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Linux Magazine: Getting Artsy and Crafty with GUIs

Sep 23, 2000, 22:15 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jason Perlow)


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

"One of the few ways we are allowed to manifest our personalities and our sense of taste (or lack thereof) with computers is by decorating our desktops. In the Microsoft world, there is only one GUI environment, which you can decorate and modify via plug-in themes and color schemes. Those migrating to Linux will soon realize that, unlike Windows, Linux has two different GUI environments that you can customize to your heart's delight. Those are GNOME and KDE. And, as Martha Stewart says, it's a Good Thing.'

"This is where things get a lot more complicated and somewhat overwhelming for the end user. Not only does Linux have two distinct GUI environments from which to choose (and customize), but it also has at least a dozen window managers that sit on top of those environments, and each has its own unique themes. It's enough to make decorating your desktop space a Major Project."

"Configuring your GNOME desktop can be a bit complicated. If you really want to have a nice color-coordinated desktop scheme that has classical styling, that doesn't clash with your chinaware, and is in vogue with seasonal trends, it's going to take a bit of work. You will need to take both GNOME's color/font schemes and its textures into consideration, in addition to the color/widget schemes and textures of the window manager that is running on top of GNOME."

"In KDE, things are a bit easier, as KDE has its own integrated window manager. You can also use Enlightenment as a window manager for KDE, but unless you really want to make your life complicated, you probably want to avoid doing that. Generally speaking, themes are compressed into gziped tar archives of graphics files and widgets. Sometimes your environment or window manager can read these directly, but occasionally you may have to untar/unzip them to specific directories of your filesystem before you can use them."

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