Baghira fame? last time we heard about the oxygen style, he was working on it, and had a preview on his harddisk (which he wasn't supposed to share). is this style you're talking about building on his work? is he still involved?

  2. Apparently Thomas found other things to do. Haven't heard from him in a while.

  3. I think you guys should communicate more effectively!

    I emailed Thomas to know why he was removed from the Oxygen website people section. He said that he didn't know, that he had a style almost ready now but that he had no news from you guys for a long time.

    To my understanding, he still thinks that he is responsible for the style. And I hope that it is the case, cause to my taste, he made the best style for KDE 3.


  4. Indeed. I did not realize that this had happened either. I will try to work this out, however.


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