Label Alignment in KDE4

Robert Knight robertknight at
Thu Jul 17 22:37:21 BST 2008

Hi Celeste,

Some thoughts:

1)  Not everybody knew about the change.  kde-core-devel and kde-devel
get a lot of traffic.  It is possible that some people missed the

2)  Many dialogs have just been ported from KDE 3 and not corrected to
fit the KDE 4 HIG.  This argument obviously does not apply to new

3)  More importantly, I don't think enough developers are in the habit
of reviewing new dialogs against the HIG or even submitting them to any
sort of review.  I think the approach within KDE sub-projects breaks
down like this:

- A small number of projects (eg. Okular) have designers 'on staff' to
review new UI.
- The larger projects (eg. Amarok, KDevelop, Krita) have multiple
developers who discuss user interface changes with one another as part
of the development process.  This is not a regulated thing and I think
it is the case that the level of review and checking against the HIG is
- Projects maintained by individuals will largely depend on the
individual developers themselves to take the time to check the HIG.
Some regularly seek advice and help on kde-usability or via blog posts
but not everyone does.  Even if they do, it is easy to miss things.  

I think it would be worth finding time at Akademy to think about a
simple review process for user interfaces, rather than just for code.

Robert Knight.

On Thu, 2008-07-17 at 16:55 -0400, Celeste Lyn Paul wrote:
> Hey all, 
> A (long) while ago when we began the HIG and then planning for KDE4 began, 
> there were some discussions on changing the alignment of widget labels from 
> left aligned to right aligned. I forget who exactly was involved in the 
> discussion (I think this was in Malaga or Trysil), but in the end I'm pretty 
> sure we decided on right aligning labels in KDE4.
> This is what we had in KDE3 (common in Windows):
> Label 1:                  [ Text Input Box ]
> Really Long Label 2: [ Text Input Box ]
> This is what I thought we were doing in KDE4 (common in OSX):
>                  Label 1: [ Text Input Box ]
> Really Long Label 2: [ Text Input Box ]
> Flashing forward in the future to KDE 4, I'm noticing a lot of dialogs are not 
> following this rule.  Is it because no one knew about the change?  Is it 
> because most of the applications were ported and so no one thought about 
> adjusting the UIs?  
> Seriously though, this wasn't something the mythical KDE Usability team came 
> up with by themselves and decided everyone should listen to them.  It was 
> discussed and agreed on.  I know some developers know about it because I've 
> seen correct UIs and have had questions about alignment.  I had assumed 
> message was out but was obviously wrong (and you know what they say about 
> assuming..).
> So...
> 1) Are we still in agreement about the right aligned labels?
> 2) How hard is it going to be to fix all of incorrectly aligned labels?
> ~ Celeste

More information about the kde-core-devel mailing list