Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Mar 2006 22:31 UTC, submitted by Matt Evans
Gnome "Here are my few suggestions to make better desktop (making it simple but powerful). Most of them are for GNOME and related applications but for other desktop environments and applications could be also useful. This suggestions are not of type make it faster (what is also important) but of type make it more useful. Some of them are my own thoughts but some suggestions are inspired by existing programs. And even some are not real suggestions." Note that English isn't his native tongue.
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Ace
by moleskine on Tue 28th Mar 2006 22:58 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

It's not only the big things than can make or break a desktop but the 100 small touches aka meticulous attention to detail. Even if a trivial thing doesn't work properly, it will continue to sit there like an irritating pimple reminding you that something doesn't work properely.

So good on this guy. Whether you agree with all his suggestions or not, they strike me as along the all right lines even though some stretch well beyond Gnome. I really liked "Multiple data reduction based on standards" and his hopes that hibernation can be substantially improved.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ace
by mat69 on Wed 29th Mar 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "Ace"
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Exactly what I am thinking and this is the very same reason why I do not use Linux at the moment anymore (allthough I keep looking on actual versions of some distros sometimes).

At first distributions like Ubuntu feel fantastic, but the devil is in the detail (for me). Small things that annoy on daily basis should be adressed e.g. enhancing the properties would be great.

I do hope that some of his ideas are going to be implemented as I do hope that Nautilus will get a "split windows"-option as Konqueror or SpeedCommander (for Windows) have.

Reply Score: 1

edit the body
by DKR on Tue 28th Mar 2006 23:30 UTC
DKR
Member since:
2005-08-22

isnt the editor (in this case, thom) allowed to edit the author's posts? i know that in the past, he has done so to mine to spice it up a bit.

just a suggestion.

Reply Score: 2

Thank you!
by mmebane on Tue 28th Mar 2006 23:54 UTC
mmebane
Member since:
2005-07-06

"One configuration place

When you look inside home directory for hidden files you realize that there is absolutely mess of configuration files. Better will be if all user configuration files will be inside one hidden directory e.g. ~/.config/ (or ~/.etc/).

One configuration database like gconf is important for enterprise use but some programs doesn't use it.

Distribution vendors should help polish this mess and path for as many applications as possible and not using other place should be also condition to enter program into distribution's repositories. "


I think docs should go in ~/Documents or similar, but at least someone other than me thinks ~ is used for too much!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thank you!
by SlackerJack on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:16 UTC in reply to "Thank you!"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

But thats why they are hidden, who cares?, gconf is where it's done anyway.

Should we really tell users to put there files in premade directories that say Documents, Picture, Music?. Come on let the user do something and teach themselfs how to create directories.

Please, lets not treat users as morons, Linux desktop will become to easy to the point of useless.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Thank you!
by dylansmrjones on Wed 29th Mar 2006 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank you!"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Nobody does anything in GConf, because there is nothing to do in GConf.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Thank you!
by SlackerJack on Wed 29th Mar 2006 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thank you!"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

How can this comment get modded up, seriously, does anyone really use GNOME around here oh are you so ignorant to it's features?

Do you even know why XGL and the window decoration got into GNOME first?, let me see,errrh, oh yer, gconf.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Thank you!
by dylansmrjones on Wed 29th Mar 2006 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Thank you!"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I'm using Gnome on daily basis, having Gentoo as my primary system (and windows as secondary).

I still haven't used GConf once. And I haven't had the need for it.

It's pretty much void of usefull settings, AFAIC.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Thank you!
by Mr. Sanity on Wed 29th Mar 2006 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank you!"
Mr. Sanity Member since:
2005-07-13

Should we really tell users to put there files in premade directories that say Documents, Picture, Music?. Come on let the user do something and teach themselfs how to create directories.

Please, lets not treat users as morons, Linux desktop will become to easy to the point of useless.


So you're one of those leet-wannabes that wants computers to be needlessly complex in order to feel like your computer skills are super-special?

The whole point of computers is to make things easier for people. Every time a computer program fails to do this, it is a tremendous failing of the program. Making computer usage accessible to the end user is vital. If this can't be done, all that computer skill you have is a useless hobby.

When it comes down to it, most casual/business computer users do not want to spend their time learning. They want to spend their time doing what is important to them. Once technically-inclined people begin to realize this and to develop with this in mind, the sooner that their pet project/OS/whatnot will gain more widespread acceptance. Now, if your end goal is to muck about with some niche hobby, then by all means, ignore the realities of end-user needs and expctations. But, if you really want more widespread adoption of these things that you like so much, then you need to start paying attention to the needs of a larger audience than just technophiles.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thank you!
by situation on Wed 29th Mar 2006 03:10 UTC in reply to "Thank you!"
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

I really hate having a directory structure forced on me, putting a Documents in home would be foolish (not only because I hate uppercase folders in the Linux world).
It's like the windowmaker project, which forces you to have a GNUstep folder in your home directory; definately a piss off.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Thank you!
by fp2099 on Wed 29th Mar 2006 04:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank you!"
fp2099 Member since:
2006-03-29

Yeah i know what you mean.. like my mp3 collection looks like a monster from hell when i do ls -l and i never can find anything and everytime i change linux distro all my special characters go bezerk and i have to rename all files to simple... but cla isn't the same thing has clă..
then i found amaroK and lived happy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thank you!
by Soulbender on Wed 29th Mar 2006 03:46 UTC in reply to "Thank you!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"One configuration database like gconf is important for enterprise"

No, it simply doesnt matter.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Thank you!
by g__t on Wed 29th Mar 2006 09:18 UTC in reply to "Thank you!"
g__t Member since:
2006-01-04

"One configuration place
...
Distribution vendors should help polish this mess and path for as many applications as possible and not using other place should be also condition to enter program into distribution's repositories. "
I think that forcing to use a "place" for configuration is quite reductive for programmers and a wrong approach for current computing paradigms.
If someone aims to write a multiplatform program then have to rethink (and conditionally recompile, at least) different strategies for storing configurations for the software for each system and variant that may exist.
In other words, system variety becomes an issue rather than an opportunity for the programmers, that's bad.
Any system would provide his own style of centralyzed information storage (that may even become a dangerous single point of failure if badly implemented, like windows registry) while could not reasonably stop programmers to make their software writing and reading within any accessible object!
I think all oibject related to a program should go in the same path of the program or in the home path (or equivalent) of the user for security related informations (or by installing the specifical application in order to be completely contained on the user's paths).
IMHO should be the various systems to find the various configuration files and to show them into a meaningful and integrated way along with providing proper editing tools; there are not too many useful ways to write configuration files and at least anything can be read as a binary file even if it isn't even readable as a text file.
Likewise what is done for multimedia file that are collected accross the disk and presented into a fashionable environment featuring appropriate player or editors and listing all the files into a virtual folder, the configuration and documentation files should be collected by the system into a similar virtual folder with text editing tools, specific configuration formats editing tools and for the worst case an Hex editor.
In the virtual folder should be collected file containing "conf" or .cnf, .ini... there are plenty ways but not unlimited; otherwise may be the user to help the o.s. spotting out where the configuration file(s) is(are), or when a binary execute and calls files, the operating systems could watch what is opening and try to decide what is a conf file (or even make a detailed list were the advanced user could seriosly begin to understand what the program is doing and how to configure or, why not, debug it).

Reply Score: 1

The problem I have with this
by SlackerJack on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:09 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Is that the things he has said already exsist and tend to go overboard. The current Nautilus burner(cd/dvd creator) can burn cd's/dvd's, burn audio, burn ISO's and this is more that what was intended.

Opening compressed files in nautilus instead of fileroller is ok but fileroller is pretty much like nautilus list view anyway. Wouldn't the user get confused once in the compressed file, since it's the same as viewing files in nautilus anyway!. In the end you can suggest things for any DE since non of them suit everyones needs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The problem I have with this
by MightyPenguin on Wed 29th Mar 2006 19:11 UTC in reply to "The problem I have with this"
MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

This is the perenial problem with gnome developers/users they keep thinking of ways the user can get confused. The truth is, some person somewhere will get confused by any interface you come up with. The answer is not to get rid of features/options. But to make the most common actions as obvious as possible.

Once we get to the place where computers have agent AIs that talk back and forth with you, people will still be confused even though they don't have to type or use a mouse anymore or use any menus at all.

People get confused. The only way to minimize that is training/familiarity.

Reply Score: 1

nice
by brother bloat on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:14 UTC
brother bloat
Member since:
2005-07-06

these are great suggestions!

Reply Score: 3

I like it!
by tristan on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:21 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

There are some great suggestions here.

The multi-seat desktop is a nice idea, but has the wrong focus. People wanting to set up a full dual-head system are likely to be pretty au fait with the tools used to set it up. What Gnome (and KDE) needs is an easy tool to configure plain old multi-monitor (Xinerama) support -- having to mess about with a text file just plain sucks. This also goes for external monitors and laptops.

The idea of an easy download for multimedia codecs is nice, but unfortunately just wishful thinking. Under US law, providing a link to download the codecs is no different to providing the codecs themselves. Far better, IMO, would be a link to a page explaining why the codecs aren't included, and how you can get them legally (i.e. when Fluendo release their codec pack).

I couldn't agree more on the suggestion about zipped files -- file-roller feels like a separate application from Nautilus, and it shouldn't. It's also rubbish.

The network settings thing looks a bit moot given that we'll all be using NetworkManager soon, but I agree completely that things like VPNs should be easier to set up.

I can't say I agree with "saying goodbye to old technologies" -- Linux already moves too fast for a lot of people. When was the last time you saw a proprietary Linux app that didn't include a static version of GTK/Qt?

Lastly, he's completely right that the Samba shambles needs to be sorted. Even with Ubuntu Dapper, no-one can access my shared directory, not even other Ubuntu boxes. I have no idea how to sort it out.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I like it!
by SlackerJack on Wed 29th Mar 2006 01:27 UTC in reply to "I like it!"
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

"couldn't agree more on the suggestion about zipped files -- file-roller feels like a separate application from Nautilus, and it shouldn't. It's also rubbish."

Yer, just like KDE's Ark.

Fileroller is a seperate application from Nautilus, do you even use GNOME? Does anyone complain about Winzip?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I like it!
by FreakyT on Wed 29th Mar 2006 01:54 UTC in reply to "RE: I like it!"
FreakyT Member since:
2005-07-17

"Does anyone complain about Winzip?"

Explorer has included zip file viewing since XP.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I like it!
by unapersson on Wed 29th Mar 2006 09:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I like it!"
unapersson Member since:
2005-07-19

"Explorer has included zip file viewing since XP."

Yes, and it looks like an Explorer window but doesn't act like an explorer window, so it ends up being frustrating. For instance you can't just double click on a text file, have it open in notepad, edit it and click save.

Edited 2006-03-29 09:20

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I like it!
by dagw on Wed 29th Mar 2006 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I like it!"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

For instance you can't just double click on a text file, have it open in notepad, edit it and click save.

That doesn't mean that it isn't technically possible to make GNOME do that. Just because windows didn't manage to pull it off doesn't mean it can't be done.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I like it!
by dylansmrjones on Wed 29th Mar 2006 10:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I like it!"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It has, and true to mindless beings at MS developing it, it doesn't work properly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I like it!
by tristan on Wed 29th Mar 2006 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: I like it!"
tristan Member since:
2006-02-01

Does anyone complain about Winzip?

If Windows Explorer handled all archive types, and was just as fast, would anybody use Winzip?

The point I was trying to make is that the current solution isn't good enough. We shouldn't have to invoke a separate programme to look at archives, we should just be able to have them open in a Nautilus folder. Microsoft's implimentation of zip folders in ME and XP might be substandard, but they've got the right idea.

There's already a quick "create archive" function in Nautilus (although that too is poor -- who thought that typing the extension was a good way to choose the archive type?), and a quick "extract here"... proper archive browsing is just the next step.

That way we can get rid of File Roller and its rubbishness completely.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I like it!
by Ookaze on Wed 29th Mar 2006 09:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I like it!"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

If Windows Explorer handled all archive types, and was just as fast, would anybody use Winzip?

But Windows Explorer DOES NOT handle that, and even Winzip does not handle all archive types, without help from other programs you have to install.
The fact is that it is very hard to do correctly, I don't even know if it is doable correctly. Because all archives format don't work the same way, don't have the same design and priorities. Some will show a list fast, some will compress better, some will uncompress faster, some won't even have a list, ...
So, with different archives, you have different behaviour. Even in KDE it does not work well. And people already have difficulty understanding what an archive is, so when you add compressed, and when you add the folder view, it becomes impossible to explain what an archive is to people. I had the case with every one of my Linux users, and some still don't understand well what an archive is. They understand it far better when used with a program like Ark or File-Roller. Both have drag and drop problems with some archives, or when they are big.

The point I was trying to make is that the current solution isn't good enough. We shouldn't have to invoke a separate programme to look at archives, we should just be able to have them open in a Nautilus folder. Microsoft's implimentation of zip folders in ME and XP might be substandard, but they've got the right idea

Based on my experience, we should not do that. And MS implementation is even more confusing, as zip works, but rar/zoo/7zip/... don't.

There's already a quick "create archive" function in Nautilus (although that too is poor -- who thought that typing the extension was a good way to choose the archive type?), and a quick "extract here"... proper archive browsing is just the next step

Except that it seems to me that these menu option are offered by file-roller. If you uninstall file-roller, they should disappear. That's actually file-roller doing the work here.
And I wonder what you find poor in choosing the archive type based on the extension you give it. Perhaps discoverability, but isn't it explained in the help or somewhere in the interface ?

That way we can get rid of File Roller and its rubbishness completely

No we can't, as it's the app specialised in dealing with archives in Gnome.
I find this amazing : for some people, the solution to "rubbish" programs is to scrap them and do something else, instead of improving what we have !!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I like it!
by AdrianRyan on Wed 29th Mar 2006 05:37 UTC in reply to "RE: I like it!"
AdrianRyan Member since:
2005-07-02

I complain about Winzip, it's an aweful application to use. I use Windows Explorer unless I come across a .rar or .tar or a corrupted file that Explorer won't do, then I use 7zip because it has a low footprint, is free, and has all the features I coule possilby use, an opens all types of files. Even then, I usually just right click and chose unzip here in the context menu, rather than having to open a 7zip window.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I like it!
by thecwin on Wed 29th Mar 2006 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE: I like it!"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

I'm a long time GNOME user and I also agree that zipping feels totally wrong. It's not like file-roller is a nice feeling application; half the time dragging and dropping doesn't work since it starts decompressing and won't drop the file.

And I used to complain about WinZip on Windows when you actually needed it.. now zip handling is part of explorer (admittedly their implementation sort of sucks)

Reply Score: 1

Some comments
by porcel on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:27 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

Some good suggestions. I particularly like the idea of having many applications share the same data backend so that there is no need to import or export data.

In fact, if nothing else, this would give the free desktop a very competitive edge over everything else out there by showing that we compete on features and cooperate in not keeping user data hostage.

