Re: [Epiphany] "I feel lucky" preference on Address bar

On Sun, Jun 29, 2003 at 11:05:17PM +0200, Gavrila wrote:

 > >  > I think you misunderstood what I wrote. Since this project born
 > >  > to give a REALLY simple but powerful browser, one of the line of
 > >  > devs is to not implement gui options to configure "tweaky"
 > >  > things. And that's fine for me, just because that's why they
 > >  > decided to fork from galeon. The question indeed I was asking
 > >  > is: why to negate the possibility to 'hack' these settings when
 > >  > someone is able to?
 > > 
 > >  Having to "hack" the settings/preferences in is just as wrong.
 > >  While gconf is in general a good idea, it's prone to be abused in
 > >  this kind of way.  What is the reason, from a HCI point of view,
 > >  for making something that's, no matter how you look at it, a
 > >  _user_ preference _not_ configurable in an accesible way?

 > Since I don't think [...] that options like "how to treat non-url
 > things typed in addressbar" are hard coded in epiphany

 Last time I looked at it, they are, in fact.

 > letting someone cofigure a preference in a non-accessible way, means
 > not putting other not simple-for-user options in the gui (and this is
 > a project aim ), but at the same time, it gives freedom to those who
 > want it.

 Look, getting metaphysical about it is going to get you nowhere.  GNOME
 has a nicely written HIG document.  The fact that most people have
 taken its contents to the extreme and declared anything that smells of
 configurability as a bad thing is a different problem.  These people
 ought to learn to read.  The most misunderstood advise in that document
 is IHMO this:

    Keep It Simple and Pretty

    Your application should enable the user to concentrate on the task
    at hand. So, design your application to show only useful and
    relevant information and interface elements. Every extra piece of
    information or interface control competes with the truly relevant
    bits of information and distracts the user from important
    information. Hence, don't clutter your interface, and don't overload
    the user with buttons, menu options, icons, or irrelevant
    information. Instead, use progressive disclosure and other
    techniques to limit what the user sees at any given moment.

 Epiphany's interface is clean, and it is /not/ going to get cluttered
 by allowing the user to modify basic preferences (such as which search
 engine they prefer to use) because the preferences dialog is /not/
 Epiphany's interface (not any program's interface for that matter).

 Most people seem to ignore this:

    Put the User in Control

    Remember that computers exist to serve humans. A user should always
    feel in control, able to do what they want when they want. This
    means you should generally avoid modes; users should be able to
    switch between different tasks (and specifically, different windows)
    at any time.

    The user should also be able to tailor aspects of their environment
    to fit personal preferences. >> It is very important, however, to
    avoid the trap of allowing too much configuration, or allowing the
    configuration of parameters that most users will not understand or
    find useful to modify. << Wherever possible, inherit visual and
    behavioral parameters from global preferences and settings such as
    the current GTK+ theme.

 That's an infortunate wording for a good intention.  Most people
 interpret "most users" as "my grandma", who hasn't used a computer in
 her life for all I know.  OTOH, I interpret that as "my sister", who's
 been using computers for some years but can't write a single line of
 code.  She knows some things about searching the web: Google is the
 website she uses to search for stuff on the web; there's a localized
 version of it which she can use and works better for her; "I'm feeling
 lucky" is something she just ignores.  Now I ask myself what'd happen
 if I tell her that she can type something in the location bar and
 that'd trigger a google search.  My guess is she'd keep clicking on the
 "google" button on the toolbar.  Face it: keyword search is an
 "advanced" feature (just like smart bookmarks).  There are zero UI
 hints about its existance.

 > I'm not saying this should be disabled by default..

 FWIW, I am.  I'm feeling lucky is a horrible default.  It has
 non-predictable non-defined behaviour.  Futhermore, the user can't
 override the computer's choice.

 > I would think that inexpert users willing to learn how to change a
 > preference hidden in a pref.js file

 _That_is_wrong_.  You don't expose the program's inner guts for
 configuration purposes.  pref.js is an artifact of the way Mozilla gets
 embedded in applications and there's no contract stating that's the
 interface will exist in the future.  If you want to make it
 configurable, make it in such a way that there's a chance this
 possibility will remain consistent in the foreseeable future.

 > >  > What do you think about this?
 > > 
 > >  Honestly?  I think it's bull.
 > honestly I'd rather think you could be a little more pleasant.

 Pleasing or displeasing you is neither my intention nor interest.


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