Discussion:
GNOME > you
(too old to reply)
Nick Moffitt
2003-12-27 08:10:38 UTC
Permalink
Okay, so I'm a hardcore text nerd. I used to use The Village, which
was a crazy window manager that had no window dressings and used the
virtual desktop grid for all app-switching. All programs were
full-screen, and I LOVED it.

So I have tried ion, ratpoison, and I used a super hacked-up sawfish
for the past two years that had mad LISP geekery up the wazoo. It's
all about my crazy keybindings and NOT USING THE MOUSE.

So I had to re-install my wife's machine because she was sick of me
upgrading it under her all the time. I went to debian stable, and
installed some GNOME-2.2 backports. Lo and behold, a real useful
system! Sure, it looks pretty, thinks I, but it's probably full of
obnoxious gotchas and work-interference googlies that Windows weenies
like to call "features".

But then my laptop died, and I had to take over the box long enough to
work on my final papers and take-home exams. A little configuration
here, a tiny twiddle there, and WOW. I'm super impressed, and I'm
even one rev behind the curve! All the important stuff has bindings,
like maximizing, moving around workspaces, etc. The only thing I'm
missing are the "move focused window as far as possible to the
<direction>" bindings, but I so rarely move windows anyway that I'm
not worrying about it.

So Jeff, I think you're full of bullshit when you keep apologising and
saying that the audience for GNOME isn't us pointy-headed terminal
weenies. I now use the same setup on my new (used) laptop, and it's
useful even with only 128MB RAM!

So beaujolais to the GNOME folks! It's a system that the whole
bicamerally-geeky family can enjoy! You kids need to spend a few days
with it sometime. Maybe then you'll realize what obnoxious little
snots you sound like when you brag about how much you hate user
interfaces.
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Karsten M. Self
2003-12-27 08:48:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nick Moffitt
Okay, so I'm a hardcore text nerd. I used to use The Village, which
was a crazy window manager that had no window dressings and used the
virtual desktop grid for all app-switching. All programs were
full-screen, and I LOVED it.
So I have tried ion, ratpoison, and I used a super hacked-up sawfish
for the past two years that had mad LISP geekery up the wazoo. It's
all about my crazy keybindings and NOT USING THE MOUSE.
So I had to re-install my wife's machine because she was sick of me
upgrading it under her all the time. I went to debian stable, and
installed some GNOME-2.2 backports. Lo and behold, a real useful
system! Sure, it looks pretty, thinks I, but it's probably full of
obnoxious gotchas and work-interference googlies that Windows weenies
like to call "features".
But then my laptop died, and I had to take over the box long enough to
work on my final papers and take-home exams. A little configuration
here, a tiny twiddle there, and WOW. I'm super impressed, and I'm
even one rev behind the curve! All the important stuff has bindings,
like maximizing, moving around workspaces, etc. The only thing I'm
missing are the "move focused window as far as possible to the
<direction>" bindings, but I so rarely move windows anyway that I'm
not worrying about it.
So Jeff, I think you're full of bullshit when you keep apologising and
saying that the audience for GNOME isn't us pointy-headed terminal
weenies. I now use the same setup on my new (used) laptop, and it's
useful even with only 128MB RAM!
So beaujolais to the GNOME folks! It's a system that the whole
bicamerally-geeky family can enjoy! You kids need to spend a few days
with it sometime. Maybe then you'll realize what obnoxious little
snots you sound like when you brag about how much you hate user
interfaces.
Who are you, and what have you done to Nick Moffitt?
--
Karsten M. Self <***@ix.netcom.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
"Yes you will," enthused Zaphod, "there's a whole new life
stretching out ahead of you."
"Oh, not another one," groaned Marvin.
-- HHGTG
Nick Moffitt
2003-12-28 02:10:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Karsten M. Self
Post by Nick Moffitt
So beaujolais to the GNOME folks! It's a system that the whole
bicamerally-geeky family can enjoy! You kids need to spend a few
days with it sometime. Maybe then you'll realize what obnoxious
little snots you sound like when you brag about how much you hate
user interfaces.
Who are you, and what have you done to Nick Moffitt?
That's just the point. It ROCKS. It rocks so much that the
plain old ordinary terminal-slinging Nick Moffitt can enjoy it!

So wipe that smug grin off your face and actually try it out
instead of sniveling and ranting about it every week.
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Jeff Waugh
2003-12-28 03:12:59 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Nick Moffitt">
That's just the point. It ROCKS. It rocks so much that the plain old
ordinary terminal-slinging Nick Moffitt can enjoy it!
... warms the cockles of my heart. :-)

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"They cosset us with trappings to shut us up. That way when we say
'sharecropper!' you can point to my free suit and say 'Shut up pop
star.'" - Courtney Love
Karsten M. Self
2003-12-31 18:22:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nick Moffitt
Post by Karsten M. Self
Post by Nick Moffitt
So beaujolais to the GNOME folks! It's a system that the whole
bicamerally-geeky family can enjoy! You kids need to spend a few
days with it sometime. Maybe then you'll realize what obnoxious
little snots you sound like when you brag about how much you hate
user interfaces.
Who are you, and what have you done to Nick Moffitt?
That's just the point. It ROCKS. It rocks so much that the
plain old ordinary terminal-slinging Nick Moffitt can enjoy it!
So wipe that smug grin off your face and actually try it out
instead of sniveling and ranting about it every week.
My technical complaints against GNOME are specific and were detailed at
length here already.

They pale, however, in light of the developer attitudes revealed by
Waugh, Pool, and Pennington. "We're coding for non-technical users.
Technical users aren't our target audience. We are programmers.
Non-programmers need not comment."

That's an attitudinal death spiral. Your own current satisfaction with
the project appears to be directly at odds with its stated goals.

More the pity as there are some decent applications which are based on
the GNOME framework.


Peace.
--
Karsten M. Self <***@ix.netcom.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
I managed to love simultaneously -- and this is not easy -- women
and justice.
-- Albert Camus, _The Fall_
Jeff Waugh
2003-12-31 18:33:52 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Karsten M. Self">
Post by Karsten M. Self
That's an attitudinal death spiral. Your own current satisfaction with
the project appears to be directly at odds with its stated goals.
Ah, but that's where you miss the results of the attitude. Why do you think
so many Free Software developers have defected to Mac OS X? One huge reason
is that it "Just Works". While the primary target audience for a system like
that is *not* developers, it has an incredibly compelling flow-on effect.

It turns out, that coders and productive geeks actually care more about what
they're doing than how they're doing it - just like those "normal" people.
But they can only reach that point by dipping their toes in the water. That
is what we want to see happen with GNOME. Right now, you're hooked on all
the "how I do it" stuff, but with a taste of the usability kool-aid, and the
realisation that you just want to get shit done, suddenly it all starts to
make sense. You're treating the computer the same way your Mum does. Great.

It is not that we don't listen to developers (and I would add "geeks"), but
we understand that they are a fundamentally miniscule minority in the global
audience of computer users. Their input is interesting, but doesn't have a
strong representative quality when you're looking at solving the Greatest
Common Factor problems (*NOT* the Lowest Common Denominator).

Happy "still no flying cars yet" New Year,

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

"Of course i can see iso-8859-1 characters, I'm French." - Christian
Marillat
Mister Bad
2003-12-31 20:03:34 UTC
Permalink
JW> Why do you think so many Free Software developers have
JW> defected to Mac OS X?

They're gutless swine who don't value their freedom.

~Mr. Bad
--
X-Email: ***@pigdog.org
X-Jabber: ***@pighaven.org
X-Pigdog-Journal: http://www.pigdog.org/
X-Quote: "I think a man is as big as what makes him mad." -- Reno Smith
Jeff Waugh
2003-12-31 20:25:30 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Mister Bad">
Post by Mister Bad
JW> Why do you think so many Free Software developers have
JW> defected to Mac OS X?
They're gutless swine who don't value their freedom.
I fully agree, but that's an effect, and only part of the cause. :-) We're
attempting to save people here!

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"Consensus is whatever the developers remember or agree with." - Paul
Vixie, Open Sources
Eugen Leitl
2004-01-01 22:17:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister Bad
They're gutless swine who don't value their freedom.
Oink, oink.
Jay Sulzberger
2003-12-31 21:48:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Karsten M. Self">
Post by Karsten M. Self
That's an attitudinal death spiral. Your own current satisfaction with
the project appears to be directly at odds with its stated goals.
Ah, but that's where you miss the results of the attitude. Why do you think
so many Free Software developers have defected to Mac OS X? One huge reason
is that it "Just Works". While the primary target audience for a system like
that is *not* developers, it has an incredibly compelling flow-on effect.
It turns out, that coders and productive geeks actually care more about what
they're doing than how they're doing it - just like those "normal" people.
But they can only reach that point by dipping their toes in the water. That
is what we want to see happen with GNOME. Right now, you're hooked on all
the "how I do it" stuff, but with a taste of the usability kool-aid, and the
realisation that you just want to get shit done, suddenly it all starts to
make sense. You're treating the computer the same way your Mum does. Great.
It is not that we don't listen to developers (and I would add "geeks"), but
we understand that they are a fundamentally miniscule minority in the global
audience of computer users. Their input is interesting, but doesn't have a
strong representative quality when you're looking at solving the Greatest
Common Factor problems (*NOT* the Lowest Common Denominator).
Happy "still no flying cars yet" New Year,
- Jeff
Certainly your General Inter-Process Communication Solution should allow me
to make myself a conventionally arranged system of 'config files'. I look
forward to this small hack.

oo--JS.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-01 00:41:42 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jay Sulzberger">
Post by Jay Sulzberger
Certainly your General Inter-Process Communication Solution
I don't know what you're referring to, and I'd be surprised if we had one.
Post by Jay Sulzberger
should allow me to make myself a conventionally arranged system of 'config
files'. I look forward to this small hack.
GConf, the GNOME configuration backend and API, supports different backend
implementations. You are 100% welcome to write one to your own specification
which may involved writing individual *nix-style or INI-style conf files for
each client, and monitoring them through fam or dnotify to catch manual
changes. I'm sure there are other ways of going about it too.

Writing a backend to these specifications is not even remotely a priority
for me, or the GConf developers, so unless you're willing to scratch your
own itch, you'll have to keep looking forward to it.

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

Markets are what you sell bubbly health drinks, fluorescent blow up
furniture and mobile phone ring melodies to.
Jeremy Hankins
2003-12-31 22:40:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
It turns out, that coders and productive geeks actually care more
about what they're doing than how they're doing it - just like those
"normal" people. But they can only reach that point by dipping their
toes in the water. That is what we want to see happen with
GNOME. Right now, you're hooked on all the "how I do it" stuff, but
with a taste of the usability kool-aid, and the realisation that you
just want to get shit done, suddenly it all starts to make
sense. You're treating the computer the same way your Mum does. Great.
This is (honestly) a fascinating argument to make, and I'd love to hear
you substantiate it. I.e., why do you believe people (normal or
otherwise) distinguish between how they do something and what they're
doing? I'd assumed that statements about caring what you're doing
rather than how you do it was just rhetoric, as I'm unable to make sense
of the statement in a rational way. But based on this I'm guessing that
it's actually part of your position.

My position, just for the record, is that the two ideas are
indistinguishable. One can distinguish what we do (the practical) from
why (goals, or the theoretical), but how & what are actually the same
thing when the what refers to actions taken. As an example, try
distinguishing between this message (the what) and the words I used to
compose it (the how).
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-01 00:37:56 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
This is (honestly) a fascinating argument to make, and I'd love to hear
you substantiate it. I.e., why do you believe people (normal or
otherwise) distinguish between how they do something and what they're
doing?
Sandy is a nursing student. She has to write a report on effective rapid
grief management techniques for hospital clients by tomorrow. She must hand
in a printed copy. Sandy knows her spelling is pretty bad, and that she can
save her report onto a disk to print a school. She uses the word processor
on her Dad's work laptop.

Jeremy is a computing and political science student. He has to write a paper
on the context of special-interest serving technology law in the late 20th
century. Jeremy has read the wisdom of Knuth, values the mathematically
beautiful output of TeX, believes in preserving the independence of content
and presentation in his work, and would like to publish his paper on paper
and his website. He uses LaTex on the maths department workstations.

Sandy doesn't care about the tool, the technology or the process - she just
wants to get shit done. Jeremy does - there are technical considerations
that are important to him. They both have the same goal, but are undertaking
it in very different ways.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

Hunch, n.: U.S. Foreign Policy.
Aaron Lehmann
2004-01-01 01:02:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
Jeremy is a computing and political science student. He has to write a paper
on the context of special-interest serving technology law in the late 20th
century. Jeremy has read the wisdom of Knuth, values the mathematically
beautiful output of TeX, believes in preserving the independence of content
and presentation in his work, and would like to publish his paper on paper
and his website. He uses LaTex on the maths department workstations.
Jeremy doesn't sound like the kind of person who would use GNOME. Sorry.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-01 01:11:24 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Aaron Lehmann">
Post by Aaron Lehmann
Post by Jeff Waugh
Jeremy is a computing and political science student. He has to write a
paper on the context of special-interest serving technology law in the
late 20th century. Jeremy has read the wisdom of Knuth, values the
mathematically beautiful output of TeX, believes in preserving the
independence of content and presentation in his work, and would like to
publish his paper on paper and his website. He uses LaTex on the maths
department workstations.
Jeremy doesn't sound like the kind of person who would use GNOME. Sorry.
Aaron just wanted to make sure that everyone knew he got the point. Thanks
very much, Aaron, glad you could make it.

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

chown -R us:us yourbase
Aaron Lehmann
2004-01-01 02:30:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Aaron Lehmann
Jeremy doesn't sound like the kind of person who would use GNOME. Sorry.
Aaron just wanted to make sure that everyone knew he got the point. Thanks
very much, Aaron, glad you could make it.
If this is your point, it contradicts most of the hype you spew about
GNOME being right for everyone... unless you're trying to paint the
TeX-like methods as mislead and suggest that we should give up our
heathen ways and "treat the computer like Mum does" for best results.
I'd like to think that you're too rational to really believe that.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-01 02:58:13 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Aaron Lehmann">
Post by Aaron Lehmann
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Aaron Lehmann
Jeremy doesn't sound like the kind of person who would use GNOME. Sorry.
Aaron just wanted to make sure that everyone knew he got the point.
Thanks very much, Aaron, glad you could make it.
If this is your point, it contradicts most of the hype you spew about
GNOME being right for everyone... unless you're trying to paint the
TeX-like methods as mislead and suggest that we should give up our heathen
ways and "treat the computer like Mum does" for best results. I'd like to
think that you're too rational to really believe that.
You're attached to the specifics of the technology and process, so you're
taking the analogy very literally. I was demonstrating an 'normal' approach
to technology, compared to the 'interested' approach that we generally take.
The same story results in me using mutt and my Dad using Outlook Express - I
care about the specifics, he doesn't.

