Default UI preferences for 3.7

Doug Way dway at
Wed Jun 16 23:41:13 UTC 2004

We had some threads awhile ago about various default UI preference 
settings which were never really resolved... see forwarded message.  As 
I'm preparing the 3.7gamma image, I thought we should probably do 
something about this before 3.7 comes out.

For example, should the menu icons be turned on by default?  Should we 
pick a narrower font for the window title font?  Etc.  It's difficult to 
come to a consensus on these sorts of things, and then we tend to not do 
anything about it and just go with the status quo.  Personally, I think 
most of the current defaults are just fine, but I wouldn't mind changing 
a couple of things.

My thought was to have a vote on the SqueakPeople site, similar to 
previous votes we've had, except that we'd vote on all of the UI default 
decisions at once.  (Only the ones that actually need a vote, of 
course.)  So, for example, these might be the voting items:

1. Should menuWithIcons be turned on by default? (currently true)
2. Should gradientMenu preference be turned on by default? (currently true)
3. Should scrollbarsNarrow preference be turned on by default? 
(currently true)
4. Should the scrollbar width be tied to the size of the default text 
font as it currently is?
5. Should gradientScrollbars/alternativeWindowBoxesLook preferences be 
turned on by default? (currently true)
6. Change window title font default to Accujen12? (considerably narrower 
than the current BitstreamVeraSans11, but we lose antialiasing)

And then you'd vote on the SqueakPeople thread with a range between -1 
(for strong opposition) and +1 (for strong support), as we've done with 
previous votes.  (And you could add optional *brief* comments after your 
vote if you wanted.)  Like this:

1. -1 (the menus just look a bit too cluttered with these on IMHO)
2. 0 (don't care)
3. 0
4. -1 (tying scrollbar size to one particular font and not others is too 
5. +1 (gradients look good!)
6. +0.5

We could add a few more items to the voting list, but we don't want it 
to get too big.  Actually, I think most of the ones which came up on 
squeak-dev are covered in my list above, but if someone feels strongly 
about a particular preference, bring it up now and I could add it to the 

These voting items should all be things which can be set easily with a 
preference, or a trivial code tweak.  Let's not get into more abstract 
things like "Should we switch to a Skins look?" which would require 
major code changes... we want to settle this stuff for 3.7 which is 
about to go gamma.

It's also true that it's hard to come up with a coherent "look" if we're 
voting on a bunch of interrelated look-related things one-by-one.  But I 
think my examples above are mostly non-interrelated.  (And that's why I 
grouped gradientScrollbars/alternativeWindowBoxesLook together as #5... 
it wouldn't make much sense to have one turned on and the other turned 
off by default.)


If no one comes up with a radically better idea to decide these things, 
I will add the poll to SqueakPeople sometime tomorrow.  If a vote is 
near 50/50, it could be up to Diego & myself to be tie-breakers. ;-)

- Doug

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Aaron J Reichow <reic0024 at>
> Date: March 7, 2004 12:33:16 AM EST
> To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list 
> <squeak-dev at>
> Subject: Re: New look doesn't necessary means better look
> Reply-To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list 
> <squeak-dev at>
> Yoshiki-
>>   The world menu in Squeak3.7a-5764 looks, ..., too great to me.  The
>> uneven linespacing, caused by the icons, is very unusual thing to see
>> and hard to use indeed because the same amount of mouse movement
>> results in different offsets of the menu items.
> I agree. It's a bit too much for me. I am all for sprucing up Squeak 
> so it
> is more accessible to outsiders, but some of this ...
>> # I can live with the gradient menu.
> I kind of like this myself. Gives a nice texture.
>>   Narrower scroll bars aren't very easy to use...
> I agree. Unless on a PDA, which usually have lower DPI screens, making 
> the
> narrow bar actually physically wider. But on a 320x240 PDA is the only
> place that I use narrow scrollbars in Squeak, otherwise they're harder to
> use. And I'm the kind of person who likes smaller widgets- but on an OS
> like Windows, scrollbars are on of the things I don't make smaller.
>>   The good thing is that those have the preferences to control.  So
>> the question is what preferences we would like to turn on/off in the
>> vanilla 3.7 release image.  I'd like to say that to turn off the
>> #menuWithIcons and #scrollBarsNarrow.  How do people think?
> I agree. That'd be great!
> Regards,
> Aaron

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