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Thread: Topaz Makes Sense

  1. #1
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    Topaz Makes Sense

    It's simple but it makes sense. I just wonder how much the change of the menus are to add to usability now that there are apps like Gnome-Do and Deskbar.

    http://browserbookapp.sourceforge.net/topaz/

    The tagline is "A First Class Desktop". There are two key ideas:

    * Documents are First Class Objects - As a user, I don't want to "Run Firefox" or "Start Evolution". What I really want to do is browse the web and write mail. My applications should be ego-less - my data is the focus.
    * Search and Tagging as the Interface - Hierarchical folders are out - it can't handle both "wedding/photos" and "photos/wedding". Also, the current file system makes a distinction between "regular" files and my mail - I can't find the latter using nautilus. In Topaz, search (Beagle) and flat tags (if you've been living under a rock, think GMail labels, Epiphany topics, and del.icio.us) are the main interface to my data.
    Last edited by wersdaluv; July 15th, 2008 at 12:30 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    I kind of doubt how useful that kind of menu would be for anybody but the most basic user.

    For example, there's the option Create/Picture.. What kind of picture? Bitmap image with Gimp? SVG graphics vith Inkscape? PErhaps a 3D graphics rendering with Blender? You still need to be able to select between these and many other options. And if you add a separate entry for them all in the menu you are back to where we are now, with a separate launcher for every program..

    Or Create/Text. Simple text fiel with Gedit, or more complex document with OpenOffice?

    In the end we'd end with exactly as complex menus with now, only with names of the programs used hidden from the user. Now how would that relate to insalling the aplications needed for these tasks? Would the Add/Remove thing be also cahange to say "Illustration program" instead of Inkscape? Does somebody rwaly imagine that this could be possibly done for every single task people use their computers for? Or would it only be done for the most basic tasks, and those woho want to do something else would end up with a horrible mess in the menu, or perhaps having to add a new menu applet to show those programs? So this UI change would be pnly for basic users, and others would need to start by removing this menu and replacing it with one that works for everything?

    Also, opening a temrinal from /Manage/Terminal would make us much sense as the Start/shutdown in Windows.. I bet many poeple would be looking at the Open-menu when told to open a terminal..

    What about the difference between opening a web page for browsing, and opening a web page for editing?

    In the end, there's a lot of nice ideas, but at the same time there atre lots of thinkgs that would make the desktop quite unusable for more complex tasks. And I don't believe that's the right way to go, I'd rather see a desktop environment that works for both beginners AND expereinced users.

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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    A lot of the stuff looks really cool, but I LIKE my applications menu.
    I hope I can keep it, until I am ready to let go.
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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    yuck, too sensible for my taste.

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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by mcduck View Post
    I kind of doubt how useful that kind of menu would be for anybody but the most basic user.

    For example, there's the option Create/Picture.. What kind of picture? Bitmap image with Gimp? SVG graphics vith Inkscape? PErhaps a 3D graphics rendering with Blender? You still need to be able to select between these and many other options. And if you add a separate entry for them all in the menu you are back to where we are now, with a separate launcher for every program..

    Or Create/Text. Simple text fiel with Gedit, or more complex document with OpenOffice?

    In the end we'd end with exactly as complex menus with now, only with names of the programs used hidden from the user. Now how would that relate to insalling the aplications needed for these tasks? Would the Add/Remove thing be also cahange to say "Illustration program" instead of Inkscape? Does somebody rwaly imagine that this could be possibly done for every single task people use their computers for? Or would it only be done for the most basic tasks, and those woho want to do something else would end up with a horrible mess in the menu, or perhaps having to add a new menu applet to show those programs? So this UI change would be pnly for basic users, and others would need to start by removing this menu and replacing it with one that works for everything?

    Also, opening a temrinal from /Manage/Terminal would make us much sense as the Start/shutdown in Windows.. I bet many poeple would be looking at the Open-menu when told to open a terminal..

    What about the difference between opening a web page for browsing, and opening a web page for editing?

    In the end, there's a lot of nice ideas, but at the same time there atre lots of thinkgs that would make the desktop quite unusable for more complex tasks. And I don't believe that's the right way to go, I'd rather see a desktop environment that works for both beginners AND expereinced users.
    That's just a mockup. Of course, there will be more submenus and other details that are not exposed yet. This concept is just a work in progress after all.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by loell View Post
    yuck, too sensible for my taste.
    Is there such a thing as too much sensibility? Hehe
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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by wersdaluv View Post
    It's simple but it makes sense. I just wonder how much the change of the menus are to add to usability now that there are apps like Gnome-Do and Deskbar.

    http://browserbookapp.sourceforge.net/topaz/
    "open" , "create", "manage"

    this is a simpler version of gimmie

    if anyone wanted this applet would had been created already, i don't see it being hard to make.

    they explain topaz here:
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...explained.html

    i don't see this as WOW, i just see it as a simple applet you could add or remove.
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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    Seems like a bad idea. As per the author, adding an app like inkscape will put a new entry in the 'create' menu called illustration (or something along those lines).

    This is a horrible idea. The reason we have sub menus is because we have too many apps to use a flat menu. I use rhythmbox for listening to my music, amarok for it's great device syncing abilities and BMPx for great online support. I also use 3 video players for various types of video content and at least 5 different IDE's/editors for coding. Then I need on app for photo viewing and one for photo library management. My point is that the flat menu will turn into a massive, unorganized, multi-pane mess.

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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    Quote Originally Posted by madjr View Post
    "open" , "create", "manage"

    this is a simpler version of gimmie

    if anyone wanted this applet would had been created already, i don't see it being hard to make.

    they explain topaz here:
    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...explained.html

    i don't see this as WOW, i just see it as a simple applet you could add or remove.
    It's not just like gimmie. It would change the way apps are ran even with other means (like keystroke launcher) and how they are closed. It could also run only fragments of apps depending on what action one chooses to do. This is just a hypothesis though, since topaz doesn't exist yet.

    What is sure is that it would change how a user views the desktop and that is a radical change. That can't be done just by one applet. Gimmie tried to do that but it didn't do it well. It's a complex idea.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Topaz Makes Sense

    that little thing on the bottom right with the gears, showing a download, progress on printing a page, etc, thats from KDE, trying to put all the progress bars into one section, i can see that being useful in some aspects...but not all.

    and the address book thing looks cool if that could be integrated into mail programs and whatnot.

    and the new menu would be good if it was an option to switch between the one we have now and the that one, since the topaz one looks like its better suited for people who have 'no' knowledge of computers whatsoever
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