Re: Control Center Behavior

On Thu, 2002-07-18 at 23:53, Malcolm Tredinnick wrote:
> Let me put on my "I'm a power user, and I agree with both sides of parts
> of this argument" hat. I expect this to in no way affect the final
> outcome, since I am not in the target audience, but I would advocate
> leaving the shell version of the control centre available as it is now
> -- not more visible, not less.

The only problem with this is at the moment it is pretty much invisible.

Personally I only knew it existed when this discussion started

> If people want it more visible for their own use, they can put a
> launcher on the panel.
> On Thu, Jul 18, 2002 at 12:54:54PM -0400, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > The problem with the shell is that it just doesn't make sense to
> > special-case the launching of particular kinds of thing.
> It does to me -- see below. :-)
> [...]
> > The case where I'd be wrong is if preferences are special or different
> > in some way. i.e. I guess you could argue that the "shell" is an
> > application, and the control panels are dialogs of that
> > application. So then we'd just drop the menu items for preferences.
> > 
> > But in short we need to identify:
> > 
> >  - is the problem with using nautilus/menus really a problem 
> >    that applies to all apps; if so, it's broken to break 
> >    out or special-case preferences
> >  - is the problem something specific to preferences, if 
> >    so the shell could make sense
> Very personal opinion about why the shell makes sense to me: Preferences
> are the one thing that Nautilus does that I use. For every other task
> provided by Nautilus that I use, I find other ways preferable.
> The control centre graphical interface is more useful to me than the
> menus because it is faster to use. I was trying to work out why this was
> the case yesterday and my office mate thought I had lost my marbles
> because I was opening and closing preferences like a madman. I _think_
> it comes down to two things:
> 	(i) the icons are a bigger target to aim for than the menu
> 	selection, so I can hit it faster, and
> 	(ii) on average, the new window that gets opened after I select,
> 	say, "Background" is closer to the control centre window (be it
> 	Nautilus or the shell version) than it is to the menu item (I
> 	don't have "pile all my windows into the top left corner" turned
> 	on in my window manager, since I want it to be usable). So
> 	again, it's slightly faster and feels easier to get to the "next
> 	step" in the process of configuring things.
> Now, I guess it's significant that, as a rule, I do not use the mouse
> very much at all. It is much faster for me to open applications and
> navigate around my multiple desktops and windows using keyboard
> shortcuts, since my hands are then always in the one place whereas my
> mouse requires me to relocate my hands significantly and find something
> that often moves just because I needed that space for a sheet of paper a
> second ago.
> Configuring my preferences is something that I need to use the mouse for
> and I don't really mind that, since I do it so rarely. When I do get
> into "configure" mode, however, I tend to change a few things at once,
> so I prefer it to be fast. Therefore I have a launcher on my panel that
> starts the control centre when I need it and away I go.
> [...]
> > (Let me also echo Seth's sentiment that we should in no way listen to
> > polls on ;-)
> Agreed. It was 21 votes total in this case, after all. Hardly a
> significant statistical sample (and just getting more votes won't leave
> them immune to other sample problems).
> > We all need to realize that if we want to succeed on the desktop, we
> > are going to be coding for a silent majority; and the only way to get
> > their needs right is to follow usability heuristic rules, and go out
> > and actively user test and solicit feedback.
> > 
> > Of course we should use hidden prefs and the occasional compromise and
> > so on to keep developers comfortable in the environment. But IMO we
> > are after users who are entirely silent in all online hacking forums.
> I was with you right up until that last part, Havoc (and that is the
> reason for this post). A disturbing trend has formed is that of viewing
> what you call "developers" are to be accomodated via work arounds and
> are not in the main target group. I would much rather they were
> considered to be a primary audience as much as the other categories of
> users. While more advanced users _can_ use work arounds in extreme
> cases, why should we have to? After all, the current medium and advanced
> users user GNOME _now_ -- not in some hypothetical future. Keeping them
> on the radar during design discussions is surely not too hard to do.
> Nevertheless, the 2.0.x releases are not the time to worry about this
> since the targets have been set out, so I will stay within site of the
> party line.
> Malcolm
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