Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Jun 2007 22:14 UTC
KDE "If you visited the Plasma project's outdated Web site in past weeks, you might have gotten the impression that the team behind the project to revitalize the KDE desktop hasn't been up to much these past months. Delve into KDE's SVN repository, mailing lists, or the mind of lead developer Aaron Seigo, however, and you'll find a more exciting story." More here.
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RE
by aseigo on Thu 21st Jun 2007 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE"
aseigo
Member since:
2005-07-06

i suppose there is, indeed, nothing like comentating on that which one has not used, seen or understood.

it is the easiest and most rewarding of sports as it requires neither deep understanding of the topic and cannot be assailed due to its firm rooting in fiction.

so let me help you understand "where to begin": first, the versions of this that were tested on users (whose population included but was not biased towards geekdom) included text and offered larger targets. we'll be moving toward versions that include the findings of that research.

but thank you for using the first comment on this article to assume stupidity, naivity and proclaim foul on a work in progress.

not to compare my efforts with the greater da vinci, but to analogize, it is like you are watching da vinci sketch pencil lines for a great painting and throwing tomatos at him for such sloppy work.

btw ... what cool ideas for desktop interfaces have you derived, tested and implemented recently?

Edited 2007-06-21 22:41

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE
by Kroc on Thu 21st Jun 2007 22:54 in reply to "RE"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

* clicking the sub-icon to open a file duplicates and confuses double clicking an icon to open it too. Is there a difference between the two? The user cannot be 100% certain. I thought when he first clicked the sub-icon that it would "edit" the file instead of "open", because it would be just plain weird to also open the file when double-click would do the same.

* Having an icon with the corners essentially lopped off y click regions makes for aiming, moving and processing icons more difficult. Especially considering that the sub-icons don't appear until your mouse is over the icon, meaning that if I'm rapidly dragging files from one folder to another, I could end up clicking one of the sub-icons very easy. My target is reduced.

* These icons can be mime-type specific. With lots of different apps vying for importance, the end user is going to have to manage these sub-icons. The average user rarely, if ever, ventures into Preferences. They will continue being annoyed by a feature rather than turn it off.

* Mystery-meat-navigation. You have no idea what's going to happen until it happens. An average user often fears that clicking the wrong icon will delete something. Presenting them with 4 icons to do with the one icon they're looking at is only going to increase this fear, let alone increase the amount of options they have to deal with.

I could go on for ages honestly, but it's 1AM in the morning.

I deal with completely average users every single day. People who even have difficulty using a mouse. I know very well what makes a good interface and what makes a bad one from many years of first hand experience. I can assure you that I've clocked up more hours of watching users using interfaces than you or your team has testing KDE4.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE
by BluenoseJake on Thu 21st Jun 2007 22:57 in reply to "RE"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"I can assure you that I've clocked up more hours of watching users using interfaces than you or your team has testing KDE4."

That's a pretty arrogant assumption, and I would think probably wrong. Anybody can play that game.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE
by aseigo on Thu 21st Jun 2007 23:10 in reply to "RE"
aseigo Member since:
2005-07-06

> clicking the sub-icon to open a file

it was a demonstration to show how clicking activates an action. since the icons already launch something it was the easiest action to perform, as it was pre-existing.

> Having an icon with the corners essentially lopped
> off y click regions makes for aiming, moving and
> processing icons more difficult

remember what i said about not having tried something? see, moving isn't impeded. if you click and drag on any part of the icon, including the little minibuttons, it moves. yes, this was tested on users and yes, had you tried it yourself you'd know that.

aiming and processing are silly points since they actually make aiming and processing easier as they give contextual regions to pre-qualify your aiming and processing.

> These icons can be mime-type specific. With lots of
> different apps vying for importance, the end user
> is going to have to manage these sub-icons.

straw man.

we've never said the icons were configurable or that individual applications would have a go at claiming those spots.

