Re: Clearing up some things (plus flame retardant # 2)

Here goes..phew.

> Bowie said (quote #1):
> > The concept of "Compliance Levels" was first announced here, as part of
> > the upcoming *official* style guide framework, about two weeks ago. I
> > appreciate your input, but please hold off on producing them to the
> > mailing list until the formal groundwork has been unveiled at the UISG
> > Conference on Sunday. We all need to have consensus on the framework
> > before we move onto the details.
> And, oddly enough, he also said (quote #2:
> > T h e  S t y l e  G u i d e  w i l l ,  a n d   m u s t   b e  
> > t o t a l l y   o p e n   t o   p u b l i c  s c r u t i n y,  a t 
> > e v e r y   s t e p   o f   i t s    d e v e l o p m e n t.
> > 
> > P l e a s e   g e t   t h e   i d e a   o u t   o f   y o u r
> > h e a d   t h a t   I   w a n t   t h e   d e v e l o p m e n t
> > o f   t h i s   d o c u m e n t   t o   b e   a   s o l i t a r y 
> > a n d   i s o l a t e d   e f f o r t.
> So people have a reason to be confused.  The following is the way
> things should work, and I would appreciate everyone's cooperation:
> - The only official style guide we have right now is the little
>   document on the Gnome web site.  We cannot talk about the new
>   official style guide, as it is non-existant.  This debunks the first
>   sentence of quote #1.

With all due respect, Federico, I think you missed the word "upcoming".

I'm merely asking that such blanketing proposals be held off for a few
days, so the general public participating in the Conference will be able
to look at it. This is far different than telling someone, "Shut up." :)

Why wait for the Conference to talk about it? Simple -- The concept of
Compliancy Levels is something which is best addressed by a very, very
large number of people. Its an issue which affects the users, AND the
programmers. Its a topic more accurately gauged by the conference
audience, not by the mailing list audience. Im merely trying to direct the
proposal to the optimal audience for it -- Not squash it, for christ's

Unfortunately, the two pheases "completely open", and "totally
uncontrolled" are mutually assured. One leads directly to the other.
The penning of the UISG can be totally open to public involvement, but it
-must- be a controlled process in order to prevent it from spiraling into 
a chaotic mess. The process MUST be open, but must ALSO be controlled.

Let me try to explain this by example/analogy:

You can walk into any bank in the world, its open. But, its controlled,
because it has to be. From the bank's business hours, to the velvet ropes
infront of the tellers. There are armed guards at the door to prevent
people from robbing the place. There are security cameras that track your
every move. You dont have to worry about either of them, if
youre a law-abiding citizen. Eventually, everyone gets what they came for.

Open, but controlled. 

Go to a movie theater. You can walk in at anytime, because its also an
open process, just like the bank. Give your ticket to the usher, buy some
popcorn.. You cant go into the big projection room where the movie is
being shown yet, because the other movie hasn't quite finished. A velvet
rope prevents people from going into the big projection rooms from being
disturbed while they watch the movie. Eventually, everyone gets what they
came for.

Open, but controlled.

Youre thirsty, and there isnt a drinking fountain for half a block.. You
find one, and theres a line with a dozen people in it, waiting to drink.
You can get in line too, since the fountain is an open process -- Youre
welcome to participate, and nobody is going to prevent you from being a
part of it..So, you wait in line. Eventually, everyone gets what they came

Open, but controlled.

Would you want to be in a bank where there were no velvet ropes, no
cameras, no guards? No way -- Its chaos waiting to happen. At the very
least, you would have mob of people trying to fight for access to each
teller! You want that? Course not. It would suck.

Would you want to go to a cinema, where people were constantly walking in
and out of the backdoor of the theater while you were trying to watch a
movie? Course not. That would suck even worse.

Would you rather fight fifteen people for the right to put your face
infront of the faucet, and push the button on the fountain? No way.

You simply cannot do something the right way.. the *right way*, in an open
environment, without having some sort of flow control and organization of
tasks. Trust me on this one.

Open..........but..........*controlled.* is the way to go.

>   What I would like right now is for someone, anyone,
>   to collect the different UI suggestions that have appeared on this
>   list and try to put them together in a reasonably organized
>   document.  By "reasonably organized", I mean with a structure
>   similar to that of the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.  It
>   does not matter if some of these UI suggestions contradict each
>   other; that is everyone's job to discuss and formalize.

This is exactly what we're going to be doing during the Conference,
Federico, but try to keep in mind the logical order that things have to
follow for such a process to occur.

Its like building one of those volcanoes for a science project. You need
to start with the foundation, and then add some chicken-wire to form the
skeleton of the volcano. THEN, you start throwing clay at it, then you
paint it. We need to get everything in the right order, to do it right.




o We have the foundation. The UISG 1.0 current on

o We have the chicken-wire skeleton of the volcano -- It will be unveiled
  at the Conference on sunday.

o We have the clay. The input/proposals/ideas from people willing to help.

o We have the paint. The ability to push it all together into something
  which makes sense.

o We have the decorations -- The revision process.

Youre asking us to accept and do something with pre-painted clay,
before we've put the chicken wire on the foundation. :)

> The style guide maintainer, if anything, should resove controversies
> when there are equally acceptable points of view on some UI-related
> issue.  If the style guide maintainer does not have a particular
> preference for either point of view, then it is basically "flip a
> coin" or "make it configurable", I think.

Controversy is resolved by open discussion. 

IMHO, things should be placed in a logical, concise order. Not some weak,
arbitrary "well, we cant find any decent place for this, so, we'll just
throw it over there." form of construction. That would suck. 

NEVER would I simply "flip a coin" on an issue. Because the outcome of
that coin-flip could have unforseen consequences down the road.

> When concensus is reached on some UI issue and it is formalized on the
> style guide, it may be the case that such issue is apt for
> implementation on the libgnomeui library.  If so, then someone from
> this list should implement it, if he is able to, or inform the
> development lists about this new feature that has to be implemented.

Bingo. This is exactly what the plan is. Its several steps down the road,
but that will inevitably be the end result of the project -- The Style
Guide will very likely mandate changes to libgnomeui, and the coders
should be prepared for that.
> As an example of this, let's say everyone agrees that having a little
> "Gnome foot" menu is appropriate (I like this idea; some other people
> may not like it, and that is fine, as this is just an example).  The
> proper thing to do would be take the gnome-app-helper code and
> implement some sort of GNOMEUIINFO_GNOME_MENU macro and the
> corresponding parts of the library to automatically generate the Gnome
> foot menu.  That way programmers can begin using it quickly, and
> everyone is happy.

Yup. Exactly.

> So.  People, please keep the UI discussions coming, and please stop
> all the flaming on this list.

The signal-to-noise ratio is improving rapidly, now that we're all on the
same wavelength here. We all know we have a job to do.

>   Federico


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