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Debian Developers love to bicker

  • 2nd Dec, 2004 at 9:13 AM

In a recent thread on debian-devel, a particular controversy came up. Thibaut VARENE wants to package hot-babe, which is a pecularly misnamed application.

The purpose of this application is to show different pictures that indicate how hard your computer is working. Unfortunately, the author of this piece of software decided to associate the CPU-usage with the nakedness of a cartoon woman. Plus, he was shortsighted enough to design the programme so that you cannot choose another series of pictures.

The fact that the discussion on the mailing list cannot deal with the actual issue that this objectifies women, is what I think to be a serious failing of the Debian project. Objections brought up by women who actually use and contribute to Debian are being dismissed in a most inconsiderate way. If we look at how our sister project, Ubuntu, has dealt with their thorny artwork issues, we can see that they took a reasonable and sensitive approach. They did not seek to remove choice from their users. Rather, they provided a neutral and unoffensive default, and allowed people to choose from a variety of different artwork. I have been trying to encourage this viewpoint, but people seem happier to argue than to come up with a solution.

So I am putting out a call for artistic help. My meagre skills as a programmer would allow me to patch the software to switch out images, but I'm afraid that I am unable to provide appropriate illustrations. The software accepts a series of five images, which it displays at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of CPU-usage. Suggested image sets are:

  • A tree losing its foliage
  • A flower blossoming
  • A sheep being shorn

Bonus points will be awarded if you can make the images ethnically diverse. The images should be licensed under the Artistic License so that Debian can distribute them. I will ensure that you are credited for your artwork. If you'd like me to buy you some small token of appreciation, say a book that I can order on-line, I'd be happy to do so.

I will link to the default images that come with hot-babe, but they are not completely safe for work.

Please leave a comment in this entry, if you are willing to help out. Comments are screened, so that a flame-war does not drown out people who are trying to be constructive.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
2nd Dec, 2004 17:47 (UTC)
Image pool can be selected.
Just so that you know, hot-babe allows the user to define other image set. There just isn't other sets just now.

The set consists of N images (4 in the default set) and a single text file that apparently lists the files (i got distracted by the imageset so i didn't check that file at all ;). So drawing the image with gimp with 4 layers and then save the layers in to separate files will do the trick.

And it's nice to see that my sheep idea is still out there.. ;)
3rd Dec, 2004 06:32 (UTC)
Re: Image pool can be selected.
Thanks for your input especially suggesting simply and clearly a method on howto create an image -- much appreciated.
2nd Dec, 2004 22:10 (UTC)
other image set ideas

  • phases of the moon (new, quarter, half, three-quarters, full)
  • person ageing (infant, child, teen, adult, elderly)
  • cat moods (sleeping, stretching, walking, jumping, bristle-tailed-angry)
  • anything that looks cool when filmed with time-lapse photography

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )