Go Back   Ubuntu Forums > The Ubuntu Forum Community > Other Community Discussions > Ubuntu Forum Archives > Dapper Drake (CLOSED)


Dapper Drake (CLOSED):
The place to go to discuss The Dapper Drake Development.

Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums.
Welcome to the Ubuntu Forums, we encourage you to REGISTER on our forums and participate in the community. Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. By JOINING US today you can participate in our active and growing community. Registering on our forum gets you access to post new messages, get support, use private messages, download images from our gallery and much much more!

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old October 14th, 2005
Wolki's Avatar
Wolki Wolki is offline
100% Pure Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Freiburg/Germany
Beans: 870
Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn User
Send a message via ICQ to Wolki
Yet another Dapper wish list

Some time ago I decided to note everything that didn't make sense to me while using Hoary/Breezy with Gnome, or what i thought could be implemented better. I found the time to go through the list again, clarifying somt things and writing some use cases where each problem applies. Some of these might seem very nitpicky, but I think details are important too. All in the spirit of making Dapper more usable, and not only the best operating system (which I'm quite sure it will be) but also a good one.

Now, I know that developers don't read these forums, but I still want to put these up for discussion -- most of all to see whether you can find fatal flaws in my ideas before I take up valuable developer time by crowding bugzilla, and to refine these ideas. If you know that a certain issue is already filed, this would also be interesting (then i don't have to file them again).

So, let's start:

- Raising Windows

Problem: Inactive window is raised as soon as the mouse button is pressed.

Use case: Adam is writing an email with Evolution and wants to add an attachment. He has an open Nautilus window containing the file, which is larger than the Evolution window (e.g. taking the whole screen). Adam now tries to drag&drop the file there, but cannot do this as the Nautilus window covers the Evolution window completely as soon as he tries. He has to move both windows halfway off the screen to do this.

Suggestion: Raise windows on mouse button up, not down. Maybe with additional refinements depending on the object you click.

- Drag&Drop saving

Problem: It is possible to open files by drag&dropping them into the application. It is not possible to save in a similar manner.

Use case: Berta is working on a long project that has a complex file structure. She has a Nautilus window open showing "~/Documents/Project/Version A/reallylong/butnecessary/path/texts/" She has a word processor window open with a text she wants to save into that folder. Despite having exactly that folder open, she has to navigate there again in the save dialog.

Suggestion: Add an Icon to the save dialog. Dragging that icon into a file manager window will save the file there , using the specified file name.

- Dot-files
Problem: A home directory can be cleaned up, but as soon as you show hidden files it becomes a big, big mess.

Use case: Sebastian wants to backup his settings and data for a reinstall. Luckily he knows that a lot of stuff is saved in hidden files so he takes a look at what he has to backup. He only finds a big mess of folders and files.

Suggestion: Create an infrastructure separating data, configuration and temporary/cache files. This will also allow to delete the gnome configuration if it becomes corrupted without data loss.

Problem: Linux with tons of different programs, some no longer under active development will probably never be standardized this way. Having as many projects as possible behind it (fdo?) would at least make the mess a little more cleaned up.

Nautilus:

- Backgrounds

Problem: The current way of setting Nautilus folder backgrounds is not discoverable and lacks finer control.

Use Cases: Christopher wants his Nautilus not to have white backgrounds, as it can be blinding if working in a dark environment. He finds a Window where he can set the background color or even a pattern, but does not find a way to set the background for all folders. He looks at the help, but can't find anything there either. He then spends a lot of time setting each folder background manually.
Delia found by trial and error that you can do this by dragging the color with the middle mouse button, but wants to have different colors for types of folders, like having every folder under "~/Music" in a certain color to have a visual aid which folder is which.

Suggestion: Make usage of the "Backgrounds/Emblems" dialog more discoverable and add some finer controls like "Set color for this folder and all subfolders"

- "Open Location" Dialog

Problem: If you enter a file into the "Open Location" dialog, you only get an error.

Use case: Ernst wants to open a text file. He uses the <crtl>-<l> dialog to enter the containing folders location, and accidentally starts typing the beginning of the file he wants to open. The dialog happily auto-completes, but as soon as he hits return he gets an error that the location is not a folder. If he tries again, he has to reenter the complete path.

