Re: [Usability]GNOME 2.0 feedback

> "Nautilus isn't a terribly good file manager. It's slow and hard to
> use. It doesn't offer a tree view. Its visible appearance is dull, and
> it's not especially quick. It doesn't have any real shortcuts or
> accelerators.
> "If it hasn't got a viewer application, it should ask you what you want
> to use (just like windows does).
> "The whole mime-type registry thing needs a good going over.

I would have to agree here, but I prefer the command line for most of my
file management, so I guess I'm a bit biased. When I used to use Windows
I preferred explorer over the command line; although I hate to admit MS
is good for anything, nautilus could learn a lot from the explorer file
manager and desktop.

> "The main application menu has changed from the bottom to the top
> panel. This might please some Mac addicts, but is a poor choice for
> everyone else. (The default should surely be to work like the Windows,
> KDE, and old gnome - the start button is bottom left. And then have an
> option to do it the other way.

I agree with this, but I'd like to add that the functionality of the
menu panel should not be restricted to just menu panels. With GNOME 1.4
I never used a taskbar; I preferred to use the desktop pager, which in
GNOME 2 has been stripped of it's, IMO, most important feature. I prefer
an "x small" "corner panel" at the bottom center of the screen with the
main menu, a few common app icons, and the pager, but in GNOME 2 I can't
get this to work. In order to find a minimized application I have to use
a taskbar or the app list on the menu panel. In 1.4 the app list was a
part of the pager, and I don't see why it was removed. As a result of
this, GNOME 2 takes up at least twice the screen space, in panels, that
1.4 needed to take up. I also don't like that transparency was removed
from the panel background options, or that the menu panel isn't
customizable at all.
> "Dialogs have help and close buttons. This is daft. What happened to
> cancel and OK? (If I hit close, does it apply the changes I've made or
> not? What if I shut a window from the window manager? In fact, I tried
> this and the behaviour is downright dangerous - closing via the window
> manager applies the changes, which isn't at all what I would expect.)

I would have to agree here also; sometimes I just want to cancel and get
back to the way things were. Making it easier for someone to permanently
screw something up is not very user-friendly.

> "In Terminal, the Home and End keys both scroll you to the bottom - as
> opposed to the normal behaviour where Home scrolls up to the top.
> The delete key doesn't work, either - I get a tilde instead.
> "How to edit terminal preferences? You can't, because it refers to them
> as "profiles" which will simply confuse users.
> "The tabbed terminal feature I like, but the visual style of the tabs
> isn't very good - they're pretty indistinct.

I think Home should scroll to the top too, but delete works fine for me.
As for preferences, shouldn't there be "advanced" options for people who
want some actual control over what's going on. I had to manually edit
the gconf xml file to set the font I wanted (the one I used in 1.4
gterm) because there is no way to add in things like encoding with the
current font selector. The fixed width font I use is a bit strange in
that the sizes and shapes vary with encoding, so simply picking that
font doesn't give the desired result. I also agree about the profiles;
if I want a different profile, I'll log in as a different user. The tabs
are all wrong now too. In 1.4 tabs there was a close button right on the
tab, and the tab only took up enough space as was needed instead of all
available space. It's nice to have tabs in the terminal now, but they
should work the way they used to and should be consistent throughout the
G2 applications (eg. gedit tabs are totally different than gterm tabs).

> "In the workspace switcher, you can drag windows between workspaces, but
> dragging within a workspace doesn't cause the window to move (despite
> it moving in the workspace switcher view).

This is another good point, and also when a window is moved to a
workspace that does not have focus, that workspace's view in the
switcher isn't updated until that workspace is given focus.

> "(Overall) the biggest problem I see is the poor useability. It drives me (a
> patient and long-suffering beta tester) up the wall. I see no prospect
> whatsoever of our scientists or secretaries ever getting to grips with
> it."

Not to mention those of us who thought GNOME 1.4 was great. I think a
usability study on 1.4 to 2.0 transition would help a lot.


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