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Ok, I'm noticing a trend...

AquaSoft was based on the principle of bringing to the PC what Mac users took for granted.(no, I am not starting the same argument here) A way to enlighten PC users that things dont have to be clunky and large and fill the desktop to be used.

Well, I'm noticing an alarming new trend lately...one that threatens the very fabric of our existance/reality.


This monstrosity is claiming new recruits and deadening the site to a mere conglomeration of everyday skins.

We all know I am for expansion and change. I'm all for newness, too. I don't mind the site becoming something different than it once was...

But 'Longhorn'?

Doesnt that cut at our very soul?

Longhorn's UI is clunky, and even larger than it's Fisher Price counter part XP. It has vast amounts of space taken by the mere window borders. And dont give me that crap about the borders being transparent. THEY'RE STILL FRIGGIN HUGE! It's like Microsoft is sitting around saying "Hey, remember last time...well--make it even BIGGER!" Reminds me of that 'Aqua Teen' episode with all the spam.

OS X has 0px borders, by appearance. It uses very little in the way of text, pop-ups and hints because Mac OS is made for the thinking man, not the dumb clutz who calls his computer a 'Mystery Box' and only uses it for porn, chatting, and email.

Longhorn, albeit a new OS, is NOT mac related...so why the onslaught?

Are we forgetting Panther? Tiger? The next evolutions (puma?)? I say we should work on perfecting our existing portfolio instead of leaving it sit, half assed and incomplete, and galavanting around town for the new 'flavor of the month'. We get all these great beginnings here, then everyone pisses themselves to make or have the next skin, when in fact...the old skin sucked anyway, but everyone got too distracted by the new flavor to remember to improve the old one.

What would you rather have?

a bunch of 'ehh...it's ok' -or- a few really good ones?

We have about 20 Panther skins for WB and MSStyles, but in all of them, none is perfect. In fact, including mine, most of them arent even 33% like the real thing. We could combine about 3-5 of them and make the ultimate skin(WHICH WE COULD THEN USE AS A TEMPLATE FOR ALL THE OTHERS ONCE IT IS FINISHED...HELLLOOOO!?!?!?), but no...everyone has to have 'SuperDeluxeNewImprovedUltraGlorious Skin V2.1' on thier desktops.

Let's face it..no matter how you dress up Longhorn, it's butt ugly, and it ISNT mac related. Also, we have HardwareGeeks, NeoWin, GFxOasis, and thousands of other sites for that kind of thing. I'd just like to get back to what all of us DID best...creating working models of Mac OS items for the PC.



*side note: To those creating Longhorn skins, you're doing great work...but I see so much potential wasted on a seemingly worthless pursuit. Longhorn isnt due for release until 2008(?) and the GUI is bound to change monthly. I'd just much rather see you creating and improving on what we have in this community and sharing that artistic quality for Mac themes, since it is AquaSoft, after all.

There are too few sites like this; none of which have the long standing reputation we have.

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P.S. Mods, please do not delete or lock this thread as I think it is a valid topic and I in NO way flamed anyone in this community nor am I looking for this thread to become a flamefest...

I do, however, condone deleting flame posts from the discussion so as to eleviate any issues.

I feel this is a valid topic of discussion and one that I've discussed with others who feel the same way...including developers.

To those of you who feel compelled to respond to this discussion, please refrain from posting less than 5 words. I'm sure we all know who does and doesnt agree with this post, but let's face it...3 pages of "Yeah!" isnt going to solve anything or improve our community.

Let's have a civil discussion and use our brains here...

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Let's ban Stefanka! :P

Damn, it's only 3 words :cry:

I think that Longhorn skins are so popular because of:

1. Stefanka's great work and

2. people getting a little bit bored with aqua interface.

It was discussed a million times before, let's face it again: not all of us members are so devoted to aqua like Duckie or Kurt. People put bits of art on their desktops and this kind of art gets boring very fast. All of us need to change their dtops to make them more and more beautiful. IMO we should allow for Longhorn-like frenzies, but keep it under control :staffs here: Our main goal is aqua and it's something we shouldn't forget.

