[Nautilus-list] Re: [gnome-love] GNOME user environment brainstorming

Le 24/05/01 21:48:04, Havoc Pennington a écrit :
> Hi,

Hi, here are some words from a "basic" GNOME user...

> 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.

Isn't that in the Programs menu?

Actually I'd prefer separating Parameters from Programs (like it's done in
the "menu panel")

In the Windows Start menu, you can also find Help and Search items.
Personnaly I didn't install gnome-help-browser and I use slocate and find
to search for files...

> Windows has My Computer in addition to the start menu which contains
> things like Control Panel, Dial-up Networking, etc.

That's a quite good idea IMO.

>  - Hardware Overview
>      (as with current Nautilus hardware overview)

Should it really be directly in Start Here? Windows have it inside the
Parameters vfolder and I find it a good idea.

>  - Joe Smith's Preferences
>      (user preferences, such as fonts/colors; this would replace
>       control center with a folder full of icons a la Windows/Mac, and
>       we'd want to rename dialogs from things like "Theme Selector" to
>       things like "Fonts & Colors")

Appearance seems better.

>  - Favorites
>      (Shared with Panel, a folder full of things that would appear in
>       panel Favorites menu - unclear how it interacts with Favorites
>       emblem)

I actually prefer putting my favorite apps on the panel. Maybe something
like QuickLaunch could also share this? Or directly into the panel, with
something like an "import favorites" item in the panel contextual
(right-click) menu? These imported icons should be syncronised with the
Favorites folder.
Another way of doing something similar would be an "import favortes" switch
for the panel.

In brief, I'd like my Favorites (or only some items) appear in the panel,
some switch to add an icon (or folder) to the Favorites when I add an icon
(or folder) to the panel and eventually (some people may not want this;
depending on whether all their Favorites items appear in the panel or only
some of them) "vice versa".
This isn't reallyclear to me since I don't use the Favorites at all, only
panel icons.

> The Start Here folder could be made easy to find in several ways:
>  - put it on the desktop
>  - put it in the panel menu
>  - put it in the Nautilus Go menu

It may be able to be put in the panel too: I don't like desktop icons, I
don't like Nautilus (at least as it is currently) and I try to avoid using
the panel menu.

> One question is whether you can edit Start Here like a normal folder;

I would say no.

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

I personnaly do not use the desktop, so I think Trash and Start Here at
least should be available (if the user wants it) in the panel.
However, even if they are it's likely that I won't use them, so don't give
much importance to what I think ;o)

>  - 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.

I really like (love?) and enjoy launching apps from panel icons: since
panel is never behind windows (well, actually I take care not to have
windows over the panel), all my apps are accessible with a single click (if
they are already running, I use the taskbar applet, otherwise I launch them
through panel icons)

> There's some possible confusion about shortcut buttons on panel vs. on
> desktop, especially since panel icons require single-click, desktop
> double-click.

What I like in Windows is my mouse middle button does a double click, and
this allows me to select an icon with the left button and
open/activate/etc. it with the middle button.
Maybe all icons (wherever they are: desktop, Nautilus, open/save as icon
list) should have this behaviour...

Actually, I don't use desktop icons partly because I don't like
double-clicking... same for GMC and Nautilus...

> Random appearance tweaks we were playing with
> ===
> - Remove the beveled frame from Clock applet

As we're talking about the clock applet, I'm using a menu panel (and never
use the menus) only because I like the clock and the "windows menu" and I
can't find them anywhere.
Can't these menus become applets? (ok, I'll try doing it myself, I'm
currently hacking a bit on gnome-xml and don't have much time...)

> Possible panel/applet enhancements
> ===
> - fix configuration/preferences; extremely confusing right now.  All
>   settings should probably be do-able via dialogs, rather than menus.
>   Lots of usability enhancements come to mind for simplifying panel
>   config, just needs some good thought.

What about a file selection dialog to select the program to be launched by
a panel icon?
Windows shortcut icons also have a "working directory" (I don't know the
english name) configuration item so that Windows first cd to it and then
only launches the program.

