[squeak-dev] Default preferences

Marcel Taeumel marcel.taeumel at hpi.de
Mon Nov 29 16:18:35 UTC 2021

If there was any chance to figure out what's actually better for any given user, we could change the defaults to those better values. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is often not. Such complex systems tend have their own "look-and-feel" overall, which users have to learn somehow. 

So, we can at least keep the existing UX stable to not annoy long-term users, who would then have to look up preferences they never cared about. Yes, there are places where we can (and did) sneak in new features. "Interactive Print-it" comes to mind. I am happy that there weren't too many complaints so that we can keep it enabled by default.

Here is another example. I would love to make "Colorful windows" the default because it makes multitasking in Squeak so much easier (e.g., pre-attentive vision, color groups etc.). Yet, I understand the heuristics that most systems out there don't do that. And we do not want to scare off the new customers. :-) The preference wizard felt like a compromise I could live with. Yet, I bet that many users do not even try to work with colorful windows. So they will never figure out the beauty and efficiency of it. At least, this is want I think. And I know that. There are no studies on "colorful windows", right? So, we cannot know exactly.

Don't get me started on a "Novice Mode". There is even research on why this is not a good idea. Only "novices" and "experts". Only two bins. Sure.

So, what can we do? Make the system's concepts discoverable. Once users learn about (domain-specific) vocabulary, they will not only get better in using the system, but also in what to look for. Such as when searching an option in the PreferencesBrowser or the HelpBrowser.

Teaching the vocabulary is key. Not the default values for your or mine favorite preferences.

Am 27.11.2021 23:58:45 schrieb Thiede, Christoph <christoph.thiede at student.hpi.uni-potsdam.de>:
Hi Timothy,

> Iirc preferences are/can be project specific

Isn't that at least partially broken?

Anyway, I like your idea of different presets - but not sure whether they deserve separate manifested projects. The preference wizard is great for previewing settings in real-time.

Von: Squeak-dev <squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org> im Auftrag von gettimothy via Squeak-dev <squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org>
Gesendet: Samstag, 27. November 2021 23:02:53
An: squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org
Betreff: Re: [squeak-dev] Default preferences
Another brainstorm...

Release an image containing Projects that express different  preference Idioms.  (Iirc preferences are/can be project specific).

I do not use them, but I think flaps and other older squeakisms are fascinating and fun and absolutely should be presented forever.

Heck....emacs has snippets for various languages....a flap where I could pull a smalltalk snippet into a workspace would be handy.

But then, I think Tom's Window Manager (twm) is a crown jewel of  X


---- On Sat, 27 Nov 2021 16:17:32 -0500 Christoph.Thiede at student.hpi.uni-potsdam.de wrote ----

> I always hide flaps - would it be something for the PreferenceWizardMorph?

Me too, good point.

> Or hiding some menus - like Projects?

If we find a compact UI for this, it could go into the PWM, too.

> Also, the last 'page' offering extra packages - would it be possible to include Inbox Talk?

Ah, thank you! :-) Marcel already asked me to do this. Will do this definitely before the next release, just wanted to clean up some things in SIT before ...

Von: Squeak-dev <squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org [mailto:squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org]> im Auftrag von mail at jaromir.net [mailto:mail at jaromir.net] <mail at jaromir.net [mailto:mail at jaromir.net]>
Gesendet: Samstag, 27. November 2021 21:16:45
An: squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org [mailto:squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org]; Taeumel, Marcel
Betreff: Re: [squeak-dev] Default preferences
Could be just me, but I always hide flaps - would it be something for the PreferenceWizardMorph? Or hiding some menus - like Projects?

Also, the last 'page' offering extra packages - would it be possible to include Inbox Talk?


^[^ Jaromir

Sent from Squeak Inbox Talk

On 2021-11-23T09:44:29+01:00, marcel.taeumel at hpi.de [mailto:marcel.taeumel at hpi.de] wrote:

> Hi all --
> There is no need to change the default values for the preferences that are in the PreferenceWizardMorph. Let's focus on whether some interesting preferences are missing from that morph and on the values for preferences not in that morph.
> Best,
> Marcel
> Am 23.11.2021 00:13:44 schrieb tim Rowledge <tim at rowledge.org>:
> >> 1. Windowing
> >> Personally, the first thing I do in every new image is to enable these prefs:
> >> "mouse over for keyboard focus", "open tools attached to mouse cursor", "windows' contents are always active".
> >> Do I belong to a minority of Squeakers or could we satisfy a majority of Squeakers by turning on these prefs by default?
> Well *I* wouldn't be happy with them but then I immediately load my prefs file anyway so maybe I wouldn't even notice.
> > For myself I'd add "Embed a Transcript in a Workspace" because I use and move both around the screen all the time; and frankly, since my first encounter with Squeak I always wondered why I have to open two tools, one of which has a totally nuts name, in order to be able to print "Hello" ;)
> But a Transcript is fundamentally different to a Workspace; the former is for the system to tell you what is going on, not for scribbling notes.
> >> 4. Editing
> >> - Auto enclose brackets -> #beforeSpaces (see [1], pending. Inserting a bracket pair () right before a character just feels pretty useless to me.)
> >> - Enclose selection with brackets -> true
> Again, very not OK for me.
> tim
> --
> tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim [http://www.rowledge.org/tim]
> Hackers have kernel knowledge.
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