Sunday, July 18, 2010

some oxygen screenshots in kde SC 4.5

KDE SC 4.5 (release candidate) is out, so I figured I could post some screenshots of how oxygen looks like in this release. We payed a lot of attention to detail polishing, fixing 1 pixel here and there at a time, to
  • improve alignment between widgets
  • make borders sharper, visible notably in menus, comboboxes, MDI windows (although they are largerly unused)
  • fix glitches where widgets would interact one with another (notably in tabbed view)
So, not much innovation graphics wise in kde4.5 with respect to kde4.4, but the former should just feel better than the latter, without one being able to pinpoint what it really comes from (the devil is in the details).

Note that we did change the buttons a bit (based on the huge feedback from the previous post), in a subtle way that will for sure not make everyone happy (this you can never achieve), but hopefully won't displease people who liked them already, and will satisfy some of the people who complained.

As discussed in other posts there are new features though:
  • more widget animations
  • more configuration options, using oxygen-settings (give a try to follow-mouse animations for menus, menubars and toolbars, for instance)
  • the ability to move windows by clicking in empty areas
Now the screenshots:

What we have in mind for kde4.6 (in arbitrary order of preference, and without any guaranty of having any of these actually implemented):
  • support for consistent transparency (+blur) in the style and the decoration
  • support for sideways decoration title
  • having a Qt-only oxygen style (because I wish my Qt apps running on windows could use oxygen without having to install the entire kde suite)
  • on the tech-side: optimization of pixmaps caching in the style (because it seems to cause problems to some users)
  • and of course (with highest priority): bug fixing and optimization


  1. Sorry Gnome users, but KDE is damn awesome!
    Wonderful screenshots, can't wait to try it.

  2. I like it!

    For 4.6, could we have button contents that depress when the button is pressed? :)

  3. And yeah, this satisfies me. The buttons look "juicier" :D

  4. I am one of those who were speaking up against changing the buttons, but I really like how they turned out. :)

    "the ability to move windows by clicking in empty areas" --> This is simply awesome!

    You are doing amazing work. I am running RC2 and love every moment of it. Keep it up!


  5. @Aditya: you are talking about moving down (by a pixel or two) the text and icon of pressed buttons. Correct ?
    If yes, this was discuss lengthly on IRC #oxygen, and will not happen. The reason is a question of "perspective". You have correlation between the "z" position of an element and its vertical position only if an isometric kind of perspective is used, and the whole screen viewed from "above" (make sense ?). Oxygen does not use that. Instead, it views the desktop from the front, so that a "z" change should not trigger a "y" change. The feeling of z-depth is only provided by means of shadows, which are supposed to come from a light source placed above the screen (and behind the user). This is uncorrelated to the perspective point of view.

    Not sure I made my point clear, but bottom line is: moving down the text is "unphysical", and creates a lot of unpleasant alignment glitches (for toggle buttons for instance).

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  7. I still have a mixed feeling about oxygen style.
    I love the buttons, tabs and scrollbars.
    I hate the window, it looks flat and emtpy: there are not differences between the parts (title, toolbar, menubar, status bar). It is monochrome: you can tweek the color scheme as you want (replace a grey by a brownish grey) it is still monochrome.
    At least it is consistent with the plasma background panel.

    "support for consistent transparency (+blur) in the style and the decoration"

    Good news.

  8. The Oxygen team is doing amazing work. It looks great and even better with every release, and I really really like the new feature to move windows by clicking in empty areas!

  9. I might add that the only thing that doesn't look great in the screenshots is the font, but that is not KDE's fault. Has someone tried how the new Ubuntu font looks like with KDE?

  10. @d2kx: I disagree. I think the font looks good. And I am not a big fan of Ubuntu's new font. But then, tastes differ. :)

  11. "# on the tech-side: optimization of pixmaps caching in the style (cause it seems to pause problems to some users)"

    Yay :D

    Love the improvements! Couple questions:
    1) What's the dock-like plasmoid you are running at the bottom of the first screenshot?
    2) Where can I get that wallpaper, or does it come default?
    3) Is there no option for a circular clock?

