Another Ubuntu Hoary Hedgehog review and some notes on MPT's blog entry

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Sun Apr 10 17:34:19 CDT 2005

(following up to ubuntu-devel rather than sounder, since this is on-topic
there.  Please direct followups to ubuntu-devel only)

On Sun, Apr 10, 2005 at 05:04:42PM -0500, J.B. Nicholson-Owens wrote:

> - Point #42: "Unmount"ing something is technical sounding.  Something less 
> technical should be used.  Ejecting a disc is fine.  Perhaps there is 
> something one could use to describe disconnecting a camera (like 
> "Disconnect camera")?

I agree; however, no terminology has yet been suggested which creates the
proper expectations.

> - Point #43: GNOME's CD player is also bad because it only works with 
> analog connections.  If programs should "just work", CD players should play 
> ripped audio.  I look forward to seeing a Sound Juicer that also plays and 
> records ripped audio so the list of apps to do this job are short and 
> simple--one.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to automatically determine which method
should be used on a particular system.

> - Generally, far more integration is needed.  Apps should not try to do 
> online things when there is no working network connection.

NetworkManager will provide the basis for this kind of integration; however,
I disagree that it is needed in order to provide a good user experience.
Where this integration is available, we will take advantage of it, but where
it is not, this should not be considered a bug.

> - Point #66: Bugzilla is too hard for novices to use (and therefore will 
> not be used by them).  Novices shouldn't have to care about what, 
> Nautilus, Metacity, etc. are or what makes them different from one another. 
> I think most novices will identify them collectively as some high-level 
> class like "the GUI" or somesuch thing.  Ubuntu makes more of an effort 
> than other organizations do with their Bugzillas, but there needs to be a 
> feedback mechanism that lets users quickly give a short reflection on an 
> arbitrary section of the OS.  The hardware database wizard (or whatever 
> it's called) is a step in the right direction.

Bugzilla is not intended to be used by novices.  In order for a bug report
to be genuinely useful, it must be written with a certain amount of
understanding of the workings of the system.  Otherwise, too much time is
spent teaching the user how to explain their problem.

This is the crucial difference between a bug report and a support request,
and Bugzilla is exclusively for bug reports.

> - GNOME (or perhaps its metacity) needs a way to let the user set the size 
> of common UI elements.  The problem with working in bitmaps is that as 
> screen resolution increases, the overall size of bitmaps decrease.  So it's 
> hard for me to click on the tiny scrollbar buttons, scrollbar well, and 
> scrollbar at 1600x1200 despite that I need that much area for doing work in 
> other programs.

I run at 1600x1200 and find the sizes quite comfortable.  I think it may be
possible to use scalable graphics for some UI elements, but in general it is
quite difficult to achieve good results this way.

 - mdz

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