Honey Web

about all things sweet and web-ish

The user experience

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I’ve been thinking about the user experience for quite a while, but it hadn’t quite crystallised into words before.

To the user, this will be a new button in the Browse toolbar named something like ‘create activity’ or ‘sugarize’. When clicked, a new activity bundle gets created with a custom name. The user has to restart Sugar for the activity to be loaded.

At this time, the SSB has no integration with Sugar beyond being able to be saved to the Journal (what Browse already does for all websites). Some web apps may work offline if they use Gears or gecko LocalStorage. Some may have sounds with <audio>. But there is no functionality that Browse doesn’t have, at least not yet.

The newly created activity will have buttons for customisation: adding userscripts, adding userstyles and a toolbar for bookmarklets (which will essentially be activity buttons). JavaScript from inside SSBs can access dbus and APIs for sugar notifications/alerts and hiding/closing the SSB; other APIs will only exist if there is no equivalent functionality using only web technologies. Any additions should be saved in the activity bundle, since they replace any python-level changes done in things like the GMail or the XOeditor activities.

It would also be nice to have bundles of customisation that users can create and other can download. Since SSBs don’t depend on anything, perhaps a button in the SSBs ‘save as .xo’ or ‘save as bundle’, which simply archives SSB activity bundle into an .xo (after it has been customised). The .xo can later be uploaded to activities.sugarlabs.org.

Also, a place to share icons, userscripts, userstyles and bookmarklets would be very useful. Fluid users share icons on flickr and there’s a fluid tag at userscripts.org.

So, I will be extending Browse:

  1. for proper Browse, there will be a new toolbar button for creating SSBs, with a backend script. Let’s call it ‘sugarizer’.
  2. for the Browse used in SSBs, more stuff: managing userstyles/userscripts, the bookmarklet toolbar. Perhaps other things as well, like forbidding domains not in a whitelist.

For the sugarizer, I was thinking of a manifest in Browse.activity that lists what files from Browse should be in the activity SSB. The sugarizer would also have to replace instances of ‘Browse’ and ‘WebActivity’ in activity.info and the locale files.

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Written by Lucian

June 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Posted in sugar

Tagged with , , , ,

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