Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Feb 2007 16:40 UTC, submitted by dumbkiwi
X11, Window Managers Following on from three earlier articles, here are two more articles highlighting usability features of Beryl; the wheel window switcher and the 'wall' for managing virtual desktops. Videos included, so go on, indulge yourself, boys and girls.
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RE
by Kroc on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:05 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

The problem I've found with Beryl from these videos and from getting a chance to use it for a moment is that it's clearly designed by 20 year olds, for 20 year olds.

* too much wobble. *everything* wobbles. You open a combo box and you can't focus on the list item you want until it's stopped wobbling around like a jelly. This lowers usability massively, think how bad it would be for someone with reduced visibility or simply without the lightning quick reactions of a linux programmer.

* The wall is too zoomed out. You and I may be able to see the spaces between pixels sometimes but other users cannot. The windows are too small to be able to determine which is which by an average user. The desktops should be stakced in a 2x2 arrangement and not 4 in a line.

* The wheel switcher is too quick. No regular user could tell what was happening there.

Beryl is nice, but anything but increased usability. Even the Zoom feature wobbles and shoots about too fast. They need to calm it down a bit! ;)

I understand it's all customizable to the n'th - but if the defaults are like this then what's the point.

*edit: user above has pointed out that the wall can be done in 2x2, which is great, but hopefully the default

Edited 2007-02-19 18:11

Reply Score: 4

RE
by Kokopelli on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:42 in reply to "RE"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

You open a combo box and you can't focus on the list item you want until it's stopped wobbling around like a jelly.

?? That is absolutely not the default. Combo boxes, menus, and notification windows (among others) have never been wobbly by default. If by some case of temporary collective insanity wobbly windows did get set for comboboxes (or menus or...) turning it off is a checkbox away.

You and I may be able to see the spaces between pixels sometimes but other users cannot. The windows are too small to be able to determine which is which by an average user.

So we are better than the masses that use Linux? What masses? Any user who gets that far will be competent and it hardly takes a special skill to recognize windows. (Further I do not think the wall in that demo is at the default settings, but I am not sure.)

The wheel switcher is too quick. No regular user could tell what was happening there.

There we are with that regular user thing. do you think regular users are incompetent? Besides, the wheel switcher moves exactly as quick as you do alt tab or whatever you have it set to. If it goes by too fast.... guess what? Don't hit the keys so fast.


Beryl is nice, but anything but increased usability. Even the Zoom feature wobbles and shoots about too fast. They need to calm it down a bit! ;)

I understand it's all customizable to the n'th - but if the defaults are like this then what's the point.


As I pointed out wobbly is not the default for combo boxes and is easy to completely disable. Wheel is human controlled, and at a guess you do not use Beryl or Compiz.

Good day.

P.S. A more sedate set of defaults (or a set of configs "conservative". "some effects", and "maxo zoom dweebie") might not be a bad idea but the argument you are giving above is fallacious.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE
by Kroc on Mon 19th Feb 2007 18:48 in reply to "RE"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"There we are with that regular user thing. do you think regular users are incompetent?"

I work with regular users every single day. It's the operating system designers that are incompetent.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE
by archiesteel on Mon 19th Feb 2007 20:06 in reply to "RE"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

too much wobble. *everything* wobbles. You open a combo box and you can't focus on the list item you want until it's stopped wobbling around like a jelly.

You obviously haven't used Beryl in a while - or, in fact, at all. Wobbly secondary windows (such as Combo Boxes and Menus) were set as default in an early version of Compiz. As far as I know, that has never been the case with any version of Beryl (except maybe the very first ones, and even then I'm not sure).

I think that the default for secondary windows is now to fade in/out.

The wheel switcher is too quick. No regular user could tell what was happening there.

I don't think it's too fast. In fact, I increased the speed from the default, because it seemed a bit sluggish for me.

Remember, if all you're doing is watching a video, it's not the same as if you're in control (just like watching someone else play a FPS game like Quake will make some people nauseous).

Beryl is nice, but anything but increased usability. Even the Zoom feature wobbles and shoots about too fast.

I disagree. I think it makes the desktop a lot more usable. As far as the zoom wobbling, I'm not sure what you're talking about. Are you talking about Maximizing Windows, or the actual "Zoom in on desktop" functionality?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE
by butters on Tue 20th Feb 2007 08:45 in reply to "RE"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

but if the defaults are like this then what's the point.

I knew it was blasphemy to question the defaults. Just look what happens. A bunch of defensive Beryl fans come at you with a bunch of "how dare you call users incompetent" and "changing the defaults is easy" and "obviously you don't use Beryl" and eventually "put up or shut up." You just have to admit it. Beryl is great, and everybody should be using it.

Great job team. Can I get a little wobble with those knee-jerk reactions?

Reply Parent Score: 2