the next step on the desktop

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at
Thu Feb 3 17:38:16 CET 2011

On Wednesday, February 2, 2011, Alex Fiestas wrote:
> On 02/02/2011 09:57 PM, Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> >> --- About taskmanager:
> >> 
> >> (1) use only icons (this already happens when taskbar is full):
> >>    - icon size on the panel should be shortcut size (>launcher size,
> >> 
> >> =Kickoff)
> > 
> > i'm not interested in making it a clone of windows7 :)
> I'm not interested neither, but we have to find a way to improve the
> current paradigm, not sure how but we have to do it.
> I'm not going to talk about usability because I don't know anything on
> the subject but I can see a couple of points that are according to the
> experiences I had I think they are as true as the snow is white :p
> 1-Vertical launch menu is way more complex than the "dock" concept.
> 	In any kind of Vertical launch menu (Windows* kde3, Kickoff, Lancelot)
> you have a longer number of step to do before you find whatever you want
> to find, or whatever you want to launch. For example right now if I want
> to execute KGet I have to: Click Icon-->Application->Internet->Scroll
> down (yes, this is another step), Click on KGet.

this is a bogus argument for docks. why? because you are comparing two 
completely different things: finding versus launching. 

what you're suggesting is an external application browser with only mandatory 
launchers on the panel.

what we have now is optional launchers on the panel with a built in 
application browser.

perhaps the missing piece is maing it easy enough to go from the application 
browser to having launchers on your panel.

in any case, with your dock+external app browser, to launch kget i'd have to 
open dolphin to applications -> internet -> scroll -> click. maybe if i'm 
lucky i don't scroll because it's big enough. the interface is also more 
complex though, so subtract a few of those points back. it's not a win. it's 
shuffling stuff about.

so perhaps we could start this discussion from a comletely different angle and 
instead of trying to show that "docks" are better than "browser based app 
launchers", since in my mind they actually do two very different things and 
are similarly clumsy for launching apps that aren't already part of your 
launcher set, let's start with first principles:

* what does the user need to be able to do, in descending order along two axis 
of frequency and required speed

* how can we meet each of those needs

docks are an easy answer because they are different from what we have and are 
a trend (i'd even call them a "fad") right now. they are visually simpler if 
not actually simpler to use. they have their own problems as well, not that we 
ever talk about those because docks are Cool(tm). so let's not start by 
crafting a dock. if we end up at a dock, great. but let's do so from first 

i'd also suggest that we shouldn't let ourselves get pinned down into the idea 
of one panel at the top or the bottom that spans the entire screen. we should 
allow our imagination to use all parts of the whole screen, the dashboard, 
multiple panels, etc.

it's a longer, harder route but we may come up with something actually 
innovative versus following someone yet again for not good reason than to 
follow someone.

> 	Also, the typically this vertical menus doesn't invite you naturally to
> create a set of Favorite applications since these menus are typically
> hidden all the time

launchers on the panel are useful, yes.

> (I don't know anybody that makes a good use of
> Kickoff Favorite... do you?)

you're going to have me: but yes i do. and it isn't me, either :) i don't use 
kickoff, but i know a few people who use the favorites there.

> 2-Taskbar clutters A LOT the panel, and label invites you to read.
> 	In the last discussion about "taskbar Icons only" one of the arguments
> by Aaron was: Labels add useful information, and I agree but to get that
> information you have to read, and no matter how fast you can do it image
> recognition is always faster once you know the relationship between
> Image<-->meaning. 

and which one of the two firefox buttons on my panel is the downloads? ah, 
right, we will group them, then make people click on them and manage them via 
the window manager.

i don't see the benefit.

as for image recognition being faster ... we already do have images. our 
choicse isn't "images or text", it's "images only" or "images and text"

Aaron J. Seigo
humru othro a kohnu se
GPG Fingerprint: 8B8B 2209 0C6F 7C47 B1EA  EE75 D6B7 2EB1 A7F1 DB43

KDE core developer sponsored by Qt Development Frameworks
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