The relationship between Desktop and Panel

> However, I've not changed my opinion that not EVERYTHING should reside on
> the panel.

Containing the sum of Gnome's operability within the panel is as much of a
crutch as it is a mistake; The panel should only be a point of reference
among many; One of several ways of going about a given task (launching
apps, checking stuff, whatever.) As much as I like the panel, to
encapsulate everything within it, would be a huge, huge mistake.

> I also remain worried about the desktop being too much of a mess to
> navigate.

This is not our responsibility. However, we can reduce the likelyhood of
the user's desktop becoming a huge graveyard of icons by giving them a
more elegant and efficient means of accessing their favorite/most used
items. Ever see a typical Win95 user's desktop? They have the tendency of
amassing dozens of icons on the desktop, all shortcuts, because they
neither want to bother with digging them out of folders, or accessing
them via some clumsy-ass hack like the "Start" button. 

The principle reason behind the Start menu's failure in Win95 was its very
design -- The user does NOT want to have to hunt and dig through 3, 4 or 5
sublayers of menus, and wade through 40 or 50 menu items on the way, in
order to select a desired item in what appears to be a giant tree of crap
which lacks any real coherent, logical structure. 

People want fast, one menu access. That can be done. People want the
things near and dear to them to be within close reach. That can be done
too. It can be done comfortably, efficiently, and logically. Case in
point: The Tools menu, AmigaDOS 2.x->3.x

For those of you who never had the luxury of using an Amiga for extended
periods of time, AmigaDOS 2.04 introduced a thing called the Tools menu.
With it, users could add their own manually-named entires into a menu,
similar to the Mac's "Apple Menu"..Except the user has the choice of what
order the menu items are in, what they do, what theyre named, etc. I
remember my Tools menu from years back.. I had like 50 different things in
the Tools menu. Everything from "Reboot" to "Check To See If I Have Any
Mail" to "Edit System Journal"...All of these options were nothing more
than hand-named Menu entries, which executed a program, or a batch file
that did something. Simple, easy, elegant, and clean. I have yet to hear
of something more simple, or more effective.

> So, I offer the following suggestion:
> 1)  The Desktop should be a folder inside of the gnomeprint, much as I
> suggested entire filesystems or foldersystems be allowed to be symlinked
> inside.

Clumsy, and unintuitive. I dont mean to take a whiz on your suggestion,
but it would be a nightmare for users to contend with. Keep the panel and
the desktop separate--They dont belong intermeshed. The end result would
be something WORSE than Win95's start button, if you could
imagine that. :)

> 2)  *All* entries on the gnomeprint should have a checkbox besides them.  If
> you check it, it does the same thing as dragging the item from the
> gnomeprint to the panel should do:  Adds that icon or folder to the panel.

Checkmarks indicate something has been "OK'ed"... Use them appropriately,
not liberally.

> 3)  By default, there should be at least two apps and two folders existing
> on the panel.  This way, the user will begin his Gnome experience seeing
> checkmarks on the gnomeprint next to the folders and apps on the panel, and
> the interface will have become self-documenting.

Unnecessary. There are ways of leading the user down the path to greater
knowledge of how to get the most out of the desktop/panel without having
to make such changes to the design. 

I just moved into a new apartment -- And im still getting used to which
light switches control what lights.. Now, if I went over to the light
switch with a magic-marker, drew a big black arrow on the wall and
labelled it "Entranceway Light" , drew another arrow to another switch and
said "Walkway Light"... Sure, it would be helpful to me. I wouldnt have
any question as to what lightswitch controlled what.. But after I got used
to it, and didnt need the arrows or the labels anymore, what would I be
left with, really? ... A gaudy, ugly mess of marker drawings on my wall
that I would wish I never made.

Dont do the same with the Panel's interface. :)

| Bowie J. Poag |
| Sand and grit in a concrete base.                            |

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]