RE: To answer your question about the upcoming Style-Guide..

>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.

If you are going to make a form to fill I want one to put on Spanish news
groups and to give all my friends who use Linux or Windows (even my mother).
We all should do this.

>   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 wouldn't like to be you. For example, if you say all the developers should
use the main menu they could complain, but if they used File it wouldn't
have very sense. (I don't want to start other flame war, it was only one

>   Standards which make sense, and can survive the test of time, are
>more valuable than you can believe. Ever wonder why the distance between
>the rails of a railroad track are all the same, no matter where you are?
>Its been like that for over 150 years. Why? Because someone back in the
>1840's sat down, thought about it, and did the right thing. UI design, and
>the writing of its standards is exactly the same idea. You build for now,
>AND you build for the future.
>   UI standardization is a very touchy issue with some people; Ive found
>that generally, the less personal taste and forethought a user has, the
>more likely they are to complain about standards. :) The final version of
>the Style Guide will likely be formed on the basis of differing
>"compliancy levels" ..e.g. a GNOME application which only adheres to the
>most basic principles outlined in the style guide will be deemed "Level 3
>Compliant", an application which adheres to most but not all of the design
>principles is "Level 2 Compliant", etc. That is to say, yes, the overall
>guidelines layed out in the the Style Guide will be flexible -- But not SO
>flexible as to become vague, indefinite, or weak.

About levels, it would be great if somebody made a group to advance in this.
As I am not a good developer I would like to work moving aplications from
Level 4 compliant to Level 1 compliant.

>   In any event, I already have the basic blueprints for the new
>style-guide. But, they're still very much in a "rough draft" state, which
>can only be further refined once I'm able to get more input from the
>   Yes, the form and function of the Style Guide will take largely after
>pre-existing designs. Im strongly against the idea of including specific
>features & functionality into a design for the simple sake that "People
>are just used to it that way"... People are used to Win95, which is as
>close to a living abortion of a desktop as one could imagine; An
>inconsistant, loosely-collected blob of borrowed ideas.. I'n NOT going to
>lay down the plans to build another Win95. Just because people are used to
>doing something in a paticular way, even when that "way" is terrible, does
>NOT mean that I will advocate its inclusion into V2 of the UI SG.
>   Microsoft is Microsoft, Commodore was Commodore, NeXT was NeXT, and
>Apple is Apple. By the same token, GNOME SHOULD BE GNOME -- with its own
>feel, and its own distinct personality. Not a pot-luck blob of comfort
>which defeats function, ala KDE.
>   This is the core of what separates our approach from that of KDE.
>Function, and visual consistancy must come FIRST--Not the desire to
>placate and comfort the user with a design which simply doesnt make sense.
>   There is a VERY fine line between the need for consistancy, and the
>need for comfort..And it can't just be ME who decides where that line
>is to be drawn. We all have to draw it. We do so, by arguing the
>merits of every single point, idea, or stipulation. Wherever the line
>ends up falling, and regardless of what territories it will fall into
>(AmigaDOS/Intuition, NeXTStep, MacOS, Win95), it WILL and MUST be
>distinctly, totally, and unquestionably >>GNOME<<. Not a collection
>borrowed ideas that lack functional consistancy.
>We are not KDE.

I agree, but please. Nobody from the KDE team should read this...

>| Bowie J. Poag |
>| Vigor, vim, vitality and punch.                              |

- yiyus

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