Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Evolution, OpenOffice 3 And Screen Dumps

I have been busy the last few weeks QAing software for deployment. OpenOffice 3.0 is running well, and has been pushed to our beta testers and they are pleased with how it works. One interesting development in regards to OpenOffice is how much the native Mac port is helping with user perceptions. Even though we don't run it here, an ever increasing number of people are buying OS X computers for their homes. They *love* how well the Mac port turned out and use if for their personal use. This is leading to greater acceptance at the City.

OpenOffice 3.0 goes live on Monday December 1st for our 700+ employees. I wanted a greater level of notification of new features, so I wrote a quick little dialog that opens once immediately before going into the license acceptance screen in OpenOffice (please, please allow admins to accept this license once in the future!). Here is what they will see:

Prepping Evolution 2.24 for deployment has been taking a good amount of time. Much of the "under the hood" code had changed in the last few years, and needed to be tested with the Groupwise backend. My friends in India are knocking out the issues and we are getting closer to reaching a milestone, and working in some much needed calendaring features. Milan cooked up a patch that displays the status of whether people have accepted their meeting requests (shot below) in the tooltip. This allows you to hover your mouse and see if people have declined.

So here is a shot of how Evolution 2.24 and OpenOffice 3.0 will look to the users, coming along very nicely.

Some have been interested in modifications that I make to the standard GNOME desktop. By default, (print) does a screen dump of the whole screen. (alt)(print) allows you to dump just one window. Two other things were happening and required a third option. 1) Some users wanted to be able to take shots of pulldown menus actively in use; 2) Some MS Windows applications running over Citrix/RDP have a canvas which shifts when focus is removed from the window via mouse click or keystroke. So, I globally added (ctrl)(print) which gives them a notify-send popup and alerts them that a screenshot will occur in 10 seconds. They can then position their software was desired and the snapshot is taken.

I have been working on a Wiki/document management/GNOME integration project and will blog about it soon. It's still being discussed and designed at a very initial level, but coming along nicely.


ombzzz said...

"[...] is helping with user perceptions"

hi dave

regarding user perceptions , usability , user interface good practices and care for international OO.o users, i would suggest the OO.org team improve the "decimal separator key - use same as locale" legend in the Language settings dialogs. It is ambiguous and obscure to say the least :-)

I thought that was only my impression, but it seems that this is not the case, i.e.:

"As for the "decimal separator key - use same as locale" I just don't understand it. If I say " no don't use the same" I would expect it to be possible to enter an alternate character but no. "

"The checkbox option is completely useless since it does not indicate what is used as separator when it is _not_ checked."

"When I see this, I assume that "(same as locale setting)" refers to the line above "Locale Setting" but it gives me no clue what happens if I unset it; plus if I just set the locale why should I need another checkbox to make it effective for the comma separator too? That got me." ref

Go openoffice !!

orlando ( from argentina )

James said...

I think the go-oo builds don't have the license acceptance screen. Once downside though is the splash screen says "Development build".