Re: [Nautilus-list] GNOME user environment brainstorming

on 5/24/01 4:40 PM, Havoc Pennington at hp redhat com wrote:

> eem12 cornell edu writes:
>> 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?
> Some people have said the user level should affect only which prefs
> are available, rather than rearrange the UI. But I don't know what the
> official line on this is.

I don't know who would have an "official line". However, I can tell you the
reasoning we used in Nautilus. In Nautilus, the rule (though there are a
couple of obscure exceptions) is that preferences give advanced users more
choices, rather than changing behavior. An advanced user should be able to
configure the preferences in a way to exactly match the beginning user
setup, if so desired.

The argument for this is pretty straightforward: if there are two user
levels, A and B, and they change a bunch of behaviors, then each user has to
choose which complete set of behaviors they prefer overall. It is likely
that many people will prefer some of the behaviors in A and some in B, and
these people will be sad, because there is no way to get what they want. On
the other hand, if there is user level X and Y, and the only difference is
that Y gives you more choices (and possibly different defaults), then people
who don't like to fuss with preferences will stick to X and be happy. People
who want to change some of the things controlled by preferences will use Y
and tweak it until they're happy. Nobody should be sad, because it is
possible for anyone to get the exact combination of settings they desire, by
using Y.


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