> Mystery-meat-navigation. You have no idea what's
> going to happen until it happens

which is also what happens with plain ol' icons until the user builds up a (rather sophisticated, btw) mental model of what happens when you click, double click, drag and right click on such a beast. you are operating from a pre-assumed body of knowledge and discounting the learning involved in acruing said body of knowledge.

moreover, i'm not sure what part of "we tested with text and will be moving in that direction" was hard to understand from my first reply, but there it is again.

> I can assure you that I've clocked up more hours of
> watching users using interfaces than you or your
> team has testing KDE4.

you really don't want to try to win a cock length contest on this one. trust me.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE
by kanwar.plaha on Fri 22nd Jun 2007 01:40 in reply to "RE"
kanwar.plaha Member since:
2006-02-20

Kroc, I can bet my entire checkout of the kde4 svn last night that the moment GNOME guys copy this feature and proclaim it the greatest thing since sliced bread, you would stand up and applause too.

Having followed development of both DE's since they started off, I can say this with reasonable accuracy since every feature/app copied into GNOME suddenly becomes the most user-friendly and accessible and what-not.

Sorry, but i had to say this. It is rather frustrating to read comments such as yours and then read comments singing praises to similar features implemented elsewhere ...
Maybe, its a flame-bait but it had to be said.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE
by hobgoblin on Fri 22nd Jun 2007 07:02 in reply to "RE"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

the open action was clearly a proof of concept.

he talked about having special actions like adding to play list and similar.

hell, it may well be that double clicking can be disabled, given that these icons showed when floating the mouse over the icon.

hell, double clicking isnt perfect either. unless one makes sure to hit the icon every single time, one is bound to end up getting the "edit file name" function ever so often because one is a bit slow. sure, one can tune that in places like a control panel. but unless you think you know something about computers, you dont venture there for fear of breaking something.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE
by eosp on Fri 22nd Jun 2007 16:53 in reply to "RE"
eosp Member since:
2005-07-07

clicking the sub-icon to open a file duplicates and confuses double clicking an icon to open it too. Is there a difference between the two? The user cannot be 100% certain. I thought when he first clicked the sub-icon that it would "edit" the file instead of "open", because it would be just plain weird to also open the file when double-click would do the same.


Opening the file was just an example. For a source code file, the buttons might be:
* edit it
* compile it
* (for a header) run a search to see what #includes it
* commit it into the tree

Or for a sound file:
* play it
* put it in the playlist
* share it
* view metadata

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 21st Jun 2007 22:56 in reply to "RE"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

btw ... what cool ideas for desktop interfaces have you derived, tested and implemented recently?

Aaron, calm down ;) . While Kroc's comment lacked in the nuance department, he does raise some interesting points. Discoverability is one, and the other is indeed the size of the targets. However, as you rightly point out, this is work-in-progress; Kroc should have added something along the lines of "this specific implementation".

Personally, this might be one of those features that won't really make sense until you tried it. Expose is the most famous example of such a feature; it didn't make any sense on paper, but when you've used it, you don't really want to live without it.

On a broader note, it seems like KDE4 is moving along nicely lately. I remember our little spat a few months ago, and also that I reiterated how I felt about KDE4.0's release date: 2008. I still feel that way (despite the official release schedule); however, I must say, if you guys keep on working at this pace, I might have to eat my words.

Which I will do, publically, by the way. Of course I could be a sore loser by saying KDE4.0 != KDE4, but hey, I won't. If I lost, I lost. What do you say, we bet a bottle of {insert favourite (affordable) drink} on this one? ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE
by aseigo on Thu 21st Jun 2007 23:03 in reply to "RE"
aseigo Member since:
2005-07-06

guinness it is! and in either case, i'll buy at least one round if it means we can sit around and chew the fat a bit longer.

i'm actually in the british isles starting next week, first for akademy and then for lug radio live. if you make it out to either (presumably the latter is more likely) certainly be sure to find me in the crowd and we'll raise a frosty mug.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE
by juno_106 on Sun 24th Jun 2007 02:41 in reply to "RE"
juno_106 Member since:
2007-06-24

I agree with Aaron. People should value better what is basically nice work done for free.

Reply Parent Score: 5