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Thoughts about desktop-related Debian policy



Hello,

I saw your debian-desktop webpage and like the idea.  What I wondered
though, was whether the "Debian" way of dealing with this would not to get
bits into Debian policy to make the distribution more desktop-friendly. 
It would probably take quite a bit of discussion until everyone was happy,
but I am sure that the results would be more than worth it.  After all, one of
the things that makes the Mac such a pleasant system to use is the strict
adherence to Apple's human interface guidelines, and Debian's rigourous
adherence to it's policy is probably *the* main strength of the distribution.

A couple of suggestions for possible policies follow bellow.  Here "task"
means anything the user wants to do with their computer, from setting it up
to viewing a PDF to editing an image from their camera.

By the way, have you considered making this mailing list subscriber only,
and hiding the e-mail addresses?  You currently seem to have a bit of a
spam problem...

Regards,

Michael

=== Policy suggestions ====================================
* No task should require more user action and interaction than necessary,
  and where possible, sensible defaults should be chosen or autodetected
  to avoid the user having to take unnecessary action.  If in doubt, more
  common actions should require less action than less common ones.

* Wherever possible, the user should be able to carry out tasks without
  using a command line or text editor.

* Getting a task done should not require the user to install more than one
  package, including the GUI interface if one is available.

* The actions needed by a user to accomplish a given task should be as
  consistent as possible with those needed to accomplish similar tasks, at
  least as long as the user stays within a given set of tools (i.e. one
  desktop environment, one configuration method, etc) and should follow any
  relevant human interface guidelines.

* It should be easy for the user to work out how to accomplish a given
  action without having to search on the internet.

* The user should not be presented with unnecessary information, and the way
  the information is presented should be kept as simple as possible (i.e. no
  technical jargon unless not using it makes the message harder to
  understand) and as consistent as possible.  However, additional
  information should be easily accessible should the user want it.

* Interfaces and applications should work "as expected".  Features should
  either work properly or be disabled, possible notifying the user if the
  user would expect them to be available (i.e. a PDF viewer which does not
  support forms well should disable them and pop up a warning if the user
  loads a PDF containing forms).



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