What's interesting as well is how many of the 40 suggested improvements are already implemented and shipping in KDE.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Some comments
by diskinetic on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:49 UTC in reply to "Some comments"
diskinetic Member since:
2005-12-09

I'll bite... how many?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Some comments
by cloose on Wed 29th Mar 2006 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Some comments"
cloose Member since:
2005-07-12

At least the following:

- Burning ==> K3B
- Treat archives like regular folders ==> kio_zip/tar/rar, etc...
- Continue stopped/broken downloads ==> KGet
- Global keyboard shortcuts ==> KHotkeys
- Integrate mouse gestures to the whole desktop ==> KHotkeys

...probably more

Reply Score: 5

RE: Some comments
by thebluesgnr on Wed 29th Mar 2006 02:07 UTC in reply to "Some comments"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

"What's interesting as well is how many of the 40 suggested improvements are already implemented and shipping in KDE."

Well, duh. If someone makes a similar list of requested features for KDE you'll find many of them already implemented in other desktop environments.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Some comments
by andrewg on Wed 29th Mar 2006 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Some comments"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

Okay go for it.

You'll likely have to make so very specific suggestions and by that I mean the principal or purpose will likely already be in KDE, but in a different form.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Some comments
by Mitarai on Wed 29th Mar 2006 02:27 UTC in reply to "Some comments"
Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

What's interesting as well is how many of the 40 suggested improvements are already implemented and shipping in KDE.

Most of them in a klutered and disorganized way.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Some comments
by segedunum on Wed 29th Mar 2006 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Some comments"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Most of them in a klutered and disorganized way.

Hmmmm. I know it might sound really kool for you to spell every 'C' word with a 'K' as a little joke, but unfortunately, absolutely anyone can shout and write the words 'clutter' and 'disorganised' as a response to everything. If KDE has implemented something, then it has implemented something.

For example, the stopped/broken downloads bit is handled pretty well by KGet. Regarding the linguistic search, I think the guy has got a bit confused there because what he really wants is a contextual search system. What he's describing isn't going to give him the results he wants. That isn't going to be accomplished by Beagle as it stands because it needs a much wider infrastructure in the desktop environment. That's one of the motivations behind Kat and the infant Tenor framework, but it's a huge amount of work obviously.

How about you have a look through the effort that this guy has put in, have a look at Gnome and have a look at KDE and see what has been implemented, what is being implemented and how and give a running commentary? Granted, he isn't talking about stuff that can just be solved in KDE or Gnome though.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Some comments
by someone on Wed 29th Mar 2006 14:58 UTC in reply to "Some comments"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

What's interesting as well is how many of the 40 suggested improvements are already implemented and shipping in KDE.

Gnome has Gnome's problems and KDE has KDE's problems. I am sure many of the usability improvements slated for KDE 4 have been implemented in Gnome2 for many versions.

Reply Score: 3

Multiple logins
by KenJackson on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:59 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

Modern computers are able to host multiple terminals. With dualhead graphic card, two displays, two keyboards and two mouses connected to one computer, it should be possible to setup two terminals so two users could work on one computer in same time.

I have two X servers running on my Linux PCs--one for local and one for access over the VPN with TightVNC. So I suspect it could be done just as the author wants.

But why? The cost of a graphics card, display, keyboard and mouse is only a few pennies more than a whole other PC. Then network them together and mount each hard drive on the other via NFS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Multiple logins
by unoengborg on Wed 29th Mar 2006 01:45 UTC in reply to "Multiple logins"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06


But why? The cost of a graphics card, display, keyboard and mouse is only a few pennies more than a whole other PC.


Well, some good reasons would be lower power consumption, and lower noice levels and lower heat dissipation. Yet another reason, would be to would be to save space on your real world desktop.

Not to mention that it would be a cool thing that computers running OSes with larger share of the market can't do.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Multiple logins
by dagw on Wed 29th Mar 2006 12:39 UTC in reply to "Multiple logins"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

But why? The cost of a graphics card, display, keyboard and mouse is only a few pennies more than a whole other PC. Then network them together and mount each hard drive on the other via NFS.

I have to disagree with your price analysis. I have an old 15" flat screen monitor and pci card kicking around (and even if I didn't I could pick up both second hand for very little). Mice and keyboards are basically free. Total set up cost, max $200 Being able to use the computer in the study from, for example, the kitchen would be very nice indeed. Not having an actual computer standing in the kitchen is a good thing in itself.
Personally I think it's a great idea.

Reply Score: 1

Use X
by KenJackson on Wed 29th Mar 2006 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Multiple logins"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Total set up cost, max $200 Being able to use the computer in the study from, for example, the kitchen would be very nice indeed.

The proposed setup might require a longer monitor cable than practical.

Some computers cost $300 now. But if you're bringing in an old 15" monitor, then I get to reference the old Dell PC someone gave me. Others may be able to buy a comparable one for less than $200.

I wiped Windows ME, installed NetBSD, and put it just outside the kitchen (seriously). I routinely run apps on my main Linux PC upstairs and on my Linux PC at work (via VPN) all while sitting in the living room.

I just love X, networking, and related stuff. It's great!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Multiple logins
by Domin on Wed 29th Mar 2006 14:32 UTC in reply to "Multiple logins"
Domin Member since:
2005-07-10

Keyboards and mouses must be very expensive in where you live ;) .

Reply Score: 1

Great!
by d-tritus on Wed 29th Mar 2006 01:03 UTC
d-tritus
Member since:
2006-03-28

Great suggestions! Wait a minute.. *Looks at screenshot* Sorry, I can't take suggestions from someone who listens to Bryan Adams seriously.

