GUI admin tools should provide transparency

Quim Gil qgil at
Sat Jan 21 10:21:17 GMT 2006

En/na Andrew Piskorski ha escrit:

> Those Gnome GUI admin tools may be "cute and simple", and they
> certainly can be useful at times, but they are also TOTALLY OPAQUE!

Please provide specific examples of admin tools that regular users might
feel they are opaque.

Let's agree on some common understanding in the context of Ubuntu.

New and average users use software in order to achieve objectives that
are usually external to the software and the hardware themselves.

Sometimes these users need to work with admin tools in order to perform
these actions, or get better, customised results. The system should help
them achieving their objectives not being opaque or transparent, but
invisible, unnoticed. Like the mechanics of an aircraft are invisible
and unnoticed to passengers and even regular pilots.

The day they get an interest to open the bonnet of the desktop and the
operative system is because

a) There is a failure in the system. This is a development bug and needs
to be fixed by developers. From a GUI perspective we could even say that
any visit to the command line a regular user does against her will is a bug.

b) They are becoming advanced users. This is their own responsibility,
they need to learn the basic rules of the game: reading documentation,
sudo, advanced configuration, editing config files, requesting new
features, suggesting GUI improvements and so on. The developers'
responsibility on this is relative, and shared with these type of users.

Applying developers' own preferences to the tools used by regular users
forgetting about the regular users needs and preferences is generally a

This is why we need to provide specific examples, to see if we are
talking about GUI unefficiency or geek distortion.

Quim Gil -
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