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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Suggestions
Puppy 4.2 - Desktop and Artwork
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 6575
Location: Valåmoen, Norway

PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct 2008, 14:52    Post subject:  Puppy 4.2 - Desktop and Artwork  

Hello Puppians

I have lately looked at the desktop of Puppy. In my (very personal) eyes, it's easy to see possible improvements. Together with my friend Raymond Levang (who also helped us with Pmusic), I have made a suggestion for organizing and artwork on the Puppy desktop. If this sounds interesting for Puppy 4.2, I'm willing to continue the work. Else it will just end up here on my desktop, which was the internal goal.

My complete Puppy theme is called 'DeepThought', and are based on my already existing stardust gtk-theme and icons. The icons has become orange, as a contrast to the clear (cold) graphics in Puppy 4.0 and 4.1.

First impression is important. There should be something to look at, but not screaming to you. I want the clean destop to give you a relaxed mood. Also, this gives the chance to add more 'bling' to the more important areas. These areas will differ, depending on what you click on. On the default screen, the icons (top left) are given most intensity. The menu-button has become orange, since it definitive is very important. Whatever that should get users attention is given more energy than the smooth grayish background, widgets and pup_event icons. Menu and utility-bar is only seen when it's active, so it will not disturb the whole if these are colored with a 'screaming' pencil. They are important when seen, and should easy get focus on screen. Else, you're back to the calm relaxing desktop.

There are 5 categories I have looked at. All choices are made with size/bloat in mind.

1. GTK
I have reworked the Stardust theme. Now a bit darker with spots of orange.
It has got some more bloat, and will add another 20kb your system.
DeepThought_gtk-0.2.pet (21kb)

I have also made an upgrade of the existing Stardust gtk theme.
Stardust-2008-10-09.pet (11kb)

2. JWM
There is a new jwm-theme that follows my global thought. - Calm Black/gray of what's on the desktop, and orange on autohide objects like the Menu and utility bar. The utlity bar is on top of screen, and are meant for utilities you often use. For me that is Rxvt, Pfind, Pprocess, Pwireless, cups ...

- The 'show desktop' button we are used to on the tray, are here moved to the utility bar. This is good for the baby-laptops which has limited screen. And it all looks cleaner.
- The clock has got a facelift with new color, new font (digital charge), and shows 24 hour format. The font is not included in these jwm packages, but as a part of Pwidgets.
- I have made bigger orange corners for resizing windows.

Jwm has limitations when it comes to theming, so instead of complaining about missing options, I have tried to build a theme that feels ok with a rather minimalistic look.
- Just gray/black window decoration
- The menu is flat, so flat icons cooperate well.

It is all seperated in 2 different packages:
First the ordinary jwm-theme. This will install like all the other jwm-themes. You'll set it in the 'JWM configuration'. This is the graphical artwork.
DeepThought_jwm-0.1.pet (1kb)

The next packages defines how the desktop is organized. This includes 4 trays, 2 new programs for editing items on desktop and in utility tray, a new menu button , improved menu formating, a hacked 'Desktop icon switcher, and some tray icons.
Be aware - This could be risky! It's like a snake in your system, and NOT widely tested. If you intend to install this, you should read the notes in the end of this post about 'Menu format', 'Removed trayapps' and 'Programs to desktop'.
Requires the icon package.
After installation:
- Run 'fixmenus' in terminal.
- Restart X to update new rox settings.
DeepThought_jwm_tray-0.4.pet (16kb)

Here's a lot new. I have removed most icons on the desktop. In my mind, it is more logical to show icons meant for newbies in the Welcome screen. I'm thinking of Setup, Help and Install... Utilities like Rxvt, Edit and Xlock should be placed in utility bar. Like this they are always reachable, even if desktop is filled with windows. The connect button is somewhat special in Puppy. This is an important icon, but I think it should be doable to integrate it with the www icon. - If no connection is established, then start the connect wizard.

The DeepThought icon-theme have now 3 categories:
- 48x48 - Gray / Orange / Black for programs on desktop, and for the utility tray.
- 48x48 pupevent - gray (dimmed) icons for mounting
- 24x24 menu - simple flat orange
DeepThought_icons-0.2.pet (225kb)

The pup_event icons are dimmed when not mounted. A nice effect that also calm down the overall impression of the desktop. The green/yellow dot is kept for its compatibility with mounted folders in rox .

