Re: [Nautilus-list] GNOME user environment brainstorming

Two cents from a list lurker ...

On 24 May 2001, Havoc Pennington wrote:

> Somewhere to Start
> ===
> A problem with the current desktop is that there's no clear "center" to
> it where you can find important information such as the control
> center, help browser, etc. We work around this a bit by adding
> shortcuts to the panel, but other than that you have to dive in to the
> forbidding and totally unusable Programs menu. If you change your
> panel icons, suddenly you can't find important stuff.

IMO, the complexity of the Panel should be controlled by user levels as 
well.  Will novice user understand the idea of multiple desktops? Will 
they ever even have enough windows open to need it? 

Along the same lines, in Beginner mode the Foot icon should probably have 
a tooltip or some other means of drawing attention to it (perhaps pulsing 
for a few seconds after login?), if that's going to continue being the 
suggested way to launch apps.  IIRC the original Win95 Explorer had an 
animated arrow that highlighted the Start Button.

>  - desktop is for:
>     - user shortcuts to programs, etc.
>     - showing removable devices
>     - Trash, Home, Start Here icons

If so, there should be an easy way to hide/show all open windows, a la 
MacOS and KDE.

>  - panel is for navigation of tasks/desktop, and for info applets such
>    as clock, etc. It also has the foot menu, which probably needs some 
>    rethinking on what it contains.

A Good Idea(tm) might be organizing by action rather than by application:

	Create a ...
	Open a Document
	Communicate by ...
		Instant Messaging
	Explore ...
		My Stuff
		My Computer
		Computers on My Network (, etc.)
		The Web
	Change settings for ...
		My Desktop
		My Computer
		Computers on My Network
	Start a Program

... where Start a Program is pretty much what the Programs menu is today, 
but better organized and more intelligent (hide infrequently-used items, 

> - foot menu rationalization:
>     - probably remove Applets, KDE menus, and Panel submenus here at least
>     - s/Run.../Run Program.../

IMO, "Start" or "Launch" is a more accurate (and action-oriented :) 
adjective than "Run."

>     - add Start Here menu item to open Start Here

Might this be on the Panel instead of hidden in a menu?  After all, it 
_is_ called "Start Here" ...

> - Kill task menu on desk guide, the menu is confusing and the arrow is 
>   cluttered-looking


> Default prefs
> === 
> - disable tearoff menus by default
> - disable tearoff menubars by default
> - disable in-place menu accelerator changing by default

GTK's timeout for diagonal menu navigation is really not very forgiving. 
Making this longer (or infinite) would make things easier for novices.

> Nautilus
> ===

> - Downplay web browser aspect; Mozilla/Galeon encouraged for real
>   browsing. (Alternative: follow Galeon and try to be a full web
>   browser, but seems like it would cause a lot of clutter.)

Is Galeon going to be a core part of GNOME?

> Miscellanea
> ===
> - unlock screen dialog from xscreensaver is ugly and doesn't look 
>   integrated, and the entry won't be accessible, use the standard
>   key shortcuts, etc. So we need a GTK-ized xscreensaver unlock dialog.
>   This will get jwz flaming left and right, and requires some
>   nontrivial engineering due to suid issues, but such is life.

Call it gscreensaver :)


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