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When Did This Happen?


Duckie

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Let us remember (from May 2001 aqua-soft.org) :

The layout, look, and feel of this site as well as the skins, icons,

applications, and other resources contained herein are meant to be a copy or replica for the Windows platform of what Apple has designed for the

Macintosh Platform. We have done this because we like what Apple has to offer on the Macintosh platform in terms of layout, look, and feel and we

would like to offer it free of charge on the Windows platform. We do not claim any intellectual or artistic rights to what is offered or shown here

as all rights and trademarks are owned by Apple. In our opinion, what we are doing here is similar to a person who does a replica of a Mona Lisa. We are offering the ability to make your Windows user interface look like a Mona Lisa, but free of charge. It isn't the Mona Lisa and doesn't feel like the Mona Lisa, it just looks like the Mona Lisa. Also, in our opinion, this is

free advertisement for Apple to Windows users. Perhaps people will like what we have to offer and decide they would rather have a Macintosh computer. We are in no way making any monetary profit or personal gain but only like the Macintosh OS X Aqua interface, use the Windows platform, and like to share. Thanks for understanding.

and from DeadZombies own mouth:

While AquaSoft offers almost every Aqua skin a PC user could ask for to achieve the 'true' Aqua look and feel, alot of us like to take that a step further and really go nuts with the Mac look.

Historically, it is proven that AquaSoft is for Aqua, Mac, or Apple related materials.

Changes deviating from the origins of the sight, though common and long standing, are understood, but not always beneficial.

I'm not fighting against change here. Nor am I discounting the work done by those Longhorn skinners. I understand that members would like to share thier works here. I've even shared a few things not pertaining directly to Aqua. I just don't see why we should take focus away from what we are missing and apply wasted time to pursuits best left to the thousands of other sites.

We have incredible artists here, and they work FOR FREE! Developers too. All working to gether, usually, to better the OS environment. Ave is a perfect example...he has the most popular piece of software here right now and it is popular not for how pretty it is, but how user friendly it is and how productive the plugins are. Not to mention his unbending nature to stay true to the Mac UI and its abilities.

The point being made here is the vision is missing, and that's why there is dissention in the ranks as well as confusion of the masses. With a vision, a SOLE vision, a site can focus on the importance of its being.

When I set out to make my iTunes skin years ago I was bombarded with "I WANT MILK!!! I WANT CAPPUCINO!!! GIVE ME BBX!!!!" Now, this is an iTunes replica I am working on. I wanted it to be perfect. I cant stop making a skin and begin on a Milk theme because Johnny Crackhead wants to complete his desktop. What I did was finish the skin to my best ability and when I finished and released it, I gave permission for it to be ported to OTHER themes(provided they also contact GameBoyzGB).

Same goes for my WB skins. I don't release them or work on another skin until the first one is perfected. Then, I allow it to be used for ports.

Do you see my point?

Community. Sharing. Perfection(or close to it).

We have all these skins half finished because artists are circumvented by ridiculous requests demanding "SKIN! NOW! HERE!" and the original work suffers. Sure, the artist can ignore the users requests, but as that user is working on his skin, another rip is released in some sort of competition to see who can release one first, so again...the skin suffers. Then there is early releases with bugs and missing items, all because of demand.

Honestly. Aqua-Soft, if nothing, was also about usability and productivity because that is what Mac OS provides.

Mac OS is about minimalism. Windows is about cramming 10 inch borders onto windows 3 inches in size and then adding 347 buttons with ugly lables and no antialiasing.

Mac OS is about productivity. iPhoto, iCal, iChat, and more all offer easy to use, feature full abilities for even the most novice users. Windows has lame Proprietary apps like Movie Maker and NetMeeting which are clumsy, poorly written, and cannot be used with any other sources.

Mac OS is about beauty. Windows is about shoving sharp corners onto windows and giant menus with no continuity or reason.

