[linux-elitists] GNOME report.

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sun Jan 18 23:24:27 PST 2004

on Fri, Jan 09, 2004 at 08:32:28AM +1100, Martin Pool (mbp@sourcefrog.net) wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Jan 2004 13:36:20 +0200
> Shlomi Fish <shlomif@iglu.org.il> wrote:
> [for an elitist, you sure have trouble wrapping to 72 columns]
> > In KDE configured Windows-like they also follow the same *cognitive*
> > layout.  And you should give your users a choice between
> > Windows/KDE/GNOME 1.0 button-order and Mac OS button order.
> I think this is a pretty good example of the kind of option that GNOME
> has decided not to offer.  As you say, people's choice of these
> becomes subconcious, so changing the order between my desktop and
> yours would confuse both of us.

I think this is a pretty good example of the sort of thinking that
bothers me about GNOME.

I'm not configuring _my_ desktop for your convenience.  I'm configuring
it for mine.  It's a collection of settings, hacks, stumblings, and yes,
accomodations for broken behavior (most of which I've internalized
fully), which make it useful for me.

If you want to make pink flying flamingoes verbed left to right the
default for all configuration dialogs, great.  But if my preferences is
for stacked koalas, and it's an option reasonably supported on other (or
earlier) systems, _why deny the choice_?

I've been following the discussion here without comment (busy with some
other tasks).  And some of what's been said actually makes sense.
Including, for example, the verbal descriptions of actions, rather than
"OK / Cancel".  Regardless of ordering.

While I use fully GUI apps rarely enough that I probably couldn't tell
you what the order is on legacy MS Windows, I'm familiar enough with
discussions of various systsm failures to know that reordering control
positions is a very frequent cause of "user error", which really should
be considered design-induced (failur to follow, or accomodate for,

> Consider the Windows dialog that says something like this
>   "Do you want to stop defragmenting C:?  Press OK to stop, or Cancel
>   to continue."
> The bizarre wording is necessary to make "Cancel" be the safe
> operation.  

The "User Interface Hall of Shame" site is a great collection of similar
design flubs:


Note too that Tog's taken on Mac OS X, pointing out a number of flaws
which remain, including the dock (implementation, not concept), trash,
and some other bits (I skimmed the article, linked from /. last week).
Particularly about the wide (or as he describes 'em, _short_) screens
Apple's peddling these days.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Windows Refund Day II:  fight for your right to refund
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