[Usability]Re: Definition of "desktop" - was a Usability topic.
- From: Jeff Waugh <jdub perkypants org>
- To: usability gnome org, gnome-doc-list gnome org
- Subject: [Usability]Re: Definition of "desktop" - was a Usability topic.
- Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 05:38:36 +1100
<quote who="Pat Costello">
> Jeff states:
> > But the desktop is the "thingy wot has icons on it"...
> Interestingly, there has been low-intensity smouldering over the term
> "desktop" for some time. I'd like to refer you (and everyone else) to the
> GNOME Foundation statement on the http://www.gnome.org/intro/findout.html
> page, namely:
> o The GNOME desktop: an easy to use windows-based environment for users.
> This definition does not imply that the desktop is the "thingy behind the
> icons". This definition in fact implies that the desktop is the sum of all
> parts, in other words the complete environment.
Yes, I'm guilty of muddying the waters here too; I pushed pretty hard for
the release category to be called the 'GNOME Desktop'.
I think my disagreement is mostly contextual. We have a number of contexts
for the word 'desktop':
- Pure user interface level: 'button', 'window', 'desktop', 'menu',
- Release category level: 'Desktop release', 'Developer Platform release',
'Fifth Toe release'
- Computer level: 'Desktop computer', 'Server', 'Thin client'
Mixing up the vocabulary in each context is dreadfully bad. This is my chief
problem with labelling what's currently known as the 'Foot Menu', 'Desktop'.
That confuses its role in the user interface level -> it is not the desktop.
The confusion between the user interface level and release level is real,
however, and a big bummer. If we call everything the 'GNOME Desktop', and
then proceed to confuse everyone by trying to call only one small chunk of
the user visible functionality 'desktop', our users lose out.
I don't think I've come to a productive conclusion, sorry. :-)
"Ever since GNOME development began, I have urged people to aim to make
it as good as the Macintosh. To try to be like Windows is to try for
second-best." - Richard Stallman
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