Ask a Mac OS X defector why they switched sometime (avoid overloading the
tech question with the freedom question to begin with) - in my experience,
the single most popular answer is because "it just works". Only after that
comes the "plus I can use some of the *nix stuff I like, too". They've
figured out that "getting things done" is more important than "it must be
done in a very particular way".

I think the biggest mistake you're making above is approaching this whole
issue as a zero-sum argument - it simply isn't. Not even remotely.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

What did the sausage say to the tomato at breakfast?
"There's not mushroom this morning, is there?"
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-01 16:22:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
This is (honestly) a fascinating argument to make, and I'd love to
hear you substantiate it. I.e., why do you believe people (normal or
otherwise) distinguish between how they do something and what they're
doing?
Sandy is a nursing student. She has to write a report on effective
rapid grief management techniques for hospital clients by
tomorrow. She must hand in a printed copy. Sandy knows her spelling is
pretty bad, and that she can save her report onto a disk to print a
school. She uses the word processor on her Dad's work laptop.
You're not substantiating here, you're just proposing a case and
assuming it supports your position. But the fact is that I can explain
this sort of behavior in other ways (let me know if you'd like me to,
but I'm presuming that it's fairly obvious). Really your message here
is completely orthogonal to the position I pointed out above.

My position, which up till your previous post I hadn't realized you
didn't accept, is that distinguishing between how & what is completely a
matter of choice & context. Language is an excellent analogy here[1]:
you choose a distinction between method and act that suits your purpose,
just as you choose a language (e.g., jargon) that suits your purpose.
By thinking hard about the interface (language) we can make getting work
done (expressing ideas) easier, and in many cases even possible.

To put it differently: getting a job done is just a matter of expressing
it in the idiom of the interface. This applies whether the interface is
English or Python, basketball or MS Word. Choosing the right idiom is
essential if you want to work efficiently. Ignoring this fact is, as
far as I can tell, a mistake unique to the computer field. This is all
the more ironic as with computers we have much more control over the
idiom we use.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Sandy doesn't care about the tool, the technology or the process - she
just wants to get shit done. Jeremy does - there are technical
considerations that are important to him. They both have the same
goal, but are undertaking it in very different ways.
Outside of the computer field people care deeply about the tools they
use to get their work done. A commuter will debate the pros & cons of
public transportation. A blacksmith will have several different
hammers, each with different crowns, and an even more impressive array
of tongs. A runner will spend a lot of time thinking about the right
shoes to wear. Back when railroads were laid by hand, workers would
carefully reshape the handles on their sledgehammers -- interestingly,
they made them very, very thin, thin enough that anyone who didn't know
exactly how to swing would probably break the handle.


[1] And symmetrically, as Wittgenstein showed, interfacing with
mechanisms is an excellent analogy for language.
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Ben Finney
2004-01-01 23:32:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Outside of the computer field people care deeply about the tools they
use to get their work done.
That depends very much whether the person thinks of the job done with a
computer as central to their work (for whatever definition of work) or
whether they think of it as an annoying side-task best disposed of as
quickly and painlessly as possible.

Most office work and office equipment, for most office workers, falls
into the latter category. The computer is no more a topic of "pros and
cons of the tool" discussions than is a pencil or telephone.

In most places where a "desktop computer" is used, it's not a
conceptually central part of the work, in the way of a blacksmith's need
to hit metal or a runner's need to contact the pavement. Rather, it's
symbolic of a chore -- organising and transmitting information -- that
gets in the way of whatever one thinks of as the *real* job.

A salesperson or receptionist may think of a telephone as both essential
and central to their task, and may be interested in discussing the pros
and cons with interest. An accountant or graphic designer, on the other
hand, likely thinks of the telephone as essential (can't do the job
without it) but not *central* (inseperable from the job itself). In the
latter case, a discussion about telephone technology will likely meet
with far less enthusiasm.

I propose that computers are central to people who describe their jobs
to their friends as "I work with computers", but for all other office
jobs (which do, in fact, work with computers also) the computer is about
as conceptually central as a pencil, and consequently is cared about
only to the extent that it impedes one's job. The fact that it's
essential is, in this view, an historical accident and somewhat
regrettable.

(Discussions about the death of craftsmanship leading to the decline in
enthusiasm for quality of work or tools, deferred.)
--
\ "Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they |
`\ believe me?" -- Jack Handey |
_o__) |
Ben Finney <***@benfinney.id.au>
Nick Moffitt
2004-01-02 00:17:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ben Finney
Most office work and office equipment, for most office workers,
falls into the latter category. The computer is no more a topic of
"pros and cons of the tool" discussions than is a pencil or
telephone.
Oh boy! TOOL ANALOGIES! Maybe if we try really hard, we can
merge this thread with this here old one:

http://zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/2003-October/007615.html

Get crackin', you entarnet arguer types!
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Modus Operandi
2004-01-02 21:24:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nick Moffitt
Post by Ben Finney
Most office work and office equipment, for most office workers,
falls into the latter category. The computer is no more a topic of
"pros and cons of the tool" discussions than is a pencil or
telephone.
Oh boy! TOOL ANALOGIES! Maybe if we try really hard, we can
http://zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/2003-October/007615.html
Get crackin', you entarnet arguer types!
Ooh! Can I bring back the "If Microsoft Made Cars" analogy?

http://www.snopes.com/humor/jokes/autos.htm
--
/home/modus/.signature
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-02 19:54:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ben Finney
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Outside of the computer field people care deeply about the tools they
use to get their work done.
That depends very much whether the person thinks of the job done with
a computer as central to their work (for whatever definition of work)
or whether they think of it as an annoying side-task best disposed of
as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Most office work and office equipment, for most office workers, falls
into the latter category. The computer is no more a topic of "pros
and cons of the tool" discussions than is a pencil or telephone.
Wrong. To the extent that office workers don't think about their
computers (and I think you're confused if you think they don't) it's
because they have no choices. For most office workers computers are
every bit as relevant to their work as shoes are to the runner.
Post by Ben Finney
In most places where a "desktop computer" is used, it's not a
conceptually central part of the work, in the way of a blacksmith's
need to hit metal or a runner's need to contact the pavement. Rather,
it's symbolic of a chore -- organising and transmitting information --
that gets in the way of whatever one thinks of as the *real* job.
So this distinction between essential and central (which, for the sake
of argument, I'll try to work with) is based on the psychology of the
individual? What if he's wrong?
Post by Ben Finney
I propose that computers are central to people who describe their jobs
to their friends as "I work with computers", but for all other office
jobs (which do, in fact, work with computers also) the computer is
about as conceptually central as a pencil, and consequently is cared
about only to the extent that it impedes one's job. The fact that
it's essential is, in this view, an historical accident and somewhat
regrettable.
Tongs aren't central to what a blacksmith does. Hammers aren't central
to what a railroad layer does. Shoes aren't central to what a runner
does. They're all essential, though. They're all important, and they
all determine, in part, how the work is done. Just like computers for
most office workers. The only person for whom shoes are central,
according to your definition, is the cobbler.
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 03:07:59 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
To put it differently: getting a job done is just a matter of expressing
it in the idiom of the interface. This applies whether the interface is
English or Python, basketball or MS Word. Choosing the right idiom is
essential if you want to work efficiently. Ignoring this fact is, as far
as I can tell, a mistake unique to the computer field. This is all the
more ironic as with computers we have much more control over the idiom we
use.
"Choosing the right idiom is essential if you want to work efficiently."

Oh, but that's so old-world. Surely we can do better than that nowadays.

"Creating the right idiom is essential if you want to work efficiently."

Aha.

*You* can still choose, because you have the geeky passion in your loins for
these kinds of choices. Why should everyone else be lumped with the same
choices? Why should they be so exposed to the mechanics? Why can't we make
the initial experience as approachable and satisfying as possible (even if
we learn from and base it on mantras like "separation of structure and
presentation" that our audience still won't care about)?

I'm not expecting you to be happy with my answers. "You're not the target
audience." :-)

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

Echidnas, or at least the ones I've met, don't have joy. Adults very
rarely have joy. Kids have hyperkinetic nuclear joy in abundance.
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-02 20:11:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
To put it differently: getting a job done is just a matter of
expressing it in the idiom of the interface. This applies whether
the interface is English or Python, basketball or MS Word. Choosing
the right idiom is essential if you want to work efficiently.
Ignoring this fact is, as far as I can tell, a mistake unique to the
computer field. This is all the more ironic as with computers we
have much more control over the idiom we use.
"Choosing the right idiom is essential if you want to work
efficiently."
Oh, but that's so old-world. Surely we can do better than that nowadays.
Sure. All idioms are both created and chosen. This is part of what it
means to interact with something other than yourself. This has been the
case since the first cell grew cilia to swim the ocean currents. Part
of it comes from you and part of it comes from outside. The only
difference is that with the advent of computers theorizing about this
has become a bit more practical a pastime. And, "when first we practice
to theorize...." Like deception, it's hard to get it right once you
start thinking too hard about it. Unlike deception, it's generally
worth it in the end.
Post by Jeff Waugh
*You* can still choose, because you have the geeky passion in your
loins for these kinds of choices. Why should everyone else be lumped
with the same choices? Why should they be so exposed to the mechanics?
It's all about freedom (i.e., the power to interact with your
environment). If you don't care about it I'm not going to try to teach
you. But I still think you're dead wrong. And it should be no surprise
that free software tends to create freer interfaces.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Why can't we make the initial experience as approachable and
satisfying as possible (even if we learn from and base it on mantras
like "separation of structure and presentation"
Feh. There's a word for that. It's called a lie, and for thousands of
years many people have argued (albeit in other contexts) that nothing
good comes of it. Even when it seems to make things run smoother at
first.
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 20:18:40 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
It's all about freedom (i.e., the power to interact with your
environment). If you don't care about it I'm not going to try to teach
you. But I still think you're dead wrong. And it should be no surprise
that free software tends to create freer interfaces.
Freedom is no good if it's too fucking hard to use or understand. Surely a
"freer" interface is one that doesn't chain users to the floor making 9457
decisions before they even get started?

I think usability and freedom are totally orthogonal. Developers have the
freedom to do *utterly* idiotic stuff to their users, without even realising
it. Check this out, particularly slides 15-20. We were *totally* off our
heads.

http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"What inspired you to become a bus driver?"
"Linus Torvalds."
Chip Salzenberg
2004-01-02 21:22:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/
I think I get it now. Gnome 1 was a second system where the "first
system" was, more or less, the common GUI standards of the time,
esp. Windows and CDE and to a lesser extent MacOS. Its option-heavy
design was a reaction against the perceived lack of user control in
those GUIs. Gnome 2 is a reaction against that reaction, and has
apparently gone too far (again) but in the opposite direction.

I find it very revealing that the given slide presentation uses this
quote, apparently with approval:

"It's not sufficient to 'use simple words to explain things'.
Things must actually *be* simple, which is much harder."
-- Martin Pool

But the world (especially the human mental world) *is* still complex.
Any system that has designs on being an interface to that entire complex
world can't be simple and also adequate. I quote Chairman Larry to
summarize this point of view:

"Using a simple tool to solve a complex problem does not result in a
simple solution."

and:

"Lispers are among the best grads of the Sweep-It-Under-Someone-
Else's-Carpet School of Simulated Simplicity. [Was that sufficiently
incendiary? :-)]"

On the other hand, if you don't like Perl, then bucking Chairman Larry
may be considered a good sign. There's More Than One Way To Do It.
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <***@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 21:41:34 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Post by Jeff Waugh
http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/
I think I get it now. Gnome 1 was a second system where the "first
system" was, more or less, the common GUI standards of the time,
esp. Windows and CDE and to a lesser extent MacOS. Its option-heavy
design was a reaction against the perceived lack of user control in
those GUIs.
See, if you want your clever little joke to be even more clever, think along
the lines of "second system effect". That will have everyone snickering into
their sleeves with glee. "Ha ha, he used FRANK BROOKS on that weird GNOME
freak! Ha ha!"

But you'd still be wrong.
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Gnome 2 is a reaction against that reaction, and has apparently gone too
far (again) but in the opposite direction.
We certainly don't think so. *Apparently* there are many people who are
bloody excited that we're giving Free Software usability the kick in the
nuts it needed.

Doesn't mean you have to like it. And it doesn't mean you have to diss it.
Post by Chip Salzenberg
I find it very revealing that the given slide presentation uses this
"It's not sufficient to 'use simple words to explain things'.
Things must actually *be* simple, which is much harder."
-- Martin Pool
But the world (especially the human mental world) *is* still complex.
Any system that has designs on being an interface to that entire complex
world can't be simple and also adequate.
Oh, right, so you can make things simpler by cranking up the cognitive
effort required to operate and understand them? Hint: No, you don't. You're
working from the assumptions of someone who understands and cares about
technology, and you're also making whimsical fairyland arguments instead of
addressing the harsh reality of PEOPLE WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU CARE
ABOUT.

TMTOWTDI works with a blank canvas. If you can't understand the difference
between an empty file ready for your coding pleasure, and a user interface
designed for normal people, I'm not sure you're coming at this from the
right perspective. I'm not saying there isn't or can't be more than one way
to perform a given task - I'm saying that's a pretty asinine goal to start
with when you're writing for a general audience.

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

"I don't want the world, I just want your half." - They Might Be
Giants, Ana Ng
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 21:47:21 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeff Waugh">
"Ha ha, he used FRANK BROOKS on that weird GNOME freak! Ha ha!"
Um, FRED. Frank Herbert, Fred Brooks. Frank Herbert, Fred Brooks.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"We've got a great drummer and a great singer. Those are the key
positions. When you find a singer and a drummer this good, you don't
leave them." - Stone Gossard, Pearl Jam
Chip Salzenberg
2004-01-03 02:11:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Post by Jeff Waugh
http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/
I think I get it now. Gnome 1 was a second system where the "first
system" was, more or less, the common GUI standards of the time,
esp. Windows and CDE and to a lesser extent MacOS. Its option-heavy
design was a reaction against the perceived lack of user control in
those GUIs.
See, if you want your clever little joke to be even more clever [...]
Jeepers, Jeff, ease up a bit. *You* posted the "we were totally
insane" link to Gnome 1 option tabs. If they weren't a reaction to
the lack of such knobs in existing GUIs, what were they?
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Gnome 2 is a reaction against that reaction, and has apparently gone too
far (again) but in the opposite direction.
We certainly don't think so.
Lots of questions about systems are best answered by the designers.
Usability questions aren't among them. No offense; I wouldn't be the
best one to evaluate usability of _my_ software either. Of course,
counting rants isn't the best survey method either. So put me down
for "speculating but undecided".
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Any system that has designs on being an interface to that entire complex
world can't be simple and also adequate.
Oh, right, so you can make things simpler by cranking up the cognitive
effort required to operate and understand them?
You miss my point. In situations where that principle applies, the
only cranking is *down* -- specifically, *dumbing* down of interfaces
to the point where they don't present adequate control for a given
purpose. It's when the world is complex and the interface won't let
you deal with that existing complexity.

