Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Support Portal Updates, Pictures Options And Other Updates

It's already been a busy week, but productive.  I have been hacking on the support portal to add more "actionable" events and cleaning up the UI.  There are still come spacing issues related to names that will be addressed.  But the support group can now see when users are clicking on icons to which they do not have a license.  After the user clicks on it three times in a row we are confident it wasn't accidental and now get a tile stating this fact.  The portal now also displays when users have changed some settings in Evolution that we do not want changed. (email checking less than 10 minute intervals).  We also can now see when a user monitor goes dark or blinks and they power off the thin client and log back in again.  People seem surprised/pleased that we can see these things and that they are contacted almost immediately.

I was doing some UI changes to the picture options UI that appears when you double-click on a photo and that now is live.  Centralized scripts are just a thing of beauty.  I always make the changes in another .py file, test with a few people hard coded and then comment us out and it immediately goes live.  Here is the script that launches the new UI and how the old one was turned off.  Right now I'm sending debugging information to /tmp and after a few days that will be turned off and the commented code removed.  Easy to roll back, easy to put into production, nothing destructive.

Here is the finished UI, similar to what I posted last week with a few small changes:

The reason for the Crop buttons becomes clear when you see the shot below.  Users on dual screens get this when they hit PrintScreen and the aspect ratio is terrible for printing on paper...and very often they want to print what is on 1/2 of the screen:

So they just hit the Crop button and the screen chops in half and is ready to save to their Desktop, print or place into the clipboard:

Another reason for the changes made to the UI is that I wanted to update the UI that appears when users insert USB sticks into their thin clients.  I'll post a more detailed blog about this issue when I am finished.  But in a nutshell all users have access to a simple photo manager that allows them to quickly remove a few photos from a digital camera or USB stick.  Those users with higher access levels can use a full file manager as you would expect from such devices.  I have started to modify this simple UI that trips when the thin clients detect USB insert.  I have built a basic Glade screen fashioned after the one on the main GNOME desktop server; it will mature and look much nicer when finished.  The design goal is to keep those huge megapixel images off the City network that are just bound for LibreOffice and Evolution.  Their higher quality is not needed. As I said, more detailed information will come in a few days.

Other projects: Still working on the new thin client build and making progress; updating LibreOffice to 3.5.3 tonight; very pleased with our drop in Evolution crashes on SLED 11 with the most recent patches--now it's time to figure out some of these deadlocks.


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