;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Great!
by thabrain on Wed 29th Mar 2006 03:25 UTC in reply to "Great!"
thabrain Member since:
2005-06-29

Watch it there...I'm a Bryan Adams fan ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Great!
by Sartoris on Wed 29th Mar 2006 08:33 UTC in reply to "Great!"
Sartoris Member since:
2005-07-07

Breaks into song...

I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played 'til my fingers bled
It was summer of '69

...wait, you said you DIDN'T like Bryan Adams?

Reply Score: 1

Angryanderson
Member since:
2005-07-11

I bloody hated all those pop-up notifications in Windows XP, they're one of the main reasons why I stopped using Windows altogether. These notifications pop up when you least expect and they refuse to go away until you've succeeded in hitting the tiny "x" mark with a mouse. You're sitting in front of your computer, trying to concentrate on some important task and these bloody notifications just keep popping up, one after another, demanding your attention away from the task in hand to some nonessential rubbish. And you cannot make these notifications go away by hitting some preconfigured key combination. Oh, no. You've got to take your hands away from the comfortable keyboard and reach for that clumsy rodent-like pointing device and aim it to the tiny "x" in the notification message and then "click". Bloody hell, what a nuisance. "You have just removed a usb storage device from the system. Click here to close this notification." "You have received new mail. Click here to confirm that you've read this message." "You have some rarely used icons on your desktop. Do you want me to remove them, because you're apparently not smart enough to remove them yourself? Click here if you want me to remove the icons for you, or click here if you want me to remind you at some later time (when you least expect it)." And so on, and on and on... new notifications just keep popping up. And if you try to ignore these pesky notifications, they start changing colours, crying for your attention.

These "usability improvements" must be designed in Hell for idiot users. If this is the road GNOME is going, then you can keep it as far as I'm concerned. Thank gods there are still minimalistic window managers available for Linux & BSD that have the good sense to stay out of the way and let users do what they want without pestering them with notifications.

Reply Score: 5

naelurec Member since:
2006-02-15

One thing that has been mentioned on the KDE side (for KDE 4.0 ideas) is the concept of a centralized notification system. The idea is all apps instead of generating their own pop-ups would send the notification event to the notification system (knotify) and it would deal with the noficaitions as the user wants.

So in theory, I could configure how different notifications should be handled (ie simply recorded, discarded, have a sound play, execute an application, pop-up a box, etc..). As a result, notifications I find important will be made known to me without necessarily having to manually configure each app (and thus be limited to the individual apps notification options).

I am not sure if this idea is being utilized in KDE 4 development but I think it is a nice way to address the issue.

Reply Score: 5

Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

That's exactly how notification-daemon works. Also one of the ideas of the priority system was to allow the user to not display notifications below a certain priority. I don't think this can actually be configured yet, but the design is alright.

And obviously you can simply make all notifications die by killing the notification-daemon, so there really isn't any reason to be afraid of it. :-)

I also want to add that most notifications can be closed by clicking the entire popup, so there is no need to reach for the tiny X... That would suck indeed.

Reply Score: 5

djst Member since:
2005-08-07

I also want to add that most notifications can be closed by clicking the entire popup, so there is no need to reach for the tiny X... That would suck indeed.

From a Human-Computer Interaction point of view, including the X just slows people down if the notification will close regardless of where you click it. That's just a bad design.

Reply Score: 1

cloose Member since:
2005-07-12

> I could configure how different notifications should be handled (ie simply recorded, discarded, have a sound play, execute an application, pop-up a box, etc..).

Actually you can do this already in the KDE Control Center.

http://docs.kde.org/stable/en/kdebase/kcontrol/kcmnotify/index.html

Reply Score: 1

henrikmk Member since:
2005-07-10

I would love to see an implementation of Growl, a notification system for MacOSX. You can define which apps that notify you and how "noisy" you want notifications to be and most important of all: They fade away after a few seconds. No interaction is needed. If you do click on the bubble before it fades away, the notifying application pops up.

That said, I hate the WinXP implementation of popups, which is why TweakXP is one of the first tools that are installed when I (have to) install a new XP machine. What point is there in telling me every damn 5 minutes that there is only 300 MB diskspace free?

It helps with Growl that the notifications are relevant, such as finished long file uploads with Cyberduck, chat messages with Adium while you are watching a movie and such. It's completely passive. Wonderful.

Reply Score: 1

Angel--Fr@gzill@ Member since:
2005-12-23

!!!

"I bloody hated all those pop-up notifications in Windows XP, they're one of the main reasons why I stopped using Windows altogether. These notifications pop up when you least expect and they refuse to go away until you've succeeded in hitting the tiny "x" mark with a mouse"

---

Yeah. The one of the low hard Disk space is the best...

Only for that some Ms programmers should be killed.. or at least sentenced to 20 years in jail ... ;)

!!!

Reply Score: 1

avih Member since:
2006-03-16

Liking the XP notifications system is a personal oppinion. The implementation might not be optimal, but the mechanism is important and usefull for major part of the users.

Many users are clueless about maintaining their computers, and not without a reason. You can't just expect every carpenter or grandma (carpenters and grandmas, pls excuse me if you're reading this) to know how/why to defrag the disk, or even where their downloads are stored. They don't.

