Re: Applets? [was Re: Planning for GNOME 3.0]

Hey Owen,

> The main open question for gnome-shell is not how to implement them.
> It's the user interface question. And when we look at the user interface
> question I think the label "applet" is a bit deceptive. We have all sort
> of different things that are applets, and their only commonality is that
> they go on the panel. The better approach is to start from the tasks and
> functionality

Not really responding to this directly since, as usual, your analysis
is very good.

I think one of the most important cases against applets (as they are
currently defined in GNOME) is that they are extremely detrimental to
the Identity of the product or platform.  Today, our entire desktop
identity is defined by a configurable number of horizontal or vertical
bars filled with any number (even duplicates) of random Things that
may launch stuff, open menus, open dialogs, operate on windows, switch
workspaces, and more!  Boxes-o-crap as I lovingly (in the eulogistic
sense) refer to them.  Each time I see "Remove from panel" when I
right click on the notification area or the menu system I weep and my
mascara runs and god is it awful.

Let's say that we are trying to define either a product or a product
platform.  I don't think it is possible to do this without some
"brand" coherence.  And it is arguably impossible to do this
effectively with such an ad-hoc/individually-customized design

Even those of us in the developer community would have a difficult
time identifying a GNOME desktop in 3-5 steps.  Let's try this with
Windows: "Start" or <Windows symbol> menu, (usually) bar at the
bottom.  This works from Windows Server products all the way to
embedded Windows on smartphones.
With OS X: Apple logo menu, menu bar at the top, (usually) a dock.
Even though the iPhone doesn't have the same software identification
experience it retains the platform design branding on the hardware and
uses familiar themes in the software visual design.  There is usually
no doubt that it is an Apple platform.
With Android: who knows...

So, one of the many very exciting things about GNOME Shell is that for
the first time we may have ability to really shape the user experience
and form an identity for the GNOME platform.

That said, I agree that it is very important to have a number of
extension points.

  * At the platform level to shape a different user experience
(usually for devices with different form-factors and goals).  I would
expect this to probably be only at build/integration time.
  * Something like a new status area where extensions behave in a very
consistent and well-defined manner - the current notification area
"applets" are neither
  * A "place" where the rules are more relaxed and fun things can
happen - maybe a sidebar - maybe Vegas...

As you mentioned the current applet design conflates these things.  I
think we can do a lot better.

Better default experience, more consistency, more fun!  Unity!  We're
doing something together here and it is about time we started looking
like it.


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