fd.o HIG

Alex Perez aperez at student.santarosa.edu
Fri Oct 22 00:30:30 EEST 2004

On Thu, 21 Oct 2004, Sean Middleditch wrote:

> On Thu, 2004-10-21 at 12:06 -0700, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> > Hi
> > 
> > 
> > > I've said it before, and I'll say it again - this is
> > > a waste of time.
> > > The differences between KDE and GNOME are huge. 
> > > What about other
> > > desktop environments, like ROX?  GNUStep?  Are you
> > > going to include the
> > > Aqua HIG and Windows Style Guidelines as well?
> > 
> > 
> > No. I am not going to include rox or gnustep. we arent
> Then this isn't FDo material; take it elsewhere.  FDo is not
> "GNOMEandKDE.org" it's "FreeDesktop.org", and ROX and GNUStep are just
> as Free as GNOME or KDE.

There are plenty of people who are subscribed to this list who have 
deluded themselves into thinking that the only two desktop environments 
worth anything are GNOME and KDE. They are wrong and small-minded, even 
though quite a lot of them are smart, intelligent folk. There are 
alternatives to the windows-clones (puts on fire-proof suit) if you are 
not interested in the monolithic do-everything style environments/apps 
such as Evolution.

> > targetting stuff for windows or mac users here.
> So any cross-platform application (and the desktop is definitely part of
> the platform) will still need separate UIs for OS X and Windows targets.
> Having a unified look (and that's all you can get with a HIG) across two
> platforms (GNOME and KDE) while still having a 100% alien look on other
> Free desktops and other non-Free desktops doesn't do a developer a whole
> lot of good.  The proposed HIG's scope is too small to be of any
> practical design use.

Amen, brother. Some of these people have lost sight of what 
Freedesktop.org is supposed to be about.

> > The focus is primarily on kde and gnome. However this
> > doesnt mean others dont count If interested you could
> > point out whether they have any documented set of
> > guidelines.I believe we could create a basic set of
> > guidelines thats applicable to everyone though. How
> > could that would be depends on an interest to have a
> > consistent interface across different toolkits.
> My point is, what good would those guidelines do?  They perform
> absolutely no useful function.  The UI differences between KDE and GNOME
> run very, very deep.  Even if you can iron out and unify every
> difference between the two desktops except their button ordering, you've
> still failed, because button ordering is pretty major.  As is standard
> dialog boxes, configuration behavior (instant apply vs change/apply/test
> cycle), widget style (how do date/time boxes look), tabs vs lists,
> tables vs trees, menu items, and so on.  Not to mention low-level notes
> like the VFS layer.  (Apps that can't access my WebDAV shares in GNOME
> piss me off, and I'm sure KDE users feel the same about apps that can't
> access their KIOSlaves.)
> > 
> > If you are happy with the current situation you may
> > continue to believe its a waste of time. 
> It has nothing to do with being "happy" about it as much to do with
> knowing what the issues are before diving in head first pretending
> something as simple as an LCD HIG is going to solve *anything*.
> Let's say we have this FDo HIG like you propose.  It only documents the
> things that are the same between two (and only two) of the Free Desktops
> for UNIX/Linux.  Now, I come along and write an app that complies with
> that new HIG.  Guess what - that app still feels alien in both KDE and
> GNOME, because it doesn't fit in properly with either of them.  The
> situation is only marginally better, if that.

probably worse... HIGs are one of those areas where it's generallly better 
to just agree to disagree and move on to things that you can agree on.

Alex Perez

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