Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 18th Sep 2002 19:30 UTC
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris Get Mandrake 9.0 RC-3, the last beta before the final version, and report bugs back to Mandrake. For screenshots of the new RC-3 Mandrake, check here and here (thanks goes to GaŽl Duval from MandrakeSoft for sending us the screenshots). Update: Here is a third shot too.
Order by: Score:
v *YAAWWWWWNNNSSSSSS*
by Charlie on Wed 18th Sep 2002 19:48 UTC
v YARC
by Charlie on Wed 18th Sep 2002 19:57 UTC
Strange icon
by WasP on Wed 18th Sep 2002 20:02 UTC

I wonder why this magnifying glass shrinks view in fact. ;)

Re: Strange Icon
by Anonymous on Wed 18th Sep 2002 20:09 UTC

You're right! I never noticed before...

Re: Strange Icon
by Brad C. on Wed 18th Sep 2002 20:11 UTC

it's not...it's magnifying the corner

some comments..
by pherthyl on Wed 18th Sep 2002 20:27 UTC

about the screenshots:
mandrake1.png
1. the control center looks top notch. these are the most beautiful icons I've ever seen (what is with that weird keyboard though?) and well laid out
2. in comparison to the control center icons the desktop ones look kinda flat and boring
3. Could you please use a different theme than the kde 2.x standard? its not exactly ugly but I think there are much nicer ones available. and looks do matter.

mandrake2.png
1. why wouldn't they change the side image on the kde menu to something that said Mandrake? Great that they give credit to kde and all but I think it would be better (for consistency) if it said Mandrake Linux 9.0
2. the "what to do" is a cool idea but why is it bunched together with the rest of the menus? it should stand out. and definetly not be sandwiched like it is now.

RE: some comments..
by Eugenia on Wed 18th Sep 2002 20:33 UTC

> 3. Could you please use a different theme than the kde 2.x standard?

Agreed.

> why wouldn't they change the side image on the kde menu to something that said Mandrake

Agreed too.

> the "what to do" is a cool idea but why is it bunched together with the rest of the menus? it should stand out. and definetly not be sandwiched like it is now.

1000% agreed too. Hey, I like you. :-)

Gnome.
by Anonymous on Wed 18th Sep 2002 21:27 UTC

Where are the Gnome shots?

Oh boy!
by Nicolas Farley on Wed 18th Sep 2002 21:37 UTC

Just got done downloading RC2 and now RC3..Thats just my luck. Although I have to say RC2 is stable enough I might just wait untill the Final Release is available. So far Mandrake is leading the pack of Real Linux Distro's. My hat's off to them! Great work guys!

When will they ever learn?
by Anonymous 2 on Wed 18th Sep 2002 21:57 UTC

You'd think they learn by now.Their menu system still stinks. Look at the 2nd png. They already have categories for "multimedia" and "networking". And yet directly above that they have a "what do you want to do" menu which will repeat the same freaking menus as below. And what's up with the "appliations" menu? Are you telling me there are No applicatoins in any of the other submenus? Then of course you have the tradition kde "control panel", yet this is again repeated elsewhere, and I'm sure there are 20 other dissimilar control-panel type apps scattered throughout the menu.

It also doesn't help that every year the various menus change and that if you go from distro to distro you get 50 different apps which all do the same thing. And people are surprised linux has made no headway in the general consumer desktop market?

Diversity and choice are a great thing but the chaos which reins supreme when it comes to the everchanging toolsets, widgets, not to mention apps and cluttered menus only hurt the linux desktop cause.

Gnome
by Anonymous on Wed 18th Sep 2002 22:11 UTC

I'd also like to see the gnome screenshots Gnome 2 is the future :-)

usability anyone?
by Anonymous on Wed 18th Sep 2002 22:56 UTC

If you look at the screen shots and try to keep in mind that mandrake is for the end use, you end up wondering where their time and effort has gone to in this release? it looks too much like mandrake 8.2 with a nicer looking control center. You cant base a distribution around a control center. the distribution should allow the user to do their work without remembering that to share a drive they have to load up vi and change smb.conf, or load up a webbrowser and change webmin - hello, another control center!

more UI problems
by Eugenia on Wed 18th Sep 2002 22:59 UTC

BTW, the last picture of the collage in the third shot, the mounting/partitioning window, is just terrible. It is extremely unintuitive, I have to admit. ;)

...
by chicobaud on Wed 18th Sep 2002 23:25 UTC

BTW, anyone knows if ATA 133 is supported by this release ?
(There are a lot of mainboard with this controllers now, price/performance, can one run Linux on a ATA133 Maxtor disk ?)

