|Sadly the fever wasn't just saturday but at least I stayed alive.|
I recently had a touch of the flu. Actually I had a massive punch in the face of the flu resulting in fever, chills, cramps of various assortments and headaches. Four four or five days I wasn't able to raise a finger in the direction of work which kinda scared me.
It shouldn't have - I saw a thread go on without me, design work being done without me and designers trooping on without me. Now part of me is of course upset because we all like to feel as if the world would crumble without us - but a massive bit of me is happy as nothing else.
The idea with the VDG, with the Community Design of KDE, is not to implement MY ideas on Plasma Next, it's not even only about great design for Plasma Next - it is to create a workflow fitting community design in KDE now and in the future that isn't hinging on any one individuals permanent presence. Something lasting and relevant.
What's needed is to hammer this out - to make it even sleeker. Create a situation where one of us can just disappear for weeks without an issue. So obviously we are getting there bit by bit. Plenty of work to be done - but the ship has started to move in the right direction.
Talking of "Bit by Bit" I can only assume that you've read Sebas blog post on the subject of the coming release of Plasma and the pace we're doing this in? Slowly and bit-by-bit. Now KDE projects have done this before and it was decided early on that this was the method preferred which both suits us in the VDG as much as it raises and issue.
Bit-by-bit is great for the user, the developers and the designers. Everyone have time to try the new thing, nothing comes as a massive shock and with a little back-and-forth changes can be made, issues tried out and we can actually both play around a little and have to time get it right and solid.
It's not so good for marketing though. Everyone loves a big splash. So trying to keep the changes visible for everyone through the press will be a challenge. But, its worth it in the long run.
Finally - Icons. Now we've talked about colors and theme's earlier and so far the idea of it is to create something futuristic, yet human. Science-fiction but hopeful. We've seen moodboards and color charts trying to tie into that theme and mood - exploring it and giving it form, drip by drip. Now we're going to bypass the third stage completely and go for icons delving deeper into shapes and forms in the next Monday report but as a short description - we want flat sharp angles mixed and weighed with rounded corners, "chunky"shapes and solid comforting fields of color.
Icon theme's are a huge undertaking - thousands and thousands of tiny images that has to be made well weighed up, they have to be visible in several sizes and they need to all stick to a visual goal. They will NOT be done in time for the first freeze in March, that can be said with absolute certainty and they will too be released bit-by-bit with large sections of the current icon theme replaced one by one.
Acidrum is right now sitting working on them a job that will probably continue well into the end of this year - but the hope is that we can this summer start replacing the first larger chunks of icon theme with the new one.
Below are some initial sketches for the work being done. Light colors using the color scheme and a square shape are the obvious first things you might notice. The square shape was a large debate in the group but it won out in the end due to the ease with which it could be aligned properly in comparison with individual silhouettes.
At the same time Fabian is working on system tray icons to fit the theme. Here the idea was again, roundness but more light weight to balance up the solid blocks of the main icon theme - at the same time we wanted them LESS natural using symbols instead of pure images of the objects they represented.
One thing that should be mentioned - the icon theme is monochromatic but will adjust its color to that of the color theme making it shift and blend better with whatever color scheme you prefer.
Ideas are in the making of using the base color - Plasma Blue in the MAIN icon theme as a shifting color creating an icon theme that followed your color choices closely and changed itself to fit.
Next week we will talk about shapes and themes and also touch on the subject of marketing.