Re: switching to g-c-c shell? [Was: Re: Control center and capplet merging]

On Thu, 2005-07-07 at 10:50 -0400, Bryan Clark wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-07-07 at 01:16 +0200, Carlos Garnacho wrote:
> > "just" feels better quoted in that piece of sarcasm, even if we do an enviable
> > work and reduce the number of capplets without moving them from the menu, we 
> > will have still a growing blob of uncategorized settings (at least, I think that
> > the tendence to grow is quite noticeable, and even more if we mix at some point 
> > g-c-c and g-s-t)
> > 
> > I really think that, while the PreferencesRevisited page in l.g.o has pretty 
> > good ideas, we still should try to show a categorized view of all preferences,
> > instead of letting users try their luck in the menu (what does "Session" beside 
> > "Sound"? Why there's a separate sublevel for accessibility? ... ;)
> This truly assumes that categories actually help people find what they
> are looking for.  What really happens is that we dispute category names
> (read Preference vs. Administration or Desktop vs. System) over and over
> because groups of people don't feel it really represents what is in
> there.   When none of that really helps people who don't know what they
> are looking for.  "My sound doesn't work" -> Where does that person go?
> Preferences?  Administration?  Help?

Categories *do* help people find what they're looking for, ask any
secretary :), it's true that's it's more or less far from the ideal
where we want to arrive, but I think it's a lot closer than the current
preferences status. Right now when you want to change some setting you
have to exercise/spend whether:

* Visual memory ("the icon looked like...")
* Muscle memory ("It was near the last icon")
* Some neurones thinking about the capplet name and where it should be
given the alphabetical order
* Some time reading the descriptions

The worst of these if obviously the last, and personally hit me hard
when I switched my desktop from Spanish to English. I'm not saying that
categorization is going to fix it completely, but at least will palliate
the effects.

Besides that, we're already using categorization, for better or for
worse, in lots of parts of the desktop (Applications menu, GtkNotebooks
and GtkFrames themselves are a way to categorize information), so IMHO
not doing this with preferences because we don't have a good-for-all
solution definitely isn't a step forward.


> The problem with this idea of categorization is that, assuming no two
> people are alike, the odds are very low that many of the will look in
> the same category for the same thing anything.  You as computer
> programmers have a much different background than most other people and
> because of this use different terms to describe things.  Case in point
> is the Ubuntu CollapsedPreferences wiki page [1] where a category is
> named "Interface", which is a word that means something very specific to
> computer people, but means next to nothing on a computer to most other
> people.
> Obviously category wording can always be improved, and this is where we
> end up, trying to really understand "Where would the 'user' look to find
> Fonts?".  Kind of an endless struggle.  I've heard people poke fun at
> KDE for having a search for their mega-preference center, but I'm
> guessing people are finding what they're looking for a lot better now.
> The more categorization I see the on the desktop more and more I am
> convinced that we should be basing our entire desktop off of a search
> paradigm.  Picture Seth's little storage applet and typing "How do I
> change my fonts", it'd be pretty easy to get someone the right capplet
> then - sorry, total tangent.  
> Cheers,
> ~ Bryan
> [1]
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