I have increased the number of 48x48 icons by a few more. This to ensure that all installed programs in Puppy has a proper icon that fits on the desktop. The complete set of icons are showed here.

An interesting alternative icon-theme is jebaJQ8s great looking mini-theme. This is only 27kb. I have repacked to fit my new icon-theme standard. It means it will work together with the icon2desk script (drag icons/programs to desktop).
JQ8flat-lite-0.2.pet (27kb)

Here's a Puppy wallpaper pack. Orange, Blue, green and gray.
1.) DeepThought.png
2.) Stardust.png
3.) Aurora.png
4.) Rastapax.png

You might think that: "Ok, this looks ordinary", and you're quite right Smile
The only difference is that these wallpapers are only 12 kb, - all 4 together. Very Happy

- The rastapax image fits good on systems that runs with 16 bits colordepth.
- Using this pack instead of the Puppy wallpapers in 4.12, will save the iso for about 250 kb.
- It seems to be popular with dark backgrounds these days. The DeepThought wallpaper is made light, to fit better on older/cheaper screens (like mine). But it is still warm, to fit the rest of the theme and our global thought of how a Puppy desktop should look and function.

DeepThought_wallpaper-0.2.pet (12kb)

I have started the work on Pwidgets. It is now a working widget manager app where user very easy can choose if he/she wants widgets, and which widgets he/she wants. It is not that easy to turn off the background processes for trayapps like freememapplet, xload and asapm. With Pwidgets, it is.
At the moment there are 9 different widgets available.
Putting Pwidgets into Puppy will need:
- Pwidgets (52 kb) (including xonclock)
- conky + dependencies (300 kb).
see Pwidgets for download and more info


I have made it easier to add programs/icons to desktop. The function is activated by the autohided left tray 'Add icon'. This is included in the jwm-tray package.

The utility tray has its own editor, so it's rather simple to add and remove items in YOUR tray. Tray icons are the same as the desktop icons (scaled), and will not include any new bloat to your Puppy. The utility tray both clean the desktop and gives quick links to most wanted programs and features (like 'Power OFF'). Tray and editor are included in the jwm-tray package.

J-Bob and Me has hacked the 'Desktop icon switcher'.
- The startbutton is now a part of the icon-theme.
- The icon themes may contain symlinks.
- It cooperates with Pwidgets.

The hacked script is a part of the jwm_tray package.

I have hacked the fixmenus script.

1.) The menu has got some space between icon and text.
2.) I have split name and description for menu items with a - . The script asume that the first word is the program, and the rest is the description. What I have seen, nearly all packages is described like this. The only exceptions seems to be Barry own scripts, which often have no name, - only description. (ie 'set date and time'). The hacked fixmenus script treat these unique. This means that the split function will do a bad job with a new package without 'name (and) description'. This is somewhat funny Smile , since Barry himself made the pet-scripts with the questions:
'Type application name:'
'Type the VERY SHORT description:'
3.) The script builds symlinks of all apps in the menu. These are used by the new functions to drag icon/program to desktop and the utility tray editor.

The script is added to the jwm-tray package.

#v2.14 Puppy now has XDG menus.
#this script builds the menus from template files.
#Any templates can be placed into /etc/xdg/templates, and the file must be
#named to show its final destination. For example, the template for JWM:
# _root_.jwmrc
#...the '_' will be converted to a '/', so the generated JWM config file is:
# /root/.jwmrc
# 5jan2008: fbpanel,lxpanel support developed by plinej.
# 1nov2008: zigbert
#   - improved formating of menu
#   - hardlinks of all menu-apps in $HOME/my-applications/bin/

#split name and description and
#symlink all menu-apps in $HOME/my-applications/bin/
APPS="`ls -1 /usr/share/applications | tr '\n' ' '`"
for I in $APPS
 sed -i -e "s/ - / /g" $APP #remove old split
 TMP="`cat $APP | grep -m 1 ^Exec= | cut -d ' ' -f 1 | cut -d '=' -f 2`"
 EXEC=`which $TMP`
 TMP=`readlink $EXEC`; if [ "$TMP" ]; then EXEC=`which $TMP`; fi #if symlink
 TMP=`echo $EXEC | grep AppRun`; if [ "$TMP" ]; then TMP2=`dirname "$TMP"`; EXEC=`which $TMP2`; fi
 echo $EXEC
 ln -f $EXEC $HOME/my-applications/bin/

