im not against to change the default apps, they are meant to be the best option from all available, and this is the only thing that matters offering the best option
by other side the default app needs to follow strict rules of quality and others in order to be accepted, is not about "tastes" or "personal tastes" but simply a calculation of what is the best option, where multiple things matter, for example:
- usability: needs to be easy and intuitive
- features: should provide a good set of wanted or nice features (but not useless ones)
- lightness: even if we don't "care" much about this point in our -personal- preferences, it is a very important one for being default... in other words: if elive starts to using bloated apps like any other distro, why don't use any other distro? elive has a gigantic work made in being light and fast
- beautiful: not a decisive point but is much better if has a beautiful interface
- personal preference: "you like it more A or B?", everybody has a preference
- more points?
We should not forget the difference between "our personal taste" and "the best for default in the OS", at the same time the installer (which gives the OS in a static way to the user) already offers features like changing default applications (like the office suite replacement to a lighter one)
Note: i think that these "rules" (and/or more) needs to be correctly listed in a specific thread on the forum, like a howto or similar... maybe @triantares remembers a post where I wrote similar ones in the past?
if i say green is because of a reason but not because i like it (again, if i like green i just install it to myself), a different thing is that "i didn't explained why the green is better option than the red one"
in fact a vote is not a correct way to determine decisions (even if we have been educated much with this idea of "correct"), a vote only includes the factor of "personal preference" (which is important), but before that, its needed the other factors, being objective with the reasons to use A or B. For example, let's say you like a lot app A, but it crashes all the time, even if your preference is for A it is not a good option to use because of the much crashes which turns it annoying and unusable. In a similar way imagine an hospital operation, on which from a screen a lot of people votes in a democratic way if he should be "opened" on the left or the right side for a pancreas operation, is this correct? of course no, it should be opened in the correct place where it should be, because of their specific professional and medical reasons, no matter opinions or preferences, it should be done in a correct way (not sure if explain myself correctly, I seen in the past an image that shows this and explain that concept very well lol)
we are talking about e17 theme or e16 theme?
for e16, yes it can be improved but i won't invest much time on that since e16 is a temporal desktop (but of course there's nothing against that, and will still provide a good e16 for the future too).
If e17, that's a much different topic, that's a theme which had a ton of work on it in order to be beautiful for generic tastes, friendly and usable
I propose to put our "best looking desktops" in the specific created section #users:screenshots , i don't remember right now how his desktop looked exactly (and yes your posts can have their images updated if you made improvements on it)