  12. Another question, I thought we were porting over the systray icons to be monochrome? I still many of the old full-colour icons there.

  13. @Dion Moult

    I have heard that systray does not get all icons as monochrome. Only applications what belongs to Plasma-Workspace gets them. Like Klipper, KMix, Knotify, NetworkManager, KWallet and PowerDevil. All normal application programs will maintain their colored icons, like Kopete, KTorrent, Konversation, KAlarm and so on. Reason for this is to separate the application programs from the workspace applications what are not like application programs (even that some might act like them, some gets the tweak later versions like KMix would have Plasma looked UI and not Oxygen styled).

    In KDE SC 4.5 the application programs what adds systray icon, they are moved to left and this way separated from workspace programs what are located to right side. The color is the thing what tells you what is the difference. And it actually works very well.

    Since KDE SC 4.5 I started to do that I removed all the application programs from having the systray icon (kopete, konversation, ktorrent etc) and they are kept only in task panel. If I close the window, it gives warning the application gets closed. This way I actually manage the windows more and the systray stays clean from the junk. The whole desktop environment feeling just went up very much because systray is not anymore somekind "dumping ground" and I need manage less all application programs. That sounds silly but It just happened.

  14. Another unrelated question: On the right side of the systray there is a screen symbol. Is it from KRandRTray or is that a new widget to manage screenresolution etc?

  15. Is it possible to add transparency (plus blur) to the "empty" areas in the window?

  16. Looks *really* nice, my only wish now is to polish the look of progress bars a little.

    I don't know how do You feel about them, but I couldn't help feeling about them as crude and unpolished every time I saw them.

    Maybe something like in Elementary theme or Mac OS X - moving diagonal lines? Seems to look much nicer to me than the current gradient.

  17. Really nice!! I'm really loving oxygen+air!

    The only thing which I don't like is that Amarok needs more padding (the songs and the artists' lists are too cluttered)

    (& prodigy ftw :) )

  18. You're kidding! You did not seriously kicked transparency+blur out of 4.5! Damn, I waited for that for ages now! We all saw some screenshots some weeks before where a system running blur effects was shown. You sure it will not make it into the final SC Release?

  19. @burkeone
    No, transparency + blurred was not kicked out of kde SC4.5
    The point is to have oxygen supports it, to have transparent applications (and decorations), while say, the "text" remains solid. A little bit like plasma.

    This is supported in QtCurve, and BeSpin. Never was in oxygen. I've been working on it over the week-end, and the result might look like this (without blur, cause my Graphics Card don't support it):

    But no, this will _not_ make it in kde4.5, because its a _new_ feature for oxygen (not for kwin).

  20. @Dion Moult
    "1) What's the dock-like plasmoid you are running at the bottom of the first screenshot?"

    It's my own. Qt-only. Works on windows too. Interfaced to plasma on kde. You can get it at:

    but the configuration 'learning curve' is quite steep.

    2) Where can I get that wallpaper, or does it come default?
    I got it elsewhere (can't remember where though, I think some link posted on IRC). Don't even know the name of the author, to give proper credit (shame on me). No it doesn't come with KDE.

    3) Is there no option for a circular clock?
    Same as 1/ the "plasmoids" on the top right of the screens are my own, and are not plasmoids :) but plasma interfaced regular windows, available at:

    4."On the right side of the systray there is a screen symbol. Is it from KRandRTray or is that a new widget to manage screenresolution etc?"
    That's still krandrtray. Just the icon has changed.

  21. Really nice. But it's seems that the kde "start" button does not fit in very well any more. Time for a new look?

  22. Very good . Looks professional .
    Will the icons(back and forward buttons) be this much larger?

  23. The colour scheme contribute much to the look of the theme. What about a competition to choose the colour schemes to be included in kde sc by default?; just like the wallpaper competition .

  24. @warnec: The progress bar looks very beautiful and professional , in my opinion . Its one of the best progress bar, I have ever seen

  25. I like it very much! :)

  26. cool, it seems that u like "mac style"
    take a look at my current desktop:

  27. Beautiful, great work !

    However, there are 2 areas that seem a bit odd to me in Oxygen : menus and dockable panels (like the "places" or "information" panels in Dolphin).

