[Design-team] The Theme

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Fri Jun 19 02:12:24 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2009-06-19 at 00:31 +0200, Martin Sourada wrote:
> My point is -- learn from the mistakes of past and but be also aware in
> what we were good at. In all cases where we failed, we failed because we
> had to redo the artwork anew late at the process. We should really avoid
> this.

This is a good point. Although I wonder how much you can really control
a creative process. I think the thing that scared me the most about the
late nights - I could spend hours and hours and hours and have to throw
it away. There wasn't any guarantee after x hours there would even be
anything usable.

> Yeah, we totally need people to actually do more than just submit
> ideas...

How do we encourage the follow through we need? :-/
> > 
> I think that plan worked pretty good until we tried to mingle it
> together with release name (in F9)... In F10 we reverted back to it, but
> failed, I wonder what exactly went wrong...

Ah okay you are right! I forgot about that.

> Perhaps we could use a simple bug track to track our tasks? Or would it
> be an overkill? I can see the advantages of people being able to more
> closely follow the process and also people claiming tasks knowing that
> others didn't claiming those yet. Plus people would have better idea of
> how far we are. But it would pose additional work on us...

I think this is a good idea. Maybe for each piece of artwork that we
need, that's in the schedule with a deadline, we open a trac bug in our
new trac instance Paul had set up for us? That might work well.

> As for having two processes -- yeah, it's probably a bad idea, what I
> had in mind something like having some kind of fallback if the process
> itself fails... Well, if don't base our artwork on release name, we
> could keep it for more than one release, if necessary. But it would feel
> awkward if it would be based on the release name... Or perhaps have a
> completely new artwork with every odd release and have an
> improved/slightly changed version of the previous one with every even
> release? Are we really have problems with time, or is it just because we
> tend to do the things last minute? Or is it lack of people?

I think it's a combo of:

- the creative process is hard to control, and it's hard to know how
long something is going to take or what odd directions it might take

- lack of people

- outside of the team folks tend to be very critical of the artwork no
matter what and it's demotivating.

And I don't think there is so much we can do about the first and last.
> > It seems there are complaints about the process, then complaints about
> > changing the process in trying to improve it. How can we improve the
> > process that people complain about so much if we can't change it?
> > 
> I think, we often have problems when we change the process completely.
> It seems to take some time for people to adjust... Perhaps analyzing
> what parts of the current process are worst and how to improve them
> would be a better approach than trying a completely new process again?
> > Does anyone want to take up the task of writing and maintaining the
> > theme process documentation, and making sure it is well-publicized?
> > 
> We need to decide on the process first, than documenting it... I can put
> together a draft of what outlined before tomorrow if people think about
> it as a good idea. We can even put different drafts together (although
> it seems I and Nicu are not fans of your idea, it does not mean it might
> not turn up to be the best after all) and then discuss what might be
> best. FUDCon is next week and the release name will be supposedly
> reported there, so we still have some time to decide on the process for
> F12.

I think I really like the requirement that the default be:

- original
- vector
- abstract
- theme-related

And that we pick, let's say as originally proposed, 4 works from the
creative commons / openly-licensed community that are related to the
theme as well and have the following breakdown:

- 2 general appeal / any age group
- 1 appeal to children
- 1 appeal to women

> > > > The main problem for me is that every time the topic of release art
> > > > comes up, I don't think 'fun' and 'cool', I think 'pain' and get a
> > > > feeling of dread and despair :( And that's not cool. And after going
> > > > through all that hard work and time, still we get negative comments (and
> > > > I understand we can't satisfy everyone, but that on top of having to
> > > > work so hard and not have much fun, makes it even less enjoyable.) I
> > > > feel that this problem should be addressed so we can make theming fun
> > > > again, but I'm not sure how. This was the idea I came up with but I'm
> > > > very open to other proposed solutions.
> > > > 
> > > > Is this fair or am I being overly dramatic?
> > > What I feel when I think about fedora themes is high entry level and
> > > confusion about the process.
> > 
> > Do you have a better idea? Can you commit to helping make it better?
> See above. But to summarize and perhaps add something more: 
>       * try to change the process slowly rather than radically, based on
>         experience from previous release(s)

Is the above proposal slow enough? We're keeping the
inspired-by-the-release-name theme, but clamping it down a bit more by
requiring vector artwork and abstractness.

We could handle the 4 broader-community readymades as a separate

>       * after each release is done, hold a session (on irc with summary
>         posted on the list and wiki, or on the list only?) to discuss
>         what went right and what went wrong and what can we do about it

That sounds good.

>       * better track what needs to be done and who's working on what

I think maybe the trac ticketing system can be a big help here.

>       * create rather abstract themes than photo manip.


>       * have a direct link to the current release artwork process from
>         our front page

Good idea... and we should also make sure that when we figure out the
process, we get some publicity around it:

- process announced in Fedora Weekly news & Fedora Forum
- process announced on Planet fpo
- each phase of the process announced in FWN & on Planet FPO & Fedora
- maybe some kind of podcast, www.fpo banner, some kinds of publicity
that way to get people involved, similar to how Michael did the fpo
banner to solicit picture book submission
- Any other venues I'm not thinking of?

>       * be stricter about deadlines


>       * don't expect Mo will do the dirty work. Our artwork must be a
>         community effort, not our leader's all nighters (yeah, I am also
>         to blame here, but at least I've tried to help with the
>         wallpapers a little)

Yes please :) :) :)

And thank you for your patience with me :)


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