>>> "DuBois, Scott L." 12/26/12 6:33 AM >>>
>I have one question at the moment which I would be delighted to get
>your advice on Richard? What could the Artwork Team have done better
>or direction should have taken to be more focused and less chaotic in
>the design process?
Personally, I'm of the mind that thinks a little chaos is good for anycreative process
If you look across the rest of the openSUSE project, its rare, if not unheard of, for any of the other teams, groups, or individuals contributing to have a focused, premeditated, well thought out goal for the next openSUSE release, nor a plan on how to achieve that goal.
What happens more often than not is that contributors will state their aspirations - ie. the GNOME Team always wants to release the latest stable GNOME version, some people wanted systemd available and then the default, so on and so forth. Not all of these aspirations will be achieved, and more often than not we end up with other new features being thrown in from unexpected sources, or coming together as an unexpected result of other work - I see this a lot working with the Marketing side of things, people would always like a list of what new features are in the latest version of openSUSE before release date, but it's impossible to produce a comprehensive one until the feature freeze very late in the development process, and even then things are liable to change.
And to me, that's a good thing, the inherent chaos of open source done 'right' often generates more ideas and better results, because it inspires thoughts and gets people thinking along unexpected lines.
Drawing this back towards Artwork, I'm seeing the benefits of that chaos apply in our work on the Grow design so far.
While it's true me and Marcus often see eye to eye on stuff, there is a bit of a language barrier (his English is a heck of a lot better than my Swiss), and both of us are very busy and don't often get much time to sit down and chat about our ideas.
So in the end, what we end up doing is throwing together our ideas in a new SVG file and throwing out an email with 'what do you think?' (and this is a practice we continue in this mailing list and the artwork github)
We don't often bother replying with thoughts or ideas, instead we take that SVG, apply our changes and fire it back with yet another "what do you think now?"
If we likes it, it sticks and we'll end up keeping those changes in his next version we produce, if one of us doesn't, that change will probably quietly slip out of the next version sent about - sometimes we take the hint and drop the ideas we had, sometimes we don't and reapply our ideas, but trying to do it a little better - and this is often the point when we might actually grab each other in IRC or email and start talking - it may sound weird, but we generally seem to work best with an 'art first, talk later' approach
This approach seems to be scaling well too - Marcus has been working with Ivan who's also been contributing to the grow design - i've never met Ivan, I've never properly spoken to Ivan, I honestly have no idea what their thoughts are or their direction for this design is going.. But I like a lot of the changes I've seen him make, and kept them when I've then made some more changes while packaging it up for Factory - and if he or Marcus or anyone else doesn't like those latest changes, I expect to see future versions adapt the grow design to those peoples likings and hopefully in the end we end up with a finished product that is as close to perfect as our collective efforts can produce.
Artwork by iteration - It's chaotic, its crazy, but it seems to work, just as it does for the code in the rest of the project.
And it's not a closed process either - I've seen Michael's work taking the grow idea and merging it with his water colour concept - now I may not like the SVG or PNG's he's produced, but by producing both the PNG's and the SVG, he's given me a nice clear idea of what he's thinking, and I DO like the idea of a lighter version of the grow design, and I do like his colour choices. The fact he's produced his latest work in SVG makes it very easy for me to work with - using his chosen colours is no longer an effort with a colour picker but a simple case of opening the file in inkscape and looking at the choices he's made.
So I will be taking the main 'grow' design and changing the colours to those Michael has used in his SVG, and probably tweaking the noise/filters to a more complimentary style based on his watercolour concept.
And if I like the result, I'll be posting it here, and if others like it too (and possibly even if they dont) I'll package it as an alternative for 12.3, and if a bunch of people REALLY like it, then that's when we'll probably have to have a decent discussion about which one makes more sense to be the default for openSUSE 12.3
I wanted to spell that process out because, not only will I be doing that thanks to Michaels work, but I have previously used much of the other concepts and feedback posted on this mailing list in a similar way in producing what we currently know as the 'grow' design - while some of the inspirations from others concepts might be very subtle, or in some cases not visible at all, I want to make it very clear that I try my best to take on board and embrace every idea someone bothers to put together and articulate to try and help openSUSE.
It all helps, it all feeds into this chaotic process, and I dont want people to believe that just because their ideas or chosen favourite don't end up in the distribution, it didn't help the process - on the contrary, it's the fuel for the engine that keeps all this moving forward
Hope this helps you understand my thoughts on the benefits and strengths of this particular approach
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
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