Re: more UI problems
by BradC on Wed 18th Sep 2002 23:33 UTC

and what would you do to make it better?
have you ever used harddrake before?
(not being a jerk, i seriously would like to know both)

i find it easy to use, and is one of the nicest partitioning tools available in linux...though it hasn't
changed much since they started it.

i will admit that mandrake does still need a lot of work
in the UI and artwork areas (this is why i ask what you
would do to make it better)

Making Harddrake better.
by DCMonkey on Thu 19th Sep 2002 00:24 UTC

This is just going by the screenshot. If things are better IRL, that's great.

Problems:

- Can't tell what partition I have selected. You happen to be able to (barely) read the mount point in the blue rectangle and in details and can make the connection. What about the brown one?

- Funky buttons-all-run-together layout at bottom. More of an aesthetic thing, but I think it makes them hard to notice as buttons. Panels maybe.

- What is normal mode? What mode am I in now?

- Clear All what? Undo what? Is everything on this screen un-doable?

- (Nitpicky) "Options" is not an action. "View Options" might be.

Some suggestions:

- Make the partition diagram vertical so you can put readable text in the smaller partitions.

- Make it obvious which is selected. Maybe draw some lines or curly braces between the diagram and the details panel like a call-out.

- I bet that unmount button changes to mount when clicked. Make it a checkbox. Same for the loopback button.

- Buttons that lead to another dialog (like Options I assume) should probably have ellipses (...) on them, depending on the standard/custom of the DE Mandrake uses.

agh!
by deleted on Thu 19th Sep 2002 00:38 UTC

Heres a tip. Don't review products from screenshots.

better buttons in harddrake
by darren on Thu 19th Sep 2002 00:39 UTC

Is it just me, or do the buttons for harddrake look awful? Why do they feel the need to make the "more", "clear all" and all of the ugly square buttons so wide? They should use or create pretty icons/buttons that match buttons utilized elsewhere about Mandrake.

I don't mean to be too critical of Mandrake. It really is a great distro and they do a really great job over there.

Darren

RE: agh!
by Eugenia on Thu 19th Sep 2002 01:18 UTC

> Heres a tip. Don't review products from screenshots.

Sweetheart, I do NOT need to use this thing in order to understand if *its UI* is good or not. This is what you do not understand. A UI is ONLY GOOD, only and only when, you understand what it does and what the buttons are for, just by giving a GLANCE at it. This is a MAJOR RULE of the UI design.

For example, the specific window that has the problem, is the collage in the third shot, the mounting/partitioning window at the bottom. By looking that window, I do not understand what this tool does. Is it a partitioning tool? Is it simply a mounting tool? Is it simply a generic hard drive infromation panel? I do not know! There is no window label to tell me what it is, and the tab just has the name "hda". That is stupid. Mandrake is pitching against the dekstop users, so they should have visual representations of the drives as Drive 1, drive 2 with nice big icons, as WELL as the "hd*" labels. This is how MacOSX does it, and I am telling you, it works very well for both bozos and power users. ;-)

Then, there is this "Toggle to normal mode" just in the middle of the "Done" and "Undo" buttons. Hello?
And what is that "Clear All" does? Does it wipe out all the partitions of hda? Does it just clear up the details framebox? And what does the "more" button does outside of the main framebox? Does it give more information about the selected drive or the selected partition, or skips to the next hard disk partition's information? Or it gives you more partitioning options, just because it is placed next to the "clear all" button, which obviously does something important?

The user won't know, neither from a screenshot, neither if he actually use it. He will press things, mostly because there is no easy to reach "Help" on the application (there is no context menu with a "What's This?" in Linux as in every widget on WinXP's apps) just to find out what is what. The UI is not good in that application.

In my opinion, this application is just that: dangerous. Not just because messing with partitions is dangerous, but because the UI can drive you to easily make a mistake.

This is constructive critisism btw, not trolling I am harsh though, I know, but I do not troll.

Eugenia
by Darius on Thu 19th Sep 2002 02:33 UTC

You're right ... it's hard to tell what a lot of that stuff does, but maybe the buttons have tooltips ? ;)

Anyway, I don't know if Mandrake is guilty of this crime, but two major usability features I've noticed with Gnome/KDE in the past is that if you can only manage to get into X at lower screen resolution:

1) The control center is bigger than the entire screen, so you have to drag it around just to see the whole thing and (which makes me wonder if the nimrods who developed these things ever bothered to test them at 640x480) ..
2) A lot of dialog bixes would appear on screen with their buttons (OK, Cancel), etc .. hanging off the bottom of the screen. This is the kind of stuff people are talking about when they say that things lack polish.

Of course, I haven't tested Gnome2/KDE3 yet, so I don't know if it's gotten any better or not.