And regarding the fact that the notification never "dies" and has to be clicked, well, some, especially those who fear computers, will not need the extra mystery of a message that tells them something and then goes away.

The best thing to deal with the notifications would probably be a notifications managment center, which will expose all types of possible notifications (even those that are spawned by installed applications), and the user selects the mode of the note: never-displayed/removed-in-x-seconds/stays-untill-clicked

Bottom line, the notifications are important for many users, if you want a windowing system that leaves everything for you to manage, you can pick one. Gnome is not one of those. It's aimed an novices too.

Reply Score: 4

someone Member since:
2006-01-12

These "usability improvements" must be designed in Hell for idiot users. If this is the road GNOME is going, then you can keep it as far as I'm concerned. Thank gods there are still minimalistic window managers available for Linux & BSD that have the good sense to stay out of the way and let users do what they want without pestering them with notifications.

The problems you are describing are precisely the reason why we need better usability: The annoying notifications are prime examples of poor usability!

Instead of removing the notifications completely, you can have a centralised notifcation system (perhaps KDE and Gnome can collaborate on this) and allow the user to configure different levels of notification for different message (For example, the user can choose "show icon" for new email message and "modal dialogue" for printer on fire)

Edited 2006-03-29 14:55

Reply Score: 1

Windows based
by fp2099 on Wed 29th Mar 2006 04:03 UTC
fp2099
Member since:
2006-03-29

Most of the sujections are windoes based... i really don't matter because if i don't like gnome i will simple change to xfce or flux.. but why? why do you want and i paste "Shortcut [Alt]+[F4] on desktop should invoke shutdown/logout dialog." ?!? why don't making it even better? make it appear when you press the shutdown button ;) "

Exporting downloaded packages from upgrade", what about a shared folder for the distfiles that would solve the main problem although package list could be more problematic.

"Continue stopped/broken downloads", doesn't firefox have a resume function?

"Treat archives like regular folders", I really hate that in windows and I would really hate that in gnome. What for? I like archives the way they are.

"Search also in archives" i may be wrong but if you do search eithin file it will look for it.

"Multimedia center" try freevo or mythtv.. mplayer is a multimedia center IMHO

Beside that i agree with the rest but i would had "iconify to systray" within the window manager, don't know why but it seems to be a pretty good idea for me but who am i, i'm the only guy that liked gaim 2.0 beta 1

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows based
by whitehornmatt on Wed 29th Mar 2006 04:11 UTC in reply to "Windows based"
whitehornmatt Member since:
2005-07-07

"Continue stopped/broken downloads", doesn't firefox have a resume function?
No, once you stop a download or your connection breaks you have to start at the start again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Windows based
by someone on Wed 29th Mar 2006 15:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows based"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

[i]"Continue stopped/broken downloads", doesn't firefox have a resume function?
No, once you stop a download or your connection breaks you have to start at the start again.[i]

Not quite. Firefox can resume the download provided that you did quit Firefox when the download failed and the server supports resume.

Now, I agree that Fx's implementation of download resume is very poor and improvements are slated for Fx2

Reply Score: 1

I must say...
by betam4x on Wed 29th Mar 2006 05:32 UTC
betam4x
Member since:
2006-01-13

I DO agree with some of these suggestions, however i must also say that GNOME has come a LONG way in the past few years. KDE used to be leaps ahead of gnome in the way of functionality, etc. The last time i actually used gnome was back in the days of mandrake 6.1...even at the time KDE was better. Today after getting fed up with windows XP i dropped debian on the box at work, did a quick apt-get install gnome x-window-system-core and suddenly things were perfect. I've fallen in love with gnome all over again.

Reply Score: 5

Speaking of usability...
by jbrader on Wed 29th Mar 2006 06:08 UTC
jbrader
Member since:
2005-11-12

I understand that he's not a native English speaker, but that's what editors are for. Before you publish an essay on usability you should make sure your language is usable.

Reply Score: 2

Tray Notifications
by ApproachingZero on Wed 29th Mar 2006 07:20 UTC
ApproachingZero
Member since:
2005-11-10

I can't believe someone is actually asking for XP-style system tray notifications. While only vaguely annoying to me when I used Windows, now that I use an OS that doesn't do anything like that, ever, I'm truly appreciative of less intrusion into my workflow. "One or more wireless networks are in range!" "One or more wireless networks are in range!" "One or more wireless networks are in range!" After awhile I just close the lid on the Dell and go back to the peaceful Mac. Please, please don't bring these abominations of usability to Gnome.

Reply Score: 1

I'd say something technical
by DittoBox on Wed 29th Mar 2006 07:30 UTC
DittoBox
Member since:
2005-07-08

But I'm not sure that's allowed...after all it is gnome!

But more seriously, that's my complaint with, well almost any OS/software. I've got use --verbose arguement on CLI software, or delve into a log to get any info about a problem with almost any software I use nowadays.

They don't just come out and say what the problem is, they hide it deep in a log file somewhere buried 5 directories deep 3/5ths the way through a 3 megabyte text file. Or deep in the windows event log, which I feel is far worse, I can't grep the event log.

Can't there be settings in software that give me verbose output on my desktop so I can copy and paste the error where I please? So I tell what the problem is without having to open a terminal window and cat/tail/grep files for a few minutes?