Suggestion: Entering a file in the "Open Location" dialog should open it with the default application or open the "Open with" dialog. At least don't autocomplete to files, a user interface should not actively help users to make errors This behavior is also different from the "Open Location" in the file selector, where it will show that file if you enter a file.

- Links break spatial

Problem: A folder is a window. Unless it's a symlink, then a folder is multiple windows.

Use case: Friederike has customized her spatial Nautilus to match her workflow. She later creates a link to one folder on her desktop for faster access. Now she has to set that folders' position and size again; and if she wants to change her setup for that folder she has to change both.
She is also confused by having the same folder open in two different windows suddenly, which never happened to her before with Nautilus. And if she deletes a file in one, it's gone in both!

Suggestion: Treat links to folders like the original folder.

Problems: The link and original folder have a different path. Which one to choose (e.g. for the path button in the lower left corner) for the window?

- Lots of strange folders in /

Problem: The unix directory structure is great and useful, but very confusing to people new to linux,

Use cases: Gustav has just installed ubuntu, his first Linux distribution. He goes to the top level of his file system, like he's used to, and finds a ton of cryptic things that confuse him. He tries to put stuff there, but it tells him he can't do that. After playing around some more and making everything worse with half-knowledge, he removes ubuntu again and proceeds to write "Why no sane person would ever use Linux" articles.
Henrietta is a Linux power user and system administrator and wants to be able to see every folder that's there, because she knows what it's for and what she can do there and how.

Suggestion: When setting the Nautilus option "use home as desktop" (very useful, btw), you can create a ".hidden" file. Every file/directory name in there is not visible unless you have "show hidden files" enabled. It is still accessible through the other methods, with the usual file name / path. This should be extended so that it is possible for every directory. Then Gustav never gets to see the system stuff, and Henrietta can just delete the .hidden file and everything is back to what she's used to. [edit] this would already work! see below

[edit]Problems: With the way .hidden works right now, the items are only hidden in nautilus, not the file selector. This is probably intended and useful behavior (in relation to its current use for "home is desktop"; but means that / would look completely different when viewed from the file selector compared to the file manager. This could end up being confusing. I think not too much since there is usually little need for novice users to go to / in the selector; the file manager is highly visible and thus more likely to be used for exploring. Needs some more consideration.

- Icons on Desktop that *aren't* on Desktop

Problem: ubuntu puts icons for removable media and additional hard drives on the desktop. This is very nice, but they aren't really there.

Use case: Jeanette has some mp3's in a folder on her desktop, and some on her usb drive. Both icons are directly next to each other. She uses the open dialog of xmms to add some music from the folder, then goes up and wants to add some from the usb, but doesn't find it. "If both are right next to each other, why can xmms only see one? Linux is so hard..." she thinks.

Suggestion: create a link to everything that is placed on the desktop in the desktop folder.

- Undo

Problem: There is no undo.

Use cases: Kyosuke is renaming some files manually, when he makes a mistake and hits return instead of escape after accidentally deleting the file name. He now has a hard time finding the original name again.
Lina deletes some important files, thank god they're still in the Trash folder. the problem is, so is a ton of other files, and she now has to look at each one manually and decide whether it's one of the important files or not.

Suggestion: Add undo functionality.

Problems: How to deal with operations that are not possible to undo? A special confirmation dialog?

- Middle click in browser mode

Problem: Middle click in browser mode is the same as left click, which is different from the behavior of the default web browser as well as a large number of competitors (rox, konqueror, etc). It is also a difference from spatial view, where left- and middle clicking do very different things.

Suggestion: Have middle click on a folder open that folder in a new window.


Evolution

- Calendar applet

Problem: Double clicking a date on the calendar applet will open the Evolution calendar(very good), but not with the selected date (bad).

Use case: Marvin gets a phone call asking for an appointment. He uses the calendar applet which shows everything he has scheduled for a certain day, and a date and time that fits both parties is found. he then double-clicks the day in the calendar, sees evolution opening and closes the applet. But what opens isn't the selected day, but the current day. Marvin is the easily distracted type, now did they agree on the 18th or 19th?

