[mythtv-users] [RFC] Proposed settings rework

Rod Smith mythtv at rodsbooks.com
Thu Nov 5 14:09:30 UTC 2009

On Thursday 05 November 2009 12:24:35 am Michael T. Dean wrote:
> On 11/04/2009 10:18 PM, Rod Smith wrote:

[much snippage]

> > IMHO, if a user finds that a font is inappropriate for his or her setup,
> > the user should be able to change it. Changing the theme can be one way
> > to do this, but that will bring in a bunch of other changes that may be
> > unwanted. If the user interface permits a theme to set a default font and
> > size when it's first activated, then that's fine, but if the user wants
> > to change it, that should be possible, IMHO. Whether the text fits in the
> > allotted space or not is then the user's problem.
> That's what FOSS is all about--the user can change whatever he/she
> wants.  IMHO, making it easy to break a theme is not any better than
> making it hard for a person who can't figure out how to use a text
> editor and read markup to break a theme.

Yes, FOSS enables users to make changes -- but many (probably most) users lack 
the knowledge and skill to do so. Thus, when it comes to something like font 
size adjustments, which ARE easily done without mucking with code in many 
(but certainly not all) programs, the FOSS-lets-you-change-it argument 
doesn't really cut it.

> >> Actually, it makes Myth just work--and prevents users from breaking it.
> >
> > At the expense of reduced flexibility -- flexibility that I personally
> > have found useful (admittedly with 0.20 and 0.21, not having tried the
> > still-experimental 0.22 line).
> I really think you'll see all your concerns about a need to adjust font
> sizes/faces are unfounded with the changes in 0.22-fixes.

Perhaps. I'll have to upgrade to be sure. I'm quite skeptical of your claim, 
though, since I can't imagine that the font a theme designer selects will be 
appropriate for all situations. If I like a theme but prefer a font to be a 
slightly different size, my understanding is that I'm just plain out of luck 
with the redesign, short of modifying the theme.

> It is true that some people may need larger fonts to be able to see/read
> the text.  And, IMHO, there should be themes designed with that in
> mind.  As a very wise man said earlier today, someone is already working
> on a theme for children, so why not have "accessible" or "large-font"
> themes, too.  And, I firmly believe that rather than trying to
> automatically force large fonts into themes designed for small fonts,
> we're /much/ better off having someone go through and modify any given
> theme to work properly with large fonts.

Part of the source of my objection to the removal of font-adjustment options 
is simply that I believe themes are over-emphasized in modern computer user 
interfaces (not just in MythTV). Small adjustments, such as changing the font 
size or altering colors, can work wonders for usability. Relying on themes to 
make such tweaks makes it harder for the end user to implement these changes, 
since the desired change will vary along with a dozen others that the user 
might NOT want to change. The user must also search through a potentially 
huge number of themes (if they exist), make do with a more limited selection 
(if few themes exist), or code his/her own theme (requiring extra knowledge). 
Thus, although themes can help create pretty eye candy, they aren't all that 
great a tool for implementing the sort of usability changes that are the 
primary reason for changing font size, adjusting contrast, etc.

> >>>>>> Display live preview of recordings (will be theme controlled)
> ...
> > Please note that this quoted segment is referring to the live preview vs.
> > static preview vs. no preview issue, not the font issue.
> Oops.  I missed the topic change in all the quotes (not that the quoting
> wasn't relevant--I just missed it).
> >  To my
> > non-Myth-developer eye, this seems like a much less thorny issue from a
> > programming perspective, and it's one that doesn't greatly impact the
> > overall theme design, unlike fonts.
> Yeah.  I'm not so concerned about this one--and for the reason you
> mention (the theme design isn't really affected by the change).

I hope, then, that you'll consider keeping the user option to set the preview 
mode (none, static, or live), rather than fold it into the theme. Folding it 
into the theme would be another example of the over-reliance on themes I 
refer to above.

Rod Smith

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list