 #Split: avoid split in the following menu entries:
 [ "`grep 'Categories=X-SetupWizard' $APP`" ] && continue #all setup wizards
 [ "`grep 'Name=Puppy ' $APP`" ] && continue #entries starting with 'Puppy'
 [ "`grep 'Name=Add ' $APP`" ] && continue #entries starting with 'Add'
 [ "`grep 'Name=Set ' $APP`" ] && continue #entries starting with 'Set'
 [ "`grep 'Name=Configure Xlock screen locking' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=Desktop drive icons manager' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=Desktop icon switcher' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=Format floppy disk' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=JWM configuration' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=Remaster Puppy live-CD' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=Wizard Wizard' $APP`" ] && continue
 [ "`grep 'Name=Xautoconnect to wireless network' $APP`" ] && continue
 NAME="`cat $APP | grep -m 1 ^Name= | cut -d ' ' -f 1 | cut -d '=' -f 2`"
 sed -i -e "s/^Name=$NAME /Name=$NAME \- /" $APP

#Puppy 2.14: XDG menu
TEMPLATES="`ls -1 /etc/xdg/templates | tr '\n' ' '`"

 [ "$ONETPL" = "README.txt" ] && continue
 ONEDEST="`echo -n "$ONETPL" | sed -e 's/_/\//g'`"
 echo "Generating $ONEDEST..."
 [ -f $ONEDEST ] && mv -f $ONEDEST ${ONEDEST}-previous

 cat $ONESRC |
 while read ONELINE
  EXECMENU="`echo -n "$ONELINE" | grep -o 'PUPPYMENU.*' | cut -f 2-5 -d ' '`"
  if [ "$EXECMENU" = "" ];then
   echo "$ONELINE" >> $ONEDEST


#5jan2008: support for fbpanel, lxpanel...
[ -f /usr/bin/fbpanel_menu_refresh ] && fbpanel_menu_refresh
[ -f /usr/bin/lxpanel_menu_refresh ] && lxpanel_menu_refresh

#1nov2008: add space(s) beetween icon and text
sed -i -e 's/label="/label="  /g' ${ONEDEST}


The Battery widget checks whether battery power is below 10%, and gives then a red warning on top of screen.
The widget itself changes color from green to red when power goes below 20%.
see Pwidgets for download and more info

The trayapps freememapplet (9kb) and xload (6kb) has been replaced by widgets. The battery app - asapm (13kb), could also be replaced if wanted.

The trayapps are removed from the new /root/.jwmrc-tray. I have also killed the trayapps in my /root/.xinitrc. Else they will load, and freememapplet will show up in a normal window. Here is the bottom of my /root/.xinitrc:

killall -9 freememapplet
killall -9 xload

#v2.11 GuestToo suggested this improvement...
[ -x $CURRENTWM ] && exec $CURRENTWM
exec jwm


When updating jwm after changing jwm-theme, the script /usr/local/jwmconfig2/theme_switcher generates a new line for xload in /root/.jwm-tray. If xload isn't there, .jwm-tray are totally blanked out. I have here unmarked the xload code in /usr/local/jwmconfig2/icon_switcher (the following code starts at line 78 )

My hacked script is in the jwm-tray package to avoid conflicts.

 GetLineIndex "blinkydelayed"
 echo $linenumber

# GetLineIndex "xload -nolabel"
# linenumber2=$?
# echo $linenumber2

 lineNumber=`expr $linenumber`
# lineNumber2=`expr $linenumber2`

 blinkyline="         blinkydelayed -bg \"$BackgroundColor\""
# xloadline="         xload -nolabel -fg red -hl white -bg \"$IndentedBackgroundColor\""

# sed -e "$lineNumber"i"$blinkyline" -e "$lineNumber"d -e "$lineNumber2"i"$xloadline" -e "$lineNumber2"d $TrayFileBak > $TrayFile
 sed -e "$lineNumber"i"$blinkyline" -e "$lineNumber"d $TrayFileBak > $TrayFile
 #end John Doe's code.

