[PATCH] "Show only important text" mode for toolbars

Matt Rogers matt at matt.rogers.name
Wed Sep 22 15:28:13 BST 2004

On Wed, Sep 22, 2004 at 10:22:29AM -0400, Ian Reinhart Geiser wrote:
> Peter Rockai (mornfall) said:
> > Hello!
> >
> > I spoke with Aaron yesterday on IRC about toolbar plans for 3.4 and I
> > asked
> > what about the text-alongside-icons mode and overly long texts. He
> > suggested
> > adding a flag like textImportant to the actions and a checkbox (and
> > toolbar
> > context menu item) to show/hide "unimportant" texts. This is an initial
> > implementation, sticking the "text important" flag to KAction. It should
> > be
> > fairly complete, with toolbar configuration handling and everything. I'd
> > be
> > happy if someone could review the patch. I have done some amount of
> > testing
> > with various apps, but i'm not 100% of it (given it's past 4 am already).
> > Also, i'm not sure if the result of IconTextBottom mode and KToolBar's
> > iconTextImportant flag being both in effect at the same time is optimal.
> Yeah as much as I love to mindlessly rip off winders features I really
> really really DO NOT want this one.
> It introduces:
> a) a more complicated and cluttered UI
> b) who makes the choice of what's important?
>    -dynamicly setting this as most used actions changes the UI
>     something even MS realized was asininely wrong and removed it
>     in XP.
>    -programmers rarely make the correct HCI decisions.
>    -a usability test could give us remotely close results, but
>     we would be at the mercy of a test group, and stand to do
>     more harm than good when we confuse,piss off normal users.
> c) introduces complexity for developers so they have the opportunity
>    to make more mistakes with the UI than we already do.
> d) avoids solving the real problem of cluttered toolbars with unclear
>    icons.  I think Ben Mayer understands this better than most in KDE.
>    Take a look at KAudio creator with text under icons mode and a large
>    toolbar.  (Too bad we cant make that a default mode)  See how clean
>    it is?  I have attached some screenshots of apps in this mode with
>    simplified toolbars.

The key phrase there is "simplified toolbars". I would strongly oppose 
making text under icons the default unless we clean up the toolbars. See 

>     http://www.geiseri.com/pics/kaudiocreator.png
>     http://www.geiseri.com/pics/kwrite.png

In general, i dislike the large icons because i see it as a major waste 
of screen real-estate (think 800x600), although these screenies don't 
look completely 

> So in summary:
>    Lets solve the real problem and simplify toolbars, and make them less
>    cluttered and clarify the icons.

Agreed. IIRC, Aaron was attempted to do a study on the use of toolbar 
icons for this very purpose, but i don't know that it went anywhere.


More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list