[Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME

On 12-Dec-05, at 8:33 PM, Till Kamppeter wrote:

And we all were of the opinion that
the GNOME printing dialog (and also the printing dialogs of Firefox and
Thunderbird) needs improvement.

Before Firefox 1.0, there was much kerfuffle over this, and out of that came a pledge from someone in the GNOME camp to separate the gnome-print dialog system from the gnome-print "you must render through this" system, such that the dialog could be used on GNOME desktops. I don't think it ever materialized, though I can't be bothered to look for the bug now. After the amount of crap I took for pushing to get the GNOME file dialog in -- and I mean that it was the single biggest usability complaint from our Linux user community by several orders of magnitude -- I was in no real rush to go that route again. I remain unrushed, but if people want to do the work (including the user-testing work, keeping in mind that we actually care about GNOME installations that are more than a year old, etc.) then there's probably time to get it changed in Firefox 2 if the patch is good enough.

(The KDE people are much less vitriolic about how Firefox is wearing white after Labour Day on their desktop, for whatever reason, and nobody has bothered to even wire up the file dialog, except for one frustrated hacker who used GNOME.)

Of course, we support more than just Linux in the Unix-printing world, but if the time has come for an XP_LINUX that differs from XP_UNIX, or even XP_LINUX_GNOME, then I'd be willing to hear a pitch for it.

Today I talked with Frederic Crozat, GNOME packager/maintainer and
desktop developer here at Mandriva, and David Barth, vice president for
engineering, about the development of the printing dialogs in GNOME,
Firefox, and Thunderbird.

I *humbly* submit that that group is not the right set of people to be discussing the future of the printing model in Firefox and Thunderbird. By all means put together a proposal for improving how we print on Linux, but please don't think that it will be accepted simply by fiat (even my mighty fiat, ahem!). I also caution against what we've seen as a pattern so far, which is "well, then we'll just patch our build", for various reasons that aren't really appropriate for this list.


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