planet gnome comment

Lionel Dricot (aka Ploum) zeploum at
Thu Sep 1 08:08:52 CDT 2005

My personnal experience :

- When teaching computer utilisation to people that never used a
computer before, I saw that understanding the file "tree" and file
browsing is nearly impossible in a few days.
Spatial mode with the "one folder = one window" is very intuitive and
doesn't even need to be learned.

- When teaching MS Windows to some people, I configure the MS Explorer
in spatial mode and it works.

- For people already used to a Windows computer, switching to Linux
with spatial mode is not a problem. No user I know even see that there
was a difference.

- My mother is under Linux since GNOME 2.4. When switching to 2.6 with
spatial mode, she didn't see anything different except that it was

This thread is long enough and I don't want to begin a flamewar so
this will be my only message and this thread. You might disagree, I
just told about my personnal experience just in case it helps ;-)


On 01/09/05, Magnus Therning <magnus at> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 31, 2005 at 11:46:35PM -0300, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> >Hash: SHA1
> >
> >On 29 Aug, 2005, at 8:50 PM, josuealcalde wrote:
> >>I think the default option should be the most used option by Ubuntu
> >>users. Of course, I don't know how to know such a thing.
> >
> >Personally, I think the default should be the option most
> >understandable to those who don't have the skills, confidence, or time
> >to configure their file manager at all. That's not going to happen for
> >Breezy, but I'm delighted Breezy's Nautilus is going to be much better
> >than Hoary's.
> I agree whole-heartedly. The defaults should make sense.
> It's hard to get a good balance between copy-what-other-systems-do and
> our-way-is-better. Familiarity seems to weigh in strongly in GUIs, which
> would imply copying from M$Win (even the bad things sometimes). I
> wouldn't mind seeing more copying from Apple though, since they seem to
> have a more profound understanding of GUIs than most companies.
> Also, don't forget that something that is superior in UI isn't always
> intuitive, and it sometimes requires investing time and effort in
> "changing your ways".
> >>Perhaps, Ubuntu needs an "one-time-configuration-tool" which would
> >>pop-up in the first user session and will adjust this kind of things.
> >>(KDE has something similar, hasn't it?)
> >
> >That wouldn't be consistent with Ubuntu's usual behavior of choosing
> >good defaults and then getting out of your way. Nautilus's browser mode
> >is a good default for people already using Linux, because for those
> >people, the delay caused by orienting themselves in folders that all
> >appear in exactly the same size and position is likely to be less than
> >the delay caused by closing multiple windows when they've finished.
> Not only that, but a configuration tool that pops up the first time is
> intimidating ("look how many things I need to configure before I can
> even start using Linux!"). I also don't think it's good to do simply
> because configuring your system needs some basic understanding (i.e. you
> should understand the implications of choosing one option over another)
> and that understanding isn't there the first time you boot.
> Reasonable defaults, trying to anticipate what new users can grasp or
> are used to from other systems and EASY access to changing settings (no,
> editing options in GConf isn't acceptable) is the road I'd like to see
> taken. Nubies will become experienced users at some time (otherwise
> Ubuntu isn't a success) and that transition should be supported by the
> system.
> /M
> --
> Magnus Therning                    (OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4)
> magnus at
> Software is not manufactured, it is something you write and publish.
> Keep Europe free from software patents, we do not want censorship
> by patent law on written works.
> Never trust an operating system you don't have sources for ;-)
>      -- Seen somewhere on the net
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