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tHATS TRUE; I am bored also!!!

I dont think this should ONLY be a pc to mac conversion forum, here is much more done... I use a mixture of Aqua and LOnghorn Elements and i think it wouldn`t be the right philosophy to say AQUA IS THE BEST AND ONE AND ONLY...

By the way... I like small borders around my windows.... and i like using my PC cause its a PC and i can fire it up as i want... For me it`s all about modding... and not only about the mac...


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Well, you shouldn't forget than Longhorn will ships in 2006, that leaves a LOT of time for changes.

Does anyone remember OSX RC1 ? it looked like OS9 and aqua wasn't introduced before RC2 :)

So stop flaming at Longhorn, because from a developper point of view, it will KICK ASS.

But yeah I do think people do not want only mac related stuff.


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I think Longhorn is a come-and-go. It's skins won't survive production use

as long as Aqua or even plain old W2K will, since they waste so much space and

not all of us are on a 1600x1200 resolution; maybe by 2008 it'll be barely usable.

You may have noticed the one or other thread in this subforum where the Aqua UI

is declared worn and judged the impression of an upcoming Longhorn flood as the

prime suspect.

I disagree with that. I notice that A-S is changing from an 'Aqua-Emu only' to a

general customization board. Longhorn, crappy or not, is only one of the styles'n

themes which benefit from that change. If I was to blow into the same horn, I'd

go and label all those 'milk' and 'jetblack' devotees as heretics to the original

Aqua-Style as well.

The more A-S grows, the less it seems to be capable of keeping focused on Aqua.

That ain't bad, since the 'natural' wear and tear to its objectives and goals seems

inevitable, nevertheless I hope with you that Aqua remains the main goal,

the ultima thule and holy grail in person that we can aspire to but never reach

on windows; mainly because OS X is an all new system and doesn't carry the

ms-dos and windows 3.11/95/98/NT4 compatibility laddered millstone on top of its

user interface.

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I'm sorry...did I just walk into Skinners Anonymous?

AQUA-soft...that's what I see up top. Not Longhorn-soft or Skinheaven-soft.

I say again...there are THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of sites dedicated to pretty stuff...

Why can't we have just ONE site devoted to AQUA and JUST aqua?

I don't see the big deal. Hell, Even Tim has TwistedCPU for his other ventures outside the realm of Aqua and I have my site, but its focus is moving more towards personal and business uses.

This site started with a vision, and it was never perfected. I'd like to see Jef's vision continue.

I mean, if we start letting all the Longhorn crap take over and this becomes a skinning site, where will all the IceMan's go? And the Ave's? The Alilm's? The Judge's? They won't have a singular site with the Aqua vision to turn to and the 'scene' will become interspersed between all those thousands of sites. How will you find all your favorite apps/skins then?

With AquaSoft, it's a one-stop-shop for all things Aqua. No searching the entire net for singular skins. It's all here.

And to further that, it's a community of, what I thought was, like minded people trying to perfect the appearance and feel of Mac OS on a PC.

Just because the majority of people here are 14 and want 'pretty stuff' doesnt mean we have to succomb.

That's like saying 'Oh well, I cant do anything about it so I might as well give up and accept it". I'm sorry, but that doesnt float with me. Acceptance leads to apathy and apathy leads to ignorance. I think you see where I am going.

Those of us who prefer to use Mac OS styles should have our place to congregate, not feel pushed out of the way by a bunch of n00bies and little kids as if our community meant nothing.

I am one person making a stand, and I take that stand proudly because I know there are many like me who just havent worded thier disgust or uncomfortability but do feel the same way.

Let's stop going in circles, ok?

I know change is good. I know other skins dominate, temporarily. I know we have new people in here daily who dont know about our history.

that doesnt mean we have to accept it or allow our dream to become a distant memory.

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Did you not notice, Duckie?

Aqua-Soft's been flirting with non-Mac themes for ages (at least since I joined, if not before), to a greater or lesser degree.

These themes' popularity are not a product of their usability, design, quality, or technical merit, most of the time. Rather, they are popular because they play off the current fashions in skinning. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but the general rule is based on what people like.

