Re: Style Guide suggestion

On Tue, 7 Jul 1998, Ben 'The Con Man' Kahn wrote:
> On 7 Jul 1998, Preben Randhol wrote:
> > * Marko Macek
> > | Preben Randhol wrote:
> > | 
> > | Do you think it's a good idea to have both:
> > |  - File|Preferences for app options
> > |  - File|Properties for document options (this belongs in the File menu).

That's close to what I think it should be.  I think having them
preferences and properties are too close, and will confuse some users.
The possible list of choices in English that I can think of off the top of
my head are:
   * Preferences
   * Properties
   * Options
   * Configuration (or Configure)
   * Settings

The set I prefer is File|Options for application options, and
File|Settings for document specific settings.

> > I think that a menu item called Properties and one called Preferences
> > would be confusing. I think it is better to have _one_ Preferences
> > which is a notebook-window like this: 
> > 
> >  _____________    __________
> > / Application \  / Document \ 
> > |               ---------------------|
> > |                                    |
> > |                                    |
> > -------------------------------------|
> > 
> > If one don't have application preferences then one just remove this
> > page and of course the same applies to the document properties.
> > 
> > It might not be preferable to use notebook style, but the main idea is
> > to collect all the different setting into one window for fast and easy
> > access/overview.

When I am changing document settings, I am not changing global appication
options, and vice versa.  In addition, for a complicated application
(such as a word processor), the number of tabs (or whatever division is
used for non-notebook options) will escalate.  This will make it almost
impossible to figure out which tabs are application and which are
document.  This is exactly the trap which Microsoft Word fell into, which
is why I recommended people look at that for what not to do.

> 	I don't think this is a good idea.  In my mind, editing document
> properties is a different thing than editing application properties.  I
> again refer people to the menus in Word to see why I strongly suggest we
> seperate things out.  


> 	I recommend a standard application wide configuration widget.
> This widget is exportable and registered with a central configuration
> program.  (Programs?)  This means that you can configure all of your
> local applications (and maybe some remote ones...  Ideas on how to do
> this?)  all at once.

If we specify a Guile API for the configuration section, that could
work very well, but I think it would mean an extra file for each
configurable GNOME application.  Then a control-panel type application
could access the applicaition configuration for each program on the
computer.  Even better, it would allow a sysadmin to use a script to run
through and change settings for multiple applications at once.

> 	Also, notebook tabs seem to be a very bad idea.  A tree view of
> options seems more user friendly.

I like that idea, trees take longer to get unwieldy than notebooks.
You're thinking of something reminiscent of the way Netscape handles its
preferences, right?

Regardless of which way is preferred, there should be a standard for
complicated configuration boxes, notebook, tree or whatever.

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