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I recently had reason to boot into my Fedora VM - it is the latest and greatest Fedora 16 in all its glory. Along the way, I realized something.
Fedora's fonts suck.
<em>please note that if you load the full article, you will have a lot, and I mean a <strong>lot </strong>of screenshots loading. Its a large number of them. Also, I <b>do not</b> mean to insult those who spend their time developing GNOME - you guys rock.</em>
And then I realized something else. <em>GNOME's </em>fonts suck. Fedora just uses the default ones.
Let us take a look around, shall we?
First of all, let me make adistinctionbetween what I said in the title, and what it really is:
<em>Fedora's</em>fonts don't suck, <em>GNOME's</em>do.
Let us take a look at a screenshot from the official GNOME web site.
Ok, thats a <em>little </em>ugly there. The fonts really just... ew.
Lets get into some details as to why this is:
<a href="http://www.2buntu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screenshot-from-2012-03-28-205640.png"><img src="http://www.2buntu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screenshot-from-2012-03-28-205640-300x217.png" /></a>
Here, we have a screenshot of Empathy, the default (and fully capable, if a little light on the power user tools) instant messaging client on most GNOME-baseddistributions.
So, first of all, we have some weird colors here. The names of the people chatting are a little light, as is the date/time stamp - this is a problem with the entire theme, but whatever.
Now, lets move on to the nautilus file browser.
<a href="http://www.2buntu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screenshot-from-2012-03-28-210017.png"><img src="http://www.2buntu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screenshot-from-2012-03-28-210017-300x218.png" /></a>
First, we have the text up in the top - the window title.
It looks a <em>tad </em>jagged on the edges. Now, you'll get this with all fonts, but with a <em>good, solid font you won't notice this.</em>
<address>You can't really see this in the screenshot, but on my monitor this really really really looks jagged as well.</address>Here we have a bad case of the aliasing. (for more on aliasing vs ant-aliasing, take a look over at the <a href="http://www.adobe.com/designcenter-archive/photoshopelements/articles/concept_aliasing.html">Adobe Photoshop Elements tutorial</a>).
Now, lets take a look at some icons (since we're already going on a nitpicking spree!)
<em>please do note that I'm only looking at one of the icons in nautilus, since I only have time to look at one.</em>
Here we have the "Public" folder. The one that we've all come to know, love, hate, and never really use. What exactly does it do? Well, if I was looking just at the icon, I would probably think it was something like a Dropbox-type system, where I put a file in there and itspubliclyshared - or perhaps like <a href="http://gigaom.com/apple/lion-101-how-to-use-airdrop-and-alternatives-in-case-you-cant/">Apple's AirDrop</a>.
But when we open it...
<a href="http://www.2buntu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screenshot-from-2012-03-28-213156.png"><img src="http://www.2buntu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Screenshot-from-2012-03-28-213156-300x218.png" /></a>
Nothing at all! No files, not README, my friends computer doesn't show up, nothing. Its a random folder with a very non-descriptive name and icon. <em>Do note that I have yet to see any distro that actually explains what this is, what its used for, etc.</em>
Next stop, the battery icon and menu!
First, lets take a look at what happens when you <em>click </em>the stock Ubuntu battery icon.
Oh look! A lovely menu with an option, and then the option to load more options. Ok, this makes sense.
It also has the traditional battery icon with the power bolt through it saying "Yup, I'm charging/charged."
This is the default GNOME3 battery indicator:
I can't click it, can't lick it, can't do anything.
If I had a large display, I wouldn't even have noticed that little teeny tiny thing that says its charged.
Yup, that thing I zoomed into and then surrounded with a really bad red box. <em>That </em>is supposed to tell me if I'm OK to unplug or not. Uhh..... ok there GNOME.
Do I even need to go into the networking indicator (its to the right of the battery indicator in both screenshots)? I think not!
In short, here's what I have to say:
Design is important. The little things are important. You <em><strong>cannot</strong></em>sacrifice speed of development for design, be it graphic/typography or structure. You need to be attentive to every single thing, <strong>no matter how big or small</strong>. This is something that is forgotten, even in a day and age where you can spend $500 USD for an iPad (spammers and trolls, begone!) which has more pixels <em>in the palm of your hand</em>than most pro video editing (Think: Hollywood) shops have access to, and if they do it cost them $13,000 USD.
I have many more of these screenshots, however, I just wanted to point some of these out. Design is important folks. It truly is. And this is something the open source world has never gotten right - Canonical is getting there, but it isn't there yet.
<em>Feel free to leave comments, I will reply if I get the chance. However, if I don't reply, its either because you were not abiding by the <a href="http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/conduct">Ubuntu Code of Conduct</a>, or I was busy with school work. Cheers, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed.</em>
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