Re: `New' sub-menu in desktop's rightclick-menu

ons 2002-05-22 klockan 22.24 skrev Alex Larsson:
> > > Remove new window??? Are you trying to make Nautilus completely unusable?
> > >
> > > New terminal is a very often requested and used piece of functionallity.
> > > The goal of Nautilus is to make it usable, not easy-to-learn because it
> > > doesn't let you do anything. We must accept that Unix is Unix, and there
> > > will always be things that are better of done in a terminal.
> > 
> > While I agree with you that "New terminal" is probably a useful feature
> > for many users and most likely should be kept, I don't understand your
> > other comments at all.
> > 
> > * Isn't easy-to-learn often a big part in being usable?
> Easy-to-learn is one important part of being usable. Being usable is also 
> about having the features you need to be effective. Sometimes these are 
> conflicting, and you have to make decisions on what to favor. A common 
> optinion is "foo may be confusing to new users, lets delete it". I don't 
> think always doing this is very good, it leads to a system that may not 
> let you do stuff that are important. 

Often there are other ways to resolve these issues (so it's not just a
question of "keep" or "remove"), but I get your point.

I just interpreted what you were saying as "the goal of Nautilus is not
to make it easy to learn", which made me worried.

> In this case, a terminal is an important part of Unix.


> And being able to easily get a terminal is therefore important for
> people working in a Unix environment.

But not all users can be expected to use GNOME because they want to use
a UNIX envoronment. Therefore, it cannot be expected that this is
important for all users. I'm afraid too much is assumed here. As I said,
I don't deny the fact that this is probably a useful feature to many
users and should be kept, I'm just afraid when this is assumed to be
true for all users.

> > * Why must a *desktop* user care about and accept, or even know about,
> >   that his underlying operating system is Unix?
> They must not. But let me phrase it the opposite way. Why *must* users 
> have no way to get at some powerful tools that Unix traditionally has.

I still support this feature.
Noone is demanding that all references to Unix tools are removed.
Neither can anyone claim that all computer users know how to use the
commandline, or even want to know it or have to deal with it. And menus
crowded with irrelevant items are bad. Of course the irrelevance depends
upon the user and his or her way of work and task at hand, but I'm
always afraid when I hear "all GNOME users are Unix users. All Unix
users use terminals" or something like that.

> > * Why do you assume that users would do things better in a terminal?
> A terminal is a very useful tool, and something a lot of unix users use. 
> To believe that you can completely replace the terminal is silly.

Actually, I believe that was exactly the goal of GNOME and other desktop
environments and their tools. Not to remove access to the terminal, but
to provide alternatives for it, so that you don't have to resort to it
if you are not comfortable with it. So they are there to replace the
need for the terminal.

> There are lots of stuff I do in a terminal that can never be replaced by 
> nautilus (e.g. running an interactive python session).

Users manage to do this in other environments as well. The application
with the interactive session running provides its own terminal in this

> I don't want this separation of what is "the desktop" and what is the 
> "classic unix environment", where you have to pick one and only use that. 
> I want to create the best possible combination, that lets you get your 
> work done in the best way, while still being as easy to learn as we can.

In many cases, they represent totally different usages and human
interaction models and are at conflict with this and difficult to
integrate at the same time, so the separation often has to be there.
That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be hooks to easy get to the other
environment, but it's not an easy path to integrate them well.

> This does not mean that I want to ignore ease of use, or not try to make 
> as much as possible of what you can do in a shell availible in the UI. But 
> it also means that I'm not willing to instantly remove anything that Unix 
> traditionally is, on the grounds that its not "desktopy".

The desktop is an abstraction layer, so ideally it should provide enough
abstraction for those who do not want to know or care about the system
below to do their work, but on the same time it should allow easy access
to the system below for those who want it. I'm just afraid when people
want to remove parts of the abstraction, because it is often the
abstraction itself that makes it usable as a whole to many users.

> > I'm curious, because your comments seem at contrary with previous Nautilus
> > development and also the general tend of GNOME in exactly these areas.
> I hope not. I didn't choose to use Unix for no reason at all. I chose it 
> because it has some important properties and functionallity that I like. 
> If we loose those I don't see a reason to continue using it.

Access to the system below will still be available, at least as long as
we have terminals. Noone is discussing removing terminals. Removing the
option to start a terminal from one menu doesn't remove all options to
start a terminal, and I wasn't against the terminal starter to begin

> Usability is important, and so is ease-of-learning. But they are not 
> exactly the same, although they are quite related. I think the Gnome 
> project recently have concentrated mostly on the ease-of-learning part. 
> I've seen people call usability testing  "learnability testing", and I 
> think they have a point. We need to also make sure that our apps lets you 
> work efficiently after having gone past the initial learning curve.

They are very closely related, and I think many people do themselves a
disfavor when they think it has only to do with ease of learning for new
users. Consistency and representations and work models that match human
cognitive properties and much else benefit all users, because they can
make us not only learn faster and easier but also work faster and more


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