gnome terminal

John Nilsson john at
Fri Jan 20 10:21:17 GMT 2006

On Thu, 2006-01-19 at 13:07 +0100, Quim Gil wrote:
> My point is, real new users don't even notice when they are sudo-ing.
> They don't open the console. They just perfom actions through the GNOME
> interface and sometimes they are prompted for a password. That's it.

Not exactly on topic, but very much related.

>From a usability point of view the current way of doing gksudo behind
the scenes i sub-optimal.

There are two usability problems that I can think of:

1. There's a poor mapping between potentially harmful operations and the
need to enter password. As it is now the users has to enter the the
password just to get information (package explorer, disks-admin and
stuff like that). There is no mapping between this password dialog and
the buttons -- those that do the actual harm -- that happens to be
available in those applications.

2. The password dialog isn't consistent. Some operations sometimes pops
up a password dialog, and sometimes they don't. (I'm talking about the,
very convenient, sudo time out). So sometimes it's regarded dangerous
enough to require a password, and sometimes it's OK? Most importantly,
there is no visibility of this behavior.

Wouldn't it be better to always show the password dialog on potentially
harmful operations, BUT have the password prefilled if the timeout
hasn't been reached? (It would probably be a good thing to tell the user
exactly what it is that is cached and how long until it will disappear).

One thing to experiment with is to include a more detailed description
of what is to be done in the gksudo dialog like this:

|                                           |
| Please enter password to install the      |
| these packages:                           |
|      _______                              |
|     | pkgA  |                             |
|     | pkgB  |                             |
|      ```````                              |
|              __________________           |
|   Password: |********          |          |
|              ``````````````````           |
|              ______   ________            |
|             |Cancel| |Continue|           |
|              ``````   ````````            |

Maybe even include a little [?] button to trigger a little pop-up
explaining why installing packages could be harmful. 


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