[Nautilus-list] Installation-time performerance preference

Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > Maybe it can be combined with XIMIANs/GNOMEs Doorman. But it should be
> > extended a little bit. I recently installed KDE 2.2 on my laptop. They have
> > about the same thing called KPersonalizer. You can adjust KDE for your
> > needs/for your CPU (if it can't handle all that eye-candy stuff). Thoughts?
> Certainly a wizard before you even use the desktop is a crazy place to
> put prefs, no one has any basis to make the decisions they're given at
> that point...
> We should have good defaults, if people are adventurous and don't like
> the defaults they can dig out the prefs. But there's no reason anyone
> should have to use the prefs. And people should be encouraged to use
> the defaults, with nice standard keybindings and behavior, so that
> their desktop matches the documentation. Weird nonstandard
> look-and-feel is something only advanced users are equipped to cope
> with.
> Anyhow, I don't think we should have a first-login wizard unless we
> have questions that really need asking that users really have the
> information to answer.

I think that it's really hard to set good defaults. Even if you target a
kind of user with a certain level of experience, this user may be trying
to use KNOME on a leftover 100 MHz Pentium with 32 MB memory, or on the
latest barely-released whizbang 2 gigahertz desktop system with half a
gigabyte of memory, gratiously provided from the employer.
It's hard to target the whole computer equipment spectrum without saying
"we don't support using GNOME on systems with less than this" (that
would certainly feed trolls on Slashdot) or on the other hand making
very restrictive preformerance defaults that users will have to find and
dig out to get a more appealing modern desktop and really use it to the

Certainly performerance-related preferences is not something every user
trying to use GNOME really should be presented with at their first
login, but I think this fits well as an installation-time question,
either when GNOME is installed, or the operating system is installed.
The person installing GNOME/the operating system would probably in most
cases know what kind of system their hardware would classify as.

Something along the lines of:

-- GNOME desktop performerance --------------
The GNOME desktop has default preferences that will fit most types of
modern computer hardware. However, if you are installing on an older
system with less resources, more restrictive defaults may be a better

	[ ] Restrictive			- Specially targeted for systems with
					  limited memory and computing power, 							  typically an older
	[*] Default			- Targeted for most systems


Nautilus and other GNOME software could then use this global preference
as a starting point for their own performerance-related preferences.

Yes, making documentation reflect this is difficult, however I don't see
how this is different from the same problem with different user level

Anyway, my point was that's it very hard to agree on a "good" set of
defaults that will fit everyone, especially with regard to performerance
settings. Proprietary operating system vendors can do this and use "one
size fits all" (and if your system does not match their minimum
requirements, it's your problem only), however, with free operating
systems and desktops, people have come to expect that it should also be
usable on older hardware, so this "one size fits all" policy becomes
more of a problem.


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