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What Really Happened To Ubuntu's Edgy Artwork? 297

Posted by kdawson
from the more-dapper-than-edgy dept.
angrykeyboarder writes, "Many Ubuntu users expressed surprise, dismay, and disappointment when Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) nixed the popular community-developed artwork during the beta phase of Ubuntu 6.10 ('The Edgy Eft'). Some Ubuntu community members were downright shocked, and many were ultimately dissatisfied with the final product. What exactly happened? Short answer: the Art Team was less disturbed than some other community members were. Linux.com has the scoop." Slashdot and Linux.com are both part of OSTG.
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What Really Happened To Ubuntu's Edgy Artwork?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @10:54PM (#16847806)
    Is anyone surprised?

    What a society - where killing untold thousands of people in far off lands is fine, but showing pictures of the human body is taboo.
  • ok, I'm pissed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @10:55PM (#16847816)
    this really pisses me off. Would it be so fucking hard to just fucking link to an example of "edgy art" Jesus. They have links that go to text, and links on the text pages go to more text. Hello? Don't waste my time with this. Just show me the art which is the subject of the article.
  • Re:I found some... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kernelpanicked (882802) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:07PM (#16847914)
    Of course Shuttleworth would hate the Blubuntu theme. My god, I mean, if that got out Ubuntu might actually look...good.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:10PM (#16847940)
    That stuff looks really amatuerish
  • Re:ok, I'm pissed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xenocide2 (231786) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:21PM (#16848032) Homepage
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Specs/EdgyArtworkP lan/Polish/Incoming

    Thats one link found buried in the wiki. I never really noticed much difference. In fact, as an Edgy tester, a ton of the proposed artwork never hit the repo at all. This is partly because, as a glimpse at that single step in the process ("Polish") will show you, there's a ton of ideas floating around. However, much of the art concepts were incorporated. I vaguely also recall a page somewhere that pretty much had the boot splash concept as a login screen, but I can't find it currently. It may be that the bootsplash had some longstanding problems and the art team wasn't responsible for it as there is a portion of programming involved there.

    Of course, if you don't like the theme as it stands, search your repos for things like "blubuntu" or "tropic". Maybe some day an ambitious junior college graphics design course will have "make a gdk theme" for a project instead of the silly fake things they do now (obviously this would be more online oriented than print oriented). Doesn't seem like we can do much worse, though there could problems regarding Adobe.
  • by daniel23 (605413) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:27PM (#16848082)

    sorry, this is a part of OSS culture I entirely fail to understand. Like, when there is a new version of distro X and some OS News sites have nothing better to report than a 15 pages of hires screenshots of the default desktop etc.

    You mean you install a new distro and then judge its worth by the look of the default theme? You don't change the theme first thing? You don't know how to install a custom theme if you don't like the preconfigured choices?

    But then again, my boxen run headless 98% of the time, so why should I care...
  • Ooohhh, Shiny... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tymbow (725036) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:30PM (#16848100)

    I don't know what direction was required for the art, but the samples have that "ooohhh shiny" web 2.0 feel to them so they just must be better :p

    Meeehhh, it will all change again anyway when everyone jumps on the Web 3.0 graphic design bandwagon or whatever the next hot trend will be.

  • by Doctor Crumb (737936) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:33PM (#16848134) Homepage
    Ubuntu is billed as "linux for human beings". In practice, this means "usable and welcoming to non-geeks"; those same non-geeks who purchase a new windows OS because it has a new default desktop background and shinier buttons. So, while you may not judge a distro by its art, there are plenty of people who *do*, and those are the people ubuntu is trying to reach.

  • by Shados (741919) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:33PM (#16848138)
    When I have this monitor in front of my face as much as 80 hours a week, I really DO care what my desktop looks like. While I'll change stuff like themes, etc, fonts and icons tend to me part of the "I have better things to do with my time" department, so if it doesn't look nice out of the box, and its not packaged with my theme somehow, it has to look semi-decent.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:38PM (#16848160)
    Some Ubuntu community members were downright shocked, and many were ultimately dissatisfied with the final product.

    Why should this happen? Why should "some community members" be shocked if Ubuntu is being developed as "an Open Source OS?" And I guess they were following Ubuntu's development pretty closely.

