I'm currently looking at integrating the various appearance settings
throughout GNOME into a single "Appearance Settings" application for the
I have made some mockups, which can be seen here:
We've discussed these on the control center mailing list and I would
like to discuss some of the issues raised here as well.
The themes tab provides a way of saving and apply a particular group of
appearance settings. This means it will change the settings on other
tabs, and this is contrary to advice in the HIG. However, I am not sure
if the advice in the HIG applies to this, as it is (or should be) fairly
obvious that changing to a different theme will affect options not shown
on the current tab.
As you can see, there is no separate close button on this window other
than in the title bar. I know this has been discussed before, but would
it be impossible to require "GNOME Compliant" window managers to include
a close button. My main reason for removing it is because of the Novel
usability studies that showed several people did not understand that
the window was instant apply. I think the presence of a dialog-style
button bar suggests that the window is asking the user for some action,
when in fact this is not the case.
Related to the above, I have also not set this window to be a dialog
window. The window is not asking for any confirmation or action from the
user, so I think it ought to be a "normal" window. We also had several
bug reports requesting that the previous theme capplet have maximise
buttons because in contained a scrollable window. Metacity (quite
reasonably) does not allow maximise buttons on dialogs, so it had to be
changed to a normal window.
Undo and Redo
There has been some suggestion on the control center list that we might
like to include Undo/Redo or Revert buttons in the capplets, It would
be useful to get some input into the usability/accessibility
implications of such a feature.
It would be useful to clarify the above points with regards to
"Preference Windows" in the HIG. The HIG specifies that preference
windows should be instant apply, but does not specify a particular
layout to deal with this idiom. Looking at any other operating systems
where instant apply is often used (primarily Mac OS X), it seems that
most preference windows do not have any Close button other than that
provided by the title bar.
Of course, any other comments and suggestions are welcome as well.
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