[sugar] alt-tabbing to the Journal

Eben Eliason eben.eliason
Tue Oct 7 11:31:48 EDT 2008

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 7:43 AM, Martin Dengler <martin at martindengler.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 07, 2008 at 12:21:23PM +0200, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:
>> have we reached any consensus on [alt-tabbing to the Journal]?
> No, based on http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/6251
>> Perhaps someone that cares about changing the current behavior could
>> do a summary of the arguments on each side?
> *Perhaps* there are only two opposing views; I am biased but will
> attempt to summarize the pro (removing-from-alt-tab-list) and the
> con (keep-it-as-is-now) views:
> Pro:
> 1. One never wants to Alt-Tab to the journal
> 2. there is a dedicated key for getting to it
> 3. the journal should be treated more like a zoom level ("lower" than
> the home view).
> 4. Unnecessarily makes itself the active activity when focused, so now
> the Activity/F4 key as well as the search key are dedicated to it.
> Cons:
> 1. One sometimes wants to Alt-Tab to the journal
> 2. The journal is positioned like an activity in the Frame and UI

You missed one of my biggest reservations in the cons:

3. The Journal wouldn't appear beneath the XO at boot.

It's important to me that the Journal be one click (yes, click; not
just keystroke) away when the child boots the laptop. The current
activity gets positioned here under the XO, so in the current paradigm
this happens implicitly.  I suppose you could argue that the Journal
still gets shown here if no activities are open at all, but then we're
special casing it a bit.  There may be other ideas for exposing the
Journal in Home as well, but nothing brought up so far as really dealt
with this dilemma.


4. The zoom level metaphor is specifically meant to convey the idea of
physical spaces.

In the top 3, we're looking out at a plane with people spread across
it.  In the bottom one (activity), we're zoomed in "onto our desk", so
to speak, with a single activity taking over the entire screen. The
Journal, as a fullscreen UI akin to an activity, felt more at home in
this space. Making the Journal a "zoom level" doesn't really make
sense in the metaphor.  You might still argue it's a "different kind
of space", but it doesn't seem to be a point (or "level") on the axis
already defined.

I'll just toss one more idea out there, for argument's sake.  The
Journal, as a "place for storing things", might actually be related to
a device instead (since it's UI may be the same or similar to that for
USB/SD/etc.).  We could put it down there to meaningfully distinguish
it.  This still leaves problem 3, of course.

- Eben

> I personally respond to the cons as follows:
> 1. When?  Nobody's cited examples where it's more desirable to use
> Alt-Tab than the dedicated key.
> 2.
> a) Frame positioning can be changed - there are two proposals and one
> with a mockup that synchronizes the keyboard layout with the frame
> layout:
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Image:Activity_management_journal_core.jpeg
> b) I don't know what's meant by
> "positioned like an activity in the . . . UI" - it seems quite
> distinct and more like another zoom level to me, and the journal is
> never launched like other activities are (neither from Home, Mesh,
> Neighborhood zoom levels, nor resumed from itself).
>> Thanks,
>> Tomeu
> Martin
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