[squeak-dev] Re: looks evolution

Hannes Hirzel hannes.hirzel at gmail.com
Sat Apr 24 07:39:20 UTC 2010

Hi Ian

Thank you for keeping on pressing on this issue.

On 4/24/10, Ian Trudel <ian.trudel at gmail.com> wrote:
> Nobody is interested to collaborate? I'd hate to see a good idea die
> alone in the dark.
It will not.

I think people _are_ interested in working on this.
The challenge is to put mechanisms in place which makes it easy for
people to contribute.

More see below.

It would be great to know what kind of graphic
> resources is needed to have a fully functional UI and I'd expect
> Squeak UI guru(s) to give us some feedback. An estimation in numbers
> of number of images required would be a plus.

Yes, we need to know where the graphic resources (images, icons, color
definitions, border with definition etc) are located. Currently I have
no idea where to look for this.

> A requirement sheet could further include:
>    * A comprehensive list of our most important points in term of
> visual style (and usability?)
>    * A comprehensive list of graphic resources required (icons, menu
> and window decorations, buttons, splash screen, etc)
>    * Visual effects and transitions, if any
>    * Files and images formats, if any specific ones are required
>    * Accepted License(s) for contributions

YES, the license is important.

And we could have different loadable libraries with graphics.

Currently we deal mainly with bitmap graphics. But the source file
should be vector graphics wherever possible


There is the Tango Icon library we could put to immediate use to
replace the 'cartoon' arrows.
The have as well started a table giving a list of visual metaphors

> We could also stipulate our preferred visual style(s) but it should
> remain open.
> We should focus on the most important elements (e.g.
> related to usability, such as colours that can be looked at for hours
> and hours without bursting any people's eyes).

Yes, a list of priorities is an immediate need. However as this is
open-source development this list is just a list of suggestions and
people may pick to work on something what they feel comfortable with
or what they have fun with.

So far we have a solution for changing the background (a few hours
old, see another thread).
As the next item I would see the replacement of the navigation arrows and then
the implementation of a chooser for color themes (I think there are
mechanisms in place - we just have to make use of them - i.e. polish
and enhance them)

>Graphic designers need
> to be inspired and have some freedom for their creativity, especially
> when it comes to contribution given with their heart. :)


> I believe Polymorph is currently not loadable in 4.1 and our UI is not
> really skinable. We should put in place a small plan to make it easy
> for graphic designers to test their graphics in Squeak, if possible.

This is linked to your remark above where you say that we need a list
of graphical elements (including a description how they are supposed
to be named) to make it easy for non-programmers to come up with
another set.
I.e. something like

myGreatTheme-backarrow.png   (this name consists of the theme name
together with the resource name - just a start not something really
worked out)

> This will increase the number of contributions.

Indeed. See the 'personas' movement of Firefox 3.6. You may choose
among 10 thousands of 'personas'.

> A simple one page requirements sheet would be more than enough.

For the start yes, but I bet you'll see that it will develop quickly .....

> Anything else should be on?

I think some more research has to be done to find out and document in
a summary view what is already in the system.
I think there are graphic themes. Let's give it a try and do some more
to find out what is lacking with the current schemes.

I we should work on a list of action points

- background chooser (done by Steve Wessels)
- inventory of graphics
- dig out things from the past and summarize what is useful for the
future (entry point for example http://wiki.squeak.org/squeak/1114,
Appearance / Themes / Skins - October 2006)
- evaluation of current situation - what does the 'theme' mechanism in
the preferences browser deliver? (see screenshot)
- naming scheme for graphical elements of the user interface
- polishing the preferences browser
- loader for UI-elements ('personas' idea from Firefox; maybe it is
possible to tap into that - i.e. just use the 'personas')
- list of further actions
- .......


**) I do not dislike the cartoon icons as such but for a more general
audience I think we should have something more neutral.  The
'industrial', slightly 'retro' look we now have is quite OK for the
time being I think. In the end we should have  different well worked
out skins and themes people can choose from. One reason for this is
that people may adapt Squeak for their specific application needs. Or
a game programmer might want to have something particular.

P.S. I am 'out of Squeak office' for the next 3 hours.....
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