    I need this question answered: Is Mark Shuttleworth a benevolent dictator in Ubuntu's Development?

  • by kfg (145172) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @11:48PM (#16848222)
    Open Source implies that the source is open; it does not imply that nobody is in charge of a project.

    KFG
  • by dantheman82 (765429) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:05AM (#16848318) Homepage
    Chief artist head honcho summed it up: "We set out to start from scratch and to top Dapper, while Dapper was arguably very close to what Mark had in mind."

    Hmm...sort of reminds me of the Slashdot CSS Redesign Contest [slashdot.org]. Need the Slashdot "Shade of Green" and Coliseo font. Basically it has to be very similar to the old one, but better. Sometimes it fades into the background once the hubbub dies down...as people realize that visual continuity and product branding do count for something...
  • by mollymoo (202721) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:24AM (#16848396) Journal
    When I have this monitor in front of my face as much as 80 hours a week, I really DO care what my desktop looks like.

    I use my computer 80+ hours a week too. But mostly, I'm looking at what's in the windows, not what's around the edges of them.

  • by msimm (580077) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:55AM (#16848598) Homepage
    They are talking about [wordpress.com]. I'm not a big fan of brown or generally dark colors on my desktop.

    As for the complaining, I'm a bit perplexed:
    "A prominent factor in much of the submitted artwork -- which is still publicly available -- is the use of visual effects, yet even as the feature freeze approached, there were still unsolved technical problems, such as inconsistency between color palettes. After Shuttleworth announced the rollback, Stroep, Jonathan Austin, and Jozsef Mak reworked the Dapper art packages for consistency, and limited the effects enhancements to a gloss finish."
    That sounds like a legitimate enough problem. Unfinished artwork and effects can make a distro look amateurish.

    Besides, I thought the point of OSS is the flexibility that comes with it? Are these Ubuntu users going to be forced to use it.
  • by Eideewt (603267) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @12:58AM (#16848618)
    Why wouldn't someone want naked people on their desktop? When I consider all the stupid wallpapers I've seen (anime characters, eggs, tiny photos stretched out of proportion, and so on), naked people seems like a big step in the right direction.
  • by Ankur Dave (929048) <ankurdave+slashdot@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @01:07AM (#16848680) Homepage

    I am happy that they got rid of all the boot up messages on start-up, which was just distracting crud.

    I always found it annoying that Windows by default shows nothing but a little green/blue thingy scrolling around -- that doesn't even show boot progress.

    Before Edgy, Ubuntu has always showed nonverbose messages about which services it's starting, etc. I couldn't understand these messages when I first started using Linux (I started with Ubuntu Breezy) but after 6 months they were informative and useful to me -- it's always nice to know what service is taking a long time and things like that.

    That's why I was dismayed when Edgy replaced the old boot screen with one that mimics Windows's boot screen. It's only marginally more helpful by showing boot progress (not that that's very accurate).

    Now I have to resort to remove the "quiet splash" option in the Grub menu. The disadvantage to this is it's too verbose -- it shows all sort of output, causing messages to scroll by faster than I can read them.

    I never thought that it was overly confusing/distracting to have the messages...I wonder what percentage of Ubuntu users share your opinion.

  • by Grey Ninja (739021) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @01:09AM (#16848688) Homepage Journal
    How the hell did this crap get modded insightful?

    1) Shuttleworth is the CREATOR of Ubuntu. Head honcho. What he did was to roll back the artwork to a Dapper variant, CHANGING the DEFAULT theme that was to be in Edgy.

    2) Blubuntu is in the repositories. If you want to use it, then install it and use it. Like you said, Linux is about choice. But at least know what you are bitching about.
  • Re:I found some... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @03:22AM (#16849270)
    Found some... with some digging. Peace, Tropic and Blubuntu.

    WTF? Thanks for the links. When I heard that Ubuntu was not going to include some of the contributions from the community, I began to wonder what Ubuntu was really all about then anyway....until I read on and saw what the material in question is. There's a big flap about THAT!?!? Jiminy Christmas, so what???? I'll still probably continue to try new Ubuntu distros (and promptly dump them because they don't seem to like my hardware, ever) since the lack of some boring, mediocre wallpaper and minor eye candy won't phase me a bit.