Puppy 4.1 contains the default Pmusic-theme (22kb). I think this could be skipped with the new gtk-theme.
It looks really good as is.

I have made a tiny script that converts all 'orange' splashes to smoother color.
I have always been reminded of Puppys undesigned look when meeting those barbarian oranges.
#Change the color of orange gxmessages and yaf-splash
#WARNING! This script changes ALL instances of the of the word 'orange' in all files in /usr/sbin/

ls -1 /usr/sbin > /tmp/splash-color
while read I in; do
   sed -i -e 's/ "orange" / "peru" /g' /usr/sbin/$I #gxmessage
   sed -i -e 's/ orange / peru /g' /usr/sbin/$I #yaf-splash
done < /tmp/splash-color

#unique apps
echo -e "\c" > /tmp/splash-color
echo /usr/bin/xsaneshell >> /tmp/splash-color
while read I in; do
   sed -i -e 's/ "orange" / "peru" /g' $I #gxmessage
done < /tmp/splash-color

ttuuxxx has help us with a improved theme for Seamonkey.
This is available and are 14 kb. But since it replaces default icons, it will not give much bloat when used as default in Puppy 4.2.

A very tiny grub splash (6kb) is maybe a bit off the road, but nice for those who wants to dive a little bit deeper.
I have added to my /boot/grub/menu.lst:
forground 555555
background 000000
The splash itself is splash.xpm.gz. For more info about making a more beautiful grub, take a look at this wizard.

And if you also want a matching terminal, you can run it with the command:
rxvt -fg peru -bg gray20

Ok, this is my draft for the 'new' Puppy. I have been tweaking on this for a while, and will continue to ... But I felt I had enough to share some thoughts.

Sigmund Berglund

Stardust resources

Last edited by zigbert on Sat 10 Jan 2009, 10:12; edited 58 times in total
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Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 167
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns

PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct 2008, 15:04    Post subject:  

now that theme looks sweet!

nice job Zigbert
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Official Crustacean

Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 15244
Location: Paradox Realm

PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct 2008, 19:55    Post subject:  

Raymond Levang has made this beautiful wallpaper

Works for me Smile
Keep on tweaking Zigbert Smile

I would ask Raymonds advice on the colour scheme for the stardust tweak
Tangerine might work better than red and the original icons might work better than the blue ones?

I wonder if it is feasible to have a beginners / standard toggle?
Also using http://pupweb.org/desktop with the Raymond Levang background sounds a good idea . . .

Cool However these are minor points and we can certainly use your work as the basis of 4.2 which is best based on 4.11 (not yet available but Barry is working on it)

Well done guys.

YinYana AI Buddhism
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Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 6266
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA

PostPosted: Sat 11 Oct 2008, 22:40    Post subject:  

I like it. Except, I liked the orange, and would miss it. But that's minor.
Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. --Muad'Dib

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Posts: 11223
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sun 12 Oct 2008, 01:17    Post subject:  

Hey zigbert nice job Smile
Maybe you would share the background and a link to the clock?
The red icons and theme is a bit red for my liking.
have you tried the "Clearlooks" gtk2 theme
also try this pet out, it replaces 80+icons and updates Gradient-grey just do the regular
restart jwm
and menu/desktop/Chtheme Gtk theme chooser select Gradient grey / apply

Ps once installed click things like the setup icon on the desktop, thats a total improvement Smile
 Filesize   166.5 KB
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Filename  icons-gtk2.pet 
Filesize  117.73 KB 
Downloaded  1202 Time(s) 

http://audio.online-convert.com/ <-- excellent site
http://samples.mplayerhq.hu/A-codecs/ <-- Codec Test Files
http://html5games.com/ <-- excellent HTML5 games Smile
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Posts: 202
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct 2008, 13:33    Post subject:  

I like this look very much. The brown/orange accent on the desktop is very pleasing. I would like to see that same accent coloring used on menus and icon sets instead of red.

RED is not a calming color! Let's avoid it unless/until we *really* need the user's attention.

Otherwise excellent.
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct 2008, 16:08    Post subject:  

Calm is boring. Should Puppy be calm, or fun? Puppy used to have a lot of bright colors, and as incoherent as the theme was back then, it was exciting. Puppy 4.00 brought with it a more coherent and polished theme, but it was cold and dead. No energy.