The paradox is that an interface designed for _learning_ and an
interface designed for _use_ often have contradictory needs.
If your aim is to make interfaces easier to _learn_, then by all
means, simplify! simplify! simplify! But life is complex, and the
complexity *will* out, one way or another.
Post by Jeff Waugh
If you can't understand the difference between an empty file ready
for your coding pleasure, and a user interface designed for normal
people, I'm not sure you're coming at this from the right perspective.
Human beans are human beans. Look too hard at the differences and you
miss the commonalities. In any case, I didn't say "be like Perl", I
said "listen to what Larry Wall says". 'Larry' ne 'Perl'.
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <***@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 05:52:45 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Chip Salzenberg
I think I get it now. Gnome 1 was a second system where the "first
system" was, more or less, the common GUI standards of the time, esp.
Windows and CDE and to a lesser extent MacOS. Its option-heavy design
was a reaction against the perceived lack of user control in those
GUIs.
See, if you want your clever little joke to be even more clever [...]
Jeepers, Jeff, ease up a bit. *You* posted the "we were totally insane"
link to Gnome 1 option tabs. If they weren't a reaction to the lack of
such knobs in existing GUIs, what were they?
Hrm, well, you asked: Abject laziness, immaturity and lack of forethought.
We really honestly believed that software that was more flexible and had
more options was therefore more usable and "more free". Havoc Pennington -
who is the target of so much ire over this debate - in 1998:

"IMO we should end the thread based on that; configurability is always the
best choice when it's pretty simple to implement."

http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-list/1998-April/msg01134.html

And to compare, here's a subthread started by me in 2002. One of the many
lengthy flamewars about our changing approach that starts with a specific
question, and goes haywire with people making "you want to remove every
preference!" abstract accusations.

http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2002-April/msg00583.html

So, this makes me want to ask you the ultimate question...
Post by Jeff Waugh
Oh, right, so you can make things simpler by cranking up the cognitive
effort required to operate and understand them?
You miss my point. In situations where that principle applies, the only
cranking is *down* -- specifically, *dumbing* down of interfaces to the
point where they don't present adequate control for a given purpose. It's
when the world is complex and the interface won't let you deal with that
existing complexity.
... so what behaviours actually get in your way when you use GNOME 2.x? The
"it doesn't have any options" answer is wrong - I'm asking which behaviours
are not to your liking, or have detrimental effects on your use of the
system. What kind of things does your brain say "oh, ow, mum, I really need
an OPTION here"? Because those are the kinds of things we might sit back and
say, "right, so, that's actually the *wrong* behaviour" - *not* that it
needs yet-another-bloody-option. Does GNOME not "present adequate control
for [your] given purpose"?

Honestly, when I hear this kind of stuff, nine times out of ten I ask the
above question and the person says, "well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or
WindowMaker". Which basically means they're having these great big abstract
"won't you think about the hackers" protestations about "dumbing down" (yes,
everyone uses that one), "lack of control", "few deciding for the many" and
so on... They can't actually express their specific usability hangups,
because they haven't even used it to any great extent anyway. Perhaps, once,
they started GNOME, looked around at the preferences and thought "oh sweet
baby jebus, this is not what I am used to, I'm never getting out of this
alive!" Not really a good platform for serious debate about the merits of
our approach to usability.

Here's some reading references:

"Free software and good user interfaces"
http://ometer.com/free-software-ui.html

"The Inmates Are Running the Asylum"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0672316498/

"About Face 2.0: The Essentials of Interaction Design"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764526413/

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

What do you get when you cross a web server and a hen?
Apoache.
Adam Sampson
2004-01-03 10:32:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
... so what behaviours actually get in your way when you use GNOME
2.x?
Well, since you asked...

I've also been very impressed with GNOME 2.4; it does largely seem to
make the right choices. Most of these are cases where I think it's
made the wrong choice, rather than things that ought to be
more configurable.

- Nautilus drag-and-drop. I've actually opened a bug[1] on this one
since it's inconsistent with the Nautilus manual; the manual says
that dragging a file from one directory to another without any keys
held down will always move it, whereas actually it'll copy it if the
two directories are on different filesystems. This is annoying
because most of the time I do want to move files, and there's no
modifier I can hold down to mean "always move" (shift is "always
copy"; alt is "ask what to do"). I'd prefer it if dragging with no
modifiers always moved and dragging with shift always copied (which
is what the Nautilus manual says) or vica versa (which is what the
HIG says); that would make it much easier to predict what it's going
to do. (And while I'm dreaming, I'd like middle-button drag to be
globally equivalent to shift-drag.)

- File renaming in Nautilus. The rename box pops up over the old name;
if I'm editing a long name, then I'd like to be able to see the old
name while I'm typing the new one. (I've seen this done in other
file managers by showing the old name above the new one in a rename
dialog, which seems like a pretty reasonable solution -- the
rename-in-place thing is sort of cute, but it doesn't really offer
me much.)

- Selection in text boxes. I hate double-clicking, but I hate
triple-clicking even more. The particular case that I'm thinking of
is selecting URLs from Epiphany to paste into mail messages or IRC
windows; in Mozilla, I can double-click to select the entire URL,
whereas in Epiphany I have to triple-click. My preferred solution
would be to make it so that GTK's idea of a "word" matched most
URLs, rather than splitting on slashes; this is how I used to
configure rxvt ("Rxvt.cutchars: \\ `"'()<>[]{}"), and since most of
the cut-and-paste I do is of URLs, this saved me quite a bit of
effort. I don't know if this would be an appropriate default for
everybody, though.

- Window snapping in metacity. Is there some usability-related reason
why metacity doesn't snap window borders to each other and to screen
borders when windows are being moved around? I'm aware of the
shift-drag thing, but it's hardly convenient, and it still doesn't
let me line up several similarly-sized windows. (Fortunately, GNOME
makes it fairly easy to use a different window manager -- it just
seems a pity to junk metacity when that's the only thing that I miss
from it!)

- Background context menus. If I right-click on the background, I'm
offered the choice of opening a new Nautilus window or a new
terminal window, which suggests that other people also think this is
a good place to put commonly-used applications. It seems rather odd
to hard-code the terminal application in there, though; I would have
thought the "average" user wouldn't want to use the terminal that
often, whereas they might find it useful to have "open new web
browser" there, or something like that. I'd prefer it if this menu
were customisable.

With apologies for complaining,

- Adam

[1] http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=128227
--
Adam Sampson <***@us-lot.org> <http://offog.org/>
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 10:50:51 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Adam Sampson">
Post by Adam Sampson
- Nautilus drag-and-drop.
(Worth bringing up on nautilus-list, I'm not sure anyone's fully written
down a good reasoning for how it should work.)
Post by Adam Sampson
- File renaming in Nautilus. The rename box pops up over the old name;
if I'm editing a long name, then I'd like to be able to see the old
name while I'm typing the new one.
Not sure this one would fly; renaming on the label shows the full name
selected before you start changing it, avoids having a dialogue, and gives
the impression of direct manipulation.
Post by Adam Sampson
- Selection in text boxes. I hate double-clicking, but I hate
triple-clicking even more.
My preferred solution would be to make it so that GTK's idea of a "word"
matched most URLs, rather than splitting on slashes
Sounds sensible to me, though I think it could be a local Epiphany change.
Certainly something you should propose to them. (I can't see any immediate
reasons why this wouldn't be a good default - why did you think it might not
be?)
Post by Adam Sampson
- Window snapping in metacity. Is there some usability-related reason
why metacity doesn't snap window borders to each other and to screen
borders when windows are being moved around? I'm aware of the
shift-drag thing, but it's hardly convenient, and it still doesn't
let me line up several similarly-sized windows.
I think it would be pretty unkind to have window-snapping on by default, and
it doesn't really merit a preference (except perhaps as an outside contender
for a hidden option), so the modifier seemed to be the most sensible way
forward. Think of it as an option you can change on the fly. :-)
Post by Adam Sampson
- Background context menus. If I right-click on the background, I'm
offered the choice of opening a new Nautilus window or a new
terminal window, which suggests that other people also think this is
a good place to put commonly-used applications. It seems rather odd
to hard-code the terminal application in there, though; I would have
thought the "average" user wouldn't want to use the terminal that
often, whereas they might find it useful to have "open new web
browser" there, or something like that. I'd prefer it if this menu
were customisable.
Hmmm... It ought to open the preferred terminal (see Preferred Applications
under DP/Advanced). Other than that point, not sure about this. Personally,
I don't think those entries should be there at all, and the menu shouldn't
be customisable. But there are all sorts of pros and cons on this. Something
to take up on nautilus-list. :-)
Post by Adam Sampson
With apologies for complaining,
No need to apologise at all, that was incredibly constructive criticism. You
didn't even call me Mr. Waugh once! Bravo. ;-)

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

Fierce Commerce. Fierce Freedom. Free Software.
Jay Sulzberger
2004-01-03 16:43:15 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 3 Jan 2004, Jeff Waugh <***@perkypants.org> wrote:

< ... /
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Adam Sampson
- File renaming in Nautilus. The rename box pops up over the old name;
if I'm editing a long name, then I'd like to be able to see the old
name while I'm typing the new one.
Not sure this one would fly; renaming on the label shows the full name
selected before you start changing it, avoids having a dialogue, and gives
the impression of direct manipulation.
< ... />
Post by Jeff Waugh
- Jeff
It is often important that the old name be conveniently available for
inspection, copying, storage, commentary, etc. throughout rename time. For
me it is important almost every time I do a rename.

oo--JS.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 16:52:08 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jay Sulzberger">
Post by Jay Sulzberger
Post by Jeff Waugh
Not sure this one would fly; renaming on the label shows the full name
selected before you start changing it, avoids having a dialogue, and
gives the impression of direct manipulation.
It is often important that the old name be conveniently available for
inspection, copying, storage, commentary, etc. throughout rename time.
For me it is important almost every time I do a rename.
The old name is *immediately* available. When you rename, the old name is
there in full, selected for editing. You needn't start typing over the
selection - you can move around and modify what's already there.

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

"GIMP is the primary tool in my graphics work. It is my gcc and Emacs."
- Tuomas Kuosmanen
Jay Sulzberger
2004-01-03 17:03:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jay Sulzberger">
Post by Jay Sulzberger
Post by Jeff Waugh
Not sure this one would fly; renaming on the label shows the full name
selected before you start changing it, avoids having a dialogue, and
gives the impression of direct manipulation.
It is often important that the old name be conveniently available for
inspection, copying, storage, commentary, etc. throughout rename time.
For me it is important almost every time I do a rename.
The old name is *immediately* available. When you rename, the old name is
there in full, selected for editing. You needn't start typing over the
selection - you can move around and modify what's already there.
- Jeff
But when I make a mistake and lose a part of the old name which is hard to
remember, or at least easier to copy than remember and retype, your IO
protocol makes things inconvenient and the task at hand hard, not
easy.

oo--JS.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 17:07:15 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jay Sulzberger">
Post by Jay Sulzberger
Post by Jeff Waugh
The old name is *immediately* available. When you rename, the old name
is there in full, selected for editing. You needn't start typing over
the selection - you can move around and modify what's already there.
But when I make a mistake and lose a part of the old name which is hard to
remember, or at least easier to copy than remember and retype, your IO
protocol makes things inconvenient and the task at hand hard, not easy.
Do you write novellas in your filenames? Like, seriously, what behaviour are
you trying to optimise for here?

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

I must be getting old... Buying toothpaste with gel in it is no longer
an Absolute Necessity.
Jay Sulzberger
2004-01-03 17:20:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jay Sulzberger">
Post by Jay Sulzberger
Post by Jeff Waugh
The old name is *immediately* available. When you rename, the old name
is there in full, selected for editing. You needn't start typing over
the selection - you can move around and modify what's already there.
But when I make a mistake and lose a part of the old name which is hard to
remember, or at least easier to copy than remember and retype, your IO
protocol makes things inconvenient and the task at hand hard, not easy.
Do you write novellas in your filenames? Like, seriously, what behaviour are
you trying to optimise for here?
- Jeff
Here is part of the output of ls in the directory of root on this box:

diff.dist-upgrade.18-20.December.2003 dist-upgrade.21.November.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.18-20b.December.2003 dist-upgrade.21b.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.18-20c.December.2003 dist-upgrade.21c.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.20-20b.December.2003 dist-upgrade.23.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.20c-21.December.2003 dist-upgrade.23.November.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.20c-21b.December.2003 dist-upgrade.23.October.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.20c-21c.December.2003 dist-upgrade.24.November.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.20c-23.December.2003 dist-upgrade.25.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.25.December.2003 dist-upgrade.25.November.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.25.December.2003~ dist-upgrade.25b.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.25b.December.2003 dist-upgrade.25c.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.25c.December.2003 dist-upgrade.25d.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.25d.December.2003 dist-upgrade.26.November.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.28.December.2003 dist-upgrade.28.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.31.December.2003 dist-upgrade.3.November.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.23.to.31.December.2003~ dist-upgrade.31.December.2003
diff.dist-upgrade.31.December.2003.to.2.January.2004 dist-upgrade.4.December.2003
dist-upgrade.1.December.2003 dist-upgrade.4.November.2003
dist-upgrade.11.December.2003 dist-upgrade.5.December.2003
dist-upgrade.11b.December.2003 dist-upgrade.5.November.2003
dist-upgrade.12.December.2003 dist-upgrade.6.December.2003
dist-upgrade.12.November.2003 dist-upgrade.7.December.2003
dist-upgrade.12b.December.2003 dist-upgrade.7.November.2003
dist-upgrade.12c.December.2003 dist-upgrade.8.November.2003
dist-upgrade.12d.December.2003 dist-upgrade.9.December.2003
dist-upgrade.12e.December.2003 dist-upgrade.9.November.2003
dist-upgrade.12f.December.2003 lilo.10.October.2003
dist-upgrade.12g.December.2003 lsof.out

Here is a clipping from xterm 3 on the screen before me right now:

***@knoppix:~/ALKAN$ ls
op17_LePreux.mid op31_16.mid op39_06.mid
op23_saltarelle.mid op31_17.mid op39_07.mid
op27_le_chemin_de_fer.mid op33_QuasiFaust.mid op39_10.mid
op31_01.mid op35_01.mid op39_12.mid
op31_02.mid op35_04.mid op47_Finale.mid
op31_03.mid op35_05.mid op63_LaVision.mid
op31_04.mid op35_06.mid op63_Staccatissiomo.mid
op31_05.mid op35_07.mid op65_n6_barcarolle.mid
op31_06.mid op35_09.mid op74_Lesmois_L1_1_NuitDHiver.mid
op31_07.mid op35_10.mid op74_Lesmois_L3_1_NuitDEte.mid
op31_08.mid op35_11.mid op74_Lesmois_L4_1_GrosTemps.mid
op31_09.mid op38_n1.mid op75_Toccatina.mid
op31_11.mid op39_01.mid op76_1.mid
op31_12.mid op39_02.mid op76_2.mid
op31_13.mid op39_03.mid op76_3.mid
op31_14.mid op39_04.mid touslesMidi.zip
op31_15.mid op39_05.mid

oo--JS.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 17:49:05 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jay Sulzberger">
Post by Jay Sulzberger
Post by Jeff Waugh
Do you write novellas in your filenames? Like, seriously, what behaviour
are you trying to optimise for here?
diff.dist-upgrade.18-20.December.2003
dist-upgrade.21.November.2003
op17_LePreux.mid op31_16.mid op39_06.mid
Surely your interaction model with these kinds of files is terminal-centric
to start with? Perhaps not the midi files, but I'm not sure why visibility
of the old name would assist you greatly when giving them sensible names (or
whatever you're trying to do with them).

