[Sugar-devel] Appearance Customization
C. Scott Ananian
cscott at laptop.org
Wed Nov 3 01:09:09 EDT 2010
On Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 1:02 AM, Gary Martin <garycmartin at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Here's a mockup image using a blurred drop shadow for the icons and a simple wood texture desktop, yes it looks rather pretty, but it would consume perhaps 10% of memory on an XO-1, redraws and switching views would likely be unpleasantly slow. My very quick back of an envelope calculation for a 1200x900 24 bit image (~26Mb) could be roughly equated to being able to run one less (lightweight) activity at a time (Sugar generally starts to lockup, force kill activities, and/or reboot in these cases).
For a limited-memory/power system, I don't think blurred drop shadows
and 1200x900 24 bit images are the most appropriate choice.
Think back to the ways you could customize an old Mac SE or Performa.
Your choice of 64x64 background tiles, in 256 colors, and free choice
of UI colors. No drop shadows -- it's your responsibility to pick a
background color which is light enough to have everything remain
legible. (Actual Macs really had simple 1-bit masked 'shadows', which
worked fine for the purpose.)
Phrasing the customization question as 'huge memory hogging
customizations or nothing' isn't a good way to advance the
customization. Rather, let's consider how radically we can allow
customization *without* imposing any (or minimal) performance penalty.
Certainly changing colors of the home screen can be done w/o any
penalty at all. Even displaying a 'C. Scott's XO!!!!1!' label at the
top of the home screen adds a lot of fun w/ neglible performance
penalty. Changing the shape of the XO man in the center can also be
done with minimal penalty -- how to do just that is already the
subject of one of Walter's "hacking the XO" tutorials; there's no
reason why a nice and friendly UI for changing the center man can't be
added (except for all the "clean design" issues I outlined in my
initial email). Let's add puppies! And soccer balls! And unicorns
( http://cscott.net/ )
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