[linux-elitists] Re: Yet another mozilla atrocity

Jeremy Hankins nowan@nowan.org
Thu Oct 2 07:50:54 PDT 2003

Jeff Waugh <jdub@perkypants.org> writes:
> <quote who="Jeremy Hankins">

>> obgconf: I avoid using gnome (or kde) apps whenever possible, and
>> gconf is one of the reasons.  I hate GUI configuration interfaces
> a) Interacting with GConf directly via gconftool or gconf-editor is
> not a common case to optimise for. It is mainly used by and designed
> for admins, advanced users, and people who don't have better things
> to do with their time.

gconf-editor is a gui, iirc, and gconftool isn't exactly a substitute
for a text file.  But in any case, I understand that.  gnome is
designed for users who like clicky interfaces & eye candy.  Different
people have different priorities; I have no problem with that, and I
acknowledge that there is a niche that gconf fills.  What annoys me is
when *I* have to deal with it.  Don't elevate the (naive, imho) wishes
of a subset of the user population to "good UI".

> b) Each application, should it require 'preferences', provides an
> appropriate interface to the most useful options.  You may enjoy
> editing text files, but it's a strange and unfortunate leap between
> your music library and player software and, say, vi. Why would that
> be a preferable solution?  Context matters more; do it in the app.

So you think editing text files to configure software is "strange and
unfortunate."  Gotcha.  Though I rather surmised that from your
previous post.  It's better because (remember my UI priorities) it's
faster & more flexible -- I can bring the same fast, powerful tool to
bear on all my configuration needs.  And I honestly don't know what
you mean by context -- what do menus & clicky boxes have to do with

The things you're saying are not absolutes.  From within a certain
mindset they make sense.  Insofar as breaking out of that mindset is
infeasible or undesirable, it makes sense to go with that.  But that's
just an issue of what users are comfortable with, not what the best UI

> c) Why do you care about the configuration process? Why are you
> doing it so often that it matters this much? Don't you have better
> things to do?

I could ask you the same.  For me, the answer is that I want my
interface as closely suited to my needs as humanly possible.

Jeremy Hankins <nowan@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333  9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03

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