Can you see that these kinds of interactions are not the sorts of things
we'd optimise for, particularly in the file manager? The file manager is not
there to fully replace what you do in a shell. Were you ever seriously
expecting to have a satisfying experience doing these kinds of things in a
file manager? Highly unlikely, and you're using shell examples to begin with
anyway. ;)

I find this happens a lot in "CLI vs. GUI" debates. The CLI person says,
"Aha, but how would you rename a lot of files all at once, eh?" [1] and the
GUI person says, "well, you couldn't". But what they really mean is, "well,
you generally wouldn't". And despite coming up with all kinds of reasons why
it would happen, it's really very true. You just don't find yourself in that
situation (usually). But where it does happen on *nix systems, you always
have a shell.

So, I think that in the vast majority of file rename interactions in
Nautilus, providing the complete filename, selected and ready to edit in
place - with its hint of direct-manipulation - is still the most usable
approach. Sure, an argument could be made for indirect manipulation through
a rename dialogue box, but... Well, we have already been through this:

http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/1.0/usabilityprinciples.html#enable-direct-manipulation (Which links to the User Input chapter, too.)

- Jeff

[1] Using this as an example, I know it's not what you were talking about.
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

"Oh my god, if I get killed, Meryl Streep will get an award playing my
life and I would be really pissed off." - Susan Sarandon
Adam Sampson
2004-01-03 18:27:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
(Worth bringing up on nautilus-list, I'm not sure anyone's fully written
down a good reasoning for how it should work.)
OK, will do.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Not sure this one would fly; renaming on the label shows the full
name selected before you start changing it, avoids having a
dialogue, and gives the impression of direct manipulation.
The specific use case that I've got in mind is canonicalising
filenames. The majority of the renaming operations I do are turning
things like "some_s._title_42_[abc]" into "Some Series Title - Part 42
[ABC]"; it's a lot quicker for me in this case to type the whole new
name than edit the old version into the new version, but I still want
to see the old name while I'm typing the new one.

I'm not (yet) convinced about the benefits of making it look like
direct manipulation; it's different from, say, changing permissions
using checkboxes, because the rename isn't performed until you've
finished typing the name (and it's not immediately obvious without an
"Apply" button or something like that when precisely Nautilus will
think that is). It's a difficult problem, though -- it'd certainly be
nice to keep the interface at least looking like instant-apply...

Another approach would be to have some sort of tooltip-like thing
showing the old filename, but I can't think of a way to do so that
wouldn't cover up other useful information.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Adam Sampson
My preferred solution would be to make it so that GTK's idea of a "word"
matched most URLs, rather than splitting on slashes
Sounds sensible to me, though I think it could be a local Epiphany change.
Ooh, I hadn't thought of doing it specifically for Epiphany; I was
thinking of changing things at the GTK level so that it's consistent
across apps. I could imagine that a specific "URL entry" class of
widgets which supported behaviours like autocompletion would be a
useful UI feature anyway, though.
Post by Jeff Waugh
(I can't see any immediate reasons why this wouldn't be a good
default - why did you think it might not be?)
Because I've never seen a UI (that I haven't configured myself) which
does this by default, so users are used to the existing behaviour
already; I certainly find it disorienting having my double-click
selection behaviour changed, so I'd imagine other people would
too. Then again, GNOME got away with changing major things like the
OK/Cancel button ordering for the better without too many people
complaining, so maybe I'm worrying for no reason.

(I can't imagine a non-specialised use for which people would prefer
to have things like / considered as word separators; I'd be interested
to hear what other people think.)
Post by Jeff Waugh
I think it would be pretty unkind to have window-snapping on by
default,
Why's that? It seems to me like a usability plus -- having things
lined up is good, and things like Nautilus automatically line up icons
by default, so what's wrong with having the window manager line up
windows by default?

It'd clearly be unpleasant to make metacity just behave as if you were
holding down shift all the time, but it doesn't seem too contentious
to have "gentle" snapping built into the normal window movement
behaviour -- like most other window managers implement -- instead of
two movement modes.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Hmmm... It ought to open the preferred terminal (see Preferred
Applications under DP/Advanced).
It does indeed (I'm using rxvt as my terminal -- it's really nice
being able to configure this in one place).
Post by Jeff Waugh
Personally, I don't think those entries should be there at all, and
the menu shouldn't be customisable.
What I'd forgotten was that Nautilus scripts appear on the desktop
menu too, so yes, entirely agreed -- the terminal option should go
from there, since if expert users want that (or the more-useful
"new terminal in this directory" functionality) then they can just
drop a script into the Nautilus scripts directory.

Perhaps it might be nicer if scripts got merged into the top-level
menu rather than being in a submenu, though? Of course, there are a
million features you *could* offer with scripts but probably don't
need -- icons, keyboard shortcuts, only showing for certain filetypes,
etc. etc.
--
Adam Sampson <***@us-lot.org> <http://offog.org/>
Nick Moffitt
2004-01-03 18:47:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Adam Sampson
It'd clearly be unpleasant to make metacity just behave as if you were
holding down shift all the time,
I DON'T UNDERSTAND TELL ME WHY.
--
"FORGET THE DAMNED MOTOR CAR AND BUILD CITIES FOR LOVERS AND FRIENDS."
-- LEWIS MUMFORD

end
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 18:49:20 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Adam Sampson">
Then again, GNOME got away with changing major things like the OK/Cancel
button ordering for the better without too many people complaining, so
maybe I'm worrying for no reason.
*snicker* Wow, which mailing lists and websites were you reading while 2.0
was being born? ;-) Man, we suffered so hard on that one. Vicious, horrible
stuff. But then... It suddenly fell silent. Because it *does* just work.
See, it's not as simple as OK/Cancel button ordering, because we've purged
Yes/No/Cancel and OK/Cancel from our dialogues entirely! It was hard for
people to grok while we were in transition, but now it's easy to grok,
because every dialogue seems familiar. Check out the HIG section on this:

http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/1.0/windows.html#alert-button-order

It's way smart.
Post by Jeff Waugh
I think it would be pretty unkind to have window-snapping on by
default,
Why's that? It seems to me like a usability plus -- having things
lined up is good, and things like Nautilus automatically line up icons
by default, so what's wrong with having the window manager line up
windows by default?
I think it's the pinball-machine effect. Imagine if there was an audible
"bonk!" every time the window snapped. That's how some people perceive
effects like that.
It'd clearly be unpleasant to make metacity just behave as if you were
holding down shift all the time, but it doesn't seem too contentious to
have "gentle" snapping built into the normal window movement behaviour --
like most other window managers implement -- instead of two movement
modes.
Maybe there should be a snap-lock cheat key. ;-)
Perhaps it might be nicer if scripts got merged into the top-level menu
rather than being in a submenu, though? Of course, there are a million
features you *could* offer with scripts but probably don't need -- icons,
keyboard shortcuts, only showing for certain filetypes, etc. etc.
In 2.6, we'll have Nautilus plugins too, which will be waaaay smarter and
cooler. Dave Camp already has a nautilus-vcs demo module, which does CVS
integration in Nautilus (much like Tortoise CVS in Windows), with emblems,
menu items, etc., etc.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb." - Dark
Helmet, Spaceballs
Adam Sampson
2004-01-03 21:58:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
Then again, GNOME got away with changing major things like the OK/Cancel
button ordering for the better without too many people complaining,
*snicker* Wow, which mailing lists and websites were you reading while 2.0
was being born? ;-)
Well, yes, I remember lots of developers and random hangers-on
complaining about it when it was being discussed, but my experience
since GNOME 2 came out is that people actually *using* it for the
first time don't complain about -- or even notice -- that change,
because it just works.
Post by Jeff Waugh
I think it's the pinball-machine effect. Imagine if there was an
audible "bonk!" every time the window snapped. That's how some
people perceive effects like that.
OK, so there's actually an accessibility-related reason for not having
it there by default. Interesting.
Post by Jeff Waugh
In 2.6, we'll have Nautilus plugins too, which will be waaaay smarter and
cooler.
Yep, that'd solve that problem. Cool. :)
--
Adam Sampson <***@us-lot.org> <http://offog.org/>
Chip Salzenberg
2004-01-03 18:19:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
We really honestly believed that software that was more flexible and
had more options was therefore more usable and "more free".
An easy mistake to make. I've spent some time recently with a user-
experience expert (sometimes called a "GUI designer" due to the
difficulty of explaining what a user-experience expert does), and I
start to understand how little I've understood about user interfaces
in general. And yes, she recommended "Inmates"; its observation that
techie-created UIs tend to provide knobs for all underlying features
seems relevant to Gnome 1.
Post by Jeff Waugh
What kind of things does your brain say "oh, ow, mum, I really need
an OPTION here"?
Well, I did say I was "researching but undecided" (or words to that
Post by Jeff Waugh
nine times out of ten I ask the above question and the person says,
"well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or WindowMaker".
Busted: fvwm. I last used Gnome regularly in 1.x days, and I'm really
not the kind of person to enjoy a UI where certain keystrokes are
simply not available for my chosen use. I want F12 to bring up a
menu, dammit, no matter what application is currently running. F12-t
spawns a new aterm, always. Gnome 1 didn't let me do that, nor does
KDE, as far as I can tell. I'd ask about Gnome 2 but for DYOFH.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Not really a good platform for serious debate about the merits of
our approach to usability.
It's a fair cop, but society's to blame. Abstract complaints bug you
because you've heard too much of them? I sympathize. We get a lot of
whining in Perl land as well.
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <***@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
Chip Salzenberg
2004-01-03 18:22:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Post by Jeff Waugh
nine times out of ten I ask the above question and the person says,
"well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or WindowMaker".
Busted: fvwm.
BTW, Jeff, how do you avoid a selection fallacy? When you talk to
people who don't like Gnome, what are the odds they're *using* it? I
wouldn't much respect the opinion of a person who kept using software
he hated when alternatives were so conveniently at hand.
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <***@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 18:58:30 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Post by Jeff Waugh
nine times out of ten I ask the above question and the person says,
"well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or WindowMaker".
Busted: fvwm.
BTW, Jeff, how do you avoid a selection fallacy? When you talk to people
who don't like Gnome, what are the odds they're *using* it? I wouldn't
much respect the opinion of a person who kept using software he hated when
alternatives were so conveniently at hand.
Breadth of choice in the Free Software world means this is a highly unlikely
situation. We definitely have users who express dislike for specific things
in GNOME - positively or negatively - but those are easily dealt with or
answered.

I guess the closest we would come to input like this would be through our
distributors when they do user testing or major beta tests and gather
feedback. Lots of interesting things have come back from Sun when they've
done these.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"Microsoft treats security vulnerabilities as public relations
problems." - Bruce Schneier
Jim Richardson
2004-01-03 22:07:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Post by Jeff Waugh
nine times out of ten I ask the above question and the person says,
"well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or WindowMaker".
Busted: fvwm.
BTW, Jeff, how do you avoid a selection fallacy? When you talk to people
who don't like Gnome, what are the odds they're *using* it? I wouldn't
much respect the opinion of a person who kept using software he hated when
alternatives were so conveniently at hand.
Breadth of choice in the Free Software world means this is a highly unlikely
situation. We definitely have users who express dislike for specific things
in GNOME - positively or negatively - but those are easily dealt with or
answered.
I guess the closest we would come to input like this would be through our
distributors when they do user testing or major beta tests and gather
feedback. Lots of interesting things have come back from Sun when they've
done these.
Well, due in part to the discussion here, I installed GNOME last night,
and played around with it for a while, then uninstalled it (I love apt)

I am, and have been using, WindowMaker for about 4 years. I don't have a
lot of customization, but there's a bit, and I use keylauncher to do the
kbd shortcuts. That said, I didn't really like GNOME. Observations
follow.


Slow:

Maybe it's my config (Debian Sid on an Inspiron 8100) but GNOME took
forever to startup, and was quite sluggish in some operations. Now, this
is a 1GHz machine with 512MB of RAM, not exactly a candidate for the
scrap heap, but not the fastest system out there.


GNOME terminal eats my keyboard inputs.

Trying ctrlF in Mutt to forget pgp passphrase, or esc-1-k in slrn to
edit score file, caused GT to fnord out. Couldn't find where to turn
that off, or alter it, did poke a couple of buttons, and try to change
it, no go.

Nautilus is nice, but a bit bulky and slow.

The GNOME panel is usable, but nothing special to me. Again, possibly my
configuration, but I had to tweak it a fair bit to get it to actually
work.

How many config dirs do you need?

When I fired up GNOME (from the greeter) it started things off by
creating 3 diff .dirs, .gnome, .gnome2 and .gnome-private. Why?



I did like a couple of things, GNOME terminal handled URI's in the
terminal well, even from apps that don't notice them natively. The menu
structure was fairly straightforward, (although with quirks) I like the
idea of a panel, but I couldn't quite warm to the existing one.


All in all, it was a repeat for me, of the same thing 6 months ago. I
try GNOME, (and KDE and such) every few months, and allways wind up back
at WindowMaker. It's not perfect, but it fits the compromise of
configurability, and ease of use, that I like. I fire up an app, if I
want an icon for it to stick around so I can click on it to start next
time, I drag the icon to the dock or clip. Done. If I decide I no longer
need that icon hanging around, I drag it off the clip or dock, and it
goes away.

