Firefox crippling

John Thacker thacker at math.cornell.edu
Wed Jun 8 22:14:46 UTC 2005


On Wed, Jun 08, 2005 at 11:38:16PM +0200, Enrico Scholz wrote:
> 1. The default firefox icons are not "dramatically different" from the
>    default Gnome2 icon theme
> 
> 2. I do not care about the default setting as long as:
>    - it can be configured
>    - does not override current settings

But weren't you complaining about the change to spatial nautilus?
Your complaint there, it seems, is because of the dramatic change
in behavior between people who had GNOME 2.4 and upgraded. But I know 
plenty of people who *do* want current settings to be overriden, at 
least in the case where they always used the previous application default
and never set any sort of special configuration.  So many users never
change the default preferences, and they want any genuinely useful
or cool new feature to be enabled by default; they don't want to have
to specifically enable everything in the new release.  They don't want
to have to be that familiar with every detail of their program.  Especially 
when you're changing the UI, it's rather crazy to make users specifically 
select from a list of preferences many options in order to change to the new 
look and feel.  That violates user friendliness as well.

People who hate some change should be able to change it back, certainly.

> 3. What is the meaning of "different"? Different to what? Firefox is the
>    only Gnome2 application I am using, so why am I forced to see these
>    ugly icons?

I'm impressed that you're familiar enough with the Gnome2 icon theme
to make the statement in 1. despite not using any Gnome2 applications.
I'm furthermore impressed that you can argue simultaneously that the
icons are not all that different, yet very ugly.  I can see the 
position, I suppose.

Largely you see those icons by default because GNOME is the default
desktop for Fedora.  There are plenty of reasons to make the default
desktop have consistent icons; it's absolutely a core principle
of user friendliness.  The default certainly has to be something, and
that is the most logical choice.  Admittedly, from the user perspective
of someone who uses Firefox on multiple different operating systems,
it's not the greatest either.  (In the same way, there is a reasonable 
argument for key shortcuts which are close to Windows, too.)  There's
nothing forcing you to see those icons, though.  There are plenty
of ways around it.  A unified look to the desktop, like similar
keyboard shortcuts, are kinder to users than everything being 
different.

You mentioned not using KDE; RedHat got a lot of grief for a similar
decision to develop Bluecurve in order to have a unified look throughout 
the desktop.  (Bero left around when 8.0 was released over this.)
From any usability standpoint, it makes sense.  I'm a little confused; 
are you complaining partially because you only use GUI apps which are 
too difficult to make look consistent to be worth the effort to do so?

John Thacker
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