Re: [Usability] Reasoning behind default panel setup?

On Mon, 9 Jan 2006, David Tenser wrote:

> Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2006 02:48:45 +0100
> From: David Tenser <djst mozilla gmail com>
> To: usability gnome org
> Subject: [Usability] Reasoning behind default panel setup?
> This is my first post in this mailing list. Hopefully, I won't break any
> conventions or add too much noise, but if I do, just tell me to shut up. :)

If you have read the RFC on standard "netiquette" and Eric S Raymonds
guide to asking good questions (and if you haven't they are worth reading
at least once) you should be more than fine and off to a good start.

We dont have many rules, we try to be polite, we try not to say nasty
things about other projects etc.  (it doesn't always work out that way but
that's the plan).

People are not likely to bluntly tell you to "shut up" but instead use
passive agressive tactics and to tell you "show some code" or "prove it"
with usability studies, that they dont have the resources to do either but
some how they framed the argument to put the burden of proof on you :)

> I was wondering if there is any document explaining the reasoning behind
> the default Gnome panels?

Nope.  Nothing specific about the panel layout.  Best bet might be to find
the release notes for the version where it changed and then search the
mailing lists for that date.

> Like why two panels were chosen when the top one is mostly empty, the
> contents of them e.g. the workspace switcher, the rationale behind the
> separation chosen (e.g. why trash can belongs to task switching, etc.).

I could probably explain it in many creative ways but as far as I can tell
it various people like the idea and it was decided based on rough
concensus on the desktop devel list.

(Recollection hazy, one of the distributions possibly Ximian may have
experimented with such a layout and then later it was proposed as the
Gnome default.) Obviously there is more to it than that and it has gone
through several iterations and tweaks.  I recall at one point the top menu
pa.  Fitts law plays a part, the edges of the screen are easy to hit and
thus are valuable space.

> I will eventually have some things to say about the decisions (I hinted
> some of it above), but first of all I want to read up on the subject and
> make sure I know what I'm talking about.

I did say we try to be polite but there are plenty of flames too and I do
appreciate you taking the time to put some thought into it, you can always
resort to flames later if all else fails ;)

As for me to be honest I tend to use a single panel at the bottom of the
screen, with a menu on the bottom left corner.  (I change things around a
lot and have used the default Ubuntu setup for quite a while but after I
tend to revert back to a single panel after a while.)  I've been using
that setup or something a lot like it for a long time and it works for me.


Alan Horkan

Open Clip Art

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