Keep up the good work, I think it's better than it was a few months ago.
But if it keeps getting slower, then I am not going to be interested
then either. I don't replace the hw I use just because the sw gets
slower, I replace it when it starts to break.
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
I prefer an OS made by programmers that need marketing
than an OS made by marketing that need programmers... Use linux
(Submitted by Christian Olivier)
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 01:48:59 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
Maybe it's my config (Debian Sid on an Inspiron 8100) but GNOME took
forever to startup, and was quite sluggish in some operations. Now, this
is a 1GHz machine with 512MB of RAM, not exactly a candidate for the scrap
heap, but not the fastest system out there.
Was that stuff actually loading, or the splash screen disappearing? There is
an active bug about the splash screen hanging around unnecessarily at the
moment. Yes, GTK+ 2.x is slower than 1.x (discussed here earlier), and there
are quite a few areas we need to improve. I'm assuming you're using the 2.4
currently in sid.
Post by Jim Richardson
GNOME terminal eats my keyboard inputs.
Trying ctrlF in Mutt to forget pgp passphrase, or esc-1-k in slrn to
edit score file, caused GT to fnord out. Couldn't find where to turn
that off, or alter it, did poke a couple of buttons, and try to change
it, no go.
Part of it is that you've gotta turn the menu off. Not a nice default for
terminal users who actually do useful things. Not sure about your other
ones. I'll raise this on the list; it got me when I set up a new box the
other day too.
Post by Jim Richardson
Nautilus is nice, but a bit bulky and slow.
Nautilus in 2.6 will be significantly faster, and work like the Classic Mac
OS finder (ie. spatial).
Post by Jim Richardson
How many config dirs do you need?
When I fired up GNOME (from the greeter) it started things off by
creating 3 diff .dirs, .gnome, .gnome2 and .gnome-private. Why?
This is mostly due to an unfortunate mistake during 2.0, when everyone was
oh so keen to add *2 to module names, config files, etc., etc., etc. But
hey, they're hidden, and most people won't go looking for them. I'd love to
clean this up, but it is an exposed interface now.
Post by Jim Richardson
Keep up the good work, I think it's better than it was a few months ago.
But if it keeps getting slower, then I am not going to be interested
then either. I don't replace the hw I use just because the sw gets
slower, I replace it when it starts to break.
Always getting faster. See previous mails about this on this list.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

http://www.xach.com/debian-users-are-beatniks.html
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 04:22:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
Maybe it's my config (Debian Sid on an Inspiron 8100) but GNOME took
forever to startup, and was quite sluggish in some operations. Now,
this is a 1GHz machine with 512MB of RAM, not exactly a candidate for
the scrap heap, but not the fastest system out there.
Was that stuff actually loading, or the splash screen disappearing?
There is an active bug about the splash screen hanging around
unnecessarily at the moment. Yes, GTK+ 2.x is slower than 1.x
(discussed here earlier), and there are quite a few areas we need to
improve. I'm assuming you're using the 2.4 currently in sid.
hm, good question, I don't know for sure (re: splash screen hanging
around vs system not ready) Yes, it was the standard Sid stuff, I ride
the bleeding edge that is Sid, I have no need to hang further out with
CVS :)
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
GNOME terminal eats my keyboard inputs.
Trying ctrlF in Mutt to forget pgp passphrase, or esc-1-k in slrn to
edit score file, caused GT to fnord out. Couldn't find where to turn
that off, or alter it, did poke a couple of buttons, and try to
change it, no go.
Part of it is that you've gotta turn the menu off. Not a nice default
for terminal users who actually do useful things. Not sure about your
other ones. I'll raise this on the list; it got me when I set up a new
box the other day too.
I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I tried a couple of things,
but none worked. It was a deal breaker frankly.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
Nautilus is nice, but a bit bulky and slow.
Nautilus in 2.6 will be significantly faster, and work like the Classic
Mac OS finder (ie. spatial).
Not sure what exactly that means, I had a mac clone for a couple of
years, with MacOS 7.something, I replaced that with Linux on virtually
day one, only used MacOS to play escape velocity.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
How many config dirs do you need?
When I fired up GNOME (from the greeter) it started things off by
creating 3 diff .dirs, .gnome, .gnome2 and .gnome-private. Why?
This is mostly due to an unfortunate mistake during 2.0, when everyone
was oh so keen to add *2 to module names, config files, etc., etc.,
etc. But hey, they're hidden, and most people won't go looking for
them. I'd love to clean this up, but it is an exposed interface now.
well, personally, I hate having umpty squat dozen dotfiles and dotdirs,
in my $HOME root, I'd really like one .config dir, with everything below
that. But that's obviously not going to happen without me doing a lot of
coding myself.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
Keep up the good work, I think it's better than it was a few months
ago. But if it keeps getting slower, then I am not going to be
interested then either. I don't replace the hw I use just because the
sw gets slower, I replace it when it starts to break.
Always getting faster. See previous mails about this on this list.
speed is good. It was one of the things I liked about KDE3.x, it was
faster than 2.x.
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
Contrary to popular belief, Unix is user friendly.
It just happens to be very selective about who its friends are.
-- Kyle Hearn
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 04:49:42 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I tried a couple of things,
but none worked. It was a deal breaker frankly.
Heh. Ah, so all those options that we're comfortable putting in the Terminal
because it's going to be used by power users... confused you? Ah ha ha. Ha.
Ahem.

The GNOME Terminal has profiles rather than a single set of preferences (as
we often log into different machines and want different appearance or
behaviour because terminal emulation is so lovingly broken all over the
place) so you just need to "Edit Current Profile..." and click off "Show
menubar by default in new terminals" on the first page.
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Nautilus in 2.6 will be significantly faster, and work like the Classic
Mac OS finder (ie. spatial).
Not sure what exactly that means, I had a mac clone for a couple of years,
with MacOS 7.something, I replaced that with Linux on virtually day one,
only used MacOS to play escape velocity.
John Siracusa's rant about the spatial Finder on Ars Technica:

http://www.arstechnica.com/paedia/f/finder/finder-1.html
Post by Jim Richardson
well, personally, I hate having umpty squat dozen dotfiles and dotdirs, in
my $HOME root, I'd really like one .config dir, with everything below
that. But that's obviously not going to happen without me doing a lot of
coding myself.
It may happen in the future through some work at freedesktop.org, but we
would probably have to deal with compatibility concerns due to the exposed
interface in the current config dirs. I know it's messy (for anal retentive
wankeurs like you and I), but we're stuck with it right now.
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Always getting faster. See previous mails about this on this list.
speed is good. It was one of the things I liked about KDE3.x, it was
faster than 2.x.
In some cases, so was GNOME.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

make: *** No rule to make target `whoopee'. Stop.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 18:39:41 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
I want F12 to bring up a menu, dammit, no matter what application is
currently running. F12-t spawns a new aterm, always. Gnome 1 didn't let
me do that, nor does KDE, as far as I can tell. I'd ask about Gnome 2 but
for DYOFH.
I'm happy to oblige. Alt-F1 brings up the Applications menu. Alt-F2 brings
up the Run menu. You can change both of these in the Keyboard Shortcuts
preference dialogue. (You'd be surprised by some of the stuff you can do in
there, given all the wailing and gnashing of teeth going on.) You can assign
a key combo to run a terminal by using gconf-editor (we will have a UI for
this soon; we need some UI fixage between the Acme settings - our multimedia
keys daemon, written instead of patching metacity - and keyboard shortcuts).
Not really a good platform for serious debate about the merits of our
approach to usability.
It's a fair cop, but society's to blame. Abstract complaints bug you
because you've heard too much of them? I sympathize. We get a lot of
whining in Perl land as well.
The worst abstract whining is judgement on hearsay. People will rant about
how we've ruthlessly taken all their favourite options out, but when they
actually use it... shock horror... it "just works" and they don't have to
expend effort on it. Or someone will skim Havoc's essay and assume the
worst, without reading the crucial bits about weighing up the pros and cons.

But the funniest one - and l-e loves it - is "because you don't think
hackers or traditional Free Software users are your 'target market', GNOME
is therefore totally unusable for them". It's hard to keep a straight face
when you have to say, "gee, why are all your geeky mates using Mac OS X
then, you nerf-herder?"

;-)

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"In addition to these ample facilities, there exists a powerful
configuration tool called gcc." - Elliot Hughes, author of lwm
Chip Salzenberg
2004-01-03 19:49:57 UTC
Permalink
Alt-F1 brings up the Applications menu. Alt-F2 brings up the Run
menu. You can change both of these in the Keyboard Shortcuts
preference dialogue.
One last question, if you don't mind: Can you assign single-key
shortcuts for those menus? Can I arrange that an arbitrary keystroke
at those menus run an arbitrary command or bring up a submenu? That's
what I do with fvwm menus.
You can assign a key combo to run a terminal by using gconf-editor
[...]
My menu usage is a little more advanced. F12-x-y runs ssh to machine
Y in set X, where X and Y are personal mnemonics. (BTW, for you
keyboard fanatics out there, the main shortcut doesn't require as much
finger movement as F12.) Meta-. and Meta-, moves to previous and next
desktops, no matter the focus or context. Etc.
We need some UI fixage between the Acme settings - our multimedia
keys daemon, written instead of patching metacity - and keyboard shortcuts).
The learn/use dichotomy shows up most visibly in the use of keyboard
shortcuts, in my experience. One of the things I like about the
Windows UI standards is that you really don't need a mouse; if your
mouse is busted you can get along fine with most apps, albeit with a
lot of arrowing and tabbing. But I digress.
It's hard to keep a straight face when you have to say, "gee, why
are all your geeky mates using Mac OS X then, you nerf-herder?"
OS X is an odd case, though. Gnome is just part of a complex system
that has to be managed and that has visible seams. OS X is a womb.
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <***@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 01:33:14 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Chip Salzenberg
One last question, if you don't mind: Can you assign single-key
shortcuts for those menus? Can I arrange that an arbitrary keystroke
at those menus run an arbitrary command or bring up a submenu? That's
what I do with fvwm menus.
For the menu items, or to get the menus themselves? Currently, there is no
(nice) user interface for making arbitrary keystokes to run apps (though the
functionality is there, as mentioned in my next quote-bit).
Post by Chip Salzenberg
You can assign a key combo to run a terminal by using gconf-editor
[...]
My menu usage is a little more advanced. F12-x-y runs ssh to machine
Y in set X, where X and Y are personal mnemonics. (BTW, for you
keyboard fanatics out there, the main shortcut doesn't require as much
finger movement as F12.) Meta-. and Meta-, moves to previous and next
desktops, no matter the focus or context. Etc.
As in, you're navigating menus with keystokes?
Post by Chip Salzenberg
We need some UI fixage between the Acme settings - our multimedia
keys daemon, written instead of patching metacity - and keyboard shortcuts).
The learn/use dichotomy shows up most visibly in the use of keyboard
shortcuts, in my experience. One of the things I like about the
Windows UI standards is that you really don't need a mouse; if your
mouse is busted you can get along fine with most apps, albeit with a
lot of arrowing and tabbing. But I digress.
Full keyboard navigability is of utmost importance to GNOME, particularly
considering our commitment to accessibility.
Post by Chip Salzenberg
It's hard to keep a straight face when you have to say, "gee, why
are all your geeky mates using Mac OS X then, you nerf-herder?"
OS X is an odd case, though. Gnome is just part of a complex system
that has to be managed and that has visible seams. OS X is a womb.
We don't want seams. Working very hard to get rid of them. Mistakes of
history. :-)

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"Trying to get a PC to analyse one of the most abstract forms of
language - the poem - is like trying to drill for oil with a banana."
- The Register
Chip Salzenberg
2004-01-04 04:18:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
As in, you're navigating menus with keystokes?
Right. To give you a flavor of my fvwm2rc:

AddToMenu MainMenu "Main Menu" Title
+ "%mini.xterm.xpm%&Debian Machines >>" Menu Debian

AddToMenu Debian "Debian Machines" Title
+ "%mini.xterm.xpm%&apple" Exec xterm -e ssh apple.debian.org &
+ "%mini.xterm.xpm%&dog" Exec xterm -e ssh dog.debian.org &

So F12-d-a opens an xterm to apple.debian.org. Not all of my menu
actions are two levels deep, but all the frequent ones are chosen
for keyboard navigation. Mousing around is only for the infrequent.

I hate to have to use the mouse for anything that isn't intrinsically
positional.
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <***@pobox.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 04:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip Salzenberg
I hate to have to use the mouse for anything that isn't intrinsically
positional.
What he said :)
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 04:43:01 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
Post by Chip Salzenberg
AddToMenu MainMenu "Main Menu" Title
+ "%mini.xterm.xpm%&Debian Machines >>" Menu Debian
AddToMenu Debian "Debian Machines" Title
+ "%mini.xterm.xpm%&apple" Exec xterm -e ssh apple.debian.org &
+ "%mini.xterm.xpm%&dog" Exec xterm -e ssh dog.debian.org &
So F12-d-a opens an xterm to apple.debian.org. Not all of my menu
actions are two levels deep, but all the frequent ones are chosen
for keyboard navigation. Mousing around is only for the infrequent.
Yeah, bits of this are unexposed in gconf at the moment, but they are not
meant to be there forever.
Post by Chip Salzenberg
I hate to have to use the mouse for anything that isn't intrinsically
positional.
You shouldn't have to use the mouse for anything in GNOME. "That is our
commitment to keyboard navigability and accessibility." :-)

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

Perl: Making thick Windows admins redundant since 1987.
Jim Richardson
2004-01-03 22:18:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Chip Salzenberg">
I want F12 to bring up a menu, dammit, no matter what application is
currently running. F12-t spawns a new aterm, always. Gnome 1 didn't let
me do that, nor does KDE, as far as I can tell. I'd ask about Gnome 2 but
for DYOFH.
I'm happy to oblige. Alt-F1 brings up the Applications menu. Alt-F2 brings
up the Run menu. You can change both of these in the Keyboard Shortcuts
preference dialogue. (You'd be surprised by some of the stuff you can do in
there, given all the wailing and gnashing of teeth going on.) You can assign
a key combo to run a terminal by using gconf-editor (we will have a UI for
this soon; we need some UI fixage between the Acme settings - our multimedia
keys daemon, written instead of patching metacity - and keyboard shortcuts).
Not really a good platform for serious debate about the merits of our
approach to usability.
It's a fair cop, but society's to blame. Abstract complaints bug you
because you've heard too much of them? I sympathize. We get a lot of
whining in Perl land as well.
The worst abstract whining is judgement on hearsay. People will rant about
how we've ruthlessly taken all their favourite options out, but when they
actually use it... shock horror... it "just works" and they don't have to
expend effort on it. Or someone will skim Havoc's essay and assume the
worst, without reading the crucial bits about weighing up the pros and cons.
But the funniest one - and l-e loves it - is "because you don't think
hackers or traditional Free Software users are your 'target market', GNOME
is therefore totally unusable for them". It's hard to keep a straight face
when you have to say, "gee, why are all your geeky mates using Mac OS X
then, you nerf-herder?"
I read Havoc's essay, and for the most part, agreed. Anytime you can
make the behaviour work to avoid having to click options, the better,
and the fewer tabs and pages of options, the better. (with the caveat
that it works properly) But you have to be careful you aren't going too
far in the other direction.

KDE for example, has a dialog for "eye candy" which you can drag from
fast to slow, and it selects and unselects options as it goes. That make
sense. Having to click on each option off or on, just to slow down, or
spruce up the machine, is silly, but not having the option to turn on
(or off) a particular bit of candy that you either loath, or love, is
annoying also.

