[Usability] Three dialog problems
- From: "Matthew Nuzum" <newz bearfruit org>
- To: usability gnome org
- Subject: [Usability] Three dialog problems
- Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 10:56:20 -0600
Here are three specific problems I've noticed with dialogs.
Let me first say that I'm not a computer novice. I've been using Linux
on the desktop for close to a year now continuously and off and on for
a few years before that (since Helix Gnome days). I know work-arounds
for the problems I'm mentioning, but they bother me and slow me down,
and I know that less experienced users can be hampered severely.
First problem: Open dialog is very ambiguous. I frequently run into
the problem that I've illustrated here:
The problem comes when I have multiple documents with similar names
that were modified on the same day. For example, I frequently post
press releases. They sometimes come in MS Word format. I may then save
them as .sxw and as .pdf. In most of Gnome's open dialogs (I'd say
all, because its every one I've seen) you cannot tell which document
is the .pdf file. I know the .pdf is the newest file, but gnome
"helpfully" conceals the modification time so I'm not sure which was
edited most recently. This happens to me frequently enough that if you
don't like my contrived example in the screenshot, I can come up with
a non-contrived one by the end of the week.
I don't know a solution to this, but it is still a problem.
Second problem: Save as Dialogs are cluttered such that critical tasks
are obscured. I use gedit a lot, and its save as dialog is a perfect
Note that folders I *never* use, folders whose name begins with a dot,
come up first. "Character encoding" gets almost as much screen real
estate as the file browser. The file browser itself is so tiny that
you can barely see anything in there. Disabled form elements (two
buttons and a select list above) consume a great deal of space.
I don't know a perfect solution to this, but one option could be to
hide the disabled select list for "save in folder," shrink or remove
the character coding select list, shrink the "add/remove" buttons
(which I'm not sure what they do, so are they necessary?) and do some
re-arranging of the "all files" select list.
Third problem I'm mentioning is a continuation of the first. This is
the lack of detail about modification times.
Here is a dialog from Firefox where I'm trying to choose a file to
upload. I don't remember the name, because it was batch converted. But
I know it was in the last 5 min. However, I did a batch conversion of
20+ other files earlier in the day, so all the files are listed
*simply* as being modified today.
I'll file bug reports for these three things, but wondered if you had
any comments before I did so. I hate to be a burden on the developers
and the bug triagers, so anything I can do before filling a bug to
make their life easier I'm eager to do.
newz2000 on freenode
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