March 9th, 2007

Feisty feature of the day #1 - OpenOffice gets Tango'd

Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) is due to be released on the 19th of April. That gives me 40 days or so to write up a new feature or improvement in Feisty every day. Are there 40 new features in Feisty? There's only one way to find out...

Disclaimer: I'll probably make a load of mistakes and report on features which were actually introduced in Edgy but that I hadn't noticed. Please yell at me if this happens, it's the only way I'll learn.

OpenOffice gets Tango'd

Once upon a time, a few people got fed up of having to look at the ugly mish-mash of different styles of icons on their desktop. Surely someone could come up with an icon style which everyone could use, no matter whether they were developing software for GNOME, KDE or even Windows? Well yes, they could... and so the Tango Project was born.

Since then, major efforts have been made all over the Free software world to prepare Tango-themed icons for all sorts of software. Using the Tango icon set means that you get a (mostly) consistent user interface across desktops - GNOME applications look good in KDE, KDE applications look good in GNOME and so on.

Enter It's Ubuntu's default office suite, and is probably one of the applications that your eyeballs spend the most time glued to. With the release of Feisty, OpenOffice has a set of sexy new Tango icons! Here's a before and after:

Comparison of icons in Writer before and after the Tango makeover

While it may not seem like too big a deal, the new Tango icons aren't just brighter and more colourful; they're also supposed to be more usable.

Note the new 'Highlight colour' icon. It looks like a highlighter. I don't know about anyone else, but I was getting fed up of trying to change the colour of the font and ending up with a highlight instead.

Now if only OpenOffice's graphs looked as pretty as its new icons...