Human Interface Guidelines

Lauri Watts lauri at
Wed Aug 21 23:57:48 BST 2002

Hash: SHA1

I'm bringing this to core-devel, to get the attention of some of the people
who should be involved in this kind of discussion, and are unlikely to be on
kde-cafe, and also because the CC list has gotten nearly out of control.  

The HIG we're talking about is here:

To Seth, I think we need to just slow down :)

Please realise, for KDE, this is a veritable flood of new information, and you
need to give us all a little time to digest it.

I realise some of us (me included) reacted quickly to the language in the
announcement, but I also think we are getting stuck now in smoothing each
others feathers and not really achieving anything (yet).  Please remember,
most of your current audience have never heard of or seen the HIG before.

Please also realise the kde-cafe list is by the "off topic" chat list and not
heavily populated by the developers who will need to implement any changes
arising from this whole thing. I have therefore posted this to
kde-core-devel, since any real decisions need to be made there anyway.

I have a sort of a plan of attack as to how to go about this, and I'd like to
lay it out for discussion.

1: How about nothing concrete on *anything* is done for a few days.  Again, 
many of us have never heard of or seen the HIG before, and there's 130 very 
densely packed pages of information there to digest.  So lets give everyone 
who is interested a chance to go through it in more depth.

Specifically there are several people who should be involved in this
discussion and haven't, so far.  I'm thinking here of Ryan Cumming, Malcolm
Hunter, Stephen Binner, who have between them done the bulk of the work
bringing KDE into line with the existing style guide and Waldo Bastian, who
originally wrote most of it.

On first reading, it appears to be very GNOME specific, a closer reading shows
that it needn't be, and what there is that looks GNOME specific, we can
provide alternate KDE content for.

2: A mailing list is a good idea. seems to me a good idea for 
hosting it, IMHO.  I prefer to see more input from other KDE developers on 
this first, so please, take a breather until there is some consensus - I 
can't speak for all of KDE.

I think using the existing GNOME or KDE usability lists would either drown
current traffic in HIG concerns, or vice versa, the HIG traffic would be
smothered in desktop specific issues.

3: Someone makes a new list, in a week or so, and invites interested parties
to join, and we start there.  Take the HIG one section at a time, clearly
demarcate what is different from KDE current best practise and/or diverges
from the written KDE styleguides, and bring those issues back to KDE for
discussion.  I think this would leave a large majority of the document intact
exactly as it is, and will give a concrete list of changes for discussion by
KDE's developers and usability team.

Seth, please also note the timing: We're nearly ready to start serious
preparation for a release, the feature freeze is already in place, and the
message freeze is not too far away.  KDE Developers will be fairly busy in
the next while, and changes to the code will be impossible for this period
too.  All of this will be ready for discussion and or implementation (or not)
for KDE 3.2.

For those wondering why my specific active interest in this issue, consistent
and well designed interfaces are a lot easier to document, and a lot easier
to translate.  Conversely, drastic changes in the GUI will require equally
drastic changes in the documentation and forewarned is forearmed, so to
speak.  I expect I can be useful with the DocBook too :)

- --
Lauri Watts
KDE Documentation:
KDE on FreeBSD:
Version: GnuPG v1.0.7 (FreeBSD)


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