Re: [Usability]Feedback on GNOME 2

I'm fairly sure all participants here are aware of this already, but
just a quick reminder that gconf-editor is right there for those of us
who like spending a weekend fiddling with our systems (and yes, I'm
guilty as charged). There you have parameters that can change the delay
for panel animation, set auto-raise delays for Metacity, change WM:s and
so on and so forth.

In my (not at all humble) opinion, this is a very good compromise. The
normal people (ie. the majority that uses their system as a tool, not as
a hobby in itself) are not exposed to the full array of - for them -
superflous and dangerous options, while we who like to poke around
anyway have little trouble running gconf-editor and changing parameters
there, rather than in a designed configuration panel.

As someone (Havoc?) said in this thread already, the trick in making a
really good desktop is to have good defaults whenever possible and only
introduce settings when there is no default that will be acceptable for
all. With gconf, we still get to tweak everything, only you don't have
to see users' eyes glaze over in hopelessness at the sight of several
dozen (for them incomprehensible) options. Now, debating what is a
sensible default, and what options should be user-configurable, is
important, necessary and frequently fun. Arguing for a return to the
configuration mess that was Gnome1.4 really is not. And as most of the
stuff you want is provided in gconf, if enough people want to have a
Gnome1.4-like system, it is a staightforward (though tedious)
undertaking to write a new set of configuration tools as a frontend -
though with gconf-editor, I don't really see the need.

As a (sometimes) UI researcher/faker, I can not praise the cleanup of
the configuration system enough. And as a nerd, I have no problem
whatsoever with fiddling with gconf directly.

Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.

Tel.    +46-046 222 8588             Dr. Janne Morén
Home:   +46-046 211 4973             Dept. of Cognitive Science
Fax:    +46-046 222 9758             Kungshuset, Lund
                                     S-222 22 Lund, Sweden

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