[Usability] preferences windows, window preferences, shaded windows, nonresizable windows
- From: Jacob Beauregard <jake13jake comcast net>
- To: usability gnome org
- Subject: [Usability] preferences windows, window preferences, shaded windows, nonresizable windows
- Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 08:34:48 -0400
Well, I just got a little bit frustrated with looking through the keyboard
shortcuts window. It doesn't offer recoverability.
It would make sense, and be extremely useful for there to always be
reset/apply/cancel in any preferences window. It would help users in the
situation of accidentally changing something when they didn't know what it
was beforehand. Load defaults would be a nice feature as well. Keep in mind,
with community support, people often refer to the environment as though it
were using defaults, so just being able to load them in the preferences to
see what someone else is referring to would be useful.
I'd also like to mention window preferences. Right now, as far as I know,
there is no way to modify what any given mouse button does. This would be
quite useful for a number of reasons.
One mouse I have has 5 buttons. However, it is impossible to give the two
extra buttons any functionality that is based on the coordinates of the
cursor. The extra mouse buttons can be set to keyboard shortcuts, but
essentially makes having them on the mouse useless.
It would also make sense to open up mouse bindings. Window preferences isn't
much of a configuration in its current state, especially when you look at
other configuration menus like sound preferences, so I wouldn't think that
adding this capability would make the window preferences less useful, and it
would probably make things infinitely more useful for people that want to
reconfigure their mouse actions or people that simply have a powerful mouse
and feel like putting it to good use.
Another thing I'd like to mention for window preferences, are titlebar
preferences. I use KDE on my laptop and this is probably the biggest reason,
the ability to modify the title bar is very important to me when I'm using a
touchpad. In general, I centralize all of my functionality to one location
(top-left, no surprise there), so that I can more quickly perform operations
on multiple windows. I also utilize shading a lot more than I would on
desktop, essentially making a stack of shaded windows on the top left of the
screen. This is an organizational strategy that I wouldn't be able to
duplicate with GNOME. I also use modified mouse behavior to aid my
organizational strategies. I believe that adding such customization would
give an opportunity to all users to develop similar strategies in a more
restricted environment (ex. using a touchpad instead of a mouse).
Since I just mentioned shaded windows, I'll get onto that next.
Expected behavior: the ability to horizontally resize
Actual behavior: none
This nothing behavior exists in other window managers as well, but would be
useful as it could help aid consistent grouping strategies. In this regard, I
also find "magnetic" windows preferable to GNOME's somewhat sticky windows. I
am also failing to find any configuration for the somewhat sticky windows.
It's also quite unexpected that roll-up/shade action isn't presented in the
titlebar context menu when, in the titlebar double-click preferences, it is
an oddball presented alongside two actions that are. This is a consistency
The last thing I'd like to touch on is nonresizable windows. This may be
considered an accessibility issue (I've already sent this one off to
accessibility), but some possible solutions could affect usability, and there
really needs to be a guideline for when nonresizable windows are used.
Okay, so we can't resize these windows? What constraint does this bring with
it? A maximum size if we want these windows to be able to be displayed at
There already exists a bug on Evolution for the setup wizard window in 800x600
resolutions. This is reproducable with the previously mentioned sound
preferences, and there's a somewhat similar situation with the "about me"
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