Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Going To Boston UI Summit

After some logistical work with Federico and myself, we have coordinated me going to the Boston UI Summit. I'll be doing a presentation on October 7th concerning issues that I faced deploying GNOME and Linux in a Governmental agency and custom mods and UIs that I had to build. I also will be discussing the areas in which regular users struggle using computers.

I also hope to bring along one of our HP thin clients so that we can demo Compiz and GNOME running over remote display via a network.

If anyone is attending and has topics that you want me to discuss, feel free to respond to this blog. At a minimum walk up and introduce yourself. I don't often get a chance to go to these types of events, and I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Document Centric Desktop

I have been thinking more lately about Federicos "Document Centric" presentation. Document and file management is by far the hardest thing for users to understand. I kind of feel that considering it's 2008, there is very little hope of that situation improving. So I was checking his mockups on ideas for helping people find their documents. Users tend to cringe on learning something new, or having to go into a new program.

So as a rough proof of concept I wrote a ksh script to convert $HOME/.recently-used documents generated by OpenOffice into a .ics file and then allowed Evolution to load the results. I kind of like all date related items being stored in the same software. Email is open all day, which makes it immediately useful. No clickable links obviously, but at least points them in the right direction. I submitted it to the cron for a few power users to see how it runs. I threw it on an internal webserver and they are now using webcal:// to view the data.

file://, easy to see it's a file. Mouse-over tooltip provides full file name

We know the time of the file touch as well, so we can put it inside a 1 hour window.

Here is the WFM code, no attempt was made to make it pretty and useful to other people:

Edit: The paste of the code failed, some of the tags were picked up as HTML. So created a link

Here is the code