I wos wondering if all distro by default are build for i386 for backward comp. or are there modules installed for P3 or P4 during instalation. I meand not just the Kernel but the whole thing. I know I could build it but I have other more interesting things to do ;) If not do you know ao any distro that you/I can get that is opt for P4/P3/Amd right out of the box

Robert

Re: Are all Linux distro are build for i386 by default?
by Another matthew on Thu 19th Sep 2002 03:48 UTC

Mandrake is i586/i686 and up (I think the previous release, 8.2, wanted to boot off the 2nd CD if you only had a i586 - something like that).

Redhat might be i386 and up, but they'll run some short trials during installation to see which kernel your system prefers.

(Geez, it's days like this that I realise I don't know much. Sorry.)

Strange...
by UpS on Thu 19th Sep 2002 05:44 UTC

As i know, Mandrake default desktop is KDE, and i think it rocks! But why they can't build there Control Center based on QT to support KDE Themes...??? This is realy strange...

Control Center
by Cesar Cardoso on Thu 19th Sep 2002 08:21 UTC

Isn't the Mandrake Control Center a embraced-and-extended version of GNOME Control Center 1.9.x (the gtkhtml-based one for GNOME 1, not the Nautilus-based one for GNOME 2)? Or at least based on?

RE: agh!
by Anonymous on Thu 19th Sep 2002 09:16 UTC

Honey, I didn't know I was talking to you.

What can put off people is that you seem only to have harsh words for linux. Perhaps this is tough love but you need to start looking into what windows does wrong. Did you know there is a partitioning tool that comes with Windows XP Pro. I'm not talking about fdisk (not even in XP) or that thing at install time. Its a terrible piece of junk, much worse than harddrake.

However would you know if there are tool tips from just looking at a screenshot? What about the dialog button that explains in detail what something does after you click a button? My point is that the best you can make is educated guess about weather it has a bad gui or a good one. A person has to get to this window inorder to see it. You don't just throw them infront of it and say "do what ever this window lets you do!". That is whats wrong with reviewing even a gui from a screenshot. It is taken entairly out of context.

Re: Control Center
by rajan r on Thu 19th Sep 2002 10:03 UTC

Isn't the Mandrake Control Center a embraced-and-extended version of GNOME Control Center 1.9.x (the gtkhtml-based one for GNOME 1, not the Nautilus-based one for GNOME 2)? Or at least based on?

Hardly.

RE: Strange...
by Andreas on Thu 19th Sep 2002 10:38 UTC

> Why they can't build there Control Center based on QT to
> support KDE Themesake default desktop is KDE

Here are some possible reasons why they prefer not to reimplement the Control Center with Qt.

They already have running tools, it would be costly to reimplement them. Their developers know GTK+ much better then Qt (they said this themselves in the Cooker mailing list), so they need either learn Qt (this cost money) or hire other developers who know Qt (this cost money too).

If they use Qt for their Control Center the Gnome/GTK+ fans would cry "Why can't they just build their stuff with GTK+? My next distro will be ...". There is no way to satisfy everyone unless they support both a Qt and a GTK+ Control Center, but this would dramatically increase the needed resources to maintain and develop the thing.

Another reason: GTK+ is smaller than Qt. So for people running KDE the Control Center loads faster and requires not as much memory than it would be the case for Gnome people who had to load and run a Qt (or KDE) Control Center.

Cheers,
Andreas

RE: Strange...
by Anonymous on Thu 19th Sep 2002 11:15 UTC

I think there was an even more substantial reason than that. Something about QT not supporting Perl and all their tools being written in Perl.

Oh heres another biggie. KDE programs are hell for anyone not running KDE. Absolute hell.

Mandrake has stated that they are NOT KDE centric, or Gnome centric or Window Maker centric and gtk is the best toolkit to work in all window managers very well.

RE: Strange...
by Andreas on Thu 19th Sep 2002 12:47 UTC

> Something about QT not supporting Perl and all their
> tools being written in Perl.

That's right, that was the situation as they started working on the Mdk Control Center. But today Qt has a very good Perl binding, even with RAD: http://perlqt.infonium.com/

Cheers,
Andreas

diskdrake
by Andrew Shewmaker on Thu 19th Sep 2002 13:29 UTC

I really like diskdrake and I have never had a problem figuring how to do what I want to do. For example, configuring software raid during the installation is a piece of cake. I happened to to install RedHat 7.2 the other day and I thought I would try the same thing with Disk Druid. It was usable for simple things, but software raid seemed to be much more difficult.

Some of the suggested changes made here are excellent and I hope to see them implemented.

GNOME Please....
by gmlongo on Thu 19th Sep 2002 13:49 UTC

I too would like to see some Mandrake screenshots with GNOME. I can't decide between Red Hat 8 and Mandrake 9. Is there a way to configure fonts in Mandrake 9 like there is in Red Hat?

