Re: Message Boxes / 5:3 Ratio

On Sun, 28 Jan 2001, Liam Quin wrote:

 Hi guys, 

 I just want to add my 2 units of money.
 In general, user should be able to configure answers to these questions from
control center (we are not MS to decide something for the user, right?) and
there should be API for quierying answers to these questions programmatically.
I think "when uncertain what to choose as default, implement all options and
let the user to choose default".

> Karl, thanks for the clarifications.
> I think that a gnome style guide is needed, and that this would
> be am item in it.
> Other items might include
> * when should a gnome app have toolbars and when should it have menus,
>   and when both?

 The best answer to this - allow user to select which icons to show on toolbar
on per-application basis (as KDE Office apps allow).

> * if there are toolbars, what items (if any) must always be present?
>   what order should the items be in?
>   should icons be standard, or is it better for each application to
>   choose its own?

 It's better to provide means to configure what standard buttons to show
(if apps provides corresponding operations) and what to always hide (e.g.
"Exit" button).

> * if there are menus, what menus (if any) should always be present,
>   and what order should they be in?
>   Which items must appear on certain menus, and which?
>   Must there be a menu item for every toolbar item?

 As for this, I think everything app can do should be accessible via menubars,
	1) menus is the only way to select actions using keyboard only
	2) menus are currently the only way to show/bind accelerators for menu
> * when you create a new document (if applicable),
>   should a new window appear, or should the current window be replaced?
>   If the latter, what warning should be given if tehre was an unsaved
>   document?

 Use should have ability to configure this.

> * In general what warning should be given on a Quit if there are unsaved
>   documents?

 IMO it's better to provide standard gnome dialogs for this (and let the user
to chose the default).

> * What size should a new main window be?

 I think there is no problem here. Larger or equal to the minimal size of
course. And IIRC smart WMs like sawfish could remember sizes of applications
and use stored sizes for all instances of apps.
> * should an editor come up with
>   . a blank screen
>   . an empty document
>   . a message saying what to do next?

 Controlled via gnome control center IMO.

> * Should preferences be a tabbed notebook or a menu with multiple
>   sub-items? (both are popular with gnome apps right now)

 This problem is easily solved by providing "options dialog" meta-widget, and
then controlling behavior of that gnome widget from gnomecc.

>   How should the user save preferences settings?
>   How should the user revert preferences settings  to factory defaults?

 This could be easily solved by having rc file with factory settings in
some special read-only file in /usr/share/whatever dir, and saving that file
over current rc file and rereading it. This way, admin would be even able to
configure what "factory presets" are.

>   How should the user revert preferences settings to the last saved,
>   or to the values that were in use before the settings dialogue box
>   was shown? (this is a standard feature in some popular  systems)
> * What standard keyboard equivalents should exist for File->New, Quit, Help,
>   and other items?

 Gnome libs already provide means for this from version 1.0. Not also
shortcuts, but also localized translations and icon are provided for standard
> * What action should be taken when a file is dropped on a document (if
>   appropriate)?  Embed the document, embed the filename, embed a reference
>   to the file, include the contents of the file, include the filename,
>   open the file, delete the file?

 Configured via gnomecc.

> * If the answer is, include the file, how does the user drag a file to
>   open it in a new window?
> * How does a user drag a document out of a window? Select-all will let the
>   user drag teh contents, but that's not the same
> * What standard warning should be given before overwriting a file?

 Gnome widget should be provided IMO.
> * should messages be worded in passive or active voice?

 If Gnome widget is provided, it would be a single place to change the
wording, so no problem of making the wrong decision :)
> * when editing a document, where should the document name be put? What
>   about the directory containing the name? What about the modified/unchanged
>   status indicator?

 That could be configurable via gnomecc.
> I could go on for pages :-)
> And yes, some user interface style guidelines specify all of these things
> and more; these were a fwe off the top of my head.
> Lee
> -- 
> Liam Quin - Barefoot in Toronto - liam holoweb net -
> Ankh:
> author, The Open Source XML Database Toolkit, Wiley, August 2000
> Co-author, The XML Specification Guide, Wiley, 1999
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-devel-list mailing list
> gnome-devel-list gnome org

 Best regards,

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