Redesign Policy Kit Authorization dialog
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D12311: Align lock icon with bold message text; reduce overall size of dialog

There's a lot of discussion about what elements to keep, remove, or change in the PolKit authorization dialog. Rather than let that Diff continue to grow exponentially, I'm creating this task to continue the discussion.


sharvey created this task.Apr 22 2018, 12:15 AM

What to keep? What to eliminate? What to change? What CAN be changed?

I think that having the lock aligned to the rest of the text is great. I think there is probably too much space in this window. The window could be smaller.

@abetts - Nate has told me that there's a project in the works to redesign and standardize the entire collection of dialog boxes.

Part of the reason the dialog is so large is the hidden K(something) in the middle that basically says "bad password". The space is reserved for it, but it's only made visible when the password fails. There's a similar hidden widget to choose a different user (only appears when your system has more than one user). So the space is reserved but "empty", making the dialog look too large.

I think there's a better way to do it, but I'm waiting to see how the other dialog redesigns turn out.

Hmm, I think maybe I confused you, @sharvey. I was referring to this project, and I was wondering why you seemed to have abandoned it! ;-)

Hmm, I think maybe I confused you, @sharvey. I was referring to this project, and I was wondering why you seemed to have abandoned it! ;-)

Indeed you did confuse me! I think a is called for.

I'll get back to work on it shortly.

sharvey added a comment.EditedSep 25 2018, 9:29 PM


Anyone have any suggestions?

I've got an easy one... lose the red bar that appears in the middle of the dialog (since it messes with the layout). Replace it with a simple, modal popup with the red (X) icon that says "Incorrect Password". It occupies no space when not needed, it's modal so you can't move on without dismissing it, and it gets the message across simply and clearly.

There was quite a bit of debate in D12311 when I first touched this (now it appears I own it.)

But I'm open to other ideas. There were some strong opinions about wording for the bottom details pane - any opinions on the rest of it?

bruns updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 25 2018, 9:33 PM
apol added a subscriber: apol.Sep 25 2018, 10:52 PM

I don't really have clear feedback on how it should look like but big +1 for looking into it!

One thing I know that bothers me a bit is how detached the dialog looks from the application that triggers it. Finding ways to do that better would be ace, maybe integrating it better with the window or even the shell?

Also this dialog at the moment looks really painful on Plasma Mobile for obvious reasons, I guess. Maybe thinking about what it should look like on the phone can give us hints about what we want.

If we just want to just give the current dialog a revamp, it could make sense to look at elementaryOS's pantheon.

Technically, the fact that working on the dialog at all has been so troublesome makes me thing it would be a good candidate for porting to QML.

On the desktop, a pop-up window is pretty normal, so I don't think that's necessarily a big problem, though I agree on mobile it's rather horrific. I agree that we could look at what other platforms do for inspiration. Here are some examples from other desktop platforms:


On GNOME, password dialogs are system-modal and darken the whole screen when they become visible:

On macOS, the password request dialog isoften (but not always) integrated into the window in the form of pop-down sheet:

In what will undoubtedly be a huge surprise to everyone, I'm rather partial to the macOS style. :-)

cfeck added a subscriber: cfeck.Dec 20 2018, 4:50 PM
GB_2 added a subscriber: GB_2.Apr 15 2019, 8:43 PM

What about something like this?

GB_2 added a comment.Sat, Mar 14, 9:46 AM

I love the second last picture that shows the the desktop (without the dialog title bar).

Not gonna lie I prefer the last picture over the second last, but these dialog designs definitely look great.

Maybe this is also a great time to explore making the password box shake on an incorrect password?

Both are great! I'll prefer the titlebar version too simply for consistency's sake (though the CSD version is quite sexy). Shaking on incorrect password would be quite elegant as well.

We don't do that shaking anywhere else afaik. If it's something we like to do we should try to move verything in the direction.

Please don't oversimplify the dialog by picking a single action in a single scenario ...

  • PK allows to configure e.g. groups of administrative users, the current dialog has a user selection box in this case. Just "Root" does not cut it.
  • The first line is the gut of the dialog. It is the action which should be authorized. It may be significantly longer than "Example" or "Update", but it is the important part.

...At the same time, there's no need to show unnecessary information. For example when you're the only admin user, the combobox of admin users is not shown, which is presumably what the mockups are also showing.

bruns added a comment.Sun, Mar 15, 4:38 PM
Auth as selfAuth as rootAuth as admin + details

bruns added a comment.Sun, Mar 15, 4:40 PM

run as 'qmlscene pk.ui.qml'

Mode can be toggled by clicking on the icon.