You may also have missed one key point in understanding why this is the case - people, by their very nature, can be quite fickle. Again, there are exceptions to the rule, but a lot of people here (bot Mac OS and Windows users) change their themes on an almost weekly (if not daily) basis. If they were to wait for every "perfect" theme, they'd get bored very quickly, and move away from the skinning scene. Less people in the scene equals less people producing skins. From there, we just end up in a downward spiral until the only people left are those hardcore enough to make and use their own pixel-perfect skins.

Furthermore, you, as many others I've seen (who you refer to as n00bies) are judging Longhorn's UI far too early. The UI you've seen is a proof of concept, to illustrate things that Longhorn will be capable of, and if you don't like it, there'll still be classic.

Ever heard the phrase "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"? That's what non-Aqua stuff is to most members of Aqua-Soft - all Aqua, all the time can be very dull for people who skin their systems for fun.

Yes, they could go elsewhere, but if they like Aqua, but want something that's "Aqua with a twist of lemon", if you will, where's most likely to have it, or have users wanting it? An Aqua community.

Likewise, skinners could release their non-Aqua work elsewhere. Why should they have to, though, when they are primarily an Aqua skinner who's made their first not-100%-Aqua skin, and all of their target audience (their friends) are here?

Who's to say, though, that this is diluting "our" dream (or rather, that of the community's founders)? If a new, non-Aqua theme is released here that revolutionises the way Aqua-themes can be developed, who's to say it shouldn't have been released?

We could have this argument for ages, and there's only ever a handful of possible outcomes:

  1. We all bow down to worship the great god of Aqua and never deviate. Because all deviation from Aqua is halted, we get almost no new members, and so people feel less inspired to create new works for the community, and the community returns to few (comparitively) hardcore members, devoted to either the community itself or the Aqua scene.
  2. We let things take their course, allowing people to deviate as they see fit. We get new members, innovation is massive, AveDesk 8 and SmokeScreen 3 become the first cross-platform all-in-one skinning environment, and wipes out use of explorer.exe, all Stardock apps, Finder, and all Linux WMs. Ave is heralded as a king among goats, and all is well in the community.
  3. We close Aqua-Soft and all move to Skin-Soft. No-one can be bothered to move to the new site, the community flounders and dies within the first month, and people return to other, more general customising communities, or just don't bother skinning anymore.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating, but you get my point.

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I dont see why it would bother anyone if there was a bit of

Longhorn among the aqua. It is true that we all get bored after

a time, no one ever releases anything new. I mean, people

release stuff all the time, but when someone makes a visual

style, its either Panther, Tiger, Milk or something like that.

Someone makes a new skin, it falls right into one of those

categories. Sure, its verry beautifull, and lots of work was put

into it, but you cant look at the same thing forever.

And face it, the way your GUI looks depends on your

personal taste. Everyones taste is different.


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Duckie you scare the shiit out of me, somehow you always post with something that I have been thinking.

Anyway, with regards to your post, the only thing I can add is that I think the reasoning for this, is that this community was based on creating the mac look and feel on a PC. That sort of evolved wtih many of the newcomers to the site into having something they couldnt or shouldnt. This seems to encompass anything these days.

Longhorn is not in their eyes PC, it is something theyn cant have right now, so people make it.

With the advent of tiger this year, there have been sligh changes over what happened with panther last year. For starters Panther was dramatically different then jaguar. New overall appearance, new finder, new ichat, etc etc etc. With Tiger, the appearance (at least in the developer copies) is similar to panther, the finder is roughly the same, ichat is roughly the same, so i think that for now there is a rarity of new things for people to focus on.

The search bar was done, the theme in the keynote was done, and that was all we really had.

So as a community of "out of the boxers" people have focused on something that has a lot to be replicated, this turned them to longhorn.

We have never experienced this before because most of the people here didnt find this site till XP was out already. So MS didnt have a new OS for anyone to look at since that point.

I think once longhorn is released we will be right back where we started from.

