Desktop Guide suggests Gxine for a default video player

Ari Torhamo ari.torhamo at
Sat May 5 03:27:03 UTC 2007

la, 2007-05-05 kello 00:51 +0100, Phil Bull kirjoitti:
> Hi Ari,
> On Fri, 2007-05-04 at 23:43 +0300, Ari Torhamo wrote:
> [...]
> > Easy codec installation is a different matter in my opinion. If we think
> > this from the user point of view, easy codec installation is not an 'I
> > can't play a video or audio file' situation. It's more like 'it took
> > just a few OKs play my video files' situation. I would look at easy
> > codec installation more as a feature - which is how it has been regarded
> > for example in the reviews of the media. It is going to be used by the
> > large majority of users and will be seen as an obvious step when
> > beginning to use the program. Wouldn't 'I can't play a video or audio
> > file' section be better saved for problem situations - like when the
> > user actually gets a message that the video file can't be played?
> Do users need documentation on features like this? To me, it seems that
> users are only likely to read the help files if they encounter a
> problem. If easy codec installation works as it should, there is no
> problem and so any documentation on it is superfluous. It pops up
> automatically, the user only has to click one or two obvious buttons,
> and their video starts playing. What is there to document here?

Now you are confusing me - in your previous message you were ready to
give easy codec installation a section of it's own: 
"I agree with mentioning easy codec installation somewhere. I'd rather
insert a new section to handle it, though. Maybe something like 'I can't
play a video or audio file'."
You move so fast I can't keep up ;-)

We should remember that large part of the people reading the
documentation are (permanent) novices. Few of the people who I have
installed Ubuntu for know what a codec or restricted software is. When
ordinary users are asked if they want such things installed, they often
don't know what to answer. They may try to think what some computer savy
person would say. From their point of view that might as well be "yes
ofcourse, that's just one of those routine guestions", as "Not on earth
NO! Haven't you heard about viruses and spyware. You should never accept
installing anything if you don't know exactly what it is." Many people
will click cancel, try again in the hope that the intimidating guestion
would go away. Then they may have a look at the documentation. Their it
would be good to have a few words about what's going on and that it's OK
to choose "yes", and perhaps link to further information.

The easy codec installation does explain something about the process
itself, but what's told is not enough and is partly confusing (codecs,
restricted formats, etc.) Perhaps the best thing would be to make the
whole process so trasparent that users would hardly notice it.


Ari Torhamo

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