[Sugar-devel] Sugar Journal activity

Gary C Martin gary at garycmartin.com
Sat Dec 6 19:59:12 EST 2008

On 7 Dec 2008, at 00:07, Gabriel Hurley wrote:

> After having used the Journal for quite some time, I have some  
> recommendations that I think would improve its usefulness.
> 	• Category view. I know that the idea of the Journal is to avoid  
> the file-folder metaphor, but the ability to organise activities  
> into groups would be very useful. For example, a child might be  
> drawing pictures and writing a report for a Science class. Instead  
> of searching for these things individually, he/she can click on a  
> drop-down menu and select "Science Class" and all the activities  
> that were added for this category are immediately visible. Already,  
> activities can be filtered by Text, Image, Audio, etc. The ability  
> to define and organise activities into categories would make the  
> Journal more useful.

Tagging is the (already working) solution here, however their exposure  
in the current user interface is really _very_ poor. I understand this  
is well known by the core team and plans seem to be floating around  
that would make improvements.

> 	• Selective automatic saving. Some activities, like the Moon  
> Activity, do not involve the user creating anything worth keeping.  
> Yet every time they are launched, another instance of "Moon  
> Activity" is added to the Journal. This could lead to increased  
> clutter and (over time) less disk space. To fix this, the Journal  
> should have a control to select which activities and objects are  
> automatically saved and which are not.

Well, not yet I agree (Moon does remember your view settings, though  
there are only a few so far – I'm the author for Moon so thanks for  
trying it) :-)

Related to tagging, one likely approach is to have a dialogue on  
closure/keep of an Activity *if* it's still using the default name.  
This pop-up tempts (but not forces) the user to name the activity, and  
could also have a place for easily adding a tag (or tags). This  
dialogue could also have a "don't keep" button.

A second approach (that also seems likely to happen), is to make the  
Home view resume by default. Each Activity icon would have a list of N  
recent Journal entries and a click would default to resuming the first  
in that list. This way you'd usually be just resuming your last  
instance of Moon, or Terminal, or Log, or Analyse and not generating  
new Journal fluff:


There are some risks** with both, but that's always the case with  

** 1) Lot's of dialogues in any UI are annoying for users, so they  
need to show only when really crucial, and have good defaults. 2)  
Resume be default may actually make it too hidden/obscure to create  
new journal entries, so a young kid could just end up resuming and  
painting over the same damn Paint canvas every time, and rarely keep  
much of a work history.

> Finally, I think every open activity should have a "Throw-Out" icon  
> next to the Stop Sign icon. Clicking this would close the activity  
> and remove it from the Journal.
> Thank you for considering my suggestions. If you have any questions  
> about them or see any issues, please contact me and I will try to  
> clarify.

Thanks for taking the time to write!


> Yours Sincerely,
> Gabriel Hurley _______________________________________________
> Sugar-devel mailing list
> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel

More information about the Sugar-devel mailing list