Desktop Graphics Approval committee?

Jon W. Bius biusj at
Tue Dec 2 14:01:22 UTC 2003

I disagree to a point.

I do agree that having a very customizable desktop is a great thing. I
don't think I ever used a default setup in Windows, simply because I
enjoyed downloading themes. I still have an XP box for gaming, and I use
a product (don't recall it's name) that gives the desktop a totally
different look. I've probably downloaded 50 themes for it.

However, I think what makes Windows themes so popular is they are
add-ons, not part of the development process. Encouraging community
supported add-on sites could fill that role by providing those items,
sort of like does. A site that filled that role could have
documentation for how to create themes, as well as simple rules for
submitting things. The public would vote the best themes simply by
downloading them. Yet it gives room for themes that maybe 5 people find
valid, even if the rest of us don't really need it.

I think it would be cumbersome to both the Fedora development folks
*and* theme designers to tie the two together through voting, etc.
Again, looking at the Windows model, the 98/XP developers there went for
the "90% market"- the group of people who never change anything and have
no desire to. (I'm basing that number on my own observations.) This left
a very wide open niche for other developers to fill to appeal to the 10%
who wanted to break out of the box.

I think that leaving the two separate will allow for both to focus on
their respective goals. Design by committee will slow down what I
believe is planned to be a brisk development pace for the Fedora team.
And having a voting system (or similar model) to determine what is
included will by design *always* leave someone in the cold.

Maybe what is needed is for the community of Fedora users to step up and
start a theme site for Fedora (or something along those lines). If the
developers see a strong showing from that group outside of their
development work, they would be more likely to include links and tie-ins
with that work, which would accomplish what you are suggesting from a
user standpoint, and still free the Fedora Core developers to pursue the
best product for the "90%" crowd. And they would have the option of
later including work that proved to be really popular in Fedora Core
releases. Again- look at the existing successes with KDE and Gnome that
have taken off simply from user popularity- not distribution or even
desktop "push".

And as you pointed out, what makes the web (and by extension computing)
so popular is it's absolute inclusiveness. If a ""
(or whatever) becomes a popular, well trafficked and active site that
anyone is free to submit work to, then a year from now, the fact that
users download theme "x" 90% of the time will tell the Fedora developers
"hey- you need to look at this". If something like that doesn't take
off, they're not encumbered with a few people trying to vote on whether
icon "y" should be blue or green. And in either case, that group of 5
users who want a Jimi Hendrix/Darth Vader theme in ancient sanskrit can
still have that, too.


On Tue, 2003-12-02 at 02:13, Marky Goldstein wrote:

> I suggest:
> Let us give the desktop freedom.
> There is one basic reason why the WWW was so successful. Anybody could 
> develop a site with it's own design. Individuals, Companys, etc.
> That's why Linux needs a open desktop - also from an art perspective. It 
> will make Linux successful, also in a business world.
> Anyway, this means we need themes (includinging icons and everything 
> which make up a theme), we need theme design tools (for the artists and 
> design companies, etc.)
> We need a voting system for the public to vote for the default theme.
> We need many themes to cover many tastes.
> We need a theme database to build themes and even vote for single icons.
> We don't need just single icons, we need "design systems".
> I am ready to help!
> Best regards,
> Marky Goldstein
> --
> Fedora-desktop-list mailing list
> Fedora-desktop-list at

Jon W. Bius
Online Services Manager
The Fayetteville (NC) Observer
biusj at
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