[HIG] Recent files

Seth, this contradicts my card sorts and interviews.

  <!-- I think this is totally broken, I'm moving back to having recent files
  on the main menu itself. . . .

  [Former text in comments and image changed.]

Card sorters were office users of products like Microsoft Word and Excel.

They always used the recent files submenu and placed it at the top.

They were later presented with:

  1) Their own sorting:
     |  New            |
     |  Open           |+---------
     |  Recent Files ->|| doc1
     | --------------- || doc2
       ...                ...

  2) An Open submenu:
     |  New            |+-----------
     |  Open         ->|| Open File
     | --------------- || ----------
       ...             || doc1
                       || doc2

  3) And recent files directly on the File menu
     (See current HIG graphic)

Most saw no difference between 1 and 2. All rejected 3. Asked to recall their
work setups, few remembered that MS does 3. On remembering or being reminded,
all continued to prefer 1 or 2, and only one said "I guess it doesn't matter."

Of the sorters, one was adamant about having recent files on a submenu near
the top. She said that most office work is repetition and so she wanted:
  * the recent files near the top.
  * "much more" than 4 recent files, but 20 - "Don't be ridiculous."

She continued fuming about the distance to and the proximity to Close of
"the most important thing" in MS Office until distracted.

Believe it or not, I actually did some studies before writing things down.
To change that because you think it is "totally broken" reeks of fickle

A quick check on google shows that Colin Robertson (who also had recent files
as submenu before I rewrote the section) and Adam Elman both concurred that
the submenu is preferable. Two advantages mentioned are that by proximity
to Open and that having a name for the list makes it is more apparent what
it is. (I'll add that it's entirely possible to have a document named Close
or Properties.) Also, Matthew Thomas suggested that the main Open command be
on the submenu with the recent files list since most people will first go to
it to check if a file is recent. (Here would be a questionable use of a
 conditional cascading menu like OS/2's  or a folder menu like MacOS's, btw.)

My own inclination is to exlude recent files completely, but GNOME isn't
headed in the direction that makes that feasible. (John Blad agreed with
removing recent files from the menu, but to put in the open dialog instead.)

Greg Merchan

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