Let us make this page a place to discuss about our future
What are we really waiting for?
How define an intuitive desktop? Problably: that would be the best: if I know exactly what I want to do, and don't find some important option "at an obvious place", that means that software may be great but not fully efficient for user. Of course everyone may have a bit different requirements, but I want to talk about "obvious places" like File for "Save as". A HIG ones.
Easy to manage
Imagine a network, where you have to organise something like "Logging on to NT Domain with roaming profile", but using Linux. Profiles and documents are situated on the server and while logging in at some workstatnion via GDM, system realises your profile. But administrator doesn't want users, for example, to change applets or execute anything by Terminal "Run program" window, or Nautilus. This can be made by GConf. But Pessulus can't exclude some user from its policies(singular, or global) and Sabayon can change settings for users who had only logged in sometime in the past. That's not the thing our network sholud have. We also know that Gnome 2.20 didn't came with solution, as it was said to.
The Notification Area
Not all multimedia apps (like Totem), have an ability to inform about their playlist by notification area. Rhythmbox can show you a notifiaction, when it changes an item of playlist. Totem can't, altough it uses playlists, like Rhythmbox. It doesn't have tray icon, and notification. Why not?
Why not in Release planning?
Subjects mentioned here are not the exact goals of GNOME or its future editions. There are only a presentation of "what may be wanted to be done"
Why not in Bugzilla?
Bugzilla is a place for presenting enhacement propositions. This site is a place to discuss about them.
Something really cool about GTK is that its design lets behaviour change significantly without requiring significant changes to applications that use it. (Though potentially suggesting additions to them to make good use of the new behaviour). Thinking of intuitive desktops, it seems that a good direction to head in is where applications can get very close to the desktop, at the user's command. That would be stuff like taking chunks of web pages to use as desklets, drag and drop of a file from an application to Nautilus as the desktop, or even something small such as libnotify or the notification area. A trait that connects those different "intuitive" behaviours is that it involves an application presenting its influence beyond just a little box, and in a system-wide way. This is good because it makes the system easy to learn, gets everything following a nice, predictable pattern instead of every program doing stuff its own way.
What am I babbling on about? Eventually, it gets down to toolbars and menus. The menu is (or should be) a neat piece of GUI design. It is a catalog of everything a program does. In many cases, it just lists everything that is available via the buttons and dials below, but in a quickly searched way. I like to think of the menu as a catalog of everything an application does. An anomoly is right below the menu: The toolbar. The toolbar really just duplicates the contents of the menu with a pretty icon and quick accessibility. Nothing against it, but I find it quite ugly that toolbar buttons are not just pulled straight from the menu. Instead, they get their own signals, and when an app provides toolbar customization, not everything from the menu is available to add. Sometimes, the toolbar has things that aren't in the menu, which is a bad thing. How about unify the two?
I'm thinking that the toolbar should just be a few links to menu items, and should be generated automatically. The user should be able to drag and drop an item from the menu in any GTK app to add a widget which links to that menu item. This could be used for things like quick-access buttons in the panel, or to customize an application's toolbars in a way independent from an application (functionality built in to GTK).
Just some thoughts. Yes, I realize it would be pretty complex to get going, but could feed some interesting pondering!
-- DylanMcCall 2007-10-28 21:15:05