[ubuntu-web] Girl gets Ubuntu on a Dell by mistake, absolutely hates it...

Otto Kekäläinen otto at sange.fi
Fri Jan 16 11:00:03 GMT 2009


I'd have to agree with Tomasz and MTP: this is the least of our
priorities and the suggestion how to improve this bit is highly arguable
and not necessary an improvement at all.

Can you prove with some usability study or similar that this wording is
really misunderstood by an large amount of people? Would this new
wording fix the issue or just make another new group of people confused?

To me software library of software catalogue does not give an
information "scent" that it would be possible to add programs trough it.
It does not sound more like just a list of available applications I
already have.

Also as a Finnish translator I recognise, that translating this new term
to bee any more precise than "add/remove" is difficult.

I think the real issue here is not wording - the real issue here is that
the whole concept of being able to install any program out of a
selection of thousands of programs for totally free is not what Windows
users are used to. We need to educate people about software repositories
and how package management work, and I frankly don't think that the
wording of this item has much of value in that quest.

There are however many places where usability improvements could make
Ubuntu much more attractive, e.g.:

- Grub is text-only and not translated: can't we greet new Ubuntu users
with anything friendlier?

- The default image viewr Eye of Gnome does not provide the usual image
manipulation features even newbie users need, like crop, resize and
adjust colors, while F-Spot is resource hungry and it's way of putting
all of the users photos in hundreds of different folders makes it very
uncompatible to be cross-used with other image prosessing programs. My
recommendation would be to make Gthumb should be the default image
viewer: it has enough features but it's still simple. Try it!

- Gimp is getting better, but it still brakes the basic windowing model.
It should have just one big window with the child windows within rather
than the confusing monster it now is. It should take example of
OpenOffice.org in how child windows are managed.

- The are two annoyning usability bugs in Nautilus: 
-- When in file operations a file with the same filename replaces an
older file and a user is asked for confirmation, the old file should be
sent to the Trash folder like other files that get deleted by user
-- When a user copies files from a CD or DVD (which is mounted
read-only), the files _stay_ read-only even though after copying the
reside in the users on home directory. Then when the user wants to move
or edit the files, Nautilus does not allow it and users just can't
figure out why.

- DVD-menus still don't work in Nautilus!

- In some situations the password manager of Gnome starts asking for a
new global password for the password database, and even for experienced
Linux-activists like me the logic is hard (and undocumented). It would
be better it the password manager would always open by default after
login, unless the user specifies else in her preferences.

..just a few to mention..

So I hope we could fix bigger issues first than smaller issues, which
aren't even broken. Although it is good that people present new ideas
all the time! ;)

And what comes to the Dell girls case: usability can't fix everything.
Users are still going to need some education and personal support
service providers (since people are not going to read documentation and
they forget their education).

| Otto Kekäläinen
| http://www.sange.fi/

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