Frame Decision (was [sugar] OLPC priorities for Sugar in the August release)

Greg Smith (gregmsmi) gregmsmi at
Fri May 16 14:14:59 EDT 2008

Hi Simon, Marco, Eben et al,

I think the key decision is to default the frame on or off. In addition
we should have a long term vision for the frame. For example, is it a
short cut to find things or a first place to look for key features?

The only key feature I have heard so far is copy and paste. Task
switching is more commonly done with the function keys. What else is
central to the frame concept?

My main concern is that it pops up. When you don't have good cursor
control that's a challenge. All activities have UI elements at the edge
so you spend time trying to get the cursor on the "keep" button without
popping the frame. Lastly, its a sudden, in your face thing that happens
without you really knowing why. Setting a longer hover time or only
opening on some edges helps but it makes the problem of discoverability
worse (aka user wonders "why did the computer do that?")

If we default off you can still activate it via key stroke. That would
be my preference.  That way you get "expansion" of space without the
mouse control issues.

Initial research shows that there are FAQ entries for how to disable
this. I also found these relevant threads in the forums saying they want
it default off:

Several degenerate in to complaints about having to use the CLI :-). So
enable/disable should be configurable via GUI but we should design with
an assumption about the default install.

We need more input from users (e.g. a small usability study would be
great!). I think Nepal is on record to make it default off. Any other

BTW we brought up a new e-mail list for Spanish speakers in multiple
countries: A dozen teachers
have already commented saying they want to share experiences.

Can someone who writes Spanish well can post a question there to get
feedback from teachers re: frame experiences? I'll use a translation
tool to do it myself if no one gets to it by the end of next week.

I hope this is not seen as a negative criticism of your work. The UI is
great overall. We can live with whatever frame solution is agreed and
there is a solid case to be made on all sides. Let's get the maximum
info to make an informed decision, then its your call :-)


Greg S 

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon Schampijer [mailto:simon at] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:42 PM
To: Marco Pesenti Gritti
Cc: Greg Smith (gregmsmi); devel at
Subject: Re: [sugar] OLPC priorities for Sugar in the August release

Marco Pesenti Gritti wrote:
> On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 6:26 PM, Greg Smith (gregmsmi) 
> <gregmsmi at> wrote:
>>  Thinking about the "hot corners" pop-up frame thingy, Nepal asked 
>> that  be deprecated and I agree based on my personal experience and 
>> that of my  kids. The only thing I have heard people use it for is 
>> the copy and  paste functionality. Waveplace lead mentioned that and 
>> its used in the  Uruguay training presentation linked above.
> Simon is working on making this an option. We would still need to 
> decide about the default obviously...
> Marco

These sugar rpms include a control panel option to set a delay for the
frame activation and an option to toggle the top of the screen to
activate the frame.

You need to install sugar and sugar-toolkit (rpm -U [package] should
work fine). I tested on joyride 1918.

The control panel can be accessed with the palette on the XO in the home


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