Linked by jessesmith on Thu 13th Nov 2014 23:07 UTC
Internet & Networking

The FreeNAS project, a network attached storage solution based on FreeBSD, is getting a new interface and some handy new features. The latest FreeNAS beta features a streamlined interface where tasks have been reorganized to make common functions easier to find.

A key feature of the FreeNAS 9.3 BETA release is its revamped user interface. It has been redesigned to place only the most common configuration options first in ‘Standard’ menus, moving the more esoteric options to ‘Advanced’ options, and this design pattern as has been used throughout the UI so everything is essentially more streamlined and less cluttered for novice users who essentially just want to use the defaults.

The system update utility has also gained improvements and it will be possible to roll back faulty upgrades. This will make is easier to recover from problems caused by package upgrades.

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RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by mieses on Fri 14th Nov 2014 04:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Member since:

maybe. but it's targeted at technical users.. users who can build their own NAS and value the benefit of ZFS over a filesystem written in PHP (ahem, Owncloud.. very nice interface, insanely dangerous architecture). I value good UX but also my data.

Edited 2014-11-14 04:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by mieses on Fri 14th Nov 2014 05:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
mieses Member since:

It doesn't seem like a wholly new interface design rather incremental improvements in the UI and big improvements in functionality. This is a relief.
That said, the iX Systems logo is very 1990's rad-a-gator. One day they will hire a designer and delete, delete. Or they could embrace their roots and hire OKFocus to design the new-new FreeNAS UI..

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RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Fri 14th Nov 2014 05:42 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:

Well, the problems with the FreeNAS UI have little to do with the balance between technical users and novice, but fundamentally bad decisions.

Things like the "Services" tab doesn't take you to the same place as the "Services" option on the left, which doesn't take you to the same place as "Services" someplace else.

Also, there are situations where control options with one name do one thing in one place, but similarly named options do something completely different. Or, an On/Off option for one disabled service might be displayed but unable to be changed, but for another disabled service, the on/off option isn't displayed at all.

Or, control names don't match up with the name of the options presented in the underlying subsystem, so, for example, people experienced with Samba might be hard pressed to find the options they're looking for in FreeNAS because they might named something else which may or may not make sense in the context of FreeNAS, but likely don't for experienced Samba users.

Or, it'll accept invalid inputs without telling you they are in invalid, in situations where it would be trivial to correct it. A specific example is, when putting in a Workgroup name, you have to remember to put it in all caps. In the Windows world, workgroups are always all caps, and Windows itself automatically converts workgroup names to caps - no need to hold shift or hit the caps-lock key. FreeNAS will let you put it in all lowercase, and not fix it. It also doesn't tell you it needs to be capitalized to work.

There's more, and it'll be interesting to see what is fixed and what is just re-organized.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by PJBonoVox on Sat 15th Nov 2014 21:35 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
PJBonoVox Member since:

It is, but as one of those users I still find it a PITA to navigate. The ZFS snapshots section is a prime example.

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