Re: [Usability] New way of accessing software (WAS: Re: Big Panelmenus (32x32))

> > 3. Load and process files. (files should have the same window launcher
> > the apps above, but with options regarding files instead of apps,
> > on the MIME type)
> I'm from the $HOME as desktop camp, and so I think that the desktop
> should we the starting place for file manangment. Why re-invent the
> wheel on the panel when we already have a file manager and the ability
> to manage files from the desktop ( see:
> )

Because sometimes we do need to re-invent the wheel because things change.
When the traditional file searching/navigation was created, 20 years ago
(and we still use the same paradigms on our  file managers/menus), there
were no file systems that supported extended attributes, neither we had
database libs that we can plug them in to our framework and go along with
them. Today, we do. This is why I believe that file and app launching should
be based on usage patterns and statistics, while leave the traditional way
of file management for Nautilus  to also be available.

I do not believe that everyone's desktop should be filled with icons as you
suggest in your article. Let the user decide if he/she wants it that way,
but personally, I like desktops with no more than 8-9 icons on it, and that
includes mostly app shortcuts rather than folders or prefs. People tend to
save a lot of things to their $Home, so a desktop can easily be crowded and
that will lead into worse situations in the long run.

> > These should be three big buttons in the gnome-panel.
> Well on the foobar/menu panel it would be three words, possibly with
> icond beside them.

There is Applications, Actions and some times Help. I suggested
Applications, Files and System (with diferent naming of course), all with
icons next to them. And when clicking to the first two,  there should not be
a menu, it should be a dockable window that offers all the functionality the
user might need to get fast to what he/she needs.
Personally, no matter how many times I do it every day, I always have to
search on my traditional program menus to find Mozilla or Gaim, even if I
did it so many times before and know where they are placed. However, it is
so much better on the XP start menu where my most used apps are listed. A
real life and time saver. What I suggested here was to take this even
further and make it even more powerful than XP's half-baked solution (all
crammed in a single popup window - hardly an improvement, neither as
powerful as I would like it to be).

> Ok, currently Ximain and Redhat have their "More"/"Extras" menus, which
> rock IMHO.

I personally hate those. Terrible sub-nesting. It doesn't cure the problems
of the traditional menuing system. It only cures the symptoms.
Your menus will have to only show what you mostly use/recently used/recently
installed to find things, not having to go through piles of mostly unused
programs that you don't care most of the time.

Microsoft tried to solve this same problem I describe here on Win2k.
Remember the "hidden" menu options in the program's menus which only showed
you which options you mostly use? The idea was good and had a merrit, but it
was also curing the symptom and not the problem. This is why they later
created the "most used apps" on their XP start menu. Too bad they only let
you have there only one at the time: either "most used" or the "recently
used". We should be offering all in a clean, consince manner.

> > This new way of organizing the menus is much more clean and efficient
> > offers more functionality, without adding bloat, because you know where
> > find the settings, where to find the apps and where to find the files,
> > in an instant.

My problem was that no matter what re-organization you make, you still hit
the wall with the traditional menuing way, as it is the same old same old
nesting menus. What I suggested was a radical change to the way we
find/launch files/apps.

> Mmm, I don't know if that applications menu is really going to be more
> efficient than the current one... there are a whole lot of widgets, and
> I really don't like the integrated filemanager thing on the right.

That was a quick mockup to just show the logic. A lot of things can be
different on it. What mattered to me is to explain stats/patterns for
showing the apps/files the user might need to launch, while offering an
optional (auto-collapsing?) menu on the right hand side. That right view is
*not* a file manager. It is mostly a package manager, but with more broader
functionality, and even launching capabilities. People should be dealing
with apps in the same app. Launching, installing, uninstalling, it should be
part of the same solution, instead of moving our heads elsewhere to launch
apps, elsewhere to install and elsewhere to uninstall apps. There should be
more integration overall.


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