Shell Yes! — 1st Issue

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 9:42 - GNOME

Some would have named it OMG! GNOME SHELL! but Jon gave an excellent "Shell Yes!" talk at GUADEC (the videos, they are coming!), and that title is really nice so I decided to reuse it.

Many things are happening in and around the shell, but rare are those with the time to follow whatever happens in the git repositories, wiki pages, mailing list, or IRC channel. So here I am, I don't promise something very regular, this won't be the "weekly shell news", but whenever I get a stack of news, I'll try to post…

An initial design proposal for the date panel has been posted to the wiki : current time is always visible on the top bar, but expanding this panel gives additional information on world time and appointments.


The calendar widget shows days with appointments in bold and slightly lighter type. Current day is prelit with the same glow background as active items in the top bar. Selecting a day replaces the agenda on the right with one specific to that day. The panel uses a two column layout with a dotted line separator to avoid menu entries to span across very wide space.

Sean Wilson has been playing with CSS, creating a few alternative themes, even if themability is not a goal at the moment, this shows how well the technologies are suited to graphic experiments. It has been proposed to Sean to look into application startup animation, hopefully he will come with something really nice.

Codewise it has been a complicated ride since GTK+ 3 removed many GDK drawing functions, that were used by librsvg, Mutter and others, but things are getting in shape again, and we should be back to the normal situation where building and testing the Shell is easy.

This also delayed the new design, presented at GUADEC, as Florian put that branch to rest during the breakage, he is now getting back to it, with platform stability coming back we will sure get it soon.

The mockup looks sharp than ever! I love the flip clock. I am curious about the schedule in the calendar, would it be based on Evolution? Can other Calendar client get hooked in too?

Comment by Jones Lee on August 25, 2010 10:14

At first I guess it would be based on evolution-data-server, just like the current gnome-panel clock applet; as this provides a nice integration with local and remote calendars.

But we are just at design stage, and I am not the one who will do the coding, so I can't foretell the details.

Comment by Frédéric Péters on August 25, 2010 10:19

The calendar looks really nice.

I think the timezone/places should use a more neutral style. The current look will grow out of style very quickly and it is much harder to read (I prefer "current" gnome panel calendar).

Also, don't forget week numbers(!) :-)

Comment by ulrik on August 25, 2010 10:28

Now, if only that did weather as well, it'd be perfect! :D

Comment by Dante Ashton on August 25, 2010 12:01

I am not a fan of bringing old analog world reminiscences into a computer user interface. It's like painting timber framing on a concrete building. Form should follow function.

Comment by vinhoverde on August 25, 2010 13:03

Thanks for taking care of making gnome-shell reports!

Comment by Johannes on August 25, 2010 13:36

I agree with vinhoverde: old analog world reminiscences into a computer user interface aren't so good. And too much flip clocks clutter the interface.

Comment by Matteo on August 25, 2010 13:42

The flip-clock is nice, but I find it a bit "heavy" in terms of readability. The horizontal line should be lighter, and also the difference in background between the top and bottom part of the digits should be softer. Also the horizontal spacing of the digits could be compressed a bit, overall it looks too wide.

Comment by mmc on August 25, 2010 14:24

I agree with the week number comment. It is frequently used in large parts of Europe.

Comment by Claes on August 25, 2010 18:48

You need Dave Crossland's Cantarell -- And update your inkscape to 0.48, 0.47 would sometimes prefer to use a bold weight instead of normal for some reason ;)

This is the intended rendering of the mockup --

Comment by Jakub Steiner on August 25, 2010 20:19

Thanks Jakub, I updated this entry with that rendering.

Comment by Frédéric Péters on August 25, 2010 20:24

Yes! It looks really nice. Exciting!

Comment by Juanjo on August 25, 2010 20:45

I'd repeat what others have said about the flip-clock - looks a bit gimmicky. Older versions of KDE had a similar gimmick that bugged me the same way, the clock being rendered like an LCD or LED segment display, like a bedside alarm clock.

Comment by Simon on August 26, 2010 0:06

Crisp and shiny... nice.... i hope it stays this clean (the interface i mean)

Comment by AK on August 26, 2010 1:43

Flip clocks were designed like they were out of pure physical necessity. However, on a computer there is no reason to make digits less readable than they could be. At the time flip clocks were invented they did not try to mimick hour glasses or wall clocks either. A new medium entails a new design. After all I don't see coil binding on the calendar widget either.

Comment by vinhoverde on August 26, 2010 4:41

As many have already stated, those flip clocks look quite odd. And I too have to request the inclusion of week numbers.

Comment by corec on August 26, 2010 9:24

The mockup is nice, but the items are too close to one another and the resulting feeling is that of a cluttered interface.

Any reason why “Change Locations” should have its own entry, instead of being configurable under “Date and Time Settings”? Seems a little redundant to me.

Please make it possible to toggle the right column – not everybody is using Evolution, and for that people an empty column would be just an ugly waste of space.

I agree with what others have been saying about the flip clocks. Just keep it simple and readable.

Comment by Andrea Bolognani on August 26, 2010 12:13

Haven't been using gnome shell in my day to day yet, however gosh doesn't that ever look pretty! nice work.

Comment by James on August 30, 2010 18:26

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