Sunday, February 13, 2011

A theme is for life, not just for Christmas!

I'd been using the beta version of Debian Squeeze for some time before the final release last weekend. The new theme (Spacefun) arrived before Christmas last year. It's sparkly spaceship trail was very Christmassy. But over the coming weeks, the new theme began to offend, as welcome as the carcass of the Christmas Turkey when it hangs around too long.
Somebody on the Debian forum said it looks like something a ten year old might have on his bedroom wall, which sums it up exactly.
Opinion I've come across is divided, with some liking the new theme and some hating it.
Put me in the second camp, obviously. The theme is juvenile, nerdy, and in stark contrast to themes used by Mandriva, Fedora and of course Ubuntu, which try to be aesthetically pleasing and professional.
Spacefun seems to appeal to those Debian users who are nerdy and dismissive of attractive themes and even GUI's in general. These users are probably happy if new users are put off using Debian by the childish theme- they prefer it anyway as a more elite operating system, used only by the nerdiest of nerds.
Now there a lot of Debian users like that- the level of emotional intelligence among many contributors to the Debian forum is strikingly low.
But Debian is a very usable operating system, and there's no reason it shouldn't look professional and attract new users. Standby for a series of posts on how to make it so- first of all of course, bye bye Spacefun!

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