Random Pixels

I draw things

Author: andreasn

Going to GUADEC 2016

Tomorrow I’ll be traveling to Karlsruhe, Germany to attend GUADEC 2016
It will be a great time to catch up with old friends and meeting new GNOME contributors.

On Sunday at 16:30 I’ll be giving a talk about how I used user research, in the form of interviews, to design public transportation routing in GNOME Maps.
I’ve just started dipping my toes into user research, and want to learn a lot more, so if you have experience about doing user research, or if you’re just generally interested in the subject, grab me in the hall at the conference. I would love to chat!
There is a ton of other great talks to see too.

On Monday morning there will be a Cockpit BOF in room 131.
Even though Cockpit is a server UI, it builds upon a lot of technologies that originated in or around GNOME.
It’s also a great opportunity to see if there are more server-oriented-things that currently live in GNOME, but would make more sense to present in Cockpit.
One recent example of this is how support for advanced network setups, such as bonding, bridging and teaming was deprecated in GNOME Settings in favor of having it in Cockpit. All these technologies require at least two network cards, a setup that is much more common on server hardware than it is on your regular laptop or desktop.
It would be interesting to see if there are more things like this out there that can be migrated in a similar manner, to make sure that the right functionality lives in the right place.


The new old thing

At some point my friend from high school took down the server where I hosted my website and blog. After dragging my feet for what ended up being years, I finally got an account at a webhost and moved my domain there.

As far as I’m aware, the old content got lost. But that’s OK.

Here we go again.

A tale of menus

Had a great meeting with the rest of the GNOME Art Team at GCDS!
Together we came up with some points on where we would like to take GNOME visually in the coming 9 months.
One of the things we all agreed on is that a new widget theme is not going to be enough to create a visually stunning desktop.

Fewer but better
At the same time as we’re introducing massive 256×256 icons for places that require 64×64 and up, we also want to take the opportunity to cut down a bit on the massive amount of icons currently used in menus. At the same time, we also want to introduce some guidelines on when to properly use them to enrich your interfaces.
The current approach is that some items have them, and some don’t, and this is because no artist had time to draw it, or because the action is too complex to convey in a small icon, or both. And hand to heart, that’s not a really good guideline.

Getting rid of things (or changing defaults for that matter) is always tricky, as the initial reaction from people used to the old behavior is that nothing of value gets added. However, we believe this is a visually more attractive default and that it will result in a cleaner and more efficient interface (and you can always change it back).

What are the exceptions?
A menu item shall have a icon if it represents a dynamic object such as a:

  • Application
  • File or bookmark
  • Device

How do I make sure the exceptions show in the menus?
Just patch your application to use gtk-image-menu-item-set-always-show-image

Won’t this slow me down, as icons are so quick to spot?
While it’s true that the eye recognize color very quickly, having both text and image also means more information for the brain to process. It’s also worth to note that text skimming speed for adults is around 400-700 wpm.

Friends of GNOME postcards

Everyone who signs up for a a monthly Friends of GNOME donation receive a postcard from a GNOME hacker as a thank you. We found the regular, touristy postcards a bit boring, so we decided to create some ourselves, based on motives by four GNOME artists.

They are drawn by Kalle Persson, Vinicius Depizzol, Máirín Duffy and myself (Andreas Nilsson).

So if you would like one of these, sign up to be a monthly donor!

Once you’re done with that, you can encourage others to donate by putting one of these badges on your blog or website.

Alex Faaborg on Firefox Linux integration

“We don’t want the user to think about the theme too much, we want the browser to perceptually fade away so that the user can focus on what it is they are actually doing. In a sense it is a little ironic, the harder we work to make Firefox fade away the less likely it is that the user will notice the amount of effort that has gone into crafting the interface. However, the very best user interfaces go completely unnoticed, that is what makes them good.”

Read the rest

firefox3 to do the tango?

The poor Mozilla folks have recently been accused of hating Linux more than they hate Hitler and Cancer combined, as they threatened to give the Linux build of Firefox the look of the platform most of us decided to move away from. As Mike points out, the diversity of our interfaces kind of suck for ISV/IDS’s like them, but things are getting better [1] and that’s a good thing for dudes like Medsphere and VMWare among others.
I’m happy that #381206 have been given some priority and we’ll do our best to fix it.

1. Fedora actually use the tango-styled Mist by default, OpenSuse use jimmacs nice icons and Ubuntu use quite a bunch of tango styled icons apart from some arrows and folders and stuff.

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