The Plasma Theme Contest has been announced! The Plasma team is on the look for cool, crazy and beautiful SVG themes for Plasma applications.
There are already a number of them available on KDE Look and recently JP added Hot New Stuff support to the theme setter dialog making it easy to grab new themes, but we'd like to supply a few of the hottest mods out there with 4.1 while also encouraging people to experiment with new ideas.
I'm so happy about this because not everyone likes the same look (aesthetic differences abound) and I'm no artist (so I don't even try). This leaves me feeling rather disempowered in the face of "Plasma looks ugly" comments. I can't argue that it doesn't because it's largely differences in aesthetic tastes, and I can't do much to fix it because I'm not an artist. AAAAAAAAAH! You have no idea how not being able to fix something annoys me, particularly when I (and the rest of the team, too) have spent so much time and effort making things highly flexible in this area. I mean, you can even make Chuck Norris grimmace in a pink boa border. Making Chuck Norris a little less macho: now that takes some powerful software. ;)
So it is that I'm very excited about what will come of this contest.
There is a Plasma theme creation tutorial up on TechBase to help you get started and KDE Look is providing the hosting for entrants. There's also some slightly more terse and technical information on the Plasma wiki about Plasma themes.
Already this has had impact on the themes in Plasma: we're adding the ability to optionally define different SVG data for different compass directions, so that panels on different screen edges can have different light sources or whatever (it's optional because not all styles are benefited from such fine grain tuning); Riccardo has been working on a theme previewer application so it's easy to see your theme in action without restarting plasma or using plasmoidviewer a million times over; it has me thinking again about the packager application =)
So if you're an artist and you'd like to make Plasma a bit prettier, don't delay, get started today on that kick ass new Plasma Theme Contest entry.