I generally don't like blue icons, for the above reason. But at least with this one, they contrast quite well with the background. It doesn't quite approach electric, but it sort of leans that way. Much better than having the blue on a bluish background so they are all subtle and matching.

The brown and red help to counter the cold effect of the blue. It becomes hot and cold. Which is good - variety. A good meal doesn't consist of one thing uniformly blended. It has several elements in different proportions in different locations, so that no bite is quite the same. Thus, the tongue stays engaged. It never knows quite what the next bite will taste like. Similarly, the combination of blue and red over an overall brown-gray helps keep things spicy.

Not that I feel that intensely about this theme. Just a little hungry Wink

Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. --Muad'Dib

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct 2008, 16:50    Post subject:  

I understand the need for "bling", but we're talking about "the" Puppy here, not a derivative. Barry resisted pumping up Puppy's UI because he wanted it to appeal to the masses. He left the rest to derivative developers.

Consider too the fact that the leading Linux distro is quite "blah". Ubuntu wouldn't win any beauty contests, but it also doesn't offend many people's taste (much).

I think Zigbert's low-key approach makes sense. It's slick and modern looking without "getting in your face". Those who want to pump Puppy up with bling are free to do so.

Which also suggests that theme development is important to Puppy's future. We can't go wrong by providing users a choice.
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct 2008, 17:52    Post subject:  

I wasn't talking about bling, unless you think that what Zigbert has done is blingy. I was just saying that a theme which is too calm is opposite of Puppy's mentality. I think that Zigbert has found a good compromise between calmness and energy.

Removing the red from the menu would cause it to blend in too much with the background, IMHO. I think that for this particular theme, changing the red would ruin it. This theme needs the red. It's a core aspect.

But that's just my opinion. And I've always been biased toward warm colors.

EDIT: And yes, choice is very good. Because nobody ever agrees on everything, and now and then you get a weirdo like me who is in love with the color orange.

Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. --Muad'Dib

Last edited by Pizzasgood on Tue 14 Oct 2008, 23:40; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct 2008, 16:47    Post subject:  

looks very nice and i vote for 2 trayed jwm
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Tom Raft

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Posts: 26

PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 05:36    Post subject:  

Dear Zigbert,

it would be nice, if you could offer your "draft" as download.
.pet maybe?

I like it very much.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 09:04    Post subject:  

looks great
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Ray MK

Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 13:06    Post subject:  


First impressions are important - and first impressions here


I want that on my desktop - and am sure many others will too.

Brilliant stuff - look forward to more

As always - best regards - Ray
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Oct 2008, 04:06    Post subject:  

Thanks for feedback.

When it comes to artwork, it is always a matter of personal taste. Some like this, some like that... But I am glad Pizzagood explained it so well. He's a man with the gift of words.

There is no *.pet package available. This because the Startdust theme is not only a theme, but more like a reorganization of the desktop (and also a theme). This gives a one-way-ticket. Uninstallation is not possible at the moment. It is only meant as a suggestion for Puppy 4.2. The chances are probably not that huge it will end up in the official Puppy, since WhoDo (Puppy manager) is also working with his desktop (EzPup). But I'll continue to do some tweaks until this is set.

I have made some more additions to the fixmenus script. It is now splitting name and description for the menuitems. There are some packages which doesn't have a name (ie 'Set time and date'). These are not split. Earlier I have made some space between the icons and text. Please compare the menu from Puppy 4.1 and the Stardust menu.

Stardust resources
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Official Crustacean

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Oct 2008, 04:45    Post subject:  

This is part of a PM from Jay (puppyluvr)

Id like to see the Theme / Icon / Background switchers tied together..That way we could have themes that all matched, with one click.. Maybe even tie the GTK theme into it too..With more variety than currently, maybe based on basic colors..A red theme, a blue theme, ect...
Also, I have a script, given to me by BruceB, that "slideshows" the background in Puppy, and Id like to create a GUI for it..But IDK how to create a dialog box, and get user input, to control it.. Ive been hacking your LIT GUI up till now, but must learn how to input from the user...Very simple, just 1 input, time in seconds, and an on/off switch....And it really catches the eye...

As his code develops and your theme develops
we should have greater ease of use in switching eye candy . . .
A link for your scheme is on this 4.2 wiki page

YinYana AI Buddhism
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