    This may be news, I suppose, but it hardly matters.

  • Reread, please. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:14AM (#16849442)
    I don't believe anyone was talking about violent emulations, thought that's happened more than enough to prove you wrong. The above specifically addresses desensitization and emotional conditioning. I find it quite disturbing that seeing someone brutally murdered has become so commonplace as to produce little to no emotional response, particularly among the young. Any number of studies back this up.

    To extend your (flawed) scenario: Are you seriously suggesting that you have no problem with little Johnny being incrementally conditioned to view killing as less a horror and more of an entertaining thrill, simply because he lacks the immediate means to re-enact a particular act out of tens of thousands viewed in his short life? There is not (nor have any peer-reviewed studies suggested) a long-term one-to-one correspondence between specific imagery and perpetrated criminally violent activities with any regularity (though isolated copy-cats have certainly been documented.) It's a cumulative effect that leads a subject to an emotional state that can quite casually entertain the thought of violence.

    What this gets at in lay terms is that after decades of exposure to realistic violent imagery, a person is orders of magnitude more likely to be psychologically capable of perpetrating a violent act on another human being. This is mainstream modern psychology, here, not my personal opinion. See Grossman, Davis, Rothesburg etc etc etc. (Or read up on the psychology of advertising, which uses similar techniques and they actually WANT you to emulate what they are showing (i.e. use of their product or service)! The proof is in the pudding. Beyond the psychology, why do ad firms make billions a year if they can't influence your behavior? Yet when was the last time you lapsed into a zombie state after seeing a single ad and did exactly what they told you? The effect is cumulative, and very very real.)

    The best examples of this are the training methods and technologies employed by modern military forces (specifically during and subsequent to Viet-Nam.) Non-firing rates of soldiers (percentages of soldiers not aiming at or firing on a human enemy with intent to kill - i.e. not shooting or intentionally missing) during large scale military engagements around the world since the US's Revolutionary War historically were between 50-95%. Killing another human is simply contrary to most people's innate behavior patterns. Most people just can't do it naturally. Starting in the 1960s, training techniques began to include use of film to illustrate techniques used in actual combat footage, using human silhouettes as targets instead of bullseyes, snipers schools using mannequins filled with cabbage and ketchup so the student isn't shocked in the field after a shot (the most vulnerable time for a sniper), and on and on. Non-firing rates have dropped DRAMATICALLY - down to 5-10% in some studies. The last 15 years has seen much of the virtual reality and computer driven training technology used in "kill houses" and mock urban-warfare environments applied directly to video games and special effect technology in films.

    I have personally been through the "House of Horrors" at Bragg (about 5 years ago) and can tell you that there are a number of FPSs that get eerily close to that experience. Scan, shoot, move, "pie" around the corner, watch out for "death funnels" - even a ten year old understand the basics of clearing a room and target discrimination - and has been told its just a game! No reason to feel bad! No, feeling bad comes later when you must deal with the emotional fallout of what you've done without conscious thought because of conditioning. To wit, the catastrophic rise in psychological problems among vets returning from Vietnam, Panama, Iraq 1, Iraq 2 when compared to WWII and Korea. Coincidence? Not a chance, according to the military's own psychologists and academicians who have studied this for decades.

    Sorry to ambush you here and go off, but I am a combat vet with a bachelors in psycholo
  • Re:I found some... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:15AM (#16849452)
    Yes I'm breaking the rules to reply to my own comment. Why was I modded flamebait? I'm a friggin ubuntu user (Xubuntu actually). I think I would know as well as anyone that Ubuntu, by default, may work beautifully but it looks like absolute shit.

    Welcome to Slashdot. I've been a loyal Apple user since the days of the IIe, but if I say anything negative about Apple, odds are good I'll get modded into oblivion. Likewise, I despise Microsoft, but if I suggest that perhaps they are not always pure evil, I better watch my ass. Go against groupthink and fanboys at your peril.

  • by c6gunner (950153) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:22AM (#16849462)
    You know, Hannibal Lecter had a very "agile and developed" mind, and I'm pretty sure he defended his dietary habits in much the same fashion.

    Those who differ from the norm always consider themselves superior rather than inferior.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @04:59AM (#16849626)
    EXACTLY! If society tells you sex is dirty and wrong and should be hidden, is it really any surprise it becomes such? Thanks for providing a PERFECT argument against your own.

