Ideas from the Desktop Artwork meeting
On Wed, Sep 13, 2006, Gustavo Franco wrote:
> I need volunteers to help me with the common guidelines (first draft)
> too. Be part of pkg-gnome, pkg-xfce or pkg-kde is required.
Sure. I think we agreed during the meeting to help you on this part.
The meeting was a little too short to discuss my pet goals for the
common guidelines, hence I said I would post a followup to the meeting
summary with the ideas I didn't have the time to present during the
0) Let us not reinvent the wheel; Ubuntu did some efforts on the
subject, wrote some specs. Does FreeDesktop have some efforts on the
1) While it's nice to document how we currently customize each
particular object type of each particular desktop, I think the goal
we're trying to reach with the guidelines is a way to permit anyone to
create an artwork, a "theme" for some object types or all object types
supported by a desktop.
I think we should go as far as specifying some directories to use,
some tools to call etc. and change the relevant desktop packages of
each desktop to support this scheme.
In other words, I don't want to have to write down the full list of
hacks one has to follow to customize a desktop, I prefer we write how
it should be done and do it.
2) I believe the technical implementation matters. I certainly did
agree that guidelines would be nice to have since we currently have
nothing at all, but we didn't discuss the scope of the guidelines at
all in terms of technical implementation. All we said is something
along the lines of "we want to be able to document how to change the
desktop background, the login screen, and the session splash screen".
This is not enough for me, I want some additional properties on the
- possibility to install multiple themes on the same system (say the
default Debian theme, the default Ubuntu theme, and the default theme
of CDD xyz)
- possibility to choose the default theme from the above themes
- possibility for each user to override the default theme
These are features that we (at least I) want all desktops to support
independently of the actual desktop and that I would like to see
specified in the spec as "goals", which will later be "requirements".
(The above list is just a couple of samples, I expect there will be a
lot of things to cover such as whether a configuration should have
effect for newly created users only, or would also affect existing
3) We need a distinction between system-wide themes (such as display
manager login screen, and boot splash screen) versus user-specific
themes (desktop background, session splash screen, icons...).
4) We need technical tools, a place to maintain them, and documentation
to use them. This is to manage these configurations, perhaps
independently of the desktop (perhaps not).
I have tons of ideas that are completely out of scope, and/or
irrealistic in implementation (especially for etch), so I won't list
them all, but I think it would do some good to dump all in some public
place and categorize / select the ideas we want for etch or for the
first implementation of the guidelines.
Loïc Minier <email@example.com>