GNOME is simple. I like simple. Simple gets the job done. I also like XFCE, because XFCE is simple too. The problem with the two is that XFCE isn't "integrated" like GNOME is, but that's a feature not "bug".

GNOME however is far larger code-wise and much slower (last time I used it, 2.10 maybe 2.12, can't remember) than XFCE, and that's where my main complaint is.

Functionally, I get what I want from GNOME, just like I do from OS X, clean, simple and easy, the way it should be. Other than the apparent slowness, I've nothing to complain about.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'd say something technical
by Ookaze on Wed 29th Mar 2006 11:47 UTC in reply to "I'd say something technical"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

But more seriously, that's my complaint with, well almost any OS/software. I've got use --verbose arguement on CLI software, or delve into a log to get any info about a problem with almost any software I use nowadays

I don't understand what you mean. You don't mean the programs should spout verbose info in a window on the desktop, do you ?

They don't just come out and say what the problem is, they hide it deep in a log file somewhere buried 5 directories deep 3/5ths the way through a 3 megabyte text file

Excuse me ? /var/log is not 5 directories, and there are apps to display (even parse, could you believe that !!) log files for you in a window with lots of color, by day, .... Some distros even provide them in their admin tools.

Can't there be settings in software that give me verbose output on my desktop so I can copy and paste the error where I please? So I tell what the problem is without having to open a terminal window and cat/tail/grep files for a few minutes?

There are already. I see now what your real problem is with OS/software : your own cluelessness. There are even programs that I find too intrusive, tailored for you, that display programs output in the background.

GNOME however is far larger code-wise and much slower (last time I used it, 2.10 maybe 2.12, can't remember) than XFCE, and that's where my main complaint is

So now you have no more complaint, as Gnome 2.14 is not slower than XFCE. At least, I have a hard time seeing a difference. I'd even say Gnome is faster.

Other than the apparent slowness, I've nothing to complain about

So go Gnome 2.14 and you'll have a lot less to complain about. There still are some slowness, but you'll be pretty set.

Reply Score: 4

Nice
by dukeinlondon on Wed 29th Mar 2006 08:07 UTC
dukeinlondon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Good list. The biggest item for me is sync/interaction with smartphone or PDAs.

Reply Score: 1

Let's be realistic about these...
by Archangel on Wed 29th Mar 2006 08:17 UTC
Archangel
Member since:
2005-07-23

The suggestions are constructive, but the author is a tad idealistic on some of them - for example they can't provide links to multimedia codecs, that's really pushing the boundaries of legality - might as well just install them from the start, or put a link to a script on the desktop that installs all the 'dodgy' stuff.

I don't think he's really on the ball with security either. He saya passwords are hard to remember, and instead suggests
* passwords
Yeah, those are easier to remember than passwords....?
* usb keys
It's not particularly difficult to steal a USB key along with the computer
* bluetooth cell phone id
I suspect that'd be pretty easy to fake - or listen to.
* any combination of these
And he missed suggesting biometric identification...

He suggests incremental updates, which I think aren't a particularly good idea. You have to worry about updates from a bunch of previous versions of a package, frankly I think it's worth the download to keep things clean.
Plus Linux is better than the alternatives anyway - you can't do an incremental update from Windows 2000 to XP, or to a service pack for that matter.

He may be right about the CD-ROM locking button - I don't use GNOME, but on both my Linux machines things eject fine, and have for ages.

There are a lot of good points in there, but unfortunately they're buried amongst a lot of "this isn't how Windows does it" type things. Does anyone _really_ care if alt-f4 on the desktop invokes the shutdown dialog?

Reply Score: 3

Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

The suggestions are constructive, but the author is a tad idealistic on some of them

I'll go further and say not all of them are constructive. But at least, it's a good effort with some new ideas that devs can look at.
But a lot of the constructive ones are already known, implemented, or proposed, and the devs just had no time to do them, or they were low priority.

He suggests incremental updates, which I think aren't a particularly good idea. You have to worry about updates from a bunch of previous versions of a package, frankly I think it's worth the download to keep things clean

That's exactly it, one of the non constructive suggestions. The guy thought only of his comfort as already a Linux user.
And this has nothing to do with the desktop anyway.
But assuming it does, should this be implemented, a new user would have to load the base package plus all the incremental updates !!! We're talking at least storage X 2,5
!! And that's for the Linux kernel, a big package, it will be worse for smaller packages. That means that much more data to store, and that much more data to send to new users, so that much more time to download if you download, or that much bigger CDs/DVDs.

Plus Linux is better than the alternatives anyway - you can't do an incremental update from Windows 2000 to XP, or to a service pack for that matter

I doubt incremental update is a good thing. Even CVS like systems have ways to transform their incremental data into a release. I think if incremental was better, they would distribute that (the patches, which are incremental) instead of releases.

He may be right about the CD-ROM locking button - I don't use GNOME, but on both my Linux machines things eject fine, and have for ages

The locking is there on purpose. The author is again advertising the Windows solution, which does not work better.
Of course, he must be used to Windows Explorer displaying directories that are not there anymore, or CD which are not there anymore, or + signs in the tree when there are no more directories.

