"Defaults" button in every settings screen

Michael Orlitzky michael at orlitzky.com
Fri Dec 9 20:21:57 CET 2011

On 12/09/2011 12:31 PM, Harald Judt wrote:
> Some thoughts on this:
> * Many settings in xfce are applied in real-time, and quite a lot of
>     times, the effects are often visible immediately too.
>     Example: Font size.

But different settings have weird interactions. If you don't know that 
the font size is what's causing your Firefox "OK" dialog to render 
off-screen, you might try to change some other setting (that isn't 
broken). Now you have two problems.

If three things are "wrong," toggling each of them individually isn't 
going to do any good: none of the changes, alone, will immediately and 
visibly fix the problem.

> * The default value could be shown in the tooltip, along with the
>     description of the control. When the user reads the tooltip, he knows
>     what that control is for and what the default value is. If that is
>     not the case, the tooltip should be rewritten to make it easier to
>     understand.

Again, if you don't know what's wrong, this sucks. You have to hover 
over *every* setting, read the default, and then set the thing back to 
the default.

>     This way, you tell the user how to fix it, but he has to fix it for
>     himself. Without wanting to be pedantic, this teaches him
>     - to consider what he wants,
>     - what he can do,
>     - how he can do it,
>     - that he is responsible for fixing things himself when he breaks them
>     - and that he has to be more careful when he's going to change things.

You know what would really teach him a lesson? Delete a few important 
documents in $HOME. Bet he won't make the same mistake again!

If a person constantly lectured you that you have to be more careful 
when you're having fun, you probably wouldn't be his friend for very 
long. Software isn't an exception.

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