Suggestion: Open Evolution with the selected day.

gThumb

- Too many modes
Problem: gThumb has too many different view modes.

Use case: Nicole wants to look at some photos in different directories. gThumb seems to be the best program for the job, but she quickly gets annoyed by having to switch between folder and image modes. "Why can't I go to another directory from the image mode?"

Suggestion: Different modes are a confusing user interface. In itself offering a directory overview is not bad, but the way gThumb does it is not optimal. The browser sidebar should be possible in every view (with the possibility to hide of course), so Nicole only has to look at the overview if she wants to. It should also start in this mode if it has an image to display (ie is started from the right.click menu)

- Browser behavior

Problem: gThumb offers to follow Nautilus behavior regarding clicks (i.e. single or double click). This is not followed completely.

Use case: Otto likes single-click mode. He wants gThumb to behave like his Nautilus, so he chooses that option. And it works for the browser sidebar, but he still has to double-click on an image to get to the image mode.

Suggestion: Make the overview follow the setting in the preferences, too.

Gnome-Panel

- Cancel in "Add to panel" dialog does *not* cancel

Problem: The "Add to panel" dialog features three buttons: back, cancel and add. It's not clear what back does (it seems to be always disabled?), but the cancel button is labeled wrong.

Use case: Paula wants to customize her panel. She opens the "Add to panel" dialog and drags some things on the panel. However, she does not like it and presses cancel to revert to the previous setup. But everything she added stays there.

Suggestion: If a button only closes the application, label it "Close" not "Cancel".

-> Gnome-Session

- Autostart programs

Problem: No easily discoverable, uncomplicated way to autostart a program

Use case: Quax wants his feed reader to start automatically when he logs in. He even finds the "startup programs" tab in the session preferences, but he doesn't know what the "command" for the program is - isn't it in his menu? And what's this order thing?

Suggestion: Add a dialog similar to the one for adding an application from the menu to the panel, and try to automatically choose an order. Leave the old method somewhere for users who want more control over the startup process or add non-menu programs like devilspie.

-> List view

- No Rubberband selection

Problem: You can select with a rubberband in list view

Use case: Rhonda has to select some files for copying. She's viewing the folder in list view. Some of the files she wants to select are consecutively, so she tries to rubberband them like she's used to from other file managers and icon view. But it doesn't work.

Suggestion: Allow rubberbanding in List view. Either have only the name part of list view select a file on clicking (will make it slightly harder to select things when file name is less important, like when selecting based on file size, but the two-colored background should make it easy to follow from size to name columns) or make it so space not used by text will not select but rubberband on click.

- File selection with Mouse & Keyboard combination

Problem: Shift-clicking will select all files between the last selected one and crtl-clicking will add a new item to a selection. But you can't combine them.

Use Case: Thomas has to select a lot of files . He has a sequence of files already selected, and wants to add another sequence. He ctrl-clicks to add the first item of the new sequence to the selection, then tries to ctrl-shift-click the last file of the sequence, but this doesn't work: it only adds that file to the selection. If he shift-clicks it will select the new sequence, but lose the previously selected stuff. He then has to manually click all the files.

Suggestion: Allow ctrl-shift-clicking to add sequences to selections

- Evince

View Mode & Window Size

Problem: Evince doesn't remember the window size and whether the user wants the document to be fitted into the window or scaled to a particular percentage

Use case: Ulrike has to view a number of small PDFs from the
Internet. Firefox offers her to view it in evince and this is a good program, but she has to set the window size and view mode each time she opens a document because the default is not well suited for actually reading documents in A4 size. This gets very annoying with a large number of 1-2 page documents.