Longhorn is still Windows, no matter what excuse you give me. See-thru borders are STILL BORDERS. And why does it need that huge ass button? Have these idiots at MS never heard about uniformity?

I'm a purist, sure. I still use a Tiger theme on my PC, daily. I havent needed to switch themes...well, almost ever. But that doesnt mean I dont appreciate good work when i see it.

I'm glad we have Milk, BBX, and more. I hope that continues...because those are MAC themes.

P.S. it isnt about us 'growing into uniqueness' or whatever...if you dont want your desktop to look like everyone elses, go to WinCustomize or GFxOasis. They have planty of offerings you'd like

ever notice that KoL only releases his Mac styled themes on this site? He doesnt post his Non-Mac themes, of which there are dozens, becuase he knows that's not what this site is about.

So he, like others like him, take those things elsewhere.

Growth doesnt mean abandoning principle to appease the masses...it means learning from the original thought and expanding on THAT.

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Originally posted by Duckie@Aug 30 2004, 10:00 PM

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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So improve upon it.

If you're so keen on "perfection" (although, by definition, there can be no such thing in this world), Duckie, then get the skills necessary to create it and do something about this void.

Rather than making "just another theme", try pushing the boundaries. Much as I hate to flog a dead horse, take my iTunes skin for WMP - it was probably the most feature complete iTunes skin bar none, and probably one of the closest graphically, too (if we take the OS X version). Why? Because I wasn't happy for it to be "just another iTunes skin" - I wanted to make the best damn' skin for WMP I could, even if it meant forsaking a few "pretty" bits of the iTunes UI (take the icons in the source pane, for example, and the way the brushed texture is always seems to be perfectly blended). I pushed, and pushed, and pushed for it to be the best it could be. I solved problems Microsoft didn't know existed. I posted solutions to these in Microsoft newsgroups. I learned everything I could about the WMP skinning engine.

This, however, is not to say that any of your works have been sub-par - quite the contrary - they have all been exemplary in what they did, for their time, but they never pushed boundaries. They never challenged common knowledge. They were always "just a Mac skin" (that said, my WMP skin was little more, regardless of the discoveries I made within the WMP skinning engine).

This, when truth be told, is the crux of the problem - very few people have the time, inclination, passion, and talent to bring themselves to spend countless hours fighting with what is, essentially, tantamount to making what can, at best, be a poor copy (due to platform limitations) of another system.

Don't get me wrong - there are some phenomenal works in the skinning community, and in the aqua emulation community in particular, but, with the current techniques of emulation, it is just too much of a chore for many people to undergo painstaking processes skinning their UI to an aqua form. This, of course, is especially true when one considers that this UI is only likely, as mentioned before, to be kept for a week or two, for the average skinning enthusiast.

I think it's safe to say that there will always be the Kurts and Duckies in the community, alongside the Timans, Deadzombies, and (dare I say it) Sephs, Stevies, and Aves, whether we look at "old school" members, or newer members. There will always exist a hardened core of members who strive for as close a replica of "true" OS X style as they can, and there will be those who want only a UI that suits their style and tastes.

Accept this, and move on - there's no changing it, unless you plan on personally vetoing every single member's membership, based on their contribution to the community, desktop screenshot, and emulation tastes.

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And let me bring up a rather horrid point: Luna is now Mac. Ever since that nasty theme was ported to OSX Ive lost all faith in pure Aqua.

So I pick and choose what looks good now. The boundries are gone, the lines have been crossed. Let's just enjoy ourselves, shall we? You will not find the same crap at WinCustomize and Skinz that you find here. Aqua-Soft = quality. The day thats stops happening is the day Ill burn this place to the ground.

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Originally posted by deadzombie@Aug 30 2004, 11:35 PM

And let me bring up a rather horrid point: Luna is now Mac. Ever since that nasty theme was ported to OSX Ive lost all faith in pure Aqua.

So I pick and choose what looks good now. The boundries are gone, the lines have been crossed. Let's just enjoy ourselves, shall we?

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Possibly the best thing that's been said in the whole thread.

