Design experience and demos in GTK and Clutter

Well, coming back from vacation, I had a couple of hours to "kill" in the train.

I saw a few days ago the awesome work of Davyd Madeley on animating GTK+ and Clutter-Gtk from client-side-windows based on the first step from Alexander's Larson. Reading the comments some people say "this is sooooo cool, but totally unuseful".

That's the reason why I tried to figure out some pratical examples where some animations can teach about the component/widget the user is currently interacting with. Giving some blink effects so that people can understand a concept has already been successfull: take the example of the cube in compiz which has helped a bunch of GNU/Linux newcomers to understand what really a worspace is.

In my experience, the tab concept is quite difficult for some people like my mother, not having the habit of it (it has never come to her minds that it's like a traditional phone notebook). So, maybe some animations can help them to realize what it is.

I built Davyd's version of clutter-gtk and other stuffs and then, began to write some realistic animations on the GTK Notebook component. BEWARE: as the frame can't be currently reparented and as I need to have one actor by frame, the current implementation is very hackish and just there for some proof of concept (code here for all animations below).

The first one is just a fade in/fade out, very unobtrusive.

clutter gtk fading

Ogg version here.

Second is a little more noticeable, with the new frame coming and overlapping the previous one.

clutter gtk fade and show

Ogg version here

Third is maybe the best in term of representation: we change the current "sheet" (the frame) and put the new one in front:

clutter gtk fade and move

Ogg version here

The two last ones are more for fun. Not that they don't represent (even maybe better than the previous one) the real behavior of such a component, but they take a lot of space on the screen:

Rotating from the left:

clutter gtk rotating left

Ogg version here

An finally, rotating from the bottom:

clutter gtk rotating bottom

Ogg version here

So, what do you think about those, does that bring a better user feedback? Maybe we can explore that way to make a properly binding between clutter and GTK for making such things. With Clutter, GTK components can be more interactive and attractive.

Of course, we still need a default fallback for not forcing clutter, though.

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