Re: GNOME hacking recomentation book.

Hi Miguel, said:
//    Various of the discussions we have had recently on user interfaces
// and why I believe our current GNOME code must be revamped to make
// sense are covered in this book. 

While (like most people on this list I guess) I did not read this book,
I wonder what subjects it discuss exactely. 

I am under the impression that talking about UI is generally meaningless
unless we  define exactely what specific issue we are trying to 
solve. An UI designer may want to reach different and some[what/times]
orthogonal goals :

1 * seduce neophyte users
2 * seduce demo-lover users
3 * enhance simplicity and intuition of the interface
4 * enhance psycho-physical comfort 
5 * enhance productivity 
6 * take user culture into account (which kind of interface people are used to)

While (1) (2) (3) are goals which are very difficult to measure objectively,
there exists "scientific" studies on subject (4) and (5). 

I don't know what priorities Microsoft UI designers decided to give to each 
of those different goals, but while they had made some progress on (4) and (5),
their recent "enhancements" (moving/vanishing menus) are objectivily 
more oriented towards (1) and (2) :)

So the first question we'll have to answer before we go into any further
discussion or developpement is "what are our priorities ?"

In the case where (4) and (5) would be stated as the most important
goals for Gnome UI, I would stroingly suggest we'd ask some help to
people with some knowledge in the subject. 

Let me try to give an illustration of the above comment:

There has been some discussion about Mac-Style menu bar option for
Gnome 1.2, but the arguments were mainly : "I don't like it", "My neighbour 
likes it", "It's coool", "it's non sense" ...  :)

Obviously, those arguments were mainly talking about point (3)

It seems however that this kind of menu bar has a measurable impact in term of 
precision of the movement and long term psycho-physical comfort . 
It seems to be a good option when you give the priority to (4) and (5). 

The reason for that is quite simple, the mouse cursor is stopped by the top 
of the screen, so that you have mainly to be precise only in your left/right 
Ok, This was just an example.  I am not particularly advocating for this 
kind of menubar (In fact I am not used to it, so I don't really like it, 
see (6) ).

So before any implementation change, should'nt we first be sure of what 
priority we'd like to give to each item ?

Best regards,


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