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What I was trying to say is that A-S is about enjoyment, not anything else. Duckie, I dont know where you got the idea I want my desk to look like everyone elses (it looks much different from anyones in fact) but that was not what I was trying to say at all. If you like aqua, have it. If you dont? Guess what...you dont have to use it!

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Originally posted by deadzombie+Aug 30 2004, 06:30 PM-->
QUOTE(deadzombie @ Aug 30 2004, 06:30 PM)
Basically it just sounds like the community is growing in a different direction than you are Duckie.

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I don't see it being different at all. Sure, it's growing. Always has been. I remember when there was only about 250 members here (2002). I like change. I like growth. I'm excited about new directions. I enjoy the hard work put in here. I accept deviations from the norm.

The issue I raise is whether or not there is a clear direction or if the intent of the site is lost to the infantile.

Serious skinners and develoers leave us en mass all the time, because they are not only hounded by the masses. Skins are diluted and lack luster, now. We went from having the biggest catalog of WB skins to a larger percentage of MS Styles.

grusic was a main offender in this arena. He was one of the first to deviate from the origins of the site, and did so quite beligerently I might add, and demand right aligned buttons followed by the Windows Flag for every skin. Then, like sheep in a herd, everyone started up with the 'I want my Windows aligned buttons' and it went straight to hell from there.

Why?

Because people were too lazy to adhere to, or accept the vision put forward by this site. God forbid they close a window on the MAC side. Oh, the horror!

It started there and declined rapidly.

Now, if someone doesnt release a skin for MSStyles or with a Windows Flag it's like the commited a crime.

Originally posted by [email protected] 30 2004, 06:35 PM

And let me bring up a rather horrid point: Luna is now Mac. Ever since that nasty theme was ported to OSX Ive lost all faith in pure Aqua.

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Not our problem. Besides...what's that? One theme ported? Woopdeeedoo. Well, I guess it's all over then, huh? ;)

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If this compunit were STRICTLY aqua, we would have ONE thread for every panther/tiger/jag skin out there, one thread for all the osx icons in the big zip file, one with the original osx wallpapers, one wil dans ichat trillan skin, one for each dock, one for avedesk releases, and thats it.

Were here to beautify ourdesktops, not try to make them somethign there not. It sounds to me like your just mad cause no one wants to play with you. Like the lonly fat kid holding a baseball bat watching everyone play kickball on the playground screaming "good i didnt want to be your freind anyhow"

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Originally posted by lostspyder+Aug 30 2004, 07:31 PM-->
QUOTE(lostspyder @ Aug 30 2004, 07:31 PM)
If this compunit were STRICTLY aqua, we would have ONE thread for every panther/tiger/jag skin out there, one thread for all the osx icons in the big zip file, one with the original osx wallpapers, one wil dans ichat trillan skin, one for each dock, one for avedesk releases, and thats it.

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and alas...someone finally gets close to the crux of the matter.

Why isn't there one big zip of all the OS X icons? (dont give me any nonsense about the file being too big..get a better internet connection or deal with it) I dont mean the 30 zips we have sitting around here which take hours to find and some of the links are broken, I mean THE zip of ALL zips.

And why isnt there a community effort to make a Tiger skin? I don't see the issue in having 5 great skinners combine efforts to create THE skin of ALL skins.

COMMUNITY, People!

Point is, our site gathers people from around the world looking to create some Mac magic on thier PC's...and when they get here, all they see is a bunch of children running OZ. They cant find things, they get flamed, and they leave.

That's your utopian site? 'Blah blah blah...change is good."

well, I'm sorry...but not at the expense of quality.

Originally posted by [email protected] 30 2004, 07:31 PM

Were here to beautify ourdesktops, not try to make them somethign there not.

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heh....says YOU.

Just because people like you want to limit themselves doesnt mean the site has to bow to your wishes only. There are purists like me out here who would like our voices heard too. I'm just the only one vocal about it.

