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 rajj on Mon 19th Feb 2007 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE"
rajj
Member since:
2005-07-06

I suggest that you put-up or shut-up. Unless you can provide a patch to fix what you perceive as wrong, you have no business calling anyone incompetent.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE
by msundman on Tue 20th Feb 2007 08:39 in reply to "RE"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> Unless you can provide a patch to fix what you perceive as
> wrong, you have no business calling anyone incompetent.

That must be one of the most stupid things I've read this month. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "have no business", but obviously it's almost always a lot easier to spot incompetence than to be competent. Also, people who are incompetent but don't know it should be told the truth so that they know to strive for competence.

Why do people think that it's wrong to say that some aspect of something free (gratis) is bad? That the devs aren't monetarily compensated doesn't make the software better in itself, and it certainly doesn't raise them above criticism. Many devs, especially among those working for free, don't do many usability studies, so usability criticism is precisely what they need.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE
by rajj on Tue 20th Feb 2007 08:58 in reply to "RE"
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean it's a lot easier to be an armchair programmer postulating about usability while having no expertise in anything other than clicking a mouse button.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE
by Kokopelli on Tue 20th Feb 2007 19:08 in reply to "RE"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

That must be one of the most stupid things I've read this month. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "have no business", but obviously it's almost always a lot easier to spot incompetence than to be competent. Also, people who are incompetent but don't know it should be told the truth so that they know to strive for competence.

I do not disagree with your statement, however to call the Beryl Developers incompetent is what I have issues with. They may not be getting the results that some want, and there may be better ways to do it, but I do not feel they deserve to be labeled incompetent.

Why do people think that it's wrong to say that some aspect of something free (gratis) is bad? That the devs aren't monetarily compensated doesn't make the software better in itself, and it certainly doesn't raise them above criticism. Many devs, especially among those working for free, don't do many usability studies, so usability criticism is precisely what they need.

There is a difference between criticism and accusations of incompetence. Further when criticizing it is more useful to suggest a way in which the application can be improved rather than just saying "this is awful." And finally, when criticizing any app it might help to make sure the statements are accurate and pertinent to the current mainstream release.

The default config for Beryl comes under much criticism. And I agree that for a conventional desktop the settings should be made more conventional. However for the purpose of presenting what can be done with the technology as well as trying ideas it is useful to actually activate the features.

Let's take as an example the much maligned wobbly windows. First off, it is by default only used for application windows, not drop downs or menus. Many do not like this feature, however it demonstrates visual feed back for moves. I am not particularly fond of wobbly windows but I keep it on (with reduced wobble) because it provides the illusion of smooth movement. When I turn off wobble I notice the hops in movement that are not present (or are obfuscated) in the wobbly window. Thus while not providing much in the realm of improved UI, it does make my user experience more pleasant. So whether to enable/disable this feature becomes a matter of personal choice.

I have agreed and still agree that for a full time desktop, the configuration should be more conservative. This does not mean turning off all the features however, especially during development. I would argue that Beryl should keep their config exactly as it is, or even activate more things. Let Ubuntu, Fedora, and Suse come up with the set of configs they think will fit their target market.

The core Beryl project is about showing what can be done in an effort to improve the user experience, not necessarily improve usability. In many cases they go hand in hand but not always. If a feature is not active it is far less likely that anyone will ever use it. If wobbly windows were not on by default most would never activate it. I for one initially disliked wobbly, and still have some problems with it, but have found over time that it makes my user experience better. NOTE: user experience, not usability. With a minimal wobble to application windows the experience is more pleasant without disrupting usability,

Reply Parent Score: 1