I am like you duckie in that I want it as pure as it can get, I don't want artists interpretations, i want the real deal. But sadly the majority of the people on this site do not think like that, they want the latest and greatest.

On a positive note, I am not a huge MS fan, I use my xp box for some stuff, but most of my work is done on my ibook (which by the way is using the default them, see purist)

I do think that longhorn will bring some innovations to winboxes that will allow us to closer replicate Osx. But until then, people will always want to have the latest, and have swayed from what this site is about.

It has gone from a mac enthusiast site, to another custimization community.


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I agree with Duckie, Longhorn's UI is clunky and is still M$. Also, none of our OS X ported visual styles are perfect. Sure, this isn't a community that's all trying to make their PC's 1:1 OS X but, this is an Aqua community and I think we should stick to Aqua themes. If you do like Longhorn, there's always Neowin.

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Originally posted by Duckie@Aug 30 2004, 02:50 PM

Acceptance leads to apathy and apathy leads to ignorance.


I see where you're heading. You certainly have a point there.

But remember, there are two kinds of fatal errors:

#1: "This is old and therefore good"

#2: "This is new and therefore better"

Instead of your A-S is becoming less than Aqua

I go A-S is becoming more than Aqua.

Isn't Aqua a revolution in UI design? Who said that Aqua design has to be left

to Cupertino alone? Artists interpretations as well as functional enhancements

introduced here may even float back to Apple and come back again so you'd

make yourself look a complete fool if you had dissed them in the first place.

When Judge speaks of cross-fertilization between DesktopX, Samurize etc., I

feel the urge to extend the image to the look & feel of Aqua itself.

And for originality: It depends on the viewer - the glass may be half full and half

empty at the same time.

I see that it hasn't gone way from a mac enthusiast site to another custimization

community completely. And I doubt it ever will.

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First of... Longhorn will be out in '06.

Seriously Duckie, you're elitiest attitude of Aqua-Soft should be and only be about Aqua erks me. People are not so one-sided as you make yourself out to be. People (I) really don't care what you think of Longhorn. So, why include your opinion.

Also, how can you rant about "Not having the perfect Tiger theme" when you, yourself never sat down and tried to make one yourself. A very wise man once said: "If you want things done right, do them yourself."

This is no way, shape or form a flame, rather a difference in opinion.

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Originally posted by herd@Aug 31 2004, 12:37 AM

.... Who said that Aqua design has to be left to Cupertino alone? Artists interpretations as well as functional enhancements introduced here may even float back to Apple and come back again so you'd

make yourself look a complete fool if you had dissed them in the first place.

tiger has significant echoes of smoothstripes, for example. nicely stated, herd.

duckie = aqua diva

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Hmm..I'm not quite sure where I stand on this.

Myself, I'm basically an Aqua purist, but I don't mind looking at other themes (as long as they're not Luna-based). That said, however, I don't disagree with A-S evolving into another skinning community, as long as the basic focus is still on Aqua. If the majority of the people want other skins, it should be featured here on the site, and the Aqua purists can just ignore it and look at the new aqua skins. I like A-S because it brings me all my Aqua news in one place. As long as it is still easily available here, I'm happy.

I like Panther. Truthfully, I think it looks better than Tiger does now, and XP looks better than Longhorn does now, but I KNOW that Tiger and Longhorn are still in development!

Change happens. Once Longhorn gets out, I'll see if I like it. The focus is what the majority of the people want. If Microsoft listens, and I like the way Longhorn VS looks, I'll stick with that. If I don't, I'll mod my computer until it looks like I want it to.

Bottom Line- A-S should adapt to fit the needs of the skinners and not the other way around. However, the core of A-S should still be Aqua, and I feel that any blatantly non-Aqua (resembling Luna) should not be allowed.

Any opinions on my position?


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Funny, I try to sleep a few hours and the place goes to hell. ;)

iFido: it's something Ive been considering for several weeks now.

Duckie: This place has NEVER been only Aqua, it's been about the quality of Aqua. From the very first time a third party wallpaper was offered years ago (during the the afternoon the site opened), to the latest icon release, this place has never maintained the purist vision of Aqua and nothing else that you dream of.

