[HIG] Re: GNOME Human Interface Guidelines

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On Wednesday 21 August 2002 01:49, snickell stanford edu wrote:
> I would like to personally apologize for the way the material was
> presented. I hope you will all forgive me and be willing to look past
> that in our future interactions.

its good to know what your intentions were, as intentions are everything. 
thanks for clearing it up.

> 1) I don't know if this is feasible within KDE, but the HIG in GNOME is
> putting pressure back on the toolkit to get changes made. As I said,
> where a guideline is truly divergent for technical reasons which can't
> be easily changed, its not difficult to provide slightly different
> guidelines. I think we're talking about 5-10% of the material here, not
> a huge amount.

discussion and explorations (e.g. testing) done on the kde-usability list (and 
elsewhere) have indeed caused changes in the various libraries KDE uses.

> 2) It is interesting that you bring up dialog button order. The HIG
> actually required a sweeping change in GNOME on that front. A

i brought it up precisely because it is not only one area where the desktops 
now differ considerably, but i think it was a mistake to have made that 
particular change. to get some consistency, the order of the buttons will 
have to change on one of the desktops. right now, i'm really not sure what is 
the worse of the two options.

> usability factor too). Actually, my guess is that KDE as it stands today
> is already closer to the HIG reccomendations than GNOME 1.4 was.

which is fine. this doesn't change the fact that how the document needs 
revision and fitting to each environment (and each environment to the 
document) is a large task. it is easy to gloss over these things with a wave 
of the hand, i'm just making sure everyone realizes the effort necessary and 
asking what the end product should look like.

> Of course, though if we can get rid of the "where the guidelines came
> from" mentality I think we're all a lot better. As I said above, I think
> KDE would require less change to comply with the guidelines than GNOME
> 1.4 (the last release before the HIG began influencing development).

the assumption here is that KDE should make the same changes that GNOME did. i 
don't know all of the changes, as much of this is new material for me; some 
of the changes i like and understand, some of them i like but realize that 
the amount of work involved would be monumental while providing only a small 
improvement (which means they should be prioritized as such), and some of the 
changes i think were nonsensical.

> Following a set
> of interface guidelines *will* require change, because guidelines only
> matter when something needs changing ;-)

guidelines are not there for the express purpose of creating change, they are 
there primarily to ensure that all code is coherent. this relates primarily 
to present and future efforts. sometimes guidelines will indeed force changes 
to be undertaken, but that is not and should not be their primary goal.

in other words, i'm nonplussed when it comes to the idea of changes for 
change's sake. 

more reply to come, but to another of your emails...

- -- 
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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