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Re: [desktop] Don't assume you know users

Robert Watkins wrote:

> After reading the discussion list recently, I'm
> concerned we'll be wasting our time trying to
> convice others of our opinions. So, here's my two
> cents worth.
> Top 10 things you say when having a
> non-productive discussion of user's experience.


> Top 10 things you say when having a productive
> discussion about users.


Thank you very much. I have pretty much stopped reading the menu threads
here because so much of it falls into the non-productive category as
you've described it.

I'm glad Chris Lawrence is rewriting the menu code; it sounds like his
work will be a major improvement. But much of the current speculating
about what users want or can cope with (as if all users can meaningfully
be reduced to one blanket statement, or even one for novices and another
for experts) is a waste of time and energy. It also seems to me that
many people are tossing conflicting ideas around without being
sufficiently aware of what the menu system already does or what Chris's
will do, which comes close to guaranteeing that their comments are
simply digging up long-resolved issues or are simply irrelevant to the
work being done.

One thought that just came to me, which I'll include here rather than
write another message for, is: Has anyone ever considered extending the
alternatives system to the user level? Each user could have a
~/.alternatives directory full of symlinks for things like
x-window-manager, x-terminal-emulator, web-browser, and so on. A simple
GUI tool could be used to configure these, choosing from the
system-defined alternatives (and one choice could simply be, let this
symlink for foo point to /etc/alternatives/foo, so that you get the
system default, whatever that may be). Then we could have a menu that
simply lists all of your alternatives entries, using a simple mapping
from the standard symlink name plus the name of the actual executable as
the menu entry text (e.g. web-browser would map to "Web Browser", and if
it points to mozilla, you end up with a menu entry saying "Web Browser


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