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On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 5:03 PM, David Nelson <>wrote:

Hi, :-)

2011/1/18 Paulo José <>:
Hi everyone,

I'm the mock-ups creator. It's the firt time that I use a mail list like
that and english is not my own language, so I'm not sure if I'm doing it

First, thank you Animesh Meher for starting this threat.

I totally agree with Zaphod for a decent discussion on the LibO's UI. And
the Microsoft's mistake is a good guideline to help this process. It been
said, I would like to help you if it's possible. I'm not a professional
designer, but I'm a Computer Science student and art is part of my whole
live. I worked some years with Corel Draw and Photoshop and the last 5
with Blender, Inkscape (1.000.000x better than Corel) and Gimp.

I'm a big Blender Foundation fan and when they were working on a
new interface for Blender (my guess it was over 2008) many people has
of what would be it. The first releases was very simple and disgusting,
since it was a big change and "everything" should be relearned. There was
many noise on it for months. But finally, in 2009,the Blender Foundation
showed a polished interface, very very different from the original one.
Users become to apreciate it and to learn more about it. Today, the new
interface is the think I most apreciate in Blender: it's the top of
customization, it's beautiful, it's completely usable. But there's no
perfect UIs, so they keep changing it to get closer to what the users
And the users *really* discuss about it, i.e. in the BlenderArtists

I really hope to see this process of reconstruction happening to
LibreOffice. Since its a revival of the closed OpenOffice, I see a big
potential to become a highlight office suite on Linux desktops. But I see
the need of a important refresh on UI. Just like Blender did.

Well, I'm sure it's over me, but I'm here if you need of my efforts. I'm
capable to code satisfastorily in C, Java or Python yet, but I hope this
halfyear I'll become to learn how to do that. Right now I just know HTML,
CSS and basic programing.

Kudos for the LibO development team!
~Paulo José

This revives a subject that has already been discussed on TDF lists:
the "skinnability" of LibreOffice. AFAIK, with some little effort,
LibO is already pretty adaptable looks-wise. Perhaps a bit of a drive
would be necessary to move more of the adaptation capability down from
the "packager level" to the end user level? But a dev would be better
able to comment on that.

Personally, I really love what Paulo has produced, and - as an end
user - I'd love to see it on my desktop.

It would be rather interesting to see LibO available in a small
selection of "flavors" that offer the user some choice in the kind of
front end (s)he chooses for the suite. You could then watch a natural
shake-out take place...

I hope Paulo's creative work [1] is not allowed to subside back into
obscurity, and that it really gets taken up by the project...

2 cents. ;-)


David Nelson

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Well the VCL of OOo is a bit complex, and skinability is always a somewhat
controversial topic. I remember back in the OOo 1.x days there was a perl
script that will skin your OOo through images attached to the UI. This by no
means was a true skin but a hack. Later it came up the naturalization and was form to get it more natural UI to the KDE toolkit as
well as Novell's OOo did with Gnome to look more GTK.

OOo/LibO right now have two different ways to get skinability, one is the
easy iconsets which are a bunch of PNG zipped in a specific folder. With the
right convention you can easily customize your OOo. The hard part is the VCL
widgets, meaning the actual color and shade of the bars. OOo used to have
this under Options -> General -> Appearance  also on BASIC you could select
colors to specific buttons, but when executed the naturalization of the UI
takes over overwriting any specific assigned color. Which I think is a very
bad bug.

*Alexandro Colorado*
** Español

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