    More talk of sex, I say! Fewer young people learning about it through rumor, innuendo, porno mags passed around, and spam email that lead them to believe every woman is a "slut in heat" and that "every man has a horse cock." Treat and address sex in a healthy manner, shown in a contextually appropriate setting where potential consequences are considered and you may not have children having babies because they are driven by their hormones with no information.

    Put it this way, if the only people you ever see having sex are in a plastic, promiscuous, consequence free world with crappy disco music, what examples do you have of healthy sex life between monogamous, loving adults that RESPECT each other. If all our other behavior patterns are learned by observation and emulation of parents and other role-models, why is sex the single exception? People have no idea of what role sex should play in their lives in the real world and are left with only basic hormonal urges and porno movies for guidance. That makes no sense to me. I mean, that kind of plan worked so well with prohibition and all....
  • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @05:29AM (#16849774)
    state-organized executions in North Korea

    Not saying that's a wonderful place to live, but shouldn't we focus on state-organized executions in Texas first?
  • Re:ok, I'm pissed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aqua OS X (458522) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @05:37AM (#16849802)
    "Maybe some day an ambitious junior college graphics design course will have "make a gdk theme" for a project instead of the silly fake things they do now (obviously this would be more online oriented than print oriented)."

    Aiming high huh? Let's get some Junior College kids to skin an OS in a semester.

    IHMO this is one of the major hurdle's facing Linux adoption outside of the IT arena. Very few people in the software development industry fully understand visual communication, interactive design, and or the design process. Interactive design is viewed as some sort of BS skinning process that can be pumped out by some peons in a few months.

    Interactive design for an OS should be conducted by a team of professional interactive designers. They should understand visual communication, cognitive psychology, quantitative / qualitative usability research, and at least a CS101 understanding of what a conditional statement, class, etc is. These people should be given 6 months to a year (if not longer) to do their work. They should be paid a salary which doesn't force them to live in their parent's basements. Furthermore, they should work with software engineering to build an interactive design specification that is adhered to religiously and implemented as closely as humanly possible.

    Themes are retarded. They almost always result in something spec'd by software engineers and turd-polished by a lame underpaid or inexperienced graphic designer.
  • by Zonk (troll) (1026140) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:19AM (#16850408)
    Nobody wants a picture of a bunch of nudists on their desktop.


    Hmm, I watch Naked News every afternoon. On my desktop I have a picture of Jessica Alba laying on a bed naked. My wallpaper usually alternates between a random naked girl and any good Jessica Alba [sexydesktop.co.uk] wallpaper I can find.

    And in what society is killing people fine?


    Just about any if they're different from the mainstream. Ie, not white and "Christian" [kuro5hin.org]*.

    * Read the link to see why I put Christian in quotes. Here's a quote:

    How did the Amish react to this atrocity?

    That evening they gathered together and organised a horse and buggy to visit the family of Charles Carl Roberts with food and sympathy. They invited the killer's widow to the family funerals. They bought a lock for their schoolroom door. Now they aim to establish two funds, one for the families of the dead girls, one to provide for the killers family.

    Out of a horrific incident, the Amish showed what faith in God really was, turning even that horror into a demonstration of the highest principles of their faith.

  • by JPriest (547211) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:32AM (#16851680) Homepage
    Thank you slashdot for an article summary that decided for me that Ubuntu was wrong not to accept the artwork. Nevermind that it was canned becasue they were not pleased with the look of the artwork.


    The sad thing is that most people who read this will now side with the tone set in the summary (that Shuttlesworth is wrong and/or a bad person).

    Sometimes I think the folks who edit slashdot get a story and roll the dice to see if they are going to give it a positive or negitave slant, and then monitor their success rate of getting the larger part of the community to agree with them.

    I guess Ubuntu's success upset ./ so it is time we turn on them too in keeping with our underdog mentality, but last I checked OSTG no garage based effort either. Maybe it is time for ./ to turn on itself?

  • by gosand (234100) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:38AM (#16852602)
    The reason is quite simple. It takes more money to raise a child than to bury a person.


    And it is even cheaper to educate people about sex in the first place.

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