[Scribus] a modest proposal on interface

Gary Glasscock rainmaker
Fri Jul 25 05:17:25 CEST 2003

If there is a group UI Design Group formed please let me know, I would
love to be one of the people in the group.


Gary Glasscock
Associate Editor
ACM Crossroads Magazine

On Wed, 2003-07-23 at 01:58, Steve Herrick wrote:
> Craig Ringer wrote:
> > Hi folks
> > 
> > I'm a relative newbie on the list, supporting a network of Mac Quark 
> > boxes at work. I thought I'd throw in my 2c...
> At last! A response! :)
> >> When I say improved, I mean that buttons and commands should be where 
> >> you'd expect them to be (which some are and some are not, currently), 
> > 
> > 
> > OK, an important question here IMHO: whose expectations? 
> Well, that's why I want to form a group - to decide exactly this kind of 
> issue. Otherwise, I'm stuck making the same complaints over and over.
> What background
> > of user are we talking about? I see several important classes:
> ...
> > Each  of these classes of user will have different expectations of the 
> > interface, to varying degrees.
> Quite so. What I think is that we should set our sights higher - meaning 
> that we shouldn't seek to copy anyone, but rather come up with an 
> interface that's easy for anyone to learn. We should value simplicity 
> and clarity over anything else. The interface should, as they say, just 
> work.
> > Then again, has it changed in a recent release? I
> > could've sworn that issue went away last time I built and tried out 
> > Scribus.
> Maybe in 1.0. I haven't had the time or the connectivity to try it yet 
> (which is pretty ironic, considering how excited I was about it).
> > Then again, everything you mention does strike me as very generic DTP 
> > stuff, or simply logical, rather than 'but this is how XX does it' issues.
> Well, I'm of the school that says copying commercial software is not 
> what open source is about. Rather, we should pick up good ideas wherever 
> they happen to come from.
> >> Also, I've had throughts like reducing modality...
> > That would be very nice IMHO. It could be good to keep a highly modal 
> > interface, since this is common in some/many existing DTP apps (Quark, 
> > anybody?). Personally I loathe it, and if Scribus's priorities don't 
> > include 'easily picked up by other DTP app users' then cool, just pull 
> > it. How hard would it be to leave in though?
> With modes, there's you looking at your document as text, as potential 
> text frames, as existing text frames, as graphic frames, and so on. Each 
> has buttons and settings associated with it. With few or no modes, 
> there's just you and your document (and buttons and settings that act 
> directly on it). What that means is that there is less learning 
> involved... and you can get right to work.
> We'll know we've succeeded when it doesn't matter what, if anything, 
> people were used to before they found Scribus, because Scribus doesn't 
> take any getting used to.
> >> Likewise, modality could be further reduced by eliminating the 
> >> distinction between text frames and image frames...
> > 
> > I like :-) I've never really understood why DTP apps do this 
> Franz?

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