[Xfce4-commits] r16004 - xfce4-panel/trunk/plugins/launcher

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at cornell.edu
Mon Jun 20 23:03:17 CEST 2005

Hash: SHA1

Benedikt Meurer wrote:
> Olivier Fourdan wrote:
>>Hey Jasper,
>>That was one the greatest thing in Xfce launcher.... :(
>>Too bad.
> I agree with Olivier, this was really a very handy feature.

I guess I'm just not really seeing the problem this "feature" solves.
Or rather, I'm not seeing why this is actually a good solution to any
(perceived?) problem.

(As an aside, saying that that was one of the greatest things in the
launcher sounds like a big slap in the launcher's anthrpomorphic face,
to me.)

Anyway, perceived problems:

* People being impatient and/or people not knowing that a single click
is all that's needed.  Well that's their problem.  When you double click
the icon and two instances of your app appears, you learn pretty quickly
what you're doing wrong.

* People who have trouble using a mouse (because they're computer
newbies and aren't familiar with them).  Tough.  Live and learn.  I'm
all about educating people and bringing their knowledge up higher, not
about dumbing things down to the lowest common denominator.  What, are
we Linspire now?  YMMV.

* User feedback that something has "happened".  I would think that the
visual indication that the button pushed in and then popped back out
would be enough.  After all, that seems to work for every other button
in any UI I've ever seen.  Startup notification, when it's more widely
supported, will make this even better (yeah, I know, half-vapor until
then).  Anyway, it really should be the opposite: if there's an error
and something *doesn't* happen, then the user should be explicitly

* People who have trouble using a mouse (due to physical hand problems).
 This is really the only valid case I can see, and yet I find it hard to
accept a need to cripple the user interface for what is likely a very
very small percentage of users.

The only buttons that I *ever* see go insensitive after a click are on
some web forms.  And the reason for that isn't really usability: it's a
consequence of network latency, and the fact that extra clicks can
actually cause problems that are difficult (or time-consuming or costly)
to resolve.  And those buttons are only meant to be used *once*.  The
entire point of having the launcher buttons on the panel is so they're
accessible to be used often (or at least more often than 'once').


[1] I'll also make note of the case where an app crashes before it shows
its first window.  That sucks, but I don't see the panel as the place to
"fix" this problem.  In an ideal world, all GUI apps should notify the
user when they crash, similarly to how GNOME apps do, though it would be
nice if this could be done in a tookit-agnostic manner.  Actually, in
the time it took me to write that last sentence, I came up with a
non-nasty-hack method of doing that, without modifying the application,
though it incurs an extra-process overhead for each GUI app.  Eh.  Too
lazy to think more right now.

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