straw-man 3.2 default preferences

Jon Hylands jon at
Fri Apr 19 14:34:14 UTC 2002

At Friday, 19 April 2002, you wrote:

>My experience has been the opposite of Jon's: right from the start, I
>was enamored of Squeak's multicolored windows.  Rather than
>"discordant", I would instead use the adjectives "gay" or "festive".
>I don't think that Squeak's color scheme is ugly, only different.  It
>would be a mistake for the Squeak community to hide its personality by
>trading its gypsy garb for a three piece suit.

I don't view it that way at all (gypsy garb vs. 3-piece suit). For 
me, graphic design is about clean and simple lines, where the content 
of whatever you are looking at is the most important thing. As might 
be expected, I've tried to mirror that philosophy with my web site 

>The colored windows also provide a visual cue about their function
>("Where did I put that selector finder?  Oh, I see its blue corner
>sticking out there").  When the windows were a solid color, one could
>argue that the text was somewhat harder to read, but that is no longer
>the case.

There are other ways to solve that problem, including a window-finder 
like Windows has (Alt-Tab), or something similar to that. XP has 
a nice new feature that automatically organizes the open-window icons 
in the task bar by application, so they are grouped more or less 
by functionality.

>New users who can't deal with colors that are different from what they
>are accustomed to will probably also not be able to deal with the
>fundamentally different philosophy of computing embodied by Squeak.

Well, I'm not convinced of that. That certainly holds for a class 
of new users, but the bunch I'm interested in are the hard-core programmers 
who are looking at Squeak for the first time. If they try Squeak 
and like it, they will probably talk about it in the other online 
communities they belong to, and positive praise from people like 
that that will probably spread the word faster than anything.

I guess what I'm trying to get at here is to point out that there 
are differences in what people prefer, and we might want to make 
the mechanism for changing certain things like the window color and 
scroll bar locations much more obvious for a new user.

It would be nice if the Preferences window could set *all* the preferences,
including the window colors, the fonts, the background, etc. I'm 
going to dive into 3.2 this weekend to work on the web browser stuff,
so maybe that would be a good time to work on a more comprehensive 
preferences window while I'm at it...


   Jon Hylands      Jon at

  Project: Micro Seeker (Micro Autonomous Underwater Vehicle)

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