Re: Logout interface, Halt checkbox

Hello. I am new to the list, but have been reading through the 
archives (good, clean fun... :) and had some thoughts to throw out 
there, as far as the whole logoff, shutdown, etc, process is 

While I know the usability report has some beef with the Windows 2000 
shutdown dialog, I think it is very nice and does an excellent job of 
presenting the necessary option to users.

I cropped screenshots from my installation of Windows 2000 
Professional so that people can see what it looks like when you 
choose the different choices. They can be found at this site:

[Sorry about the tripod popup window. Corporate firewall prevents me 
putting these up anywhere better for the time being...]

Before I say anything further, I want to comment that the reason I am 
talking about 'the way Microsoft does things' here is that I think 
they did a decent job with this issue and (in the spirit of "Let's 
make UNIX not suck") I think we should have no problem copying and 
stealing good ideas. Anyways...

Shutdown Choice Control

First of all, I think a drop down list style control for the 
different shutdown options is a good choice, as it allows for options 
to be easily added and taken away (for various reasons) without 
changing the basic UI in the slightest. I think this is good because 
it provides the ultimate in UI consistancy, which is very important.

Some reasons that options may appear or disappear on this list are as 

1. Different Hardware Setups:

Linux on a laptop or ATX based desktop system might have a "Stand by" 
option (to actually put the machine into "Stand by" mode. However, 
this isn't going to make any sense for an old AT machine.

If such capabilities become available, some setups may need 
a "Hibernate" option to put the machine into Hibernation.

2. Different User Permissions:

Some users may not have permission to Shutdown or Restart the 
machine. These users would only have the option to "Logoff".

For these different cases, like noted above, the basic user interface 
can remain the same. I think this is a good thing.

Shutdown Choice Description

The second good thing I want to mention about Windows 2000's shutdown 
dialog is the way it presents shutdown choice descriptions.

There is a chunk of test located directly below the shutdown choice 
list that shows a description for whatever shutdown choice is 
currently selected. The images at the above URL are particularly good 
for seeing how this works.

I think that this particular style of presenting this information is 
extremely effective and intuitive for the average user.

Shutdown Choice Wording

Let's just use the standard windows terms. They are pretty decent and 
everyone understands them. Here are the terms and their accompanying 
descriptions. Just for fun, I adapted them to suit Linux.

  Log off username:
    Ends your session, leaving the computer running on full power.

  Shut down:
    Ends your session and shuts down Linux so that you can safely
    turn off power.

    Ends your session, shuts down Linux, and starts Linux again.

  Stand by:
    Maintains your session, keeping the computer running on low
    power with data still in memory.

    Saves your session safely to disk so that you can safely turn
    off power. Your session is restored 


            Paul Joseph Thompson
            captbunzo squirrelmail org

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