Chapter 5. Jeszra Design Samples

Table of Contents

Jeszra on AQUA®
Bright Designs under X Window System
Dark Designs under X Window System
Miscellaneous Designs
Minor Designs
Inside Documentation

Jeszra accepts and follows the platform specific HCI-Guidelines. Under X Window System there is however no single HCI-Guideline, but a multitude thereof.

There are a series of predefined X Window System designs for Jeszra, providing a usable interface right away. Feel invited to use these designs as the foundation of your own application designs.

The presented designs address visual disabilities and integration issues.

The rule number one in Graphical User Interface design: »It must be usable«. This is easier stated than achieved. At least half of humankind has some sort of visual handicap.

Blindness is of no concern here. A graphical oriented user interface is not suited for blind people.

A well crafted Graphical User Interface addresses visual disabilities and assists persons by using it; such a software could truly be called: »easy to use«.

Design is not about mimicry or fashion.

The best and easiest method to address visual disabilities is to integrate supportive technologies into the basic windowing system. This was done by Apple Inc.® with Apple® OSX, case closed!

Unfortunately, the competition has still a rough way ahead to resolve these issues. Leaving it to the application designers to shoulder this task.

»Theming« is an alternate approach. Themes are around since a very long time. The amount of what is themed today is much wider, but the principle is the same as with Windows 3.0, MacOS and X Resource Database.

The idea behind themes is: To allow variations in font, foreground and background colours. With these variations all visual disabilities have to be addressed.

In context with Tcl/Tk customization is done through the Option Database. The Option Database is inspired and follows the principles of X Resource Database. X Resource Database is amongst the earliest theming techniques and the only one which almost worked.

Use the Option Database for every window property, except those with functional intent.

Using the Option Database increases the code size and performance. An application using the Option Database may be twice as fast as one using the command line alone.

Starting with Tcl/Tk version 8.5: Tile, a theming engine, is bundled with Tcl/Tk. Tile bypasses the Option Database mechanism concerning colours and fonts.

Tile comes with some »themes« on X Window System, but none of the provided themes is designed with the intend to provide accessible assistance. In addition, Tile by itself doesn’t answer to theme changes initiated by the dominant desktop environments: KDE and gnome. Under X Window System the application is better integrated with KDE and gnome without using Tile. Both KDE and gnome modify the X Resource Database .XResources file, which is mirrored within the Option Database.