Re: A Proposal For The Addition Of Color-Reactiveness To The GNOME Desktop

Bowie Poag <> writes:

> I see your point, tho -- I just dont see the need to give the user that
> degree of freedom when choosing Lamp and Beacon color. Sure, it would be
> nice. :) But with freedom comes responsibility. Lets suppose 3 years from
> now, color-reactiveness has caught on, and everyone uses it.. And just by
> virtue of public opinion, Blue always means sleeping, and Aqua always
> means running. What happens if someone comes along and tries to make a
> Lamp which is halfway between Blue, and Aqua? Which is it doing, sleeping
> or running? Denying the user the ability to arbitrarrily choose the color
> of color-reactive elements from a pallete of 16.7 million would open a
> Pandora's Box of sorts. Its one of the rare occasions you'll see where
> giving the user ultimate freedom is a bad idea.

I don't believe in *dictating* to the user.  I think there should be
reasonable defaults, and perhaps it shouldn't be *easy* to change some
things, but if the user really can't stand something, they should be
allowed to change it.  Note that we're talking about unix here.  Each
user will log in to the machine as themselves, so if some user wants a
completely wacky scheme, no-one will have to deal with it but

And there are other issues here.  What about color-blind people?  For
them, color choices are crucial, and physical indications are often
superior to color changes.  I'm just making the point that thinking
that you can anticipate *everyone's* needs and then imposing decisions
on them when you don't have to is a form of pointless controlling.
With UIs I'd say encourage a standard rather than enforcing it.

> Its like dealing with crayons. You're never going to need more than that
> big box of 64, most kids are happy with 48, and nearly everybody can get
> by with just a small pack of 16 :) The same applies to color-reactiveness,
> in my opinion. 8 different static color states are enough to convey the
> total number of possible states expressable by any paticular program.

Hmm.  Without solid proof, this sounds a little like one of those "no
one will ever need more than 256K RAM" statements...

Note I'm not completely knocking any of this.  I think it's
interesting, but I'm urging the consideration of more flexibility.
Although I'm no longer worried if the Enlightenment author's getting

Rob Browning <>
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