-G

re:diskdrake
by renas on Thu 19th Sep 2002 13:50 UTC

I agree with you, i been playing all this betas and final realise from Mandrake and i never had a problem to partition the drive, a couple weeks ago i try to install Red Hat and i try to do the same because i thought that it will be same like Mandrake, but it went wrong when i press automatic i thought that he will install on the empty partition wrong me i just finished to clean all my disk and didn't install correctly because had some bugs, so i have to install again my Windows XP Pro from the start and the rest.
People have been talk badly about how it looks Mandrake, but one thing i can tell you we can't have everything even if we have we will never be satisfied.
Why you don't get Lycoris, Lindows2.0, SuSe or Gentoo it maybe looks and does what you want.

keep it cool

It ain't just looks people
by Juswhitaker on Thu 19th Sep 2002 15:41 UTC

Geez, all this talk about looks-how the desktop looks, how the icons look, the same old crap about icons, kde, gnome-

How about you people look the cooker buglist and see what's really important?

See all those broken apps, links, utilities?

That's what concerns me, not how they packaged it.

diskdrake improvements
by Andrew Shewmaker on Thu 19th Sep 2002 15:49 UTC

I've talked with the maintainer of diskdrake, pixel, and relayed the improvements suggested hear. They are in a freeze of course, but hopefully we will see some changes soon after.

I know a little perl, so I'm going to try to make some of the modifications myself.

re:diskdrake
by Eugenia on Thu 19th Sep 2002 16:33 UTC

>Why you don't get Lycoris, Lindows2.0, SuSe or Gentoo it maybe looks and does what you want.

Don't play with my intelligence young man. I HAVE Mandrake Cooker installed, I have _used_ this program. But this is not FOR ME, it is for the people. I want to help fixing UI bugs, my posts are constructive critisism, not what "I want". I want nothing from mandrake or suse or red hat. But I want to help them!
I mostly use WindowsXP anyway.

Also, another problem this UI has is that the buttons are resizable and exactly glued to each other. I have seen this stupid UI decisions on some other GTK apps too. But in this particular app, this "feature" should not be there, there should be real space between buttons, because when buttons are too close, you might hit the next or previous one, and trust me, you don't want to press anything like "clear all" or something.. ;)

Re:It ain't just looks people
by stelios on Thu 19th Sep 2002 17:48 UTC

Well, all this icons and menu talk can get a little bit
tiresome but for many people (including me) it's nice to see
a "better" UI in a new release.

That said, I agree with you in that it's (especially at
this stage, RC3) far more important fixing bugs and broken
apps.

Besides, using ximian makes everything look the same:-). I
wonder when they are going to release GNOME2...

Re: Re:It ain't just looks people
by rajan r on Fri 20th Sep 2002 10:15 UTC

They are working on things corporate customers demand. they are also working on their own version of OpenOffice with GTK+ widgets, GNOME HI-compatible UI, integration with GNOME etc. fork. I would say "as soon GNOME 2.2 is released".

Re: Re:It ain't just looks people
by Stelios on Fri 20th Sep 2002 13:30 UTC

>"as soon GNOME 2.2 is released".

That long? Anyway, I'm really looking forward to it so I can RedCarpet my current GNOME:-) I also hope OpenOffice doesn't get any slower because of the porting to GTK+ widgets.

Re: darius (dialog size)
by Troels on Fri 20th Sep 2002 14:54 UTC

For KDE at least i know that they are working on those dialogs that are too big for low resolutions. I have seen serveral threads on the mailinglists on this topic, usually ending up with a fix pretty soon after.

Final
by Genaldar on Fri 20th Sep 2002 21:01 UTC

Any idea if there is a projected release date for the final version? I just downloaed this beta but if the final is coming fairly soon I'll just wait.

RE: RE: agh!
by backup on Mon 23rd Sep 2002 19:33 UTC


>Sweetheart, I do NOT need to use this thing in order to understand if *its
>UI* is good or not. This is what you do not understand. A UI is ONLY
>GOOD, only and only when, you understand what it does and what the
>buttons are for, just by giving a GLANCE at it. This is a MAJOR RULE of
>the UI design.

I think you are wrong here... it's just likein life... when you have a key and a lock, if you haven't learned to use it, or tried to use it, you won't know what it does.


The screenshot you are looking at is a well-known Mandrake feature called "diskdrake", already available in the installation procedure. It lets you change the type of partititions, resize them etc.

It's not badly designed at all because:
1) it's a well organized UI: just by looking at it you see it provides (at least) informations about partitions, for disk hda1 (there is a label)
2) when you click the different buttons, you quickly understand what they do
3) every "physical" (=real) changes must be approved.

Frankly, just looking at screenshot is not enough. Many applications in MacOS or Windows seem to look good and easy, but when you *use* them, you understand it's not been well designed.