And it's a good thing, or this site would have been dead years ago.

No, it's been about the visual quality and innovation introduced by Apple. Aqua is the pinnacle of these ideals, so the site naturally revolves around that, but we have become so much more. Indeed, I would say we set a standard for the Windows customization community undreamed of on that opening day. Think about docks on Windows...remember how that happened? You, me, Iceman and others constantly released new and exciting DesktopX docks, each one higher quality than the rest. People were amazed that such a thing could be done, and it made them hunger for more. I directly link our efforts to the creation of Object Dock, MobyDock and Yz Dock. And thats just a single example.

Look at our influence on the Windows community. Take the Dangeruss Vivid icons for example; Russ doesn't use a Mac, but he creates strikingly Aquaesque icons to cater to the tastes of a community... tastes developed, and expanded by members of Aqua-Soft. Quality influence at it's best.

Today we are graced with yet another direction - the strength of our community developers. Jeff and Brad have done amazing things at Stardock. Judge, Alilm, AndreasV and so many more now push that envelop even farther. AveDesk is one of the best customization apps around. It's not as powerful as DesktopX, it hasn't been around as long as Samurize, but it has something important that those two apps haven't successfully maintained - the quality standards that this community raises above all else. Compare the skins of AveDesk to those for DesktopX and you'll see immediatly what I mean.

Now we stand at the door of a new OS. Longhorn offers innovation, and perhaps, if the peeks we've seen are true, it offers quality unseen from Redmond. We disagreee on this, but many people think Aero glass is an amazing GUI... like Aqua was those years ago, dreamed of only by those that lay their GUI at the alter of beauty. Once again it's an exciting time for this community, fresh innovation, a new look and a sea of new options can only help us set new standards for the customization community.

Where we go from here is anyones guess. Perhaps it is time for Aqua-Soft to fully emerge from the legal spectre of Apple wit ha new concept more fitting the standards of innovation and quality we hold above all else... perhaps it is time for Aero-Soft to carry us into the future.

Only time will tell.

One more thing, for Sid: Duckie always fights losing battles. The cool thing is that sometimes he wins anyway. Dont underestimate the brilliance of the Duckie, it can be your undoing. ;)

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well, i think of this place as more of a comunity than as AQUA-SOFT.ORG, and i know a lot of people feel the same way as me. and longhorn Inspiriat is a beautifull vs, and im sure people want to show us (aqua soft members)there tallent by skinning in that style. to ask them to stop simply cuase this site was founded on one visual style is some what silly.

i dont think anyone here is gonna forget what aqua is. im sure we ALL started with an aqua theme, some just moved on to diffrent vs to better suite them. I think that probalby 100% of apps being released here are by defualt aqua. we have a lot of really nice tiger vs, and some perfect panther ones. and im sure aqua-soft will have many more aqua related releases, regardless of other visual styles.

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Originally posted by XJOSHATTACKX@Aug 30 2004, 11:42 AM

Also, how can you rant about "Not having the perfect Tiger theme" when you, yourself never sat down and tried to make one yourself.


Actually, you're wrong.

Magbi and myself released a Tiger theme months ago.

and as I said in my original post...even I am aware of its shortcomings

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anti aqua crusade begin

People seem to finally be moving on from Aqua stuff and becoming more...unique. They dont want their computers to look like everyone elses for the sake of looking like everyone elses! They want an organized desktop that is easy to maintain, nice to look at and clean. That is what I have strived for since the start of my membership with aqua-soft, and I have finally achieved it.

In my opinion, staying with complete aqua would make it seem like this community has never grown and never had any outside influences except Mac OS. Therefore, this community may start to seem infantile and boring to some and soon collapse. By the introduction of new themes and ideas, the communtiy continues to flourish and create "hybrid" desktops, like mine. A little bit of aqua, some longhorn and a minimal theme is for me. For others, it may be all-out aqua, depending on what they like best.

This community deviating from its primary focus is not bad. It is good, it means people are finally developing their own ideas of what a desktop should look like instead of becoming one of the herd.

end anti aqua crusade

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