Re: To answer your question about the upcoming Style-Guide.. writes:
> To answer your question, Chris..
>    Relax. :) You can rest assured that when I actually do sit down and
> begin penning out what will become V2 of the GNOME UI Style Guide, there
> will be a very, very heavy emphasis on thew importance of visual
> consistancy, clean, uncluttered design, balance, and uniformity of
> function. Thats my job. NeXTStep (in paticular) demonstrated alot of the
> those principles.
>    Theres still alot of preparation which needs to be done before the
> actual writing process begins. Here's the current plan: I intend on
> preparing a few comprehensive surveys and questionairres for everyone
> (novices and know-nothings, to professionals and experts) to convey their
> feelings and preferences regarding a few key issues. These suerveys will
> be made available during (and after) 2 or 3 public IRC conferences that
> i'll host, which will gather up everyone important to the process, to
> haggle over the details. This will occur in a few weeks, after a formal
> announcement has been made.
>    Once I can get a fairly accurate gauge on what the public consensus is,
> I can begin tailoring what I know to be right and good, and what will fit
> the design goals GNOME needs. 
>    I want to make this process as democratic as possible, but in the end,
> there are going to be times where I have to make judgement calls regarding
> certain design issues which may not be immediately popular; Some things,
> despite the public's demand for them, need to be overlooked for the good
> of the overall design. Its not just the present that we have to worry
> about ; We have to keep the needs of the future in perspective as well.
> The first formal style guide will set the standard that all subsequent
> Style Guides will have to adhere to, in one form or another. What we do
> now will have a *profound* effect on how things are thought of, and done,
> in the future. So in a couple years, when its time to write another NEWER
> style guide, we will have gotten the process off to a good start by the
> work we do now. 

I have to suggest that whenever there is a highly controversial
question to be settled where the results are not arbitrary, the style
guide's answer should be to make it a user-cconfigurable option. As an
example of something I consider arbitrary, I would present "Exit"
vs. "Quit" as the name of the menu item to quit/exit the app: it
doesn't really matter which it is, as long as it's consistent.

As an example of somthing that's _not_ arbitrary, I would present the
use of toolbars, status bars, and other interface elements that some
find "cluttering" but others, such as myself, find convenient and

The style guide can make a ruling on the proper default setting for
such controversial issues, but it should also demand
user-configurability for them.

Also, more generally, please make the style guide development process
more open. Check in your notes, survey ideas, rough drafts, etc. While
UI design does benefit to some degree from one or very few people
imposing a consistent vision, I think there are many people here who
could give a lot of great suggestions and ideas. They should get to
add their input at all points of the process.

 - Maciej

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