For me, neither KDE, nor GNOME are "it" Frankly, neither is WindowMaker,
(which is my WM of choice) but it's the closest I have found. (Note, I
don't use the rest of GNUStep)

I hate how the few GNOME apps I use (Gnumeric mostly now, that's about
it) like the few KDE apps I use (Kopete) drag 10 tonnes of other crap
with them when I fire them up. Although Gnumeric at least, seems to have
dropped a lot of that off recently. It actually starts up faster than it
did a while back.
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
My theory is that the great success of Windoze is based entirely on
providing someone to blame. -- Jon Tillman in ASP
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 01:53:50 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
KDE for example, has a dialog for "eye candy" which you can drag from fast
to slow, and it selects and unselects options as it goes. That make sense.
Having to click on each option off or on, just to slow down, or spruce up
the machine, is silly, but not having the option to turn on (or off) a
particular bit of candy that you either loath, or love, is annoying also.
Unfortunately, this is just as bad as "Novice, Intermediate, Expert"
settings in that it's almost entirely unaccountable. There's no reason why
*performance* features shouldn't "just work" either. You don't see an option
to choose between chunky and bilinear filtering in Panther's Expose... It
just works. There are some appearance features that *are* preferential, and
those are different.
I hate how the few GNOME apps I use (Gnumeric mostly now, that's about it)
like the few KDE apps I use (Kopete) drag 10 tonnes of other crap with
them when I fire them up. Although Gnumeric at least, seems to have
dropped a lot of that off recently. It actually starts up faster than it
did a while back.
Much of this is changing as we purge Bonobo and rationalise the Developer
Platform back down to GTK+. But, there will always be a lot of libraries
used by GNOME software, and from our point of view, it makes sense to keep
them separate. Some people have kittens over that, but you can't please
everyone.

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

chown -R us:us yourbase
tek
2004-01-04 04:07:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
KDE for example, has a dialog for "eye candy" which you can drag from fast
to slow, and it selects and unselects options as it goes. That make sense.
Having to click on each option off or on, just to slow down, or spruce up
the machine, is silly, but not having the option to turn on (or off) a
particular bit of candy that you either loath, or love, is annoying also.
Unfortunately, this is just as bad as "Novice, Intermediate, Expert"
settings in that it's almost entirely unaccountable.
So are you saying that having a Novice, Intermediate, Expert settings is
a bad idea? If so why?
Post by Jeff Waugh
There's
no reason why *performance* features shouldn't "just work"
either. You don't see an option to choose between chunky and
bilinear filtering in Panther's Expose... It just works. There
are some appearance features that *are* preferential, and
those are different.
I hate how the few GNOME apps I use (Gnumeric mostly now, that's about it)
like the few KDE apps I use (Kopete) drag 10 tonnes of other crap with
them when I fire them up. Although Gnumeric at least, seems to have
dropped a lot of that off recently. It actually starts up faster than it
did a while back.
Much of this is changing as we purge Bonobo and rationalise
the Developer Platform back down to GTK+. But, there will
always be a lot of libraries used by GNOME software, and from
our point of view, it makes sense to keep them separate. Some
people have kittens over that, but you can't please everyone.
- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.
guadec.org/
Post by Jeff Waugh
chown -R us:us yourbase
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Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 04:29:34 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="tek">
Post by Jeff Waugh
Unfortunately, this is just as bad as "Novice, Intermediate, Expert"
settings in that it's almost entirely unaccountable.
So are you saying that having a Novice, Intermediate, Expert settings is a
bad idea? If so why?
It totally hammers complexity, comprehension and support requirements. We've
already tried this with Nautilus and Sawfish, and it was a horrible mess.
Doing it dynamically is a consideration, but it's an active area of research
so probably not a useful thing for us to dip our feet in right now (it would
end up being as lame as the Windows menu-hiding feature, most likely).

See, the funny thing is... This is a just an "un-break me" option response
to user interface complexity! Instead of fixing the real problem (cognitive
overload due to programmers being shitscared of "policy", so putting all the
work onto users), you're just adding an option to get around it, and again
putting all the work onto users! It's a vicious cycle, and we're breaking it
the right way. :-)

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

Interplanetary Pants
tek
2004-01-04 04:42:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="tek">
Post by tek
Post by Jeff Waugh
Unfortunately, this is just as bad as "Novice, Intermediate, Expert"
settings in that it's almost entirely unaccountable.
So are you saying that having a Novice, Intermediate, Expert
settings is a
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by tek
bad idea? If so why?
It totally hammers complexity, comprehension and support
requirements.
And hiding it in some xml or binary tree free's up support time???
can you fill my pipe too, i obviously need some of what you have been
smoking.
Post by Jeff Waugh
We've already tried this with Nautilus and
Sawfish, and it was a horrible mess. Doing it dynamically is a
consideration, but it's an active area of research so probably
not a useful thing for us to dip our feet in right now (it
would end up being as lame as the Windows menu-hiding feature,
most likely).
See, the funny thing is... This is a just an "un-break me"
option response to user interface complexity! Instead of
fixing the real problem (cognitive overload due to programmers
being shitscared of "policy", so putting all the work onto
users), you're just adding an option to get around it, and
again putting all the work onto users!
But when your user wants to get into it and cant, it wont be after your
two hours study is running it will be during week two or sometime
there-after and your shooting him in the head your just waiting for the
witness's to leave first.

This is why i dumped gnome, just so you know.
Post by Jeff Waugh
It's a vicious cycle,
and we're breaking it the right way. :-)
I think that is debatable at best, although i also know in a few years
it will be farther along, but that puts me back at trying it out every
few releases and waiting for a day that may or maynot come.
Tnt
Post by Jeff Waugh
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.
conf.au/
Post by Jeff Waugh
Interplanetary Pants
_______________________________________________
linux-elitists
http://zgp.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-elitists
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o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o
| Linux Solutions Provider, Linux Consultant and IT Services. |
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| http://www.pervasivenetwerks.com |
o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o
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Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 04:53:16 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="tek">
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by tek
So are you saying that having a Novice, Intermediate, Expert settings
is a bad idea? If so why?
It totally hammers complexity, comprehension and support requirements.
And hiding it in some xml or binary tree free's up support time??? can
you fill my pipe too, i obviously need some of what you have been smoking.
No, Nautilus had a very accessible 'ski-signs' menu (and other designs were
trialled), while Sawfish had a 'meta' properties page that you could change
the level on.

The level selection stuff was very upfront. But while the intent was good,
it was still utterly confusing and suboptimal.
Post by Jeff Waugh
See, the funny thing is... This is a just an "un-break me" option
response to user interface complexity! Instead of fixing the real
problem (cognitive overload due to programmers being shitscared of
"policy", so putting all the work onto users), you're just adding an
option to get around it, and again putting all the work onto users!
But when your user wants to get into it and cant, it wont be after your
two hours study is running it will be during week two or sometime
there-after and your shooting him in the head your just waiting for the
witness's to leave first.
This is why i dumped gnome, just so you know.
I tried very hard to figure out what you were talking about there, but I
didn't get it.
Post by Jeff Waugh
It's a vicious cycle, and we're breaking it the right way. :-)
I think that is debatable at best
Seriously, do the hard yards on the user levels stuff. You will also find
that it is an inappropriate way to simplify the user interface.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"It's only ironic because it's true." - Reflexive irony, overheard
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 05:03:07 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeff Waugh">
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jeff Waugh
It totally hammers complexity, comprehension and support requirements.
And hiding it in some xml or binary tree free's up support time??? can
you fill my pipe too, i obviously need some of what you have been smoking.
No, Nautilus had a very accessible 'ski-signs' menu (and other designs were
trialled), while Sawfish had a 'meta' properties page that you could change
the level on.
Oh, wait, I grok what you were saying here. You were teasing GConf. Yes,
GConf is all XML, no binary data (there is some encoded data in there in a
few places, but that's closer to a bug than a policy).

Indeed, the distinction we have between things that are only accessible via
GConf, and things that are exposed in the user interface are very positive
for support and usability. It is worth pointing out that these cases are an
exception to the rule - what is in GConf should almost always appear in the
user interface, but sometimes there are reasons for including preferential
data that we choose not to expose (or haven't exposed *yet*).

You may disagree with our strategy for making Free Software user interfaces
approachable to the common man (are we doing world domination here or what?)
but you're welcome to write that down as a philosophical division, and use
what you want to without viciously attacking other philosophies.

That doesn't close the door on implementation or design bugs that affect our
ability to satisfy these requirements / interaction design philosophy. If
there was something better than GConf that would perform the same tasks,
then it would be our duty to make sure we look at it. Right now, we have an
investment in GConf [1] and quite a lot of rationale backing up that choice,
particularly when it comes to change notification, enterprise management,
and so on.

Put simply, "Ew, that sucks" isn't going to foment a sudden change, but good
and solid feedback and most importantly, code, may.

- Jeff

[1] Though it's not like we haven't changed underlying technologies before.
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"People keep asking me why we aren't married, and he says, 'Every time
I am about to ask you, you do something annoying'." - Kate Beckinsale
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 04:16:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
KDE for example, has a dialog for "eye candy" which you can drag from fast
to slow, and it selects and unselects options as it goes. That make sense.
Having to click on each option off or on, just to slow down, or spruce up
the machine, is silly, but not having the option to turn on (or off) a
particular bit of candy that you either loath, or love, is annoying also.
Unfortunately, this is just as bad as "Novice, Intermediate, Expert"
settings in that it's almost entirely unaccountable. There's no reason why
*performance* features shouldn't "just work" either. You don't see an option
to choose between chunky and bilinear filtering in Panther's Expose... It
just works. There are some appearance features that *are* preferential, and
those are different.
A good point, but bear in mind that different folks are willing accpet
different levels of performance. For me, GNOME is just too slow at the
moment.
Post by Jeff Waugh
I hate how the few GNOME apps I use (Gnumeric mostly now, that's about it)
like the few KDE apps I use (Kopete) drag 10 tonnes of other crap with
them when I fire them up. Although Gnumeric at least, seems to have
dropped a lot of that off recently. It actually starts up faster than it
did a while back.
Much of this is changing as we purge Bonobo and rationalise the Developer
Platform back down to GTK+. But, there will always be a lot of libraries
used by GNOME software, and from our point of view, it makes sense to keep
them separate. Some people have kittens over that, but you can't please
everyone.
Agreed, can't please everyone, by the same token, a system with no
connections to any printers, no printers connected, has exactly what
need for libgnomeprint?
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
E pluribus Linux
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 04:41:20 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Much of this is changing as we purge Bonobo and rationalise the Developer
Platform back down to GTK+. But, there will always be a lot of libraries
used by GNOME software, and from our point of view, it makes sense to
keep them separate. Some people have kittens over that, but you can't
please everyone.
Agreed, can't please everyone, by the same token, a system with no
connections to any printers, no printers connected, has exactly what need
for libgnomeprint?
Because other software links against it. Were we magically transported to
CS101, or what?

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"If I can't be near you I would rather be adrift in space." - Neil
Finn, Try Whistling This
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 04:59:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Much of this is changing as we purge Bonobo and rationalise the Developer
Platform back down to GTK+. But, there will always be a lot of libraries
used by GNOME software, and from our point of view, it makes sense to
keep them separate. Some people have kittens over that, but you can't
please everyone.
Agreed, can't please everyone, by the same token, a system with no
connections to any printers, no printers connected, has exactly what need
for libgnomeprint?
Because other software links against it. Were we magically transported to
CS101, or what?
Nice smart ass answer. Too bad it missed the point.

In the case I am thinking of, I had Gnumeric, with a print dæmon
configured (I forget which one, probably cups) to print to another
machine. But, I wasn't on that network, so Gnumeric, would happily sit
there for a couple of minutes, waiting for the calls to that machine to
timeout, rather than pushing them into the background and letting me get
on with my work, you know, that was supposed to be the point. Me working
with the computer, instead of fighting it.


It wasn't just linking to a library, it was hanging, looking for a
machine that wasn't there, and wasn't going to be there any time soon.
That was broken.
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock

Nothing says "loser" like "nymshifter".
chrisv in C.O.L.A
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 05:05:50 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
Agreed, can't please everyone, by the same token, a system with no
connections to any printers, no printers connected, has exactly what
need for libgnomeprint?
Because other software links against it. Were we magically transported
to CS101, or what?
Nice smart ass answer. Too bad it missed the point.
...
Post by Jim Richardson
It wasn't just linking to a library, it was hanging, looking for a machine
that wasn't there, and wasn't going to be there any time soon. That was
broken.
That sounds like a bug, not a reason to lose the dependency on libgnomeprint

Hmm - are you under the impression that libgnomeprint has something to do
with local printing only, and that network printing is different? That is
not correct. libgnomeprint (while it needs a lot of love) is the part of the
printing infrastructure in GNOME, regardless of where the printer itself
sits.

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

"If I can't be near you I would rather be adrift in space." - Neil
Finn, Try Whistling This
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 05:29:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
Agreed, can't please everyone, by the same token, a system with no
connections to any printers, no printers connected, has exactly what
need for libgnomeprint?
Because other software links against it. Were we magically transported
to CS101, or what?
Nice smart ass answer. Too bad it missed the point.
...
Post by Jim Richardson
It wasn't just linking to a library, it was hanging, looking for a machine
that wasn't there, and wasn't going to be there any time soon. That was
broken.
That sounds like a bug, not a reason to lose the dependency on libgnomeprint
A bug? I'll say.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Hmm - are you under the impression that libgnomeprint has something to do
with local printing only, and that network printing is different? That is
not correct. libgnomeprint (while it needs a lot of love) is the part of the
printing infrastructure in GNOME, regardless of where the printer itself
sits.
libgnomeprint is an example, if the guys who write the software say it's
needed, then it's needed. The point being, that I use my machine in
differing ways, and if the system insists that I only use it in a
specific way, then I will probably have "issues". I don't know if
Gnumeric has the problem I mentioned still, I removed the print dæmon a
while back for other reasons, at the moment I don't print much from this
machine, and it's just as easy for me to do it via ssh as anything now.
But if I have the time this weekend, I can try and duplicate the
problem.
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
To err is human...to really foul up requires the root password.
tek
2004-01-04 03:43:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chip Salzenberg
Post by Jeff Waugh
We really honestly believed that software that was more flexible and
had more options was therefore more usable and "more free".
An easy mistake to make. I've spent some time recently with a
user- experience expert (sometimes called a "GUI designer" due
to the difficulty of explaining what a user-experience expert
does), and I start to understand how little I've understood
about user interfaces in general. And yes, she recommended
"Inmates"; its observation that techie-created UIs tend to
provide knobs for all underlying features seems relevant to
Gnome 1.
Post by Jeff Waugh
What kind of things does your brain say "oh, ow, mum, I really need
an OPTION here"?
Well, I did say I was "researching but undecided" (or words to
Post by Jeff Waugh
nine times out of ten I ask the above question and the person says,
"well, I don't use GNOME, I use fvwm or WindowMaker".
Busted: fvwm. I last used Gnome regularly in 1.x days, and
I'm really not the kind of person to enjoy a UI where certain
keystrokes are simply not available for my chosen use. I want
F12 to bring up a menu, dammit, no matter what application is
currently running. F12-t spawns a new aterm, always. Gnome 1
didn't let me do that, nor does KDE, as far as I can tell.
In KDE its called kmenuedit, chose the app your wanting to setup and
designate a keyboard shortcut for it and you can set up any kind of
keybinding you want with it, this also is one of many reasons i gave up
on gnome. when i decide i dont want to be able to configure the function
of how the gui works ill go back to gnome but to me it matters, enough i
dont use gnome, sure i try it out every couple of releases but its not
for me.

