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

The requirements are probably something like "work everywhere that Firefox works, and don't suck".  

We have a user-experience lead whom I love too much to copy on this thread, but his time is currently best spent on things other than designing our Unix printing dialog.

Consider this an open invitation for someone to come forward with a proposal, plan, and patch for the Unix printing experience on Firefox.  It's been an under-owned area, though I think at various times Marco Pesetti, Chrises Lahey Blizzard and Aillon, and even Jody (hi!) have poked their heads in.  The Sun guys use Xprint or something with their suite builds, but I don't think supporting Xprint well is a must-have.

I'm glad to hear that you think it's a top priority, because it will probably take quite a bit of work to get "right", given the breadth of printing and desktop configurations that we support today.

(Please don't think that you can add a dep on libgnomeui, or even an especially-recent GTK, though, without a lot of justification and pref control.  We still have users on RH8 and 9 today, to say nothing of older Solaris setups, and for Firefox 2 at least we're not looking to break them.  Of course, a compelling case that 1997-vintage print dialogs are hurting adoption of Firefox would be, well, compelling.)

(Apologies for the wrapping, but nobody has ported Evo to the blackberry yet!)
-----Original Message-----
From: Till Kamppeter <till kamppeter gmx net>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 17:39:50 
To:Mike Shaver <shaver mozilla org>
Cc:usability gnome org, jody gnome org, mclasen redhat com,       desktop_architects lists osdl org
Subject: Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME

Mike Shaver wrote:
> 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.
> Mike

I think, the Firefox/Thunderbird dialog has to be replaced urgently, I
do not know how the original one looks like (I am on Mandriva 2006), but
when one clicks on "Properties" and gets a cryptic printing command line
to edit, I think this is far from user-friendly. Then a long list of PPD
options is already MUCH better.

What are the exact rquirements for a Firefox/Thunderbird printing
dialog? Who in the Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird team is responsible for
the dialog? So that one can talk with him.



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