Improving the shell [was Re: merging applets]

Calum Benson wrote:
On 7 Jul 2006, at 12:39, Calum Benson wrote:

In both cases, the search box would search more than just the name of
the capplet-- ideally a description and perhaps the text labels in each
window, too.

Okay, so I didn't actually have a search box in the second one :) No reason why you couldn't, though.

Caveat: personally I still don't really like this sort of "categorised table" layout-- IMHO it's just too hard to visually scan through and find what you're looking for, as first you have to play guess-the-category, and then you have two dimensions to deal with through rather than one.
I would tend to agree about the scanning, but I think as long you don't need to scroll, and the icons stay in fixed position (i.e. do not start wrapping), then it may be ok. Therefore I would prefer the second mock up (cc-places), since it doesn't require any scrolling, and there are few enough items in the categories that we could probably keep the dialog at a fixed width. I'm not quite sure about the usefulness of being able to add bookmarks, but I can see it could be useful if you find yourself often using the same capplet (such as Theme or Networking). Mac OS X has a similar bookmarking ability, and I have actually used it there.

I think the most important thing to do is to create a usable control-center shell. It seems this is what users expect to see, and they don't like using the menu (it always perturbed me slightly too). The gnuLinEx distribution in Spain (used in government offices and schools) created their own custom shell because of this, and Novell have done the same. Combining the applets could be a longer term goal, but I think replacing the current menu list with a nice control center shell would not only be more advantageous, but also easier in the short term.


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