Out of respect, i wont paste the convos I have had with other members here.

This is where we both agree we should have a middle ground where people like yourself are content with your limits, and purists are content that the realism isnt forgotten.

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Duckie does have a point somehow. I don't say that I agree with him totally, but I don't disagree neither. As an example, pick my iTunesWidget: It simply started as a very lightweighted widget, only to mimic the dashboard iTunesWidget. As people requested features and I added them, I now ended up with a very heavy widget can do loads more than the original. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. :unsure:

On the other hand, there is stuff that someone like Judge is doing. His creations are most of the time completely original, not based on any existing mac stuff. Still it has that quality and feel that we usually associate with OSX. I think that's the point where this community is currently at. New, original creations with keeping the aqua-roots in thought.

Also, I think a little Duckie-pressure for all-aquaness is a good thing from time to time. It keeps us focused on the uniqueness of this community, next to sites as neowin or wincustomize. Without Duckie as an inspirator, I would never had started on a try to make 1:1 panther windows, which later resulted in the AveApps series.

How many of you will stay to visit aqua-soft if this site only accepted PURE AQUA goodies? I guess it would be very empty here then...

I need some sleep

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Originally posted by Duckie@Aug 30 2004, 11:51 PM

Why isn't there one big zip of all the OS X icons? (dont give me any nonsense about the file being too big..get a better internet connection or deal with it) I dont mean the 30 zips we have sitting around here which take hours to find and some of the links are broken, I mean THE zip of ALL zips.

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There is one, its just hidden :P

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

In my eyes, aqua doesn't only relate to the mac skins, for me aqua is anything that i like, smooth, sharp, organized, professional. For me Aqua means beautiful.

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Originally posted by Duckie@Aug 30 2004, 12:50 PM

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

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C'mon Duckie...

It's not only 14 year olds who like pretty things. Many of the people who came here in the first place did so because they thought the windows interface was ugly and the OSX one was better... I know I did. Hell, I've spent 4 years of my life as a PC journalist, and I've propped Windowblinds, and even Aqua-Soft, in the biggest PC magazine in Europe more than once... But Stefanka's work is amazing, and I think it looks great.

Ok, so there has been a bit of a trend in this stuff lately... But look at all the work by BZeitler et al... Its not just Longhorn around at the moment... And it is just at the moment. People will go back to Aqua, cause thats what they came here for. Nothing wrong with people fancying a change.

Oh, and I don't see anything wrong with the Inspirat stuff being here... I mean, Stefanka is only trying to raise people's attention to something they otherwise might have overlooked by posting here...

I'm not saying I think Duckie is wrong in what he's saying... In fact in his later posts where he clarifies his thoughts I think you make some very good points, Duckie... Just you have to tolerate others' likes and dislikes, too. There's you saying "we don't all hove to bow to your wishes" and yet it can sometimes seem that is what you expect us to do when you start one of these rant threads. Personally I agree with what many people have said here, that for me, Aqua-Soft has simply come to signify quality... Not just Aqua skins, more than that... But I know when I find something here that it will be of top notch quality. Thats why I come here, well that and I like some of the guys here...

I've done the purist Aqua thing for a while... Now I'm Inspirat'ing... I'll go back in a while. Nothing wrong with that, is there, Duckie?

Just my thoughts,

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Well the way I see things, Aero is just one of those weekly fads, next week it will be something else so on and so on.

Aqua will still and always be here, as the main topic of this lovely site.

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I personally see aqua-soft as its main topic "aqua" and side themes for when you're bored with aqua... i see no problem with everyone releasing fad themes every once and a while... i mean... how can you keep releasing tiger themes when alot of tiger wedgets and themes have been created.... if there weren't releases in other styles .. this site would be dead.. until apple releases another sneakpreview.. ya know what i mean.. if it comes down to going to neowin or whatever for non aqua-themes .. then so be it. but i personally think its kinda dumb.. if i am off the point because i only read the first page.. then ignore everything i just said LOL

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