[HIG] Re: GNOME Human Interface Guidelines

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First off, since i'm CC'ing this to a GNOME list, I'd like to start with a 
little disclaimer:

I do not speak for the KDE project. this is the voice of a single developer 
who happens to care about KDE usability and does some work towards that end. 

On Wednesday 21 August 2002 05:17, Philippe FREMY wrote:
> Hi,
> The GNOME Usability has just released the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines
> (v1.0). I haven't had time to read it yet but it sounds interesting.

i've read parts of it, and will continue to digest it over the coming 
days/weeks. there is a lot of good information in there, and a lot that is 
not applicable to KDE. unless, of course, we decide to make sweeping changes 
like change the order of buttons in dialogs.  there are also a number of 
differences between how the widgets behave (e.g. spinboxes with integrated 
text in KDE vs static text outside in GTK).

i think it is great reference material and where it makes sense we should 
align our efforts w/each other (e.g. both GNOME and KDE use 6/12 spacing), 
but to expect a common guideline with the amount of detail that is in the 
GHIG would be asking one project or the other to compromise/change quite a 

there is also something to be said about allowing different approaches to be 
tried and experimented with. eggs all in one basket, yadda yadda...

i'd like to see us use the GHIG as inspiration and reference material, but i 
don't know about going any further than that. i'm a bit sceptical as to the 
possibility of a useful common guide with the (commendable) level of detail 
in the GHIG

> citing:
> "We would like to challenge the KDE project to serve the general user
> community by partnering with us in developing these guidelines to create a
> common Free Software interface style"
> I wonder: has KDE been officially contacted or are we supposed to get the
> news by ourselves ?

who knows. quite honestly, i'm less than impressed.  if this "major step for 
the good of both our user bases" was such an important thing they really 
could've stepped up when they started drafting this document for input and 
collaberation. as it is, the document is quite GNOME centric (which it should 
be) and therefore of limited use to KDE.

in any case, cutting the NIH rhetoric on news.gnome.org and just posting the 
thing to kde-usability would've been much more effective. i'd challenge the 
GHIG team to be a little more forward in their efforts for cooperation. =P

if it is indeed seen as a desired product to create a shared guideline, i'd 

 o start a new revision, drop the word GNOME in the title and seperate/mark 
all GNOME/GTK specific entries
 o begin merging the KDE guidelines in, discussing points of difference and 
deciding which will remain points of difference and which will be unified
 o invite those with expertise from KDE to comment and collaberate on various 
parts of the HIG (e.g. KDE artists for the icons part)
 o move the new revision once it has reached a point of maturity to 
 o allow for differences between the desktops, e.g. where there are 
differences have seperate sections detailing what to do in each. this will 
also serve as a way to mark how to "come together" where applicable / desired
 o figure out a communications strategy;  a new mailing list would probably be 
in order specifically for the discussion and authoring of this document

the first step, of course, is to decide if this is indeed desired and would be 
a useful investment of resources.

- -- 
Aaron J. Seigo
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler"
    - Albert Einstein
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