Linux Mint 9: look & feel

Themes:

The decision was taken not to change the theme or the icons in Linux Mint 9 Isadora, making it look similar to the previously released Linux Mint 7 Gloria and Linux Mint 8 Helena.

We looked into the making of a metallic looking theme, it was even mentioned publicly and I’m sorry to disappoint. Widgets had to use background pictures to achieve that effect and although it looked really nice on the desktop it was significantly impacting the performance of the system. We’ll still look into this and into ways of achieving this effect without making the system slower in the future, but it will not happen for Linux Mint 9.

Buttons layout:

The window buttons in the title bar will remain on the right. The “Desktop settings” tool (mintdesktop) was rewritten and, among other new features, now allows you to set the layout of these buttons. I’m personally curious as to why people would place their buttons that close to the window menu, but who knows, maybe Ubuntu’s bold move in that direction can actually seduce people and start a new trend? So if it does convince you and you feel like placing your buttons on the left side, whether it’s Mac or Ubuntu style, the tool will help you do that.

Desktop background:

The default background for Linux Mint 9 wasn’t chosen yet.

The following 4 backgrounds came from the community and look like good candidates:

- Zwopper’s: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=44898
- Black leather: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=36185
- Emotion: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=40198
- AirMint: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=27439

The Black leather background uses licensed artwork, so if it is chosen we’ll have to acquire the rights from its author (who doesn’t seem to be reachable at the moment).

To give ourselves more choice we also outsourced the task of creating a background for Linux Mint 9. A contest was started on 99designs.com and a few backgrounds were submitted already:

http://99designs.com/other-design-tasks/contests/desktop-background-linux-mint-42399

I also started a debate on the forums to make sure this contest wasn’t interpreted the wrong way by the artists in our community and to talk about the relations between outsourcing and community in general, if you’re interested in this debate, please visit the following link:

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=46243

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