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

On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 10:02 +0100, Murray Cumming wrote:

> > 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.
> >
> > Frederic told that the options from the PPD file are intentionally mot
> > listed in the printing dialog, the usability team of GNOME was against
> > listing these options.
> I don't remember any such discussion, though I could be wrong. I think
> it's highly unlikely. It's more likely that the GNOME print system was
> difficult to do and started out with something simple. And it hasn't had
> much attention lately while we've waited for other parts of the printing
> system to fall into place.
> The gnome-print list might be a better place to discuss this:
> Also, there seems to be consensus that we are now almost ready to get a
> real standard print dialog into GTK+ itself, so gtk-devel-list is suitable
> too. But rather than cross-posting this probably needs someone to
> coordinate things, if nobody is doing it already. Your ideas are a great
> start on this.
> (I'm not a libgnomeprint* developer.)

By coincidence, I lost this last weekend of hacking on my projects to
address my wife's greatest concern at the moment...printing her holiday
pictures. She has HP 7660 PhotoSmart equipped with a photo tray that can
do margin-less printing on three sides.  She knows it can do this under
Windows without configuring it.  She could configure the printer to
print (using the CUPS backend with Ubunut Breezy), but was near tears to
print family pictures.

gThumb, gnome-photo-printer, and f-Spot could not print the photos
correctly, in-part because the print dialog, and ultimately gnomeprint,
makes too many assumptions about the user's needs, and either sends bad
data to CUPS, or just sends too much. She could save to file, and from
command line, print a perfect photo using options, or a CUPS instance,
or another spooler setup on the same printer. CUPS does work, and she
knows it. Our print systems doesn't work and she knows it. I have
modified the UIs, the defaults of gnomeprint, and her PPD to satisfy her
needs--and the Just Doesn't Work for me.

We do need something somewhere between exposing options that confuse
most users and default options that are based on the needs of printing
text. Instead of classifying people as power-users and lusers, we should
consider a way to configure an application to satisfy the task at hand.
Users, and applications assume roles in their work.  Applications could
have (I hate writing this) 'modes' to change one or more behaviors to
satisfy the user at that moment. Computing would be easier when the
application understood the role it was playing with the user. I
personally would like one browser, but I am a Web developer and a user,
so I use Firefox with developer extensions and Epiphany to satisfy my


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Guilty of stealing everything I am.

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