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Old 06-02-2011, 01:54 PM
Vitezslav Humpa
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

Hey folks,

At last Fedora QA meeting John Dulaney had a proposal concerning the issue of similar application names we use around Fedora desktops.

For example: surely sometimes you had both GNOME and XFCE installed and went for menus to open - say a terminal. The environment would use the same icon and a same name for both gnome-terminal and xfce-terminal, which resulted in you opening the other app than desired, perhaps (thanks to Murphy's laws ) more often than the desired one. More examples of this are "Software updates"/"Software update"(just within GNOME), "System Monitor" for both gnome-system-monitor and ksysguard, some "system-config-*" utilities vs. GNOME control panel applets and more.

This is a call for having a discussion on trying to establish some compromise - on what to put as a name in the desktop[1] file for corresponding applications around different Fedora desktops as well as among applications inside each of those. The goal is simply to avoid people being unable to recognize specific applications around the desktop menus etc., which we could reach simply by rethinking the "name" fields in the *.desktop files of such applications.

The way KDE application launcher handles this also provides nice example for a design solution to this problem. They use a "Generic" (e.g. Terminal) field to describe the application primarily and have the name of the actual binary (e.g. Konsole) present in small letters when the generic name is not unique. For gnome-shell, in it's current in-high-development state, proposing a design like this may also be good idea. Other than that - at least handling this by making a renaming compromise among the desktop environments would be very nice.

We were thinking on expanding the release criteria to have one to deal with this issue, but for sure we need to discuss this first.

Thus - thoughts? (Might be a good idea in having the conversation joined in one list we are all subscribed - perhaps test or desktop?)

Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:49 PM
Bill Nottingham
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

Genes MailLists (lists@sapience.com) said:
> The optional executable name should always be available. However these
> details are really 'upstream' aren't they?

Yeah, changing how the various desktop's launchers work is an upstream
decision (in fact, changing what things are named in desktop files probably
is as well.)

Bill
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:56 PM
drago01
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

On Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM, Genes MailLists <lists@sapience.com> wrote:
> On 06/02/2011 09:54 AM, Vitezslav Humpa wrote:
>> Hey folks,
>>
>
> *(1) I think showing the executable name for every application is vital.
>
> *Whether its directly in menu, popup or alternating pink flashing
> lights .. :-)
>

Sorry but I have to disagree here, cryptic executable names don't
belong in the UI at all.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:07 PM
Rex Dieter
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

On 06/02/2011 08:54 AM, Vitezslav Humpa wrote:
> Hey folks,
>
> At last Fedora QA meeting John Dulaney had a proposal concerning the issue of similar application names we use around Fedora desktops.
>
> For example: surely sometimes you had both GNOME and XFCE installed and went for menus to open - say a terminal. The environment would use the same icon and a same name for both gnome-terminal and xfce-terminal, which resulted in you opening the other app than desired, perhaps (thanks to Murphy's laws ) more often than the desired one. More examples of this are "Software updates"/"Software update"(just within GNOME), "System Monitor" for both gnome-system-monitor and ksysguard, some "system-config-*" utilities vs. GNOME control panel applets and more.
>
> This is a call for having a discussion on trying to establish some compromise - on what to put as a name in the desktop[1] file for corresponding applications around different Fedora desktops as well as among applications inside each of those. The goal is simply to avoid people being unable to recognize specific applications around the desktop menus etc., which we could reach simply by rethinking the "name" fields in the *.desktop files of such applications.
>
> The way KDE application launcher handles this also provides nice example for a design solution to this problem. They use a "Generic" (e.g. Terminal) field to describe the application primarily and have the name of the actual binