Some comments and some other ideas. Hope they help :-)
On do, 2003-11-20 at 10:58, Alexander Larsson wrote:
On Wed, 2003-11-19 at 23:21, Jaap A. Haitsma wrote:
> I have some comments/suggestions about the current gnome desktop in
> Fedora. (Feel free to burn the comments/suggestions in flames ;-) )
> * I find the standard gnome panel at the bottom of the screen very
> clunky, because it fills up a large part of the screen. (I know I can
> auto hide it or make it smaller.) I find smaller panel (or 2 panels)
> like they use in ximian desktop See:
> looking much more modern
The two panels use exactly the same total amount of screen space, but I
agree that buttons on a larger panel use more space. However, its also
harder to hit the smaller buttons for people with less control and/or
eyesight, for instance older people.
It's true that they occupy the same space, but according to me it looks
a whole lot better.. You could also opt for just one small bar. I don't
want to offend the people who have physical problems with for smaller
panels, but I believe that the default desktop should be geared towards
the average user. For people with physical problems there should be
ideally an option that switches the desktop to a setting which is
appropriate for them.
> * I find the menus Preferences, System Settings and System tools
> confusing. They contain many similar menu items and if you would make a
> quiz show in which of the three a certain setting should be set, I think
> the average user would not do that well.
> I'd like to suggest to have one "Configuration" (or whatever what you
> want to call it) menu, where you have two sections: user preferences
> (which sets options for the current user that is logged in) and system
> preferences (for setting system wide settings for which you need to be
> or become root)
Does this help much though? There are still two menus that you have to
look in, and if you didn't know how to find something in the current
system, how would you know in the new? All it does is add depth to the
menu, making it harder to navigate.
I guess for experienced linux users you'd *know* which settings need
root and which do not (because you know what underlying operations the
config tools do), but e.g. the difference between the XRandR gnome tool
that lets you change resolution without root and redhat-config-xfree
which needs root access is not at all obvious to unexperienced users.
Also, I don't see how system tools fits into the config category.
At the core there are three types of configuration tools:
1) Changes that affect only the current user
2) Changes that configure the current machine (X config, network,
3) Configuration of system services that aren't user things, nor really
machine specific (apache server config, dns server config, database
And even in category 1 there are two types of configurations, those that
are real "preferences", i.e. what the user prefers in the user
interface, but that don't affect the app working or not (colors, theme,
ui organization, etc) and "settings", things that must be set correctly
to make the software work (imap server address, http proxy address,
The user/root split is mostly a 1 vs 2+3 split, although not perfect,
but mixing services such as apache with network settings probably don't
make things easier to find/understand.
Getting a good organization for this is extremely hard. Much of the
problem is due to the fact that there just are so many settings, and
unfortunately many of them are pretty useless for the user. I mean, much
of the stuff of type 2 should *just work*, and need little or no
configuration. Getting as much of this working *without* config tools is
the long term goal. However, at the moment we just have to do our best
to try to organize the tools we have in the menus.
Its important to notice that having fewer config tools is important even
for experienced users, these users have no problem understanding what
the config tools do, but they still have problems finding the right tool
if there are too many different tools. Getting rid of unnecessary
settings increses efficiency for everyone.
I agree with you totally that there should less settings.
My main problem with the current menus is that there are 3 menus which
do settings. Once everything is setup a desktop user does not use these
menus very much anymore. So I would prefer have just 1 menu that does
I think your 2 and 3 could be combined to one, because they do both
machine specific things.
The current menu Preferences does not really make clear that they are
user settings/preferences. Maybe rename this to User Settings (or
So then you would have two menus System Settings and User Settings.
You could maybe put this in one application: Control Center. Where you
have two views: user settings and system settings. You basically switch
from a listing of system settings icons to a set of user preferences
icons by pushing a button or so.
Just trying to help