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

John R.Hogerhuis jhoger at
Sat May 17 01:26:06 EDT 2008

Eben Eliason <eben.eliason <at>> writes:
> Right.  I think this is the biggest point of conflict between my own
> thoughts for solving the issues and those of the community providing
> feedback about it.  I certainly take the comments regarding accidental
> invocation seriously, and seriously want to do what we can to
> eliminate sources of frustration.  My inclination (I don't know for
> sure!) is that the desire to completely abolish cursor activation
> might be a treatment of the symptom and not the illness.  That is, it
> could be that the trackpad plays a big role in the difficulties, and

>From watching my daughter I don't think there is anything going on with the
trackpad. It's just that being near the edge pops the frame which is the design.

One possible idea: rather than popping up the frame when near the edge, pop up a
translucent overlay in key places that looks just like the keyboard frame key.
If the user clicks on it, then bring up the whole frame.

This would hide much less of the screen so it would be less likely to interfere.
It would also allow discovery of the keyboard key for the frame.

In general, I think the Frame points up a process issue: extremely new/radical
GUI ideas require extreme testing. Basically the Frame is an experiment. It's
good to experiment, it's important to experiment, but you need to test it on a
limited sized group of kids, and it needs to be dealt with quickly when it
causes a problem. This issue has gone on too long.

Also, you need an objective third party here that can weigh the cost/benefit
impact to users... the implementors of the Frame concept shouldn't be the ones
deciding whether it stays in. As a programmer, I can say there's no way a
programmer can be totally objective about a pet feature. In a proprietary
company QA and/or marketing gets to make calls like this, not engineering. For
an open source project, maybe that voice of reason is the project Leader or just
other informed voices on the mailing list.

-- John.

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