Thursday, October 14, 2004

Ubuntu Theme furore

The fine folks at Ubuntu Linux are getting ready for their first release (Warty Warthog a.k.a. 4.10) and have just started making the final changes for the first "Release Candidate". Way to go - a lot of hard work from some very clever people.

So what's up? Well, they've changed the default GDM theme, gnomesplash theme (that splash image you get as GNOME starts up) and the desktop background.

The old defaults featured the beautiful, stylish and simple ubuntu logo (three stylised people of different races in a ring) and text. Very nice, conservative, modern and professional - with a subliminal, powerful political message.

The new themes (and bear in mind ubuntu is all about humanity, and their themes are called "human") feature - shock, horror: humans!!! OMG! The humans in question are young and happy Africans of different racial groups: one bloke and two women.

  • In the GDM background they're all happy and smiling and in a ring like the logo, on a white background. Very nice. Modern, different and human.
  • In GNOME, your background should default to a nice brown background with the ubuntu logo showing through. Due to a previous bug (hey, it's beta software), some people got the monthly "Ubuntu calendar" background. Same shade of brown as the default background, but with our three African chums all shown naked from the top up (the ladies retain their modesty by positioning their arms well).
  • gnomesplash isn't there long and is somewhere between the two.
The new themes/images are different, if a bit cheesy in some peoples' eyes. I'm almost won over though. I think it's a brave, radical change. Humans! On computers! Whatever next.

But I'm going to go on record and say I think the 3 people should keep their clothes on. It doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother Debbie either. It'd just be a bit more tasteful/less embarrassing in the workplace.

Here's Mark Shuttleworth's take on the whole thing: Mark's e-mail (can't argue with a man who has been in space).
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