[Design] Thoughts on a browser parcel
silver3 at gosympatico.ca
Wed Dec 31 15:21:33 PST 2003
Comments in line
> From: Howchmo <Howchmo at snackdaddy.com>
> Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 10:47:10 -0500
> To: design at osafoundation.org
> Subject: Re: [Design] Thoughts on a browser parcel
> > As a user I would prefer to not leave my workspace to see the web
> > content in another browser.
> What do the majority of users expect? I expect it to work like e-mail,
> my HTML content gets rendered within the application I'm using, when I
> click on a link, it opens it in my default browser. Chandler shouldn't
> re-invent the browser, that is already entrenched in people's psychology
> as a separate concern.
While I see your view point, I can also see the original poster's concern as well. Although I agree with Mitch and yourself that a browser shouldn't really be embedded in the main PIM application due to memory consumption, Chandler's interface should still make it easy to jump between browser and PIM apps.
One way to do this may be a floating palette which launches at the same time Chandler itself is launched. The floating palette could contain buttons to jump between the main Chandler sub applications which might be:
3) ToDo List
4) Short Notes
5) Email app
7) Writer Clipboard
This way, although the browser does not have to be embedded into Chandler directly, it makes it very easy for the user to jump back and forth between the various Chandler sub-applications and this tends to increase user productivity and usefulness.
Furthermore, I would suggest the floating palette should be customizable by the user so that they can add additional buttons that are application specific and which automatically appear towards one end of the floating palette bar when the relevant app is selected.
For example as soon as the Short Notes app is selected, the palette bar could automatically increase in length to accommodate additional buttons for Spell Check, Bold, Underline, Print, New Note page, etc.
As usual, the floating palette should be able to be dragged and attached to one of the four sides of the screen or can remain free floating if the user prefers.
Allowing a customized browser (rather than an embedded browser) to be a part of a Chandler suite of sub-applications also makes it easier to integrate the browser with Chandlers repository for web clippings.
BTW, there is actually another use for including Writer Clipboard in Chandlers sub-applications. Writer could serve not only as a user-editable web clipping repository medium but also as a potentially useful way for other future plug-ins to integrate with Chandler.
One example of this may be my previous discussion of including GNUCash as part of a Chandler small business suite targetting the large small biz market. I mentioned before that the user could be allowed to select within GNUCashs pull down menus, File -> email account register as Quicken File.
However, an even easier way to allow the user to get his GNU Cash data to his accountant might be to select Charts & Graphs -> Display register as Writer Table. He could then just email the data as a Writer document to the accountant.
As another example, say someone develops a diabetic glucometer monitoring plug-in to Chandler's Datebook app. A diabetic patient could then record glucometer readings into the Datebook plug-in and then select File -> export readings as table in Writer clipboard. The user can then email the Writer table to his physician as a Writer document.
Another use for Writer being included as part of Chandler's sub-applications is, as I mentioned previously, if a Short Note becomes too long, then the user could automatically be prompted to save the Note as a Writer document.
Of course I do also understand that some may want to use Chandler with other word processors. This issue is like trying to get everyone to like just one model of automobile which is impossible. To meet the varying needs of PIM users, I think Chandler would have to be offered in several different packages. The potential ability to offer several templates, as David suggested would also greatly help to meet the diverse needs of PIM users but I feel at least two or three different versions of Chandler packaging will also be required:
1) one for the main PIM suite which might include browser and Writer web clippings repository app but only as an optional, user-selectable template which expands on the basic PIM apps.
2) I would also suggest, a separate suite tailored specifically for the massive global small business community.
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