RE: 2.4: System Tools - Please try them

> From: Seth Nickell [mailto:snickell stanford edu] 
> I have general concerns that the system tools I'm seeing are also not
> really the ones that we have a big need for, and are often confusing.
> That said, as I'm sure you all know, I'm a big fan of GNOME 
> starting to
> think of itself as an operating system and provide a uniform interface
> to hardware/system settings, and gst seems like a good place to start.
> "Boot" - maybe useful, but probably not something you'd have as a
> seperate dialogue in a perfect world.
> "Networking" - Great! Probably the most common system 
> configuration task
> (though less important when DHCP stuff just works, but it doesn't
> always).
> "Runlevel" - A *services* focused dialogue would be awesome, much like
> RH presents under "setup" where you can click and turn things on and
> off. Mixing this with the traditional unix runlevels, and 
> presenting it
> as such in the menus, is confusing and gets in the way of what people
> usually want to do, which is just to turn something on or off.
> "Time" - great, but maybe doesn't need a menu item and should be just
> under the right click menu of the clock applet.
> "Users" - good to have, esp. if you're admining a machine

Sure. I don't think any of these are things that should stop it from going
into GNOME now. Improvements can and should happen, but modules don't have
to be perfect to get into GNOME - they need to be not awful and there need
to be no obstacles to them becoming perfect. I think adding them to GNOME
will make people such as yourself perfect them.

> In general I'm not sure having these all under a "System 
> Tools" category
> is what we want. System Tools (i.e. things requiring root 
> access) can be
> of very different natures. As I've suggested before the best approach
> might be to provide a "requires root access" emblem, or to 
> use a special
> icon style for items requiring root access (like Black and White or
> something).

I think these tend to be used by different people, at different times, and
for a different set of task. Therefore I think it's easier to put them in a
separate menu than just to put a wee icon next to them and mix them in with
the rest. But anyway, I think this is something we can do later.

> Also the amount of time the applets take to start up (esp.
> w/ the scanning system stuff) is a little irritating, but 
> maybe there's
> no way to work around that and still keep system abstraction...

I agree. I already suggested that there should be more visual feedback.
Seems like a simple, fixable bug.

> I'd like us to consider the gst as items for inclusion, but 
> in a future
> release of GNOME when more of their usability issues can be resolved
> (and to work more closely with the gst folk to specify what we
> want/need, how they should fit in with the desktop prefs, etc). 

I disagree. I think the simpler tools should go in now because they are good
enough, and that will make them better. And I don't think waiting for 2.6
will change the situation much.

Murray Cumming
murrayc usa net 

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