[development] the past, present and future of drupal admin
speck at blkmtn.org
Sat Jul 29 01:45:26 UTC 2006
> -----Original Message-----
> From: development-bounces at drupal.org
> [mailto:development-bounces at drupal.org] On Behalf Of Jeremy Epstein
> Just a quick example from another piece of software (and yes, people
> can complain that Microsoft is evil and that it produces buggy
> software, but they can't complain that its software is terribly hard
> to use). In Windows XP, the 'control panel' groups administrative
> tasks logically. There is no 'settings' icon within the Windows
> control panel. However, within the 'Display' area, there is a
> 'settings' tab (for 'global' settings, such as your screen
> resolution), along with 'sets-of-data' things, such as colour schemes
> and screen savers. Same with the 'User Accounts' area: the management
> of individual user accounts is right in there with the 'general user
> settings'. Certainly something to consider.
I feel the need to mention something here. While I realize the example
provided is an example and I am the guy that definitly uses MS the
example above is not complete as I have a very different experience with
The Windows XP control panel offers multiple views. A classic and
category. These views are can also be controlled by policy settings
locally or from a domain level, etc. Frankly, I find the the 'category
view to be hard to understand and find things consistently. Part of
this is training and experience and part of this is that some of the
categorizations do not make sense to me.
Also, in your Display example. There exists Video drivers that extend
the options available and many times these options are not presented in
a manner that makes sense. (nVidia drivers for instance). This gives
an effect not unlike some contrib modules.
The user accounts button example is also incomplete. If you have a more
complex envirnoment, it is not in fact something you use. You use a
different tool to manage user accounts in a domain environment including
local accounts so never learn about these settings in a domain
So, what's my point of dragging in the different and advanced options of
this example? (Well, someone used an example from my field. :D ) Well
not that, but this ....
It really doesn't matter what interface we eventually go with because
people are going to have to learn it. That it takes lessons from the
current GUI 'norms' (assuming such exist) is good. What does matter is
that we decide on rules and guidelines for it. Then we publish those
rules and guidelines for contrib.
AND we try to be consistent about the logic for placement. Any
interface will need to be learned no matter what. As long as we are
consistent about it, it will less of a curve. Drupal is still not a
'simple' thing to use and despite the fact that it is getting easier it
doesn't mean easy. :D. The Drupal admin interface has been evolving.
I think Earl's admin interface patch is a step in the right direction.
It's been worked on and gotten a lot of good feedback to refine it. I
think that it can be fine-tuned over time from this starting point, but
it's pretty darn good now.
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