Why design matters

Steve Dodier-Lazaro sidnioulz at gmail.com
Fri Aug 21 11:22:39 CEST 2015

Hi everyone,

It would be very valuable in this kind of discussions on the design process
of Xfce if everyone used design vocabulary, and translated their thoughts
and opinions in tangible design principles and processes. Everyone has a
different opinion and just arguing endlessly about "keeping users free to
do what they want" or "making Xfce simple and unbloated" doesn't really
give us much of a direction or coherence in the way we propose changes.

I realise that we have never bothered to articulate our approach to design,
especially as Simon, Pasi, myself and the developers share common values
and usually agree rapidly on what decisions are most in line with our view
of the project when discussing UI improvements. If you feel that this would
help you to join the conversation, I could draft one next week when back in
London. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to be constructive, detailed
and provide concrete material for the discussion to move forward. It is
also likely that the discussion needs to branch into several; that would
help us have topic-centric conversations which I'm sure will be fruitful!


On 21 August 2015 at 10:02, Eduard Roccatello <eduard at xfce.org> wrote:

> Il 06/08/15 00:20, Andrzej ha scritto:
>> On 04/08/15 21:09, adlo wrote:
>>> What parts of the code should I be looking at if I want to try to
>>> implement this feature?
>> As much as I would like more people to contribute to xfce4-panel, I do
>> not recommend starting from this feature. The panel layout code is complex,
>> fragile and affects the panel performance. Unless you can show you know
>> what you are doing, test the changes thoroughly in all possible
>> configurations, implement a configuration UI for this feature, and maintain
>> the changes afterwards, I will NOT push the patch to the repository.
>> Overall, this change requires quite a lot of work for a fairly small
>> usability improvement. It is a good feature but IMHO not worth the effort.
> I agree with Andrzej. Panel is very complex :)
> In a pure conceptual way I also agree with Patrik but you should have more
> respect of the project itself, of its users and its history.
> We are constantly improving Xfce over time and we will continue to do so.
> Suggestions are welcome and so are patches or gfx.
> An HIG is important and but I think Xfce should have a basic one (a tiny
> one :P) as we could suggest some basic layout and sizing guidelines but
> I'll stop here (at least for the moment).
> Other DE are bloated or unusable. I don't want to break Xfce, we don't
> have to break Xfce.
> We want to let users do what they want, even if this would mean more work
> and more technical knowlege which could prevent the unexperienced user to
> feel fit with xfce.
> Just my 2 cents.
> Eduard
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Steve Dodier-Lazaro
PhD Student
University College London
Free Software Developer
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