[HIG] Comments on the GNOME 2.0 Human Interface Guidelines

1. Recommend that one of the sections in the Introduction address what it means to be "GNOME-compliant." This term is used in the GNOME User's Guide but not defined there. I would like to see the HIG provide some general policy statements about what developers need to do if they want to describe themselves as "compliant" with the GNOME style. When I made a similar comment on a previous draft of the HIG, the response was that "hackers will do what hackers want to do." Not everyone who uses the HIG will be a hacker; some of us work with developers that will be directed (contractually) in the near future to deliver a "GNOME-compliant style," and it would be helpful if these statements were available for those of us who need them.

2. Make Your Applications Consistent - This section needs to address the following issue with regard to "consistency:" GNOME provides the mechanisms to mimic attributes of the style of other GUIs (e.g., Windows). However, the HIG contains visual design guidelines that differ from these GUIs (e.g., push button order in dialogs). As a result, users interacting with an application that provides a Windows-appearing style will encounter some significant divergences from that style which will negatively impact the transfer of their expertise with that style to the GHOME application. This section of the HIG indicates that "a misapplied, or incomplete, consistency is actually worse than inconsistency." For those of us who develop and maintain software that must be usable by operators working on multiple platforms, this issue is a significant one. While I'm not suggesting that the GNOME HCI be identical to that of other established GUIs, you need to at least acknowledge this dilemma with regard to consistency in the HIG.

3. Utility Windows - Why does the list of frame commands for a Property window and a Preferences window include Maximize? I would expect the normal size of these types of window to be large enough for all of its contents visible without having to resize or maximize. Recommend deleting Maximize from the command lists.

4. Alerts - Nonconcur with the guideline that places OK in the bottom right corner of a window (e.g., Confirmation Alert, Authentication Alert) and Cancel to the left of OK. Users in western locales scan the button row from left to right and expect to encounter the positive actions first. Users should not have to scan the entire row before finding the "default" or desired action in the window.

5. Dialogs - What is the difference between a Property window and a Preference window (as described in the section on Utility Windows) and a Property dialog and Preferences dialog (as described in the section on Dialogs)? If they provide the same basic functionality, why do they have different sets of frame commands?

6. Labels and Tooltips - Recommend that users be able to turn on and turn off tooltips as desired.

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