> - foot menu rationalization:
>     - probably remove Applets, KDE menus, and Panel submenus here at
> least
>     - s/Run.../Run Program.../
>     - make either Programs or Favorites be in the main menu instead 
>       of a submenu, probably Favorites is right for that

What I'd really like is "merged" menus. Currently, the Programs menu is
system wide and users can't modify it.
What I'd like is that the system-wide "menu" only suggest menu items, the
user may choose to hide some of them, reorder them, he can also add it's
own items. User settings keeps track of item order, hidden system items and
user-defined items.
When a new application is installed, a system-wide item is created. As it
is not specifically hidden, it appears in the menu (at the bottom, or
somewhere else if the user choose to always keep his menu sorted
(alphabetically, with folders before or among "leaf" items, etc.). Then the
user can choose ot hide it or move it.
Ideally, the user may choose to move a system item into another menu
folder. This seems a bit harder to handle (a simple way would be to hide
the system item and copy it to the other folder, but it is then not
synchronised with the system item...)

> - with Panel submenu removed from main menu, the right-click menu on
>   the panel should contain Properties... for customizing the panel,
>   right now the right-click matches the foot menu, I don't think
>   that's right - right-click is supposed to be a context menu.


> - make Run Program dialog have a browser CList that shows all known
>   programs, with icons if any, and ability to sort by executable name, 
>   human-readable name, by clicking headers. Probably not a tree, just
>   an alphabetic list.

What is a "known program"? Are you thinking of something like the "open
with" menu in GMC (well, I don't use it anymore and for months, my memory
may fail me)? I didn't like it (also partly because the "history" was quite
However, I don't use "Run Program", or very rarely...

> - have check button in Run Program dialog for "Add to Favorites"?

*Very* good idea!

> - delete all the non-default clock applets

Someone here proposed making one package for each item and a "task" package
to install many of them at a time. *That's* a good idea: I use only few
applets so most of them just take up space on my disk for nothing...

> - Remove or configurably remove folder heading things from Programs
>   menu, based on Calum's usability test


> My Identity
> ===
> - have control panel in user prefs folder to do "chfn" sort of stuff:
>    - give your full name
>    - give your phone number, office, address, etc.
>    - lets you set your GDM face (right now we have a separate tool for
>      this, should maybe be in a general "Identity" control panel)


> - On desktop, perhaps show "Havoc Pennington's Home" instead of 
>   "hp's Home"
> - For user prefs folder, use full name also, "Havoc Pennington's
>   Preferences"

What about "My Preferences"? Well, since it's likely to be configurable, it
doesn't matter much...

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


> Nautilus
> - Add support for the System Settings, User Preferences, Programs,
>   etc. folders in Start Here; these are maybe gnome-vfs modules, dunno

What's sure is that other applications must be able to access them, so that
we could make other "GNOME compliant" file managers if we don't like

> Capplets
> ===
> These would all be converted to standalone dialogs, rather than
> sitting in a control center. They'd be launched from the various
> folders in Start Here.

What about letting the user choose? (using bonobo or else could make it
quite easy I guess)

> - Default Editor capplet should just die; redundant with text/plain
>   MIME type handler

As we're talking about MIME, what about actions for all (including unknown)
files? or all files of the same type (but different sub-type; e.g. image/*,
I like configuring Windows trying to open the file in notepad if it doesn't
know the file type. Windows also has some "generic" file actions like "Add
to {filename}.zip" to zip a file using WinZip.

> - URL handlers - should die, replaced by File Types

Not sure to understand...
How will I configure my MUA answering for mailto: URLs, or my newsreader
for news: and nntp: URLs?
I like to have distinct apps for distinct things: I browse FTP with gFTP,
HTTP with a web browser, etc. Will this still be possible?

> Miscellanea
> - make the Print Screen key take a screenshot

Great idea!
And Alt+PrintScreen (or Shift or Ctrl or Meta) to take a screenshot of the
active window only (needs a switch to capture the window decorations, or
two different bindings)

There were my 2 euro-cents ;o)
...just ideas...


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