if you want to dumb it down to "sane defaults that is fine, give us a
button that says "propeller head area or super scary advance settings",
but dont go hide the shit in a bunch of .reg files or binary data or an
xml jungle and pat yourself on the back.

with no real frontend or readily available documentation what you might
call "sane" some call stupid and yet others call insane. when you lose
the group on day one it usually doesnt matter what your up to when it
starts coming together. alot of people will only remember when you lost
it, nothing more.
Tnt

--
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Jim Thompson
2004-01-04 04:30:29 UTC
Permalink
Abstract complaints bug you because you've heard too much of them?
I sympathize. We get a lot of whining in Perl land as well.
Perl land is all about whining. So much so that they've shortened the
common bitching is acronym-based.
--
"Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure."
-- Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-02 22:05:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
Freedom is no good if it's too fucking hard to use or
understand. Surely a "freer" interface is one that doesn't chain users
to the floor making 9457 decisions before they even get started?
Neither does freedom mean having it easy. What's your point? There are
a whole range of social and psychological issues that make computers
hard for folks of the current generation(s). That doesn't change the
fact that sometimes you have to put some effort in up front in order to
get something out of it later.
Post by Jeff Waugh
I think usability and freedom are totally orthogonal.
Well, I disagree. Wow, unsubstantiated claims are easy! (If the bit
about how people can make mistakes was relevant somehow you'll have to
draw the connection a bit clearer for me.)
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 22:11:46 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Post by Jeff Waugh
Freedom is no good if it's too fucking hard to use or
understand. Surely a "freer" interface is one that doesn't chain users
to the floor making 9457 decisions before they even get started?
Neither does freedom mean having it easy. What's your point?
Orthonal, aren't they? :-)
Post by Jeremy Hankins
There are a whole range of social and psychological issues that make
computers hard for folks of the current generation(s). That doesn't
change the fact that sometimes you have to put some effort in up front in
order to get something out of it later.
And we're minimising that, because computers shouldn't make people do inane
things to get their work done. I'm not sure why this is so controversial. I
get the distinct feeling that there are some rabbits-in-headlights reactions
going on here...

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"The beanbag is a triumph of modern day eclectic colourism..." - Catie
Flick
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-03 17:07:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Neither does freedom mean having it easy. What's your point?
Orthonal, aren't they? :-)
??? We must be speaking different languages.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jeremy Hankins
There are a whole range of social and psychological issues that make
computers hard for folks of the current generation(s). That doesn't
change the fact that sometimes you have to put some effort in up
front in order to get something out of it later.
And we're minimising that, because computers shouldn't make people do
inane things to get their work done. I'm not sure why this is so
controversial. I get the distinct feeling that there are some
rabbits-in-headlights reactions going on here...
I'm perfectly happy with my ratpoison-like sawfish configuration.
Clearly the how/what distinction that we were talking about at the start
is an article of faith for you, and not something you can defend. Thus
there's no hope of ever reaching common ground for discussion. So
never-mind.
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 17:11:05 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeff Waugh
And we're minimising that, because computers shouldn't make people do
inane things to get their work done. I'm not sure why this is so
controversial. I get the distinct feeling that there are some
rabbits-in-headlights reactions going on here...
I'm perfectly happy with my ratpoison-like sawfish configuration. Clearly
the how/what distinction that we were talking about at the start is an
article of faith for you, and not something you can defend. Thus there's
no hope of ever reaching common ground for discussion. So never-mind.
Well, that's an easy way to cheat yourself out of the discussion. Obviously
it's *my* faith that is at fault. Perhaps you should restate your 'how/what
distinction' in less abstract terms. Right now it's voodoo-la-la-land, with
very little solid ground for argumentation.

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

"If I had an inch for every penis size spam I'd recieved..." - Luis
Villa
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-03 17:31:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
I'm perfectly happy with my ratpoison-like sawfish configuration.
Clearly the how/what distinction that we were talking about at the
start is an article of faith for you, and not something you can
defend. Thus there's no hope of ever reaching common ground for
discussion. So never-mind.
Well, that's an easy way to cheat yourself out of the
discussion. Obviously it's *my* faith that is at fault. Perhaps you
should restate your 'how/what distinction' in less abstract
terms. Right now it's voodoo-la-la-land, with very little solid ground
for argumentation.
Is it just me, or do the above two paragraphs say almost exactly the
same thing (minus the bit about my wm)?

Recap: you defended your usability perspective by claiming that folks
don't care about how, but do care about what. I found that a surprising
argument and explained that I don't see how you can make that
distinction in a way that works for you. I went on to explain that I
see the distinction as a result of choice and context. Choosing the
line to draw between how & what (which is determined in large part by
your choice of idiom) is a very important decision from a usability
perspective. So any viewpoint which simply accepts a given distinction
between how & what is addressing only a small part of the issue.

Short version: I'm asking you to provide a more objective and less
psychological basis for the distinction between how & what than what I
described. Unless you can do that I'm forced to conclude that your
position is circular, because you're defending the choice of idiom by
reference to the choice of idiom.
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-03 17:53:47 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Short version: I'm asking you to provide a more objective and less
psychological basis for the distinction between how & what than what I
described. Unless you can do that I'm forced to conclude that your
position is circular, because you're defending the choice of idiom by
reference to the choice of idiom.
You are being pointlessly abstract. When you come back to Earth, hopefully
with reference to the initial examples, let me know.

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

"So I'll have to talk about what I know instead. If you are so
inclined, you may infer that I am totally oblivious to anything I
don't talk about today." - Larry Wall
Jeremy Hankins
2004-01-03 20:00:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Short version: I'm asking you to provide a more objective and less
psychological basis for the distinction between how & what than what
I described. Unless you can do that I'm forced to conclude that your
position is circular, because you're defending the choice of idiom by
reference to the choice of idiom.
You are being pointlessly abstract. When you come back to Earth,
hopefully with reference to the initial examples, let me know.
Not gonna happen -- if by "back to Earth" you mean mired in minutiae. I
really don't care about gnome, except as it's a focal point of some
wrong-headed and disturbing trends in UI. Any discussion about the
particularities of gnome would be irrelevant. And I wouldn't be able to
participate effectively because I don't know gnome. No problem, because
that's not a conversation I care about. The fact that you keep going
back to "But users don't *_CARE_*" is what I find interesting.

But if you're only interested in trees there's no point in talking about
forests.
--
Jeremy Hankins <***@nowan.org>
PGP fingerprint: 748F 4D16 538E 75D6 8333 9E10 D212 B5ED 37D0 0A03
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 02:03:32 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Not gonna happen -- if by "back to Earth" you mean mired in minutiae. I
really don't care about gnome, except as it's a focal point of some
wrong-headed and disturbing trends in UI.
Hmm. We seem to be doing a rather large amount of hard work, research and
(casual or formal) user testing to be saddled with "wrong-headed and
disturbing". I'm inclined to believe this just really gets up your crack,
and is not based on any serious research or practical application of current
usability practice/theory. Oh, but perhaps all of those smacked up usability
researchers are wrong, and you are right. There is that.

But you are fully entitled to your interesting opinion.
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Any discussion about the particularities of gnome would be irrelevant.
And I wouldn't be able to participate effectively because I don't know
gnome. No problem, because that's not a conversation I care about. The
fact that you keep going back to "But users don't *_CARE_*" is what I find
interesting.
Perhaps you need to hang around with people who don't care about computers
more often. (ha ha bonus troll points.)
Post by Jeremy Hankins
But if you're only interested in trees there's no point in talking about
forests.
Ah, I see. So I am cursed with lack of foresight! I can't see how devolved I
truly am because I can't break through to see the wisdom you take for
granted! Never mind the quest for everyman's acceptance and uptake of the
Free Software desktop - they are too stupid to understand! Woohoo! You're
right, all this self-centred cock-handling is totally where it's at.

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

"Is your sense of identity inextricably bound to a large prime?" -
Michael Meeks
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 04:26:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jeremy Hankins">
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Not gonna happen -- if by "back to Earth" you mean mired in minutiae. I
really don't care about gnome, except as it's a focal point of some
wrong-headed and disturbing trends in UI.
Hmm. We seem to be doing a rather large amount of hard work, research and
(casual or formal) user testing to be saddled with "wrong-headed and
disturbing". I'm inclined to believe this just really gets up your crack,
and is not based on any serious research or practical application of current
usability practice/theory. Oh, but perhaps all of those smacked up usability
researchers are wrong, and you are right. There is that.
But you are fully entitled to your interesting opinion.
The problem I see with many useability studies, is that they study the
first few hours of use for a new user, and ignore what happens after
that. Now, I don't know if that's the case with the studies you mention,
but that is the case with a bunch of them.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jeremy Hankins
Any discussion about the particularities of gnome would be irrelevant.
And I wouldn't be able to participate effectively because I don't know
gnome. No problem, because that's not a conversation I care about. The
fact that you keep going back to "But users don't *_CARE_*" is what I find
interesting.
Perhaps you need to hang around with people who don't care about computers
more often. (ha ha bonus troll points.)
Whay I find interesting, is that there seems to be two threads to your
position.

1) joe sixpack is the target, not leo propellorhead

and

2) Don't complain, if you aren't a propellorhead who can explain how to
do it better.


which is a bit of a dichotomy.
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
The reason the Irish are always fighting each other
is they have no other worthy opponents.
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 04:39:42 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
The problem I see with many useability studies, is that they study the
first few hours of use for a new user, and ignore what happens after that.
Now, I don't know if that's the case with the studies you mention, but
that is the case with a bunch of them.
We cover theory and practical testing. I believe the Sun usability studies
are fairly thorough and time consuming. Plus, they get all kinds of data
back from their beta testing, which can be correlated with user testing
data.
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Perhaps you need to hang around with people who don't care about computers
more often. (ha ha bonus troll points.)
Whay I find interesting, is that there seems to be two threads to your
position.
1) joe sixpack is the target, not leo propellorhead
and
2) Don't complain, if you aren't a propellorhead who can explain how to
do it better.
which is a bit of a dichotomy.
Perhaps you missed some other parts of this thread. A reasoned and positive
approach with backup will get answers, if not results. Random abstract
accusations of wrong-headedness won't. You've already stated your reluctance
to provide specific feedback, so as far as I can tell, you're just enjoying
ill-informed whining.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"I came for the quality, but I stayed for the freedom." - Sean Neakums
Lance Simmons
2004-01-04 05:01:37 UTC
Permalink
You've already stated your reluctance to provide specific feedback, so
as far as I can tell, you're just enjoying ill-informed whining.
Jeff, is it one of your Gnome-related tasks to respond to criticisms
posted to linux-elitists? I ask because I'm familiar with several
informal arrangements in academia (not in any way associated with
computing) in which partisans of one "school of thought" will divide up
the labor to respond to criticisms from specific people in specific
forums. Smith writes articles responding to critics 1 and 2, Jones
writes articles responding to critics 3 and 4, and so on,

Has the Gnome project reached a similar level of organization, or is
your advocacy here independent of Gnomic higher-ups?
--
Lance Simmons
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 05:10:59 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Lance Simmons">
Post by Lance Simmons
You've already stated your reluctance to provide specific feedback, so
as far as I can tell, you're just enjoying ill-informed whining.
Jeff, is it one of your Gnome-related tasks to respond to criticisms
posted to linux-elitists?
Haha, no.
Post by Lance Simmons
Has the Gnome project reached a similar level of organization, or is your
advocacy here independent of Gnomic higher-ups?
I have enjoyed linux-elitists in the past, and had quite a lot of respect
for its general cluefulness. I would like to help fix some of the 'assumed
truths' propagated by some posters, and offer an insight into why we've done
what we've done, and where we're going. What has surprised me greatly is the
amount of direct abuse, rather than curiosity and investigation.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"'Cause remember, smug is beautiful." - Zachary Beane
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 05:18:12 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Jeff Waugh">
Post by Jeff Waugh
I have enjoyed linux-elitists in the past, and had quite a lot of respect
for its general cluefulness. I would like to help fix some of the 'assumed
truths' propagated by some posters, and offer an insight into why we've
done what we've done, and where we're going. What has surprised me greatly
is the amount of direct abuse, rather than curiosity and investigation.
Hmm, also interesting to see that most of the discussion has focused on
"well fuck you, that's not what I'd do or want to use!" or "yes, i like and
use GNOME too", rather than "I don't agree that GNOME's usability strategy
for common computing users makes sense" or "hey, that sounds pretty cool for
my mum, but I'm going to stick with my windowmaker all the same".

More black and white here than greys, which is a bit of a bummer.

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"It's like having someone say to you, 'You should get back together
with your first wife. You guys were good together'. It's not that
simple." - David Byrne on Talking Heads
Lance Simmons
2004-01-04 05:25:41 UTC
Permalink
What has surprised me greatly is the amount of direct abuse, rather
than curiosity and investigation.
I don't intend any direct abuse. Every few months I try Gnome (and KDE)
to see how they're doing, but always seem to end up returning to
ratpoison. Now that I've been using ratpoison for a long time, I can't
seem to bear to give up _any_ pixels to a window manager. Why shouldn't
each program be allowed to use as much real estate as possible?

My main concern with Gnome right now is that some applications will be
developed that _require_ the gnome desktop in order to run properly. I
run some Gnome-oriented applications right now (gnumeric and pan is
pretty much it), but could there be some "killer app" down the road that
forces me to move from ratpoison? I sure hope not...
--
Lance Simmons
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-04 05:33:33 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Lance Simmons">
Post by Lance Simmons
I don't intend any direct abuse. Every few months I try Gnome (and KDE)
to see how they're doing, but always seem to end up returning to
ratpoison. Now that I've been using ratpoison for a long time, I can't
seem to bear to give up _any_ pixels to a window manager. Why shouldn't
each program be allowed to use as much real estate as possible?
My main concern with Gnome right now is that some applications will be
developed that _require_ the gnome desktop in order to run properly. I
run some Gnome-oriented applications right now (gnumeric and pan is pretty
much it), but could there be some "killer app" down the road that forces
me to move from ratpoison? I sure hope not...
Okay, two sides to this...

* If ratpoison (or ion, or whatever similar WM tickles your fancy)
supported the NETWM/EWMH hints as published on freedesktop.org, you
could very easily run one of these window managers with GNOME, even
using the panel and stuff like that if you really wanted to. I don't
know what the progress on this is, but a few people have said they
wanted to do it because they "just... couldn't... give... up..." on
their zany-cool window managers. :-)

* GNOME applications should *not* require you to use the entire desktop.
Same goes with KDE apps. None of us are interested in binding them so
strongly (indeed, lots of people want to port these apps on Windows,
like Gnumeric - coming soon). However, I can already see software coming
that will have fairly deep integration with the desktop (such as
dashboard), but I am certain that they will run without it, and be
available to other software that implements their interfaces (ie. there
are patches for all sorts of wacky programs to use the prototype
dashboard interface, etc).

