Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The screen panel

Following on from the region panel, we now have an updated “Screen” panel for the control-center. Richard worked on the initial version (which you can see in older revisions of the control-center for GNOME 3), and I finished hooking it up this week.

Not much to say about this, except that the lock screen timeout preference now changes the underlying preferences for both “on AC” and “on battery”, as well as the idle time (which is used by a number of desktop components like your IM application).

I'm also very glad that we managed to get rid of the brightness levels based on whether on battery or mains power. This usually worked exactly as you didn't want it to. Now, just use your keyboard shortcuts for those instead of hoping to gouge somebody's eyes out every time you changed power source.

See also the design page for more information about the changes made.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, when I looked at this I got the impression the Lock stuff was for locking the brightness or so.

Might make sense to swap the two parts to avoid this confusion? i.e. show Lock above and brightness below.

korbe said...

If you are light detector, brighness is auto-adjusted?

If you are not light detector, brighness is auto-adjusted based on the time and the date?

hadess said...

korbe: There's no code to use light sensors in gnome-power-manager yet (it was being worked on by someone), so no, there's no support for that yet.

Anonymous said...

What's with the funny widgets for enabling / disabling locking? The design page you linked to used paired radio buttons, and here you've gone for some weird switch-like thing. Why not plain old checkboxes, like everyone is familiar with?

Anonymous said...

Good job! It looks great.

Well... except for that ON / OFF button, because it doesn't really explain itself that well.

I think a normal checkbox with some text next to it would be best, usabilitywise. Something like:

[ ] Ask for password before returning from screensaver

Anonymous said...

Those switches are copied from ios/Oscar. I have to admit that I don't like them. They are visually confusing since they look like they should be grabbed and slid not simply clicked. Also its just a copy. I don't see any inherent reason to prefer this radio widget over another though I understand the desire if not the need to have a different looking widget.
Btw, the brightness change on power source change usually worked for me. Can I assume there will be a dconf key that I can set it or am I forced to create a udev rule?

Nobu said...

"What is that lock-thingy for?" There's no hint except for the title of the window, and even that is misleading.

"Lock the screen? Why would I want to do that?" How is a new user to know that it doesn't lock the screen immediately? That is what I might expect; although the idea is absurd, if you came from another OS you might expect such absurdities. ;-)

abrander said...

Oh my God. Have the iPhone toggle buttons somehow found their way into GNOME? They are a usability nightmare. What was wrong with check boxes?

steven said...

Looking good. I see in the System Settings now though, that we have "Screen", "Displays", and "Background".

I understand how these differ (especially Background), but when we have three icons that are all slight variations of a computer screens, you have to wonder if there could be some consolidation or reorganization.

Anonymous said...

This is nuts. It makes perfect sense to make different trade-offs when on AC vs. battery. Why shouldn't I be able to only dim when idle when on battery? Why shouldn't I be able to automatically get full brightness on AC and, when on battery, automatically reduce brightness to something that is still easily readable under normal circumstances but doesn't drain the battery as much? Why shouldn't I be able to use a different suspend timeout on battery?
Who do we hurt by not providing these options?

Alex said...

That switch thing looks awful and is really confusing.

Alex said...

Between the switch thing, the removal of AC vs. battery preferences, and the removal of lid preferences, why even have a control panel? Why not just set a bunch of values that the developers think are reasonable and remove the control panel?

pankaj said...

Yeah, i think the plan is slowly to get rid of all preferences, eventually moving everything into hardcoded c files.
Apart from having uniform look across all gnomes, it will also give better performance.
On a side note, is it possible to keep an advanced tab or something to keep separate settings for battery.

Frej said...

Maybe represent the screenslider as discrete values. It's easier for many reasons.

* Provides exact undo.
* Complete view of possible values and thus the number of steps/presses you can do.

Even if laptops can do continuos brightness, i'd say it's better with a discrete/stepping scale.

Jaroslav Šmíd said...

My laptop does remember brightness settings for both on AC power and on battery power, when I plug/unplug AC power, laptop automatically switches to last brightness settings set in that "mode" (using Fn+brightness+/-). No software coop is needed, it does it by itself, even in BIOS/setup, during POST, ... and I can regulate brightness in BIOS/setup for both modes). Gnome2 messed this up all the time until I completely turned off that "feature". Now it will mess with my settings and no way to turn off? Why software regulation? Nice, very nice. I hate software doing hardware's job. When gnome3 will arrive to Arch Linux repos I will be forced to switch to Xfce. Even if I prefer gnome2 over xfce, gnome3 is going to be totally unusable. Sorry, but it would be much better to just port gnome2 to GTK3 and not to make those gnome shells, simplify all config dialogs, ... I wrote that under article about that lid closing, but one wise man once said "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler". You are exactly doing it the wrong way, you make it too simple so it is almost unusable, sorry.

Leif said...

Jaroslav Šmíd said... "Sorry, but it would be much better to just port gnome2 to GTK3 and not to make those gnome shells, simplify all config dialogs, ..."

This x100.

I also agree the ON/OFF widget is confusing. These are a usability regression. Just because someone else uses them doesn't make it right.

korbe said...

Calm, calm please.

ON/OFF may lead to confusion, but not in each time.

If it's for enable/disable a features or elements (like Files Sharing, Screen, etc..), it don't lead to confusion. Contrariwise.

But for bollean options, a checkbox is better.

For changes under power, if I undestand, it just allow you to dim the screen to save power, independently if you are in AC or Battery.

I don't understand why. Some people dim the screen in battery only for save battery time and prefer to have the full brightness in the AC.

And why remove the possibility to idle the screen after some times?

With this and the imposibility to close the lid without turn laptop to standby, you really want to kill LCD Screen?

I speak as electronics engineer: Gnome 3 keep the screen backlight of LCD unnecessarily ON and the main cause of failure in LCD screen is the backlight poser supply.

Anonymous said...

Great job! But there are still too many options that might confuse the users, what about removing them all?

Gnome seems
to be developed by interface nazis, where consistently the excuse for not
doign something is not "it's too complicated to do", but "it would confuse
users".

Anonymous said...

Anon, I have a better quote:

Yes, some GNOME developers are self-appointed control freak antifeature
nazis who've stripped functionality in pursuit of some theoretical "non
geek" user who does not exist, thereby crippling their software.

-- Nat Friedman