Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Testing GNOME 2.30 & Updates

One of the benefits of starting to poke at a desktop upgrade to GNOME 2.30 is being able to take what I learned the last time and making improvements. Certain types of specialized launch scripts that were developed are being merged into a core library which will run when any icons are triggered. One such example is the gnome-panel, which still apparently treats a double-click as two single-clicks. I thought this was changed at some point, but it's still working in this manner. Users tend to double-click (or more!) on icons and are launching multiple occurrences of the same application. So I brought over and improved the code from the old desktop. Gnome-panel now detects that someone is repeatedly clicking and disregards them for a few seconds. The popup below displays:

The MIME bars that were deployed on the previous desktop release have worked well. When users double-click on files in the file manager, it asks them what step they want to perform. The previous bars had buttons that were stacked left to right, and on certain monitor resolutions we were running out of real estate. I also wanted to better categorize them into middle level functions (Edit/View, Save, Print & Email). The screen below is my first attempt and I'm installing the MIME types this very second.

This design might seem odd at first glance, but think of this situation: You get a PDF file and you know you aren't going to read it online and for sure are going to print. With a single click, it's queued and already finished. Users like having steps 1-2-3 that are consistent and simple.

I hope to have some early beta testers on this server by Thursday or Friday of this week.

Still poking at the slow printer dialog on SLED 11/Evolution to figure out what's happening. My attempts to hack out certain polling areas of the code were not successful. I'm also looking at f-spot for use in a multi-user environment, working on making it easier to pass files back and forth to USB sticks, beta testing OpenOffice 3.3 and checking into connectivity between OpenOffice and the Oracle database.


Max said...

So what about me, I don't have a printer. I read all my PDF's on the computer.

I have to Double-click and then single click again to open the file?

If I want to print the file, I'd have a shortcut to "Print" in the right-click menu...

Aigarius said...

Horrible mess, both of those things. While ignoring a double click on the panel shortcut (and handling it as single) is ok, popping up condesending messages is not ok.

And the dialog is a horrible usability mess. There is not enough logical and visual separation between the groups and this means that all buttons look equal to the observer and this in turn means that there are more than 5 choices on the screen, which makes it very confusing. The bad line warping in the labels does not help as well.