There are a lot of good points in there, but unfortunately they're buried amongst a lot of "this isn't how Windows does it" type things. Does anyone _really_ care if alt-f4 on the desktop invokes the shutdown dialog?

Agreed.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Plus Linux is better than the alternatives anyway - you can't do an incremental update from Windows 2000 to XP, or to a service pack for that matter.

What are hotfixes then...?

Reply Score: 1

Torsten Rahn
Member since:
2005-08-20

> been mentioned on the KDE side (for KDE 4.0 ideas)
> is the concept of a centralized notification system.

Err, the stuff you're describing fully works since KDE 2.x already.

Reply Score: 3

v nautilus
by viton on Wed 29th Mar 2006 12:03 UTC
RE: nautilus
by Daniel Borgmann on Wed 29th Mar 2006 12:19 UTC in reply to "nautilus"
Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

Oh well...

"why there is no way to switch-off this behavior?"

Open a browser window or set the Behaviour -> Always open in browser windows preference.

"why can't i launch a terminal in the current folder?"

You should install the open terminal extension, the package is called nautilus-open-terminal in Ubuntu.

"i would like to drag the file name to the terminal"

That works just fine.

"Well they should copy Amiga Dopus5, not the unusable win explorer."

Or how about they don't copy anything and just keep working on the slickest file manager for Unix to date.

Reply Score: 4

RE: nautilus
by Ookaze on Wed 29th Mar 2006 15:56 UTC in reply to "nautilus"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

-everytime i click on folder new window get spawned
why there is no way to switch-off this behavior?


Because there is. Anyway, middle clicking will remove the parent window, same effect without switching off anything.

-why can't i launch a terminal in the current folder?
does some hidden shortcuts exist?


It was removed, surely because it was cluttering the default context menu.
Now, it's available as a separate package that experienced users that need the functionality can easily install.

-i would like to drag the file name to the terminal

Then do it. You can even drag URLs.

Well they should copy Amiga Dopus5, not the unusable win explorer. Also the Beos file manager was a lot better than nautilus AFAIR.

There already exist a Dopus (don't know which Dopus version) clone for Gnome (I think it's called gentoo, but not sure).
And Nautilus does not copy Win Explorer : nautilus actually works.
I don't know the Beos file manager though (but I bet Nautilus does more), but nautilus works far better than Win Explorer : truly spatial, no inverse multi-select, no + in the tree when there is no directory, no showing of inexistant directory in the tree, Unicode encoding display, ...

Reply Score: 3

I'd use gnome if...
by MightyPenguin on Wed 29th Mar 2006 19:05 UTC
MightyPenguin
Member since:
2005-11-18

it was better abstracted in C++. It would also need a native toolkit in C++, say QT. It would also need more configuration options available, but out of the way.

Wait a minute...

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'd use gnome if...
by Pfeifer on Wed 29th Mar 2006 22:58 UTC in reply to "I'd use gnome if..."
Pfeifer Member since:
2006-02-20

The GNOME Developer Plattform uses glib. Glib creates an object oriented environment for c. GNOME and all it's libraries are therefore quite good abstracted.

If you prefer to code in C++ you might consider using the C++-Bindings for GNOME. They are quite nice and used for applications like Inkscape, the popular SVG editor.

Futhermore, there are also GNOME bindings for Ruby, Perl, Java and C# and many other languages. So you don't have to restrain yourself to C++.

I do think, however, that your real intent was not a healty discussion about GNOME, but rather a not so subtle suggestion that KDE is far superior, since it is programmed in C++, it's toolkit is indeed QT and it has, ehrm, let's say, an overwhelming amount of configuration options.

Well, you may be right. KDE may be better. QT may be a superior toolkit. C++ may be a good programming language.

But I'll stick with GNOME. If you like KDE, stick with KDE, that's fine.

No need for trolling.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Some comments
by superstoned on Wed 29th Mar 2006 20:35 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

sure. like the pivot support (krandrtray) and some suggested nautilus improvements are already in konqueror like suport for rotating images, undo/redo, tooltip stuff and his wish about how selections work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Some comments
by superstoned on Wed 29th Mar 2006 20:40 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

yeah, i think you're right. he'll have to look for features which are not in KDE but do exist in other (free) desktop environments. on the other hand, gnome has done many things to make gnome easier to use. they didn't succeed in every aspect, sure, and KDE is working hard on usability, but we'll have to wait for KDE 4 to see KDE beat gnome (and most if not all other DE's) in EVERY aspect.

Reply Score: 2

superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

a few days ago a proposal came by for implementing such a thing in KDE 4. they are designing a framework for this right now...

Reply Score: 1

gedit improvement
by oldstinkyfish on Wed 29th Mar 2006 21:45 UTC
oldstinkyfish
Member since:
2006-03-04

They have this in every web browser but i don't know why they don't have it on gedit. would make life a whole lot easier. Ie Edit | Find in this page .

I hate searching through /etc/ config files that ive never seen befroe looking for a certain line or word to replace. easy to just search the word.

Reply Score: 1

Most of the suggestions are really good.
by axilmar on Fri 31st Mar 2006 10:22 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

I have a reservation about the e-mail notification from the tray. It is distracting to have little popups all the time that obsure the display. How about a short animation, like a waving flag, at the icon position?

Reply Score: 1