Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Nov 2007 23:05 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the seventh article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V | part VI]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VII, as promised in part VI, we focus completely on CDE, the Common Desktop Environment.
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I totally disagree with the author on CDE
by gustl on Mon 26th Nov 2007 16:31 UTC
gustl
Member since:
2006-01-19

I have been a user of Windows 3.1, Windows95/98/ME, FVWM95, KDE1/2/3, CDE, GNOME1.6 and Windows XP (in that order, partially parallel at home and at work).

The worst interface was Windows 3.1, closely followed by CDE and the other Windowses.

What Windows lacks is sanity.

What CDE lacks on something less than a 30" monitor is sane real estate management.

The dock is 3 times higher than my taskbar on KDE at home, and it does not take up the whole width or height of the screen. The remaining space beside the dock was always unused, so lost real estate.
Iconification onto the desktop is also not really usable. To switch applications one had to iconify the current app, then open the wanted app. Quite some work, compared to the single click on the taskbar in KDE or GNOME.

But the most annoying thing was the maximize button: It would maximize the window to the WHOLE screen! Of course the maximized app got in the way of the dock, or the other way around. Auto-hiding the dock was annoying too, because missing a button on the lower border of an application most of the time meant the dock appearing to disturb my workflow.

And the WORST thing: This stupid behavior could not be configured away.

That is mostly why I prefer KDE to GNOME, although for me GNOME is the second best desktop I know. KDE lets me easily configure it's behavior so that it meets MY brain structure, and it lets me do this without searching which values to change for which keywords on the internet (like GNOME).

There is a reason why XFCE is now quite different from CDE - too few people have a brain structure which can effectively use CDE.

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