Re: Make default

On 18 Mar 2010, at 23:07, Thomas Wood wrote:

> Since this is probably of limited interested to most users (on single
> user systems), how do we add this functionality in a discreet way to the
> new Settings shell targeted for GNOME 3.0?
> Is this functionality we want to have available for all Settings panels,
> or is there a specific subset of settings that need to be applied as
> system defaults?

Admittedly I haven't given this much thought, but off the top of my head I'd think you'd potentially want the capability for every Preferences dialog, not just the ones that happened to be in the Control Center. 

For example, I know some of Sun's customers like to restrict users to a single virtual workspace, which is something you currently set in the workspace switcher preferences.  (Although there's no reason that particular setting couldn't be logically moved to the control center, and I guess when gnome-shell comes along that might be where it goes anyway.  But there are probably other examples too.)

> I tried to investigate how this problem was solved on other operating
> systems, but I couldn't find a good example anywhere. Are any other
> systems targeting this problem?

Not really, that I'm aware of.  Most sysadmin solutions (like APOC[1], which Sun shipped for a while, or the OS X Server tools) tend to assume that whenever you have n>1 machines or users to administer, being able to do so via a specialised control panel or web app, which can then be used remotely if required, is the way to go. Which isn't completely unreasonable, as it does handle pretty much everything from the multiple-users-on-single-machine scenario upwards.

Going back to the 'modify the prefs dialogs' ideas that others have suggested, another approach that I don't think I've seen mentioned yet might be to provide a way to switch the 'view' in any Preferences dialog between your user's settings (which would be the default view), default settings, and mandatory settings. This way you at least get a bit of context when editing the default or mandatory settings; i.e. you can see and edit the defaults/mandates for all related settings at once.

Here's a quick clickable PDF mockup that shows how something like this might work in a single-window control center shell (best viewed with continuous mode in your PDF viewer turned off): <>

You could potentially do the same thing for any application's preferences dialog, not just the control center, although you'd probably want things to be a bit more subtle -- e.g. tuck the menu button away in a corner, and only show the view bar when something other than your current personal settings were being displayed.


[1] <>

CALUM BENSON, Interaction Designer     Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson sun com            OpenSolaris Desktop Team             +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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