    The menus look thick which does not fit with the 'lightness' of the oxygen style.

    To me, the borders of dockable areas break the integration with the rest of the UI. I don't know how to explain it but I feel the separation panel / window could be more subtle.

    Anyway and as I said : great work !

  28. I tried kde 4.5 its awesome but i am back to kde 4.4 due to dolphin unstability.
    That has been fixed for kde 4.5.1 ,so waiting for next kde release.

  29. Looks great. Thanks for your work. I agree with Tifauv' that the borders of dockable areas don't look that nice. This is especially visible in amarok. Also, I would like the dolphin window in the "dolphin and amarok" screenshot to not have a border around the white content area.

    But still, this is great work. You say this is "not much innovation graphics wise", but in my opinion, your work is extremely important, even more important than any innovations. I would even go as far as to say that transparency isn't as important as polishing for 4.6.

    Again, great work, and thank you.

  30. @Chops and Thomas
    Concerning dock widget's frame in e.g. Amarok, it turns out I did try to remove them entirely at some point. (the idea being that 'locked' dock widgets could be frameless). It does not look so nice. Amarok looks kind of dull, and in fact, more messy since there are no distinction between the left 'media' list and the right 'now playing' list, when the context is hidden (which I do).

    Besides, the two lists do not align well (and they are not supposed to), which does not look good either.

    The devs (Leo Franchi notably), agreed with that.

    In fact I have the same feeling when using Amarok with any style that has frameless docks (e.g. bespin, or plastique), and like the oxygen way better.

    Now, naturally, I'm biased.

  31. @ Dion (and Hugo): that looks like the default wallpaper that comes with opensuse 11.3 actually ;)

  32. I like the borders of the dock widgets, but I do not like the buttons and topic on them. They take space and they make the widget look a such it does not belong there. So I would love to see a locking what would be linked to toolbar locking (if you have toolbars locked, you have widgets locked. if you unlock either, both unlocks) what hides topic and buttons but keeps the border around.

    But what I can not stand at all is the forced idea to have a statusbar in Dolphin and in Konqueror. I do not have important use for those. The file sizes I can find from information panel and to there the amount of selected files should be availalble as well. Konqueror should start showing the progress in the tab or addressbar (aka Safari way) and allow users to hide statusbar to get more space.

    Those are the things what visually implease me and my friends.

  33. @Hugo: You are probably right that it looks bad without borders, however I do think that it has to be improved. Probably a third solution has to be found. I know this is not an easy task, and I want to express one more time my appreciation for your work. Keep it up and make new dock widgets ;-).

  34. After playing a bit with Gimp, just removing the borders doesn't work. There is a need to distinguish between the main window and the panels.

    However, there must be another way to achieve that. Something smoother than the current borders. I have no real vision in mind though, it's just a feeling. Perhaps playing with background colors...

  35. @Fri13
    About locking dockwidgets, I think I agree.
    Actually its pretty much what amarok does (except that there is no toolbar locking, cause there is no toolbar).

    K3B also have dockwidgets locking (which unfortunately does not look so great with oxygen due to Qt limitations -namely: the top margin is not respected when the dock titlebar is hidden).

    Dolphin does not have this feature. Maybe one (you) should file them a 'wish' on bugzilla. I don't think its a big deal to implement and they might just have overlooked it.

    Concerning the statusbar, well yes. Its a matter of taste I guess. I don't mind much about them (especially since with last oxygen you can move windows around by clicking on them), but I can understand some people feel its a waste of space.

    It's an application issue though (not related to oxygen).

    Oh. Things I _really_ don't like, is when apps add frames (ugly squares) around the label they display in status bar. In e.g. KTorrent, or Juk.
    This I hate. Too much clutter for nothing.

  36. @Jason
    You're right. I figured it afterwards.
    Just grabbed it in some random discussions on IRC, and got more info later on by asking around.
    Funny to have a Mandriva distro and use the open-suse background :)

  37. Qt-only oxygen theme! Sounds awesome.