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

>why not give the user this freedom in the first place? why not START the
>whole install procedure by having the user drag&drop the app icon on the
>menu folder he wants it installed into? kind of like the "install icon" in
>cde, only that it additionally installs the whole app on the system.
>just a weird idea.

Not a weird idea at all!  Excellent concept.  The only thing I worry about
is the bookmark syndrome...people will just put it in root because they're
lazy, then complain that their bookmark list is so long.  Start menus are
also horrible messes because of the company default, even though the company
default is easily overridden.  So, how 'bout an installation defaults to the
app category/subcategory but can be added any number of times to any number
of locations?

>> We're talking about default case.  Most UI people who bitch and moan
>> the Start Menu forget that it's totally reconfigurable, but to be fair it
>> a pain to reconfigure.
>also, it doesn't care a ditch about your reconfiguration. the next darn
>program will again install itself in start->programs->bluebyte->incubation
>or whatever, no matter that I created a start->games folder long ago.
>gnome should NOT be permitted to duplicate that mistake. that's why I came
>up with the idea above. it surely isn't finished, but maybe a starting
>for discussion?

Gotta pick some default case.  Users forget how they've organized things, or
forget to correctly install something, or whatever.

>> We want our default organization system to get it
>> right the first time.
>and that means NOT following ANYTHING too closely. if gnome looks too much
>like windoze or apple or whatever, people will assume it works like it. if
>you copy, you've got to copy it all.

This is a fair critique.  Gnome must have sufficient differentiators to
allow it to be different at all.  Fortunately, I think this won't be a

>and no matter what rhlabs comes up with, gnome needs to support every wm
>that wants to be supported. even kwm if the need is there. the ability to
>choose my windowmanager is one of the prime reasons I love X - despite all
>it's shortcomings.

GNOME needs the freedom to request or demand certain functionality from the
wm.  Demands should be rare, but GNOME needs the ability to make them.

You can't make a good default UI if your hands are tied behind your back.

>> Yes, it's convenient, but it's awful default behavior except for the most
>> critical of applications.
>> Perhaps, and this is a maybe, we should have a specific set of apps that
>> are, by default, on the toolbar.  (Smaller, by the way.  Please.)
>> xterm, Midnight Commander make good options.
>xterm is the only thing I agree. for everything else you will find large
>minorities of people who don't use that thing in their lifetime.
>if you want to put some apps directly on the toolbar, why not instead put
>more than one menu folder there? create a sane default setting and make it
>clear that it's customizable.

Only way I can see it being clear something is customizable is with a screen
play.  I know almost nobody who uses the "View Channels" button but it sure
sits around down there on most 98 installs.

>> Interfaces should be customizable, but the average user must be expected
>> to customize their interface and should thus be given the best possible
>> initial experience.
>sorry, but I STRONGLY disagree here. the average user WILL customize his or
>her interface, I'll take absolutely ANY bet on that.

I'll send you screen shots of start menus, quickstart bars, etc. on
Win95/98/NT for normal users.  Very few people take the time to reorganize
their start menu, to add a new button to their quickstart bars, etc.

>I work in a company where one of the problems of maintaining a standard
>windoze setup throughout 100+ machines is a major source of trouble. one of
>the problems is that users want to customize their machines. they want
>custom applications, but they also want those nice
>and cute screen savers and cool desktop backgrounds.
>(damn am I happy that I work on the solaris and Linux machines. :) )

Note the irony...people are quick to customize for aesthetics but are
incredibly slow at customizing things that provide increased productivity.

The idea, then, is to provide maximum productivity at the start, and make it
obvious *and simple*(it's not simple to fix the Start Menu in Windows 95) to
get even more.

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