Re: [Usability]Attempt at constructive criticism - "Why Gnome 2 sucks for me"
- From: Bart Kelsey <kelsey 14 osu edu>
- To: usability gnome org
- Subject: Re: [Usability]Attempt at constructive criticism - "Why Gnome 2 sucks for me"
- Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:01:59 -0400
That's a good point, but I think it's better not to be overly
reactionary. Removing advanced settings altogether isn't a particularly
good way of dealing with things. Making an interface overly simple may
be attractive to new users, but as they start to get comfortable,
they'll wonder why they can't change the little things about it that
On the other hand, in Open Source, many settings tend to be _way_ beyond
what Microsoft or Apple would put in 'advanced settings' or similar. A
case in point is fine detail of window and keyboard behaviour in the KDE
control panel; some of this is so arcane I suspect a tiny fraction of
users will even understand what many of the options mean*. Gnome is a
_vast_ improvement on this.
I rather *don't* like it. When searching for complete documentation on
prefs.js, what I found was a message with someone saying "if they don't
know what the preferences are already, they shouldn't be changing them."
As far as I know, this ludicrous attitude has continued, and complete
prefs.js documentation has so far failed to surface. (If anyone knows
otherwise, *please* let me know, as I would love to see some real
I rather like Mozilla's approach where, in the main, sensible decisions
have been taken about what can be presented in the Preferences dialogue
and the rest of the adjustable parameters, as well as those made
available from that dialogue, are in a text file (prefs.js) so can still
Also, there's absolutely no reason that prefs.js can't be changed into
an "Advanced Settings" dialog. Even some power users enjoy the
convenience of not having to wade through text files to make changes.
At any rate, I'm all about simplifying Gnome's interface, but I'm really
sad to see that done at the expense of power users. What's really wrong
with an "Advanced Preferences" dialog? It lets the inexperienced users
stay with the simple, default interface, and at the same time allows the
power users to tweak the UI the way they like it.
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