Re: GNOME Usability Improvements - Fix the window manager!

Matt Craun wrote:
> On Mon, 02 Aug 1999 14:36:15 -0400, Michael Fulbright wrote:
> I work for a techinical helpdesk, and I fully understand where your coming
> from. The stuff that your talking about is more aline with user friendly and
> better gui support than window's manager support. I know this because what I
> do is alot of software testing, documenting, and make suggestions for better
> gui support for users to the programmers. I think that this can only come
> from a) better design of the gnome gui b) support and developing better
> intergrations with the various window's managers. However I wonder if it
> would be better if gnome should instead more closely work with the various
> windows manager's developers to develop better ways of communicating and
> corrsponding with the various window managers.Like Mandrake said helping to
> develop hints. This is the solid start we need to go.
>  I am a big fan of gnome, I think it shows alot of promise, the developers
> of gnome have done a superb job. I can only forsee trouble brewing if gnome
> were to start up its own wm manger, adding more fuel to the fire in the holy
> war, if this were to happen.
> >
> > On Mon, Aug 02, 1999 at 08:49:58AM -0700, Matt Craun wrote:
> > > Your asking for alot more trouble
> > > than you realize by saying that maybe there should be a window's manager
> for
> > > gnome.  Once a manager is created for gnome, new users will assume that
> is
> > > the only one out there for gnome. You ended up with the debate over
> wheither
> > > this one is better than that one, which will bring a limit in the minds
> of
> > > those new users to the plethora of options available. You then begin to
> > > start a nasty dialog that would end result in dividing the community as
> a
> > > whole. What should be the issue here is improving gnome to do what
> desktop
> > > software has never gone before. If a team needs to be constructed to do
> this
> > > then great, do it.
> >
> > How is this different than what we have now?  A new user doesn't usually
> > even know (or care to know) what a window manager is.  When they run
> > the first time there will be some window manager running.  They are just
> > as likely to think that is the only option available if that window
> manger
> > is Enlightenment, 9wm, twm, ctwm, etc as if it were a window manager that
> > was actually engineered to work more closely with GNOME than any legacy
> > window manager. I think you are both overestimating how much most people
> > care about things like window managers and simultaneously understimating
> > their ability to discover that there are other options available if they
> > choose to try them out.  From people I know who run windows help desk I
> > have yet to here them having problems with the fact windows only has
> > one "window manager".  The class of problems that you have to worry about
> > for new users are things like "How do I format a floppy?" and "How do I
> > get these files onto Bob's machine?".  We don't do either of these well
> > w/o a MIS person around unfortunately.
> >
> > I want to transcend above the holy war of which window manager is best
> and
> > simply give users a good solid starting point that will just work.  If
> they
> > are motivated I'm sure they'll hear all about the other options from
> > their friends/coworkers/slashdot and will try them, thanks to the fact we
> are
> > going to have a nice GNOME/KDE window manager spec.
> >
> > Michael Fulbright
> >
> > Director - Red Hat Advanced Development Labs

I think this is simply overreacting to something like this, and ignoring
the benefits because of an overblown fear of the immature elements of
the community. I would like to see a GWM. I wouldn't use it, or even
install it on my system, as I use Enlightenment and would not give that
up, but for new users, a GWM would be a godsend. No more questions based
on the incorrect assumption that the Window Manager theme is controlled
via the Theme Selector, because with a GWM, the Window Manager Theme
would be controlled in this mannor. The benefits to having a unified
User Interface are immense, and the drawbacks are "people might not like
the GWM". If people are *sooo* fired up about GNOME starting up it's own
Window Manager, why not direct that energy into something worthwhile.

I do think that if such a project is started, the leaders should make it
explicitly clear that they are *not* working eliminating other Window
Managers, simply changing the default to one that is better integrated
with GNOME. Those who like their own WMs (like myself) will continue to
use them, and those that could care less, will benefit from a saner

    Jim Cape

    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
     pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
        -- Winston Churchill

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