"Software Sources" design (Re: An update repository for a custom distro?)
Matthew Paul Thomas
mpt at canonical.com
Wed Jan 3 00:22:10 UTC 2007
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
On Dec 26, 2006, at 8:55 AM, Sebastian Heinlein wrote:
> Furthermore I would welcome feedback about the software-properties
> dialog layout and the underlaying infrastructure. I am currently
> working on making it more derviat friendly.
1. It is a shame that this window needs a "System" > "Administration"
menu item of its own. (This seems to be a symptom of Synaptic,
Add/Remove Applications, and Update Manager being three separate
programs, which is bizarre and confusing.)
2. The authentication alert refers to "software-properties", but the
window is called "Software Sources". These should be reconciled.
3. In Synaptic, the item that opens this window should be labelled
"Software Sources...", not "Repositories".
4. The window gives no indication of what it's actually for. I see many
checkboxes, but their labels are almost all noun phrases, and there
is no verb phrase introducing them.
5. The organization of tabs is awkward. Three of the five appear to be
for listing sources of software, and two of the five aren't. And the
first is labelled "Ubuntu 6.10", which (probably wrongly) suggests
that the other four are about some other system. I'll be more able
to make a suggestion about improving this once #4 is fixed.
6. Some of the checkboxes are in indeterminate [-] state, but no reason
for this is provided. Further, clicking such a checkbox three times
should return it to the indeterminate state (-> checked -> unchecked
-> indeterminate) , but it doesn't. (The only way to do this seems
to be clicking "Revert", which presumably forgets all the other
changes I wanted to make too.)
7. The "Help" button doesn't seem to give any help on this window at
all. It displays help for Update Manager instead.
In the "Ubuntu 6.10" tab:
8. "Community-maintained" and "Canonical-supported" are short adjective
phrases, which should therefore use dashes.
9. The "Download from:" menu contains two items: "Main server" and
"Server for Zimbabwe". I don't even live in Africa, let alone
Zimbabwe, so I don't know why the second option is there nor how to
10. "CDROM" should be "CD-ROM".
11. The "CDROM/DVD" section is disabled with no explanation. Maybe the
box could, when disabled, contain a short sentence describing what
to do to make it enabled.
In the "Internet Updates" tab:
12. There is no explanation of the difference between "Important" and
"Recommended" updates. Why is it possible, for example, to have the
former turned off and the latter turned on?
13. There is no explanation of what "Proposed updates" and "Backported
14. The final three checkboxes contradict each other in two ways.
- If I uncheck "Check for updates automatically", and check
"Download updates automatically, but do not install them",
updates apparently both will and won't be downloaded. This can
be fixed by disabling the final two checkboxes when "Check for
updates automatically" is turned off.
- If I check both "Download updates automatically, but do not
install them" and "Install security updates without
confirmation", security updates apparently both will and won't
be installed automatically. This can be fixed by replacing the
checkboxes with an "Install them automatically:" menu containing
three options: "Never", "Security updates only", and "Always".
In the "Third Party" tab:
15. "Third Party" is an adjective phrase, and there is no further
explanation of what this list is for. Tell me what it's for, and
I'll turn it into a label or a caption. :-)
16. "Add" should be "Add...", and "Edit" should be "Edit...".
17. "Cdrom" should be "CD-ROM".
18. The "Add..." and "Add CD-ROM..." buttons should not use the same
icon. Perhaps the latter could use a CD icon.
In the "Authentication" tab:
19. There is no explanation of what this list is for.
20. "Import Key File" should be "Import Key File...".
In the "Statistics" tab:
21. Using an entire tab just for a single checkbox is excessive. How
this should be solved depends on #5 above.
22. The description shouldn't be above the checkbox and in italics. It
should be under the checkbox, and indented the same amount as the
23. "To improve the user experience of Ubuntu"? Really? Has that ever
happened? If so, be more specific. If not, remove the checkbox.
24. The description needs shortening and rewording. For example, "Take
part in the popularity contest" suggests, if you don't read the full
description (and few will), that it is a contest of people rather
than software. And "on a weekly basis" can be shortened to "weekly".
Matthew Paul Thomas
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (Darwin)
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss