some thoughts on the about box

I've been poking at the about box this afternoon. To my mind, the about
box has three main tasks:

*Inform fairly casual users about GNOME [presumably hard-core hackers
already know]
*recognize past contributors
*recruit new contributors
*[minor] have an easy way for upstream folks to figure out what a bug
reporter might be running.

So... given those tasks, some thoughts [I'll file most of these as bugs
or provide patches, but I wanted to spark a touch of discussion and
maybe even interest in patching things that I can't patch myself. :)

*The links need to be improved. :) 'Download' is silly, since a user
seeing the about box has already in some way downloaded GNOME. :) I've
replaced that with 'News', which points to and helps
with the 'inform about GNOME' task. 'Users' just pointed to I agree that a user page would be great, but since we
don't have one right now, it's better to nuke the link altogether for
now. I've added a 'put me back' FIXME. Because the foundation page is
not terribly informative for the casual user, I've replaced it with a
'Friends of GNOME' link, which should drawn in some more contributors.
I've also added a link to the softwaremap (calling it 'Software' and
replacing the 'Users' link) but I'm not sure that this fits very well. 

*I think (and obviously the i18n people may or may not agree :) that it
would be nice to have a translatable title link along the lines of 'Help
Translate' in the subject, that could point to team developer pages or
mailto addresses or something like that. If a translator/translation
team already has too many helpers, they could just leave it as a blank

*It'd be nice to format the build/distributor/build date info better;
it's informative for distros but otherwise not very useful or
informative for end users.

*The current name animation is pretty, but it doesn't really recognize
contributors very well because it's slower than the kernel development
cycle. No one in their right mind (even parents :) are going to watch
past B. So... it would be sweet if it were random and faster. :) Maybe
putting more than one name on screen at once would help.

*The current text is not terribly focused on the
informing/recruiting/recognizing theme. I'm rewriting to help that :)
Attached is a very, very rough cut at a that
might help. [yeah, I think overloading gnome-version this way is wacky
too :)

Hrm. Anyway, I thought there was more but that was about it. :) I'll
probably commit this stuff soon (as well as a first cut at translation
of gnome-desktop.xml that Malcolm worked out) if no one objects. 

Index: gnome-about.c
RCS file: /cvs/gnome/gnome-desktop/gnome-about/gnome-about.c,v
retrieving revision 1.54
diff -u -r1.54 gnome-about.c
--- gnome-about.c	21 Jul 2003 12:59:56 -0000	1.54
+++ gnome-about.c	22 Jul 2003 22:16:10 -0000
@@ -890,7 +890,7 @@
 	href = href_item_new (root,
 			      _("About GNOME"),
-			      "";,
+			      "";,
 			      &current_x, &current_y);
 	/* make a nice guess for the dot delta */
@@ -900,18 +900,23 @@
 	/* draw a dot */
 	item = create_dot (root, &current_x, &current_y, dot_delta);
-	/* and more items on a likewise way (FIXME: update the links
-	 * if the new website ever comes online)
+	/* and more items on a likewise way
 	href = href_item_new (root,
-			      _("Download"),
-			      "";,
+			      _("News"),
+			      "";,
 			      &current_x, &current_y);
 	item = create_dot (root, &current_x, &current_y, dot_delta);
+	/*
+	 *FIXME: this used to be 'users' and it would be great to make
+	 *it users again once there is a user-centric page on the web
+	 *site.
+	 */
 	href = href_item_new (root,
-			      _("Users"),
-			      "";,
+			      _("Software"),
+			      "";,
 			      &current_x, &current_y);
 	item = create_dot (root, &current_x, &current_y, dot_delta);
@@ -922,8 +927,8 @@
 	item = create_dot (root, &current_x, &current_y, dot_delta);
 	href = href_item_new (root,
-			      _("Foundation"),
-			      "";,
+			      _("Friends of GNOME"),
+			      "";,
 			      &current_x, &current_y);
 	item = create_dot (root, &current_x, &current_y, dot_delta);
<?xml version="1.0"?>
is a Free, usable, powerful, accessible desktop environment and
development platform for the Unix family of operating systems.</_p>
	<_p>GNOME includes most of what you see on your computer,
including the file manager, menus, and many applications, like the web
browser. It also includes a development platform to allow programmers
to create complex and powerful new applications.</_p>
	<_p>GNOME is developed by an active community of volunteers
who want to provide a desktop and a suite of user friendly
applications. Because GNOME needs programmers, documenters,
translators, and many other types of people, Virtually anyone, with or
without coding skills, can contribute to GNOME.</_p>
	<_p>Hundreds of people have contributed code to GNOME since it
was started in 1997; many more have contributed in other important
ways, including translations, documentation, and quality
assurance. The following names are an incomplete list of those who
have contributed substantially and made GNOME

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]