Easy for new users? So many good suggestions...

Joe Crawford joetainment at gmail.com
Wed Nov 17 12:08:44 CST 2004

> > > You know you can close the parten window when you open a new one by
> > > keeping the shift-key pressed, right?
> >
> > Or by using the middle mouse button if you are lazy like me. :)

Both are only useful for people that know about that functionality.
Its hard to "discover" by new users, unless they just randomly go
around middle-clicking, seeing what happens.

> > (I really wished I could have found that in the documentation before
> > reading some tips&tricks pages on the internet about the "spatial
> > view".)
> >
> That is what i'm talking about: defaults should "just work", and work
> the best way (both for novice and experienced users).
> If they don't, then my belief is that it's not an option for a novice
> to go find more info (web, mailing lists, whatever) about it, because
> it's not really a problem or bug, but rather a "way of doing things"
> I guess that someone completely new to linux has no idea of what
> "spatial view" is, and i bet most people will feel some degree of
> disconfort using it.
> Any help that can be guiven to such users (without causing other
> problems/bloatware) is, imho, needed.
> Cheers,
> João Inácio
> jcinacio at gmail.com

No kidding! You are 100% correct. It seems ridiculous that anyone
would even argue with you. I am not being sarcastic. I've been
following this thread right from the begining and immediately, upon
your first post. I installed Ubuntu on a couple computers and one of
the first things I did on both was make a browse filesystem icon in
the top taskbar. In the computer menu in a fine place to put it too
though. Gnome spatial confuses new users, especially if they are used
to windows. Its immediately a strong put off, and although being able
to work that way it fine, being able to work the other way should be
just as easy. A shortcut like you suggest solves the problem.

On a general note, I've notice a consistent tearing down of ideas
suggested to make the user interface friendly for new users. Even
though compared to most features already in the interface they'd be
far easier to implement. I've even offered to send some scripts, but
since my ideas (and those like mine) just got shot down anyway, I
decided it wasn't worth it.

As with many open source programs, I think often developers are
approaching the process too much from a developers perspective, and
from the perspective of someone already familiar with linux. Not
enough care is being taken to really "get into the users shoes", and
make the software accessible to someone that is new to linux.

I've pretty much given up posting to the list because of it. All we
tend to get back is arguments, and although our proposed solutions may
not be perfect, rather than a better way of fixing the problem being
found, they tend to simply be forgotten.

I was really interested in helping, and have a profound understanding
of how new users react to computers and software, because I am a
teacher at a school that teaches computer animation. After suggestions
get shot down consistently, it no longer seems worth making them.

I do hope the list gets better over time. I'd be interested to hear
what the main developers have to say about this situation.


Joe Crawford
Owner - Joetainment Enterprises
Cell: 604-866-3050
Email: joe at joetainment.com
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