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

On Thu, 2005-07-07 at 14:06 -0400, Bryan Clark wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-07-07 at 18:26 +0200, Carlos Garnacho wrote:
> > 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:
> Yes, but ask that same secretary to use _your_ categorization
> names/methods instead of their own to find their stuff, that's the real
> problem. ;-)
> What I'm calling this problem is, Unnecessary Display of Arbitrary
> Categories (UDAC), i.e. categories by programmers hopefully for users to
> try to hide the complexity of the system.  Unnecessary because no one
> wants to navigate an arbitrary hierarchy.  Arbitrary because we made
> them, which means they probably won't make sense to everyone else.  I
> believe Novell's usability testing showed a number of places where UDAC
> caused headaches to people who didn't know how to navigate the
> categories properly.

Even the most scientific categorization of something will seem arbitrary
for someone, we can never talk in absolute terms

> > 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.
> I see the applications menu as a great example of UDAC, and if you look
> at the sections of the HIG regarding Frames and Notebooks it's no
> mistake that there are many cautionary notes in the Guidelines regarding
> using these things.

Yeah, and there are also guidelines telling that submenus inside
submenus and having >15 elements are bad, so preferences menu is doubly
evil  :)


> It's not that categorization should be stripped entirely from the
> desktop.  Categories do provide good ways of sorting items and are
> valuable keywords in searches.  Most search systems I recommend [1]
> incorporate search and browse techniques which need categories.
> However, just switching to the shell seems to me more like shuffling the
> deck chairs on the titanic than attacking the real problem.  I'm pushing
> to see, "switching to g-c-c shell with search!" in the spirit of Calum's
> response earlier, that way we're shuffling deck chairs in order to build
> another ship.

Man, I was suggesting what I think that could be a good first step,
wasn't saying in any way to just stay there :)

The screenshot that Calum posted looks quite sweet, I'm already thinking
about how could we implement something like that.

> Vote no on UDAC!

Sounds like a goal for Topaz


> Cheers,
> ~ Bryan
> [1]

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