Re: [Usability] The Pathetic State of the GNU/Linux Desktop

Thorsten Wilms wrote:
On Sun, Feb 18, 2007 at 07:54:45PM -0500, Jacob Beauregard wrote:

The Pathetic State of the GNU/Linux Desktop

Pathetic is quite a strong word. Such a broad and unfounded claim shows a lack or respect to all the hard work that went into current offerings. It is no at all constructive.

I only said that to catch your attention.
There is no excuse for a blind person not to be able to use a mouse, it's just that nobody has made this available to them. There's no excuse that a blind person has to use a long-winded screen reader when they're tabbing through a panel or their desktop.

Maybe I'm missing something ... but explain to me how a blind user is supposed to use a mouse, a device where you have to rely on visual feedback?

Who said that you have to rely on visual feedback to use a mouse? There could always be a sound to describe where I am on the screen.
I also mentioned long-winded screen readers

You like to prepend long-winded screenreaders. Are there screenreaders that are not long-winded? How can a non-visual user interface be not long-winded, given that audio and tactile interfaces have to serial? Ok, I could imagine 'broadband' tactile interfaces, but the hardware would be damn expensive.
What you fail to interpret is that a worded description is not the only way to identify something using audio, much in the same way we don't rely on text when using icons.

One thing I notice about all of these applications using tabs, usually they have varying functionality. Some let you drag and drop a tab and have it create a new window, or drag a tab to another tab bar of the same application and it will merge into that window. Some have X buttons, some don't. Some applications like hiding the tabs if there's only one open. Tabs can be easily compared to window lists. I'll tell you what I see with this, a huge potential gain for functionality and interoperability.

Well, I would like to see a single implementation of tabs. Or at least consistent behaviour everywhere.

Then we agree here for the most part.

First, since tabs with X buttons on them have proved usable and successful, why not have the functionality to add the -[]X stuff to the task bar? The only difference between the task bar and a tab bar is that the task bar generally handles multitasking whereas a tab bar generally organizes several things that aren't all being used at once.

X buttons would take space away from the labels.
They would likely increase the time it takes to 'read' the task bar.
Task bar entries are associated with windows. Windows that have X buttons.
Closing is accessible via right-click on a task bar item.
Try taking into mind Mozilla's reasoning to put individual X buttons on the tabs of Firefox. No, they didn't have those initially.

Secondly, why in the world haven't all applications come together on the dragging a tab out opens that tab in a new window, and dragging a tab back in merges it into the current window, and closes its own? One reason that people generally don't like tabs is that it gets into the way of their multitasking, where this kind of feature overcomes that, giving more power to the user.

While I agree that being able to pull tabs out and in would be nice, it's new to me that people generally don't like tabs. I think tabs have appeared exactly there where users prefer them over windows and do not miss the characteristics of windows much (separate windows having there own size and location, showing/hiding, moving between worksapces).
Let's say I'm using Gaim and I want to view two conversations side-by-side. It could be the same for two different websites, chat rooms, etc.

P.S. And now I will mention that this entire letter is stream of consciousness, so good luck reading it.

Yeah, the way to go to show good manners and respect for your readers. Like, do you really want to communicate something else except some vague frustration?

Wow, this response is the least constructive I've received. A lot of the KDE people have been focused on many of the problems I've mentioned here for quite some time.

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