straw-man 3.2 default preferences

Martin McClure martin at
Fri Apr 19 03:46:55 UTC 2002

At 6:37 PM -0700 4/18/02, Scott Wallace wrote:
>Here for your slings and arrows is a list of possible default 
>settings for preferences for 3.2.

My general philosophy about the default preferences is to set them to 
the settings that will make Squeak the most comfortable for newcomers.
Those with more experience can easily change the preferences, whereas 
those who are new shouldn't be expected to adjust to too many new 
things at once.

I do think some changes should be made to the scrollbar defaults. 
Note that many of these suggestions are *not* the way I set *my* 
preferences, but scrollbars are consistently the first thing that get 
a negative response from the folks that I show Squeak. (I usually can 
get some 'ooh, wow!'s as well, but the scrollbars are still a 

>(inboardScrollbars false)

I agree with Ned that this should not be the default. Every time I've 
shown a new person Squeak with flop-out scrollbars they have trouble 
with them; I think they're a barrier to adoption, though they're 
useful on limited-size screens.

>(scrollBarsOnRight false)

Similarly, except for die-hard Next users, Squeak newcomers are used 
to having scrollbars on the right. I think the default should be to 
have them on the right, it'll cause less confusion.

>(alternativeScrollbarLook true)

This one is a personal preference, but I can't imagine the majority 
of newcomers disagreeing. The alternative scrollbars are just too 
hard to 1) see what they mean and 2) do what you want. Positioning 
the menu under the up arrow is part of the problem, but not all of 
it. I've had experienced computer users who are new to Squeak take 
one look and say "What's that thing there? How do I use this?" I used 
these scrollbars daily from the time they came out until just a few 
weeks ago, so I feel like I gave them a fair chance, but I'm glad I 
finally ditched them.

At 7:20 PM -0700 4/18/02, Ned Konz wrote:
>(scrollBarsWithoutMenuButton false)
>increases the possibility of getting a menu when you're aiming at a
>scroll bar arrow.

Possibly so, but I'd rather leave the menu button in the scroll bars, 
for the one-button mouse Mac users (though a platform-specific 
preference would be OK, too -- scrollBarMenuButtonIfMac or 
something). Also, I think that not using the alternative scrollbar 
look makes it less likely to accidentally hit the menu button.


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