Re: gnome 3

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 4:53 AM, Alberto Mardegan <mardy users sourceforge net> wrote:
I think this discussion is more pertinent in the usability ML; I'm adding that in CC and to the Reply-to.

On 04/14/2011 11:24 AM, Jasper St. Pierre wrote:
   Today, I'm writing to you for the first time and it's about this new version
   of gnome 3. I was surprised: lots of changes, but I had little problem about
   all this new way of getting things done. Great work! However, the total lack
   of customization is totally unacceptable to me. So sorry guys, but after all
   these years, you lost me. I just wanted you to know it, since you can't
   guess. Thank you for everything.

Well, we can't add flags and switches for every little piece of the user
experience, so what are some of the major things that ought to be customizable?

I can tell a few things that are important to me to be customizable, with a big disclaimer though: I didn't try gnome 3 yet, my assumptions are based on the things I've read about it.

Please do. The whole design philosophy behind gnome 3 is to GTFO when you need to focus on a task, make it easy so you *can* switch and organize tasks, and make you aware of interruptions via a separate component, the message tray.

Hopefully, the message tray concept extends to other useful information in the future: shows a mail client with 5 unread messages, an appointment, music in rhythmbox, and two IM chats.
- Suspend on laptop lid closed; many people have asked for this to be configurable.

There has been some community outrage on this, and hopefully we can Do The Right Thing for everybody.

My opinion:

Some people want it because suspend takes too long to wake up from, but a configuration option is the wrong thing for this: it would be annoying if you had to go a settings panel to check a box to turn off Suspend so you can walk five minutes to the meeting, and then remember to turn it back on for the long commute home. You should just be able to close the lid, unplug the computer, and walk to the meeting.

Other people want it because suspend doesn't work on their hardware. Adding a configuration option is just putting wallpaper over the cracked wall; the real solution is to fix suspend. And in the meantime, the wallpaper should be to detect suspend works as intended, and do something else if you can't.
- Theme.

We already have some support for theming by CSS right now, and you can indeed change it but this has a big "unsupported" sticker slapped on it because there's no guarantee on multiple things related to the CSS files: class names, etc.

This should hopefully change in the future, with themes being supported and promoted, but for now we need to focus on getting features out first.
Then, not related to configurability, something I like to complain about:

- Usage of GtkSwitch should depend on whether the device has a touchscreen; if it hasn't, it should never be shown; and even when there there is a touchscreen, it should be used only when it makes sense: that is, it's turning on/off a device (such as a webcam), never for configuration options.

I really like GtkSwitch myself, even working on a desktop here, but unfortunately it may be a bit misused. There is work on documenting how it should be used, but the GNOME 3 HIG documentation is late.
Just my two cents.


-- <-- geek in un lingua international!

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