Re: new file selector dialog?

On Fri, 2002-03-08 at 17:30, David Moles wrote:
> On Fri, 2002-03-08 at 14:13, Sean Middleditch wrote:

> > Actually, the three biggest misfeatures of GNOME are *constantly* talked
> > about, by both GNOME users and non-GNOME users.  Those would be, since
> > you are curious, the file selector, the difficulty of configuration, and
> > low amount of integration.
> There, now that's much better. :) Sorry -- I have my head down in
> the details of the usability, gnome-devel, and nautilus mailing list
> discussions and don't tend to see the big picture.

Ah.  Being much much much more of a user of GNOME than a developer (heh,
I don't think I count as developer at all - I've never finished even one
of my GNOME projects... I'm just not a GUI person), I see the big
picture a lot more and very little of the individuals or internals.  ^,^

> > The file selector is terrible.  The only thing nice about it is tab
> > completion.  From an average idiot point of view, it's unusable.
> I wouldn't call it completely unusable, though I will admit it makes me
> cringe. Is there any agreement on just what's broken and just what needs
> to be fixed, though?

I dunno.  Honestly, the one thing that is obviously hated the most is
loss of file name when selecting a directory.  Everything else to "fix"
is just convenience/eye candy.

For example, seeing MIME-type icons for files would be eye candy. 
Improving the icons (heh, there *aren't* icons in GTK 1.x file selector)
for the various buttons is eye candy.

Stuff like adding shortcuts to devices/home dir/documents dir/etc. is

So far as that goes, if we're talking GNOME, I would think it'd be
really easy to add some GConf entries for that.  THen, the sys admin can
set some defaults (floppy, CD, global shared file mount, etc.) and the
user can set their own (MP3 dir, Documents dir, etc.).

> > Configuration is a pain - the control center is not laid out at all in a
> > useful way for newbies/idiots.  And, generally, you can't get to the
> > control center from the places a user would expect (i.e., entering the
> > MIME type/URL handler from within the Evolution display settings, where
> > a user would want to control the display of MIME attachments on their
> > messages).
> I think the GNOME 2.0 control center is significantly improved,
> particularly with the trend toward getting rid of as many capplets
> as possible. Not to say it still doesn't need work.

I've played with older versions of the GNOME 1.x beta of the new control
center, and it looks a lot nicer.  Some things are just in need of
integration, tho.  Especially the look/feel things.  Themes for
GNOME/Sawfish, fonts, colors, and all of that need to be in a single
area, with related settings in the same tab/windows (themes for Sawfish
and GNOME should be something like app themes and desktop themes, or
something an idiot can almost understand).

But meta-theme should help with that.  ^,^

> I think not being able to get to controls from where you'd expect
> is a problem with the applications. The hooks are there, or Nautilus
> wouldn't be able to launch it for you -- even if the dialog box
> that gets you there has silly text and the control itself is over-
> complicated and confusing.

Ya.  I've submitted a few bug reports/complaints, and some of the app
developers are actually (wow) agreeing with me.  ^,^

> > And integration is poor... GNOME 2.0 should be better.  Integration
> > means anything from the above mentioned configuration problems to the
> > general lack of applications that work together.  I want to see how much
> > the GNOME 2.0 apps help with that - the problem seems to be based
> > largely on architecture, which is what GNOME 2 changes the most of.
> Part of the problem is that the so-called GNOME Office isn't really a
> project, it's a grab bag of applications. I assume KOffice is better
> in that respect. (I've never been able to get it to run on my RedHat
> system even after setting up a second user with KDE instead of GNOME
> as their desktop.)

Ya, but KOffice is unstable.  Most of KDE is unstable.  Which is why *I*
don't use it.  (This isn't just "opinion" - it honestly crashes a lot,
on every system I've used it)

> > GNOME developers in general seem to work like I do.. rewriting the
> > underlying architecture of the apps/systems 10 billion times and never
> > getting much work done on the part the user sees.  ^,^
> Sometimed I get the feeling that all the apps people jumped on the
> KDE/QT bandwagon right away, leaving only the architecture people to
> work on GNOME/GTK. :) That said, I think at least Gnumeric, Evolution,
> Galeon and (aside from performance) Nautilus are the equal of anything
> out there.

Nautilus and Gnumeric are OK.  I've played with better (no offense, but
in my opinion, those betters would be the standard Windows
counterparts).  But the GNOME versions *are* getting better and better. 

Galeon rules.   End of story.  ~,^

Evolution needs a lot of work.  It's basic functionality works, but
you'll notice it stopped being Groupware and became PIM.  PIM is nice
and all, but Groupware is a lot more useful.  What *I'd* need are
Groupwise plugins.  What a Linux shop would need is a nice Linux server
(Ximian Group-Monkey or something... ;-) with solid Evo. plugins.  What
would also be nice is a general IMAP plugin (store/retrive
calender/tasks/contacts/etc. from shared IMAP folders), for
mixed-environment/personal settings (There are modules for OUtlook to
use IMAP, thus my parents, girlfriend and I could share a calendar. 
That, and Evo. has some annoying bugs left (all in bug database, just
waiting for the good hackers to get the time to fix them all).

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