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

"The aim of the release process is to finish software, not to develop
it..." - Havoc Pennington
Jim Richardson
2004-01-04 05:31:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Jim Richardson">
Post by Jim Richardson
The problem I see with many useability studies, is that they study the
first few hours of use for a new user, and ignore what happens after that.
Now, I don't know if that's the case with the studies you mention, but
that is the case with a bunch of them.
We cover theory and practical testing. I believe the Sun usability studies
are fairly thorough and time consuming. Plus, they get all kinds of data
back from their beta testing, which can be correlated with user testing
data.
that would be nice, if it works.
Post by Jeff Waugh
Post by Jim Richardson
Post by Jeff Waugh
Perhaps you need to hang around with people who don't care about computers
more often. (ha ha bonus troll points.)
Whay I find interesting, is that there seems to be two threads to your
position.
1) joe sixpack is the target, not leo propellorhead
and
2) Don't complain, if you aren't a propellorhead who can explain how to
do it better.
which is a bit of a dichotomy.
Perhaps you missed some other parts of this thread. A reasoned and positive
approach with backup will get answers, if not results. Random abstract
accusations of wrong-headedness won't. You've already stated your reluctance
to provide specific feedback, so as far as I can tell, you're just enjoying
ill-informed whining.
Where did I state my reluctance to provide specific feedback?
--
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
If I want to hear the pitter patter of little feet, I'll
put shoes on my dog.
Nick Moffitt
2004-01-03 01:40:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/
Goddammit. You know, I always used to generate my OWN HTML
from magicpoint, because the damn thing should make it so that
CLICKING ON THE SLIDE ADVANCES. I hate it when people make me scroll,
and then hunt for a teeny tiny link with arbitrary numbers of
chevrons just to read THE NEXT PAGE.
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Nathaniel Smith
2004-01-02 00:34:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
Sandy doesn't care about the tool, the technology or the process - she just
wants to get shit done. Jeremy does - there are technical considerations
that are important to him. They both have the same goal, but are undertaking
it in very different ways.
I don't understand this distinction at all.

I don't care at all about my custom keybindings, really. I mean,
choosing a button to cycle windows -- it's not like there are deep
religious matters involved here. I want to write papers and stuff.

But trying to use word processors for more than five minutes at a
time drives me utterly up the wall, and besides, they totally suck at
all sorts of things I need to do: mathematical notation,
bibliographies, etc. So I use LaTeX, not because "using LaTeX is
important to me", but because "I want to get work done and other
things suck". Similarly, I'm much, much happier and productive since
I switched to ion[1], not because using weird window managers is a
tradition in my family or something, but because it Sucks Less.

Your argument seems to be that GNOME is good for people who don't care
whether their software sucks or not. Fair enough, lots of people will
use the first thing to come to hand no matter its quality, and not
bother finding something better. But "GNOME is good because it comes
preinstalled" is not really a very strong position!

Put another way, the question is really how to make the best tools;
surely Sandy would benefit from TeX-quality typesetting whether she
knows it or not, and she is likely at some point (even if not on this
particular paper) to appreciate the benefits of separation of content
and form, or want to put some paper on a website. You seem to be
saying that anyone who isn't an expert _should_ be using inferior
tools, simply because, eh, they won't recognize quality anyway, so it
doesn't matter.

Let me be clear that I'm agnostic as to GNOME's actual quality; I
don't use it at all, and I'm perfectly happy to think that it might be
great for all sorts of people. Your argument, though, rather fails to
convince me of that. Or is there some other way to make sense of your
distinction?

-- Nathaniel

[1] Ion is one of those funky paned window managers that doesn't
support overlapping windows.
--
.i dei jitfa fanmo xatra
Nick Moffitt
2004-01-02 01:39:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathaniel Smith
I don't understand this distinction at all.
I don't care at all about my custom keybindings, really. I mean,
choosing a button to cycle windows -- it's not like there are deep
religious matters involved here. I want to write papers and stuff.
[oh boy yawn zzzz blah blah blah best wotzit for the gubbins etc etc]
Post by Nathaniel Smith
Let me be clear that I'm agnostic as to GNOME's actual quality; I
don't use it at all, and I'm perfectly happy to think that it might be
great for all sorts of people. Your argument, though, rather fails to
convince me of that. Or is there some other way to make sense of your
distinction?
17:33 <@Atob> These linux-elitist guys sure are good at writing a lot
without saying anything.
17:33 <@Atob> It's like #aglami but with fewer asl.
17:33 <@Atob> NOW WITH EIGHTY PERCENT LESS ASL
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 03:01:13 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Nathaniel Smith">
Put another way, the question is really how to make the best tools; surely
Sandy would benefit from TeX-quality typesetting whether she knows it or
not, and she is likely at some point (even if not on this particular
paper) to appreciate the benefits of separation of content and form, or
want to put some paper on a website. You seem to be saying that anyone
who isn't an expert _should_ be using inferior tools, simply because, eh,
they won't recognize quality anyway, so it doesn't matter.
No, I'm saying she doesn't give a flying fuck. You might think you can force
the wisdom of the ancients down her throat, but she's just going to think
"ugh, geek" and go on with her life. She DOESN'T CARE. AT ALL. She just
wants something that works, preferably soon, and "surely computers are good
enough now that she doesn't need a lot of training, right?"

Maybe you disagree with that world view, but that would just bolster my
point (well, the way you're arguing is doing enough to bolster it already,
so...)
Let me be clear that I'm agnostic as to GNOME's actual quality; I don't
use it at all, and I'm perfectly happy to think that it might be great for
all sorts of people. Your argument, though, rather fails to convince me
of that. Or is there some other way to make sense of your distinction?
You're assuming I'm trying to convince you of something. :-) I don't need
to, and this is when we fall back on the "target market" argument. There's
really no point attempting to convince you of GNOME's point; you're far too
tied up in the technology to care. Likewise, Sandy is far too tied up away
from the technology that she doesn't care about your ideas of what's good
for her.

Besides, she doesn't think you'd be the person tying her up anyway.

- Jeff
--
GVADEC 2004: Kristiansand, Norway http://2004.guadec.org/

I must be getting old... Buying toothpaste with gel in it is no longer
an Absolute Necessity.
Lance Simmons
2004-01-02 03:22:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
Maybe you disagree with that world view, but that would just bolster
my point (well, the way you're arguing is doing enough to bolster it
already, so...)
Let's say I'm someone who is not in GNOME's target audience. Is there
any concrete benefit, _to me_, from supporting GNOME? I'm not feeling
you, dog.
--
Lance Simmons
Jeff Waugh
2004-01-02 03:52:35 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Lance Simmons">
Post by Jeff Waugh
Maybe you disagree with that world view, but that would just bolster my
point (well, the way you're arguing is doing enough to bolster it
already, so...)
Let's say I'm someone who is not in GNOME's target audience. Is there any
concrete benefit, _to me_, from supporting GNOME? I'm not feeling you,
dog.
Outside the usual community / world domination things?

You might switch to GNOME the same way other people have switched to OS X,
at which point you'll care. You might find it useful as a tool to convert
people using non-free software to Free software. You might decide that it's
an attractive platform to build software on.

You've told me what you're not, but... what are you? :-)

- Jeff
--
linux.conf.au 2004: Adelaide, Australia http://lca2004.linux.org.au/

"Debian is not as minor as many business end people think." - Alan Cox
Nick Moffitt
2004-01-01 01:22:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Karsten M. Self">
Post by Karsten M. Self
That's an attitudinal death spiral. Your own current satisfaction
with the project appears to be directly at odds with its stated
goals.
Okay, so you're basically saying exactly what I did when I
said that Jeff was full of shit for claiming that GNOME was all about
non-unix-weenie types. You're just saying it in a way that tries to
be +00 31337 4 GN0M3.
Post by Jeff Waugh
It turns out, that coders and productive geeks actually care more
about what they're doing than how they're doing it - just like those
"normal" people. But they can only reach that point by dipping
their toes in the water. That is what we want to see happen with
GNOME. Right now, you're hooked on all the "how I do it" stuff, but
with a taste of the usability kool-aid, and the realisation that you
just want to get shit done, suddenly it all starts to make sense.
You're treating the computer the same way your Mum does. Great.
Put another way, inflexibility is the biggest symptom of the
clueless wrote user. Many just mask it by PGP-signing their e-mails
to look cool.
Post by Jeff Waugh
It is not that we don't listen to developers (and I would add
"geeks"), but we understand that they are a fundamentally miniscule
minority in the global audience of computer users. Their input is
interesting, but doesn't have a strong representative quality when
you're looking at solving the Greatest Common Factor problems (*NOT*
the Lowest Common Denominator).
Yeah, well, gconf still needs work to take the suck out. Deal.

Karsten just sits there with his helpless wrote user
non-skills and says "I can't even take the nonsense word
TWKWIWKWIKAIWETHEYYOUMESOMETHING out of a Web page title! You can't
expect me to learn to code! I'd probably get the patch backward
anyway!" So instead of trying to start a project to make a gconf
back-end that isn't totally cone-headed, he bitches about the
"attitude" of the GNOME people. Rather like whining on SVLUG that the
LUG is there to "help people".
Post by Jeff Waugh
Happy "still no flying cars yet" New Year,
Oh ghod. Are they still trying that? I shudder to think at
what the American landscape would look like once they abandoned the
areas they've been paving bland for 50 years.

http://www.kunstler.com/eyesore.html
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Tim Hammerquist
2003-12-27 09:03:26 UTC
Permalink
Okay, so I'm a hardcore text nerd. I used to use The Village,
which was a crazy window manager that had no window dressings and
used the virtual desktop grid for all app-switching. All programs
were full-screen, and I LOVED it.
[...]
So beaujolais to the GNOME folks! It's a system that the whole
bicamerally-geeky family can enjoy! You kids need to spend a few
days with it sometime. Maybe then you'll realize what obnoxious
little snots you sound like when you brag about how much you hate
user interfaces.
I love user interfaces, be they CCI or GUI. but if I hadn't been so
familiar with Nick's consistent contributions to the list, I would've
labeled him a run-of-the-mill troll based on this post.

That said, I consent to being trolled. ;)

As a fellow (though non-former) minimalist windowmanager user, I
liked Gnome 1 quite a bit, and even ran the gnome panel under other
WMs right up until Gnome 1 ceased being supported.

Coming from that experience, I *really* WANTED to like Gnome 2. I
won't go into the gripes because we've had far too many. I have come
to like the bulkier GTK2, but the environment as a whole, and
MetaCity in particular, irk me to no end.

Happy (\w+)Box user,
Tim Hammerquist
Don Marti
2003-12-27 21:33:44 UTC
Permalink
I basically agree with Nick, and I tended not to pay much attention
to "GNOME 2 broke my favorite GNOME feature" stories. Metacity works
fine without messing around with keybindings too much, and everything
is plenty fast. I deviate a little less from the default GNOME
way every time I set up a desktop machine.

Even though GNOME 2 actually did break my favorite GMOME feature.

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=225150
--
Don Marti
http://zgp.org/~dmarti Learn Linux and free software
***@zgp.org from the experts in California, USA
http://freedomtechnologycenter.org/
Nick Moffitt
2003-12-28 02:18:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Marti
I basically agree with Nick, and I tended not to pay much attention
to "GNOME 2 broke my favorite GNOME feature" stories. Metacity
works fine without messing around with keybindings too much, and
everything is plenty fast. I deviate a little less from the default
GNOME way every time I set up a desktop machine.
I'd still like some facility to run generic applications from
a key-chord. I'd submit it as a request, but bugzilla is so hostile
to third-party submissions that I can't be arsed. Also, for all I
know 2.4 has it.
Post by Don Marti
Even though GNOME 2 actually did break my favorite GMOME feature.
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=225150
I just use Ctrl-Shift-T to do that. Works great, but you
can't script with it.
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Dave Barry
2003-12-28 02:53:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nick Moffitt
I'd still like some facility to run generic applications from
a key-chord.
At the risk of starting another gconf thread, I'll submit that there is
such a way to customize metacity this way.

You can define custom commands in /apps/metacity/keybinding_commands,
and define their keybindings in /apps/metacity/global_keybindings.

I use gconf-editor to do the editing of the gconf keys, but I suppose
you could edit the xml with a regular text editor.

*ducks*
--
Silence is the voice of complicity.
Jeff Waugh
2003-12-28 03:10:56 UTC
Permalink
<quote who="Nick Moffitt">
I'd still like some facility to run generic applications from a key-chord.
Also, for all I know 2.4 has it.
Dave Barry confirmed it too; 2.4 does have it. It's hidden away in GConf,
but it shouldn't be. I don't think this will be fixed for 2.6 unfortunately
either, but it is there. Under /apps/metacity/keybinding_commands.
I'd submit it as a request, but bugzilla is so hostile to third-party
submissions that I can't be arsed.
Aww, you hate that so much. ;) Trick: Use bug-buddy instead. It uses the
email interface, and you don't need an account. You won't be added to the
bug conversation stuff later, but at least you get it into the system.

- Jeff
--
Come to gnome.conf.au 2004! http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/

Wars end, love lasts.
Nick Moffitt
2003-12-28 03:14:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Waugh
<quote who="Nick Moffitt">
I'd submit it as a request, but bugzilla is so hostile to
third-party submissions that I can't be arsed.
Aww, you hate that so much. ;) Trick: Use bug-buddy instead. It uses
the email interface, and you don't need an account. You won't be
added to the bug conversation stuff later, but at least you get it
into the system.
Cool. I'll keep that in mind (although I'll likely not
upgrade from 2.2 any time soon).
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
Don Marti
2003-12-28 21:24:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nick Moffitt
Post by Don Marti
Even though GNOME 2 actually did break my favorite GMOME feature.
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=225150
I just use Ctrl-Shift-T to do that. Works great, but you
can't script with it.
Not directly, but apt-get install xautomation and you can do
something like this:

new_tab ()
{
xte 'keydown Control_L' 'keydown Shift_L' 'key t' \
'keyup Control_L' 'keyup Shift_L' \
"str exec $*" 'key Return'
}

http://zgp.org/linux-elitists/***@zgp.org.html
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6415
--
Don Marti
http://zgp.org/~dmarti Learn Linux and free software
***@zgp.org from the experts in California, USA
http://freedomtechnologycenter.org/
Nick Moffitt
2003-12-28 22:08:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Marti
new_tab ()
{
xte 'keydown Control_L' 'keydown Shift_L' 'key t' \
'keyup Control_L' 'keyup Shift_L' \
"str exec $*" 'key Return'
}
Rockomatic!
--
"Forget the damned motor car and build cities for lovers and friends."
-- Lewis Mumford

end
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