Re: Err..To Desktop Or Not To Desktop?

On Mon, 27 Jul 1998, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> writes:
> > 
> > 
> > Lemmie clear a few things up, here..
> > 
> > 
> > IMHO, Gnome would suffer greatly if there were no underlying foundation to
> > work from; You can call this foundation a "desktop" if you wish, or at
> > least something similar. Whatever you call it, it needs to be there,
> > absolutely. Gnome, without an underlying foundation, would effectively be
> > an incomplete design--And a good way to completely torpedo any hope of it
> > becoming successful in the future.
> > 
> > Gnome needs a desktop. Period. Now, whether or not >my< scope of influence
> > is large enough that I can mandate how such a desktop is to be constructed 
> > via the Style Guide, I dont know. I'll be talking to Marc Ewing (and a few
> > others) at Red Hat on monday, to discuss this very issue. Some people want
> > the Style Guide to simply address the format, layout and appearance of
> > apps.. Others want it to be a completely communist manifesto on the visual
> > layout and default appearance of everything top to bottom. Im prepared to
> > do both, if asked.
> > 
> > To stop with simply describing the form aplications are to appear in,
> > without at least attempting to address the functionality and appearance 
> > the underlying desktop, would, IMHO, leave the greater picture totally
> > incomplete. Theres no use in my writing the Style Guide if im going to be
> > forced to leave such a gaping hole in the overall design. An incomplete
> > design leaves the door wide open to inconsistancy, and the tendency of
> > coders to stray from established guidelines, which blows the whole point
> > of the Style Guide to begin with.
> > 
> > Now, if it turns out that following my talk with Marc and the others, that
> > my creative freedom in this DOES extend further than just covering the
> > appearance of apps, you can be absolutely certain that I will end up call
> > for a standardized desktop. By standardized, I mean only in its
> > functionallity. The physical appearance of which can't be enforced by a
> > style guide--Its up to the users own personal tastes and preferences.
> > 
> > "Standardized functionality" roughly just means "Were going to have a
> > desktop. The desktop must have these things..blahblahblah, blahblahblah, a
> > clock, and a trashcan.".. Just the same as describing something like a
> > flag as a "Were going to have a flag. A flag is a sheet of fabric,
> > blahblahblah, optionally displayed on a pole." ..And NOT describing what
> > colors it has, what emblem it shows, etc. Thats not my job.
> > 
> > I've been asked to write a Style Guide. What that encompasses, right now,
> > is still a little up-in-the-air. Its not my place to decide what the style
> > guide SHOULD encompass.
> > 
> > Any feedback regarding the issue would be greatly appreciated, in the
> > meantime.
> > 
> I apologize for quoting this message in full, but I couldn't find
> convenient pieces to respond to individually. IMO, you are missing
> several important points.

(..much useless flame deleted..)

Quite the opposite, my friend.

See..In the original draft of this letter, I had a paragraph at the end
which stated something to the effect of..

"Please, READ what I've said here, in detail. Dont skim. I choose my
words VERY carefully. So, before you run around like a chicken with its
head cut off, screaming bloody murder that i'm trying to eliminate the
democratic process necessary to making a good style guide, have another
look at what I've just wrote."

You make me wish I hadn't removed it.

I ctrl-K'ed that entire paragraph at the last minute, assuming the people
who were going to read it had also read what I've been saying all along. 
I assumed some half-informed dork WOULDN'T walk up all full of piss and
vinegar, having merely skimmed through what I just wrote, and accuse me of
being a clueless dictator without an ounce of regard for popular consensus. 

Looks like I was assumed wrong, in both respects. 

Try going back, and reading other posts I've made to the mailing list.
Then, you will know my intentions. After you have done that, please sit
down and examine this post again, in detail. If you still have questions
about what I've written, or if you are confused about any part of it, ask
me to clarify my point, or my stand on an issue. Do NOT run around like a
chicken with its head cut off claiming i'm an exclusionary psychopath hell
bent on doing all of this work myself.

I'm not typing all of this for your personal amusement; I'm typing it to
get an important point across. Anything more would be a waste of time, for
you AND me.

If you HAD read the post carefully, and had been following the course of
events which have lead up to it, you would realize that what you've
accused me of could not be further from the truth. My job is to write a
Style Guide for GNOME. Not to shove my personal design manifesto down
yours, or anyone elses throat.

Take some time out, fix yourself a cup of coffee, and look at it again.


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