Re: [Usability] In short, I hate windows.

On Tue, 9 Jan 2007, Calum Benson wrote:

> Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 13:58:10 +0000
> From: Calum Benson <Calum Benson Sun COM>
> To: Jacob Beauregard <jake13jake comcast net>
> Cc: usability gnome org
> Subject: Re: [Usability] In short, I hate windows.
> On Mon, 2007-01-01 at 23:20 -0500, Jacob Beauregard wrote:
> > My least favorite experience with trying ubuntu was trying
> > to browse through all of the preferences. Every last thing that
> > controlled the visual experience and display of information was a
> > separate choice on a drop-down menu, that each opened a new window. For
> > first time users, I imagine this can be very very frustrating.
> I think the key phrase there is "first-time" users.  The first time you
> use the desktop is indeed the time you are most likely to want to
> browse/change a whole lot of preferences at once, and the menu is
> sub-optimal for that.  You'll be glad to know (if you didn't already)
> that all the preferences will be available to browse in a single
> Windows/OSX-like control center shell, in 2.18.

I have a feeling you have just said everything I wanted to say but hadn't
yet brought to the developers.

Menus are not half bad when you have a fair idea of where you are going,
and they can allow you to present quite a shallow (but long) heirarchy.

Even so the more familiar I become the more I tend not to use the menus
and instead favouring the run dialog or a terminal to quickly launch
_known_ applications.  (I dont know if there are commands or names I can
use to directly launch particularly parts of the control panel but if
there are I expect I'll learn them eventually but thankfully Gnome
doesn't require frequent reconfiguration.)

> Personally I hope the new control center shell doesn't mean the menus
> are done away with altogether, though, because (as a long term user) I
> find the menus much more convenient.  Despite having used it for years,

Windows has several obscure options which allow you to have the control
panels, printers, admin tools and other options appear as lots of direct
menu items in the main menu.  I would hope such an option could be
provided in Gnome, essentially allow current users to get roughly the same
behaviour we have now.  I very much want Gnome 2 to allow users to carry
on using Gnoem 2.x without retraining so I'm cautious of signficant layout
changes like these.

> Framed/paned window managers do exist (or certainly used to), I was
> briefly involved in usability testing one a long time ago.

I wouldn't want to use it myself but the Rat Poison window manager might
be of interest

> Doesn't look like we're going to get such a window manager anytime soon
> though, people are too busy implementing wobbly translucent windows and
> spinny-cube desktop switchers at the moment.  But who knows what GNOME
> 3.0 will bring? :)

There will be no Gnome 3.0, long live Gnome 2.x!

Seriously though if there was the will to do it we could make something
called Gnome 3.0 happen relatively soon, however developers are much more
comfortable breaking things down into smaller pieces and sticking with 2.x
indefinitely.  developers resist a number bump but never bumping the major
version number is equally silly, especially with some of the significant
improvements like beagle/tracker put tother with other more disruptive
changes.  the prospect of having Gnome 2.x which no longer resembles Gnome
2 is rather worrying and there would need to be a change in the major
version number sooner or later.


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