Tango Desktop Project

From Tango Desktop Project
Revision as of 19:07, 3 May 2005 by StevenGarrity (talk) (Removed link to Playground)

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The goal of the Tango Desktop Project is to create a consistent user experience for Open Source software.

We plan to achieve this goal through the use of consistant themes (with a cross desktop theme framework), a complete icon library, interface guidelines, and many other building blocks.

Collage of various toolkits with different themes

The free desktop is made of many different toolkits

Several popular applications now exist, all using different toolkits: Mozilla, Evolution, the Gimp, Konqueror, and so forth... On a typical desktop there are often several used at the same time, creating an inconsistent look and feel and a lack of integration resulting in a less than stellar desktop experience. This mish-mash of application styles is bad for users!

Now is the time to define a common visual style

The Tango Desktop Project group is comprised of free desktop engineers, artists, and user interaction designers. We want you to join our effort to create a native Linux look and feel.

Who should participate? Well, everyone.

Contribute to the guidelines, improve applications by making them follow the specs, design artwork, and spread the word.

Interested contributors from Gnome, KDE, and other free and open source projects are all welcome. We invite anyone working on software to follow the specifications defined here, as well as on FreeDesktop.org.

Building Blocks

The Look




  • Heuristic Evaluation - good design principles which every icon, application, and desktop component should be measured with to ensure acceptable quality
  • Usability Testing - user feedback ensures great design decisions... this section has a focus on what part usability testing plays in the Free Software community, and why it's good thing to do


  • Licensing - a base goal of this project is to enrich the world of Free Software by ensuring that our efforts are licensed as freely as possible. A proposed licensing scheme for tango is discussed with this section.
  • Timeline - everything from short-term goals to the far-off long-term stuff
  • Experiments - a place for sharing ideas and experiments for the future of the Tango project