- From: Fábio Gomes de Souza <fbhome fabiogomes eti br>
- To: <gnome-list gnome org>
- Subject: Suggestions
- Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2000 15:42:49 -0200
Hello, GNOME hackers!
I'm Fábio Gomes de Souza, author of that ugly, old, and now useless (now I
use the tiny panel) QuickLaunch Applet.
I would like to send you some suggestions regarding to the GNOME Desktop.
Please note that I don't have deep knowledge about X and GTK and I am away
from the GNOME project since a long time ago, because of my work. Please
don't understand these comments as flames. My intention is the best
The suggestions follow:
* Window manager and MDI
1. I think it is reasonable to move sawfish window decoration routines (and
other common stuff) to a library, so that the window manager and GTK can
access the code.
2. We should standardize this library, possibly in collaboration with KDE
3. Then, we should create a MDI Container widget using the library to
decorate the MDI children and do other window managing stuff.
4. This widget could support detaching children (by creating true windows
from the MDI children); docking windows (ie: gimp toolbox) on the corners; a
child list/task bar; small, 10-pixel high (or left-side with vertical text)
title bars; rolling up; and other nice features.
Most people will say that MDI sucks and don't like it, but Adobe
Photoshop, mIRC and many other applications would suck if they didn't use
MDI. The GIMP is a great app, but I don't use it because I get confused with
the mess it causes with its big tool boxes. (Look at the task list!).
I don't know if is it possible to move the window manager decoration
routines to a library and use in GTK.
Well, this is just a suggestion. :-)
* GTK keyboard navigation
1. Keyboard navigation and widget behavior should be standardized and
documented. The current keyboard navigation is messy or the users (ie: me)
don't know how to use it.
Isn't that bad to use the tab key to navigate through the widgets
in Windows. At least it works.
* Screen space
1. We should consider wasting less screen space in GNOME widgets and
applications. Outside the USA, big monitors (17-inch and above) cost mutch
money and are not accessible to the majority of our users.
A good example of wasted screen space is The GIMP, because, as mentioned
above, its tool boxes are messy and the widgets are too big. (Take a look at
the layer toolbox).
Try using GNOME at 800x600 and you will see that the windows are
extremely big and some applications get unusable.
1. Using GNOME in a 166 MHz MMX Pentium is like using Windows 95 in a 66
MHz DX2 486. You should test GNOME in slow machines and try to boost the
Customization is nice, but it should be measured with caution. Software,
when very flexible, tend to cause confusion and be very difficult to use. A
good example is Sendmail. We must read a 400-page book to (try to)
In the next few days, I'll try to write and post an article in some linux
site regarding customization in user interfaces.
Fábio Gomes de Souza
fbhome fabiogomes eti br
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