Thursday, February 24, 2011

Geek kitch

Somebody else thinks SpaceFun is not amusing:
Did Debian have a contest to redesign its graphics and it wasn’t made public? Did a third grader win that contest? Oh, the hallowed Debian developers must have had a fashion faux pas moment when deciding on a new look because this one makes me think it was designed for children or by children. It’s a good thing that once you’ve installed the operating system, you can change that horrid desktop background to something less kitchy.
Upon booting the CD image, the first thing you notice is the look of the screen. At first glance, you might believe that you’ve selected the wrong ISO from which to boot and install. You haven’t. This is not the K-5th grade distribution. This is the actual distribution. The professional distribution that’s downloaded and installed by millions of anxious users, few of which are under the age of ten.
The other half point subtraction is for those elementary school graphics. And, no I can’t get over it–it cheapens the operating system and its goals to be a “universal operating system.” If universal appeal and acceptance are the goals, then they should have made it look more professional. I might use it but I just won’t tell anyone over the age of ten what it is.
Several of the comments accuse the reviewer of putting style over substance, rail against 'slick' graphics, even sing the virtues of childish artwork.

These are geeks. They have the aesthetic values of ten year olds, making it unlikely that the appreciation of the theme is based on an ironic understanding. A knowing wink that the theme is cool because it's corny, like a 60's science fiction film? I don't think so. More the knowledge that the theme will appeal to non-geeks about as much as Star Wars pyjamas.


  1. Let's be honest: it looks like sh!t. Have you seen the new SuSE default theme? I'd never run SuSE in preference to Debian, but I wouldn't be embarrassed to let anyone see what I was running if I was. Shocking stuff from Debian.

  2. I've tried the SUSE live CD a few times but it's never managed to load.
    SUSE is designed for enterprise use, isn't it, so they're hardly likely to use a theme which looks like it's pitched at a 12 year old computer geek.
    Debain is either installed on servers *by* computer geeks who see the geek kitch, or run by geeks who quite like the idea of pissing off non-geeky users with an infantile theme.