One of the thing I love of Gentoo is that we have a very loosely based identity (which is reflected in being called a meta-distribution). While it might sound bad when it comes to actually fixing stuff that only bothers one of the developers’ interests, it generally is good for one thing: it makes it possible to integrate techniques and ideas that come from all the other distributions.
A very little example in this regard is what I’ve been doing myself now for a while: packaging the Fedora backgrounds packages to be used with Gentoo. While we have our share of artists, and Ben’s Gentoo 10.0 backgrounds are gorgeous, we never shone for eyecandy in our main tree. The Fedora background packages, a new one of each for each release, are quite lovely, and I found myself missing them when I moved off the one Fedora installation I had on the laptop (I like the distribution, but it just doesn’t suit me).
After preparing ebuilds for both the latest Fedora 15 Alpha (Lovelock) and the old Fedora 10 (Solar) which was missing from my list, I also noted that we don’t currently have an easy way to install the Gentoo 10.0 backgrounds at all! Easy as pie, thanks to having looked at the Fedora ones for so long, I now have an ebuild in my overlay, so
emerge gentoo10-backgrounds will do the right thing, and let you choose the background right away, both in GNOME (which I use) and KDE (that Alex tested).
I’m probably going to add all the backgrounds ebuilds from my overlay to main tree soonish; I’m also wondering if we should actually increase the amount of themes available directly from our main tree. If you know of other distributions with cool background packages, let me know… I’m of the idea that the coolness of an operating system is too often tied to its appearance, unfortunately, so having Gentoo lack behind other distributions is not such a good thing.