[Design] Re: New Linux desktop features: implications for
silver3 at gosympatico.ca
Sun Dec 7 20:17:05 PST 2003
Good evening David,
Comments in line again.
> From: David Neeley <dbneeley at oddpost.com>
> Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 17:42:40 -0800 (PST)
> To: Selva <silver3 at gosympatico.ca>, Miljenko Williams <mil at pobox.com>,
> design at osafoundation.org
> Subject: Re: [Design] Re: New Linux desktop features: implications for
> Xerox PARC did a three-D desktop some years ago. Obviously, it never caught on.
> Personally, I believe that in most incarnations it's not too attractive because it's essentially awkward. For example, to make sense you would have to associate a particular "direction" of rotation for any given task...and without some kind of "preview" you wouldn't necessarily know if a given file *has* any information there.
Generally, I tend to agree with you here. However, the one area where rotating windows may be useful is for laptops with limited screen space. Additionally, a 2-D Icon (ex. a triangle) could be placed on the Toolbar graphically depicting how many sides the 3-D application has and each side could have a different color which matches the color of the window frame for that side. The side of the triangle that is facing down might represent the one that is currently being viewed. Hence the 2-D icon on the toolbar could rotate along with the 3-D windowing system to help the user maintain orientation.
Another area where rotating windows may be useful is to alternate between tabs and rotating windows in presenting complex interfaces. Putting tabs in more than one side of an application can be confusing. For example, you could switch from Addressbook to Calender to Email screens using a rotation system but have tabs within each interface to organize information further such as the two panel Addressbook screen previously discussed.
> But why be limited in virtualization to *three* dimensions? Why not have a scheme in which you could have "n" facets for various kinds of information? Perhaps with a narrow set of tabs (!) off to one side, with each tab signifying a different facet of the information display?
I could envision, say, twenty narrow tabs down the right side of the screen with various colors and/or patterns for each...perhaps with a green/yello/red border indicating the status of that particular aspect of the relationship.
I guess it's all a matter of trying to balance simplicity and ease of use vs. trying to make the power user happy at the same time. I think you mentioned previously the potential use of templates for Chandler ranging from a basic interface to one with power features. This might be an area where it could be applied.
Another option here may be to start with the three basic tabs on the right hand panel of the two panel Addressbook screen model discussed earlier on this thread. Again, the three basic tabs might be:
1) Contact Details tab (- This includes personal notes),
2) Email Tab, (which lists email headings and dates of correspondence for the selected contact in hyperlink format)
3)OpenOffice Writer document Tab (which lists all documents that were addressed by envelope or by email to the contact selected from the left hand contact look up panel. Of course this list would also be in hyperlink format so clicking the document title could open the file in Writer).
After meeting the needs of the basic user with these three tabs, additional tabs could be added by the user should they choose to do so by way of a Wizard that walks the user thru the development of a new tab and its contents. This might allow power users to add to the basic interface and adapt the Addressbook screen to meet their own particular needs and level of complexity. For example, those with digital cameras might like to make a separate tab for saving digital photos related to a particular contact.
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