Suggestion: Make Evince remember these settings, or at least the view mode.
__________________

Last edited by Wolki : October 15th, 2005 at 08:34 AM.
  #2  
Old October 14th, 2005
wbeck85's Avatar
wbeck85 wbeck85 is offline
A Carafe of Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Beans: 149
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

That is the most well-written wish-list I have ever seen. Props.
__________________
Ubuntu User since Warty +1
Sager np4750, Ubuntu Feisty 7.04
Registered Linux User #388905
  #3  
Old October 14th, 2005
poofyhairguy's Avatar
poofyhairguy poofyhairguy is offline
Ubuntu Master Roaster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Texas
Beans: 6,264
Send a message via AIM to poofyhairguy
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Nice list. Don't let it die here where only our eyes see it. Get it to the developers! If I was you, I would make a wiki page then email them the link!
__________________
Quote:
Those folks who try to impose analog rules on digital content will find themselves on the wrong side of the tidal wave.
- Mark Shuttleworth

Last edited by poofyhairguy : October 14th, 2005 at 01:15 PM.
  #4  
Old October 14th, 2005
GeneralZod's Avatar
GeneralZod GeneralZod is offline
Dark Roasted Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Beans: 1,027
Kubuntu 6.06 User
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Quote:
Originally Posted by poofyhairguy
Nice list. Don't let it die here where only our eyes see it. Get it to the developers! If I was you, I would make a wiki page then email them the link!
For heaven's sake, heed this man - these are great ideas!
__________________
Kubuntu FAQ Ubuntu Guide Ubuntu Wiki
  #5  
Old October 14th, 2005
Nomearod's Avatar
Nomearod Nomearod is offline
5 Cups of Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Beans: 76
Ubuntu 6.06 User
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Great list.

You should send that to the Ubuntu programmers, probably they would made some of those things.
__________________
  #6  
Old October 14th, 2005
Wolki's Avatar
Wolki Wolki is offline
100% Pure Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Freiburg/Germany
Beans: 870
Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn User
Send a message via ICQ to Wolki
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Glad you like it.

Don't worry, sending them to the developers was the original plan from the beginning. We're still very early in the Dapper development cycle . I got that far with the list today, but still want to check whether everything still applies (like that sorting error that was fixed right before Breezy release), and think a little more about some of the points. Then I thought: why not post it and ask if someone sees things I don't, or whether some of the things are special to my installation.

So if any of you find something or find something in my descriptions/suggestions unclear, post it here!

I found a problem with the .hidden file idea and edited the original post.
__________________
  #7  
Old October 14th, 2005
JDay JDay is offline
5 Cups of Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Beans: 88
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Posted a link to this on the GNOME usability mailing list.
__________________
GCfilms

Mindless Automaton
  #8  
Old October 14th, 2005
Wolki's Avatar
Wolki Wolki is offline
100% Pure Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Freiburg/Germany
Beans: 870
Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn User
Send a message via ICQ to Wolki
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDay
Posted a link to this on the GNOME usability mailing list.
Thanks! I had plans to file some bugs in gnome's bugzilla, but I wanted to check if they are already filed and the 'zilla is laaarge and hard to search efficiently. ^^;;

I've been meaning to read the usability mailing list since I'm interesten in the topic, but I don't really like mailing lists. Do you happen to know if it is gated to a newsgroup somewhere?
__________________
  #9  
Old October 14th, 2005
JDay JDay is offline
5 Cups of Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Beans: 88
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolki
Thanks! I had plans to file some bugs in gnome's bugzilla, but I wanted to check if they are already filed and the 'zilla is laaarge and hard to search efficiently. ^^;;

I've been meaning to read the usability mailing list since I'm interesten in the topic, but I don't really like mailing lists. Do you happen to know if it is gated to a newsgroup somewhere?
Here's the archive for the usability list:
http://mail.gnome.org/archives/usability/
You can post to it by mailing Usability@gnome.org

Edit: I guess that's not really what you wanted, at all. Oh, well.
__________________
GCfilms

Mindless Automaton

Last edited by JDay : October 14th, 2005 at 05:54 PM.
  #10  
Old October 14th, 2005
djst's Avatar
djst djst is offline
Way Too Much Ubuntu
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Eskilstuna, Sweden
Beans: 352
Dapper Drake Testing/ User
Re: Yet another Dapper wish list

Not "Yet another" wish list. Best thread ever.

You are covering so many small details in Gnome, and especially Nautilus, that have annoyed me for so long. I truly hope that the Gnome developers are reading this. I would also hope that they're aware of many of these issues already, considering how much of their effort concerns usability.
__________________
David Tenser
Author of Firefox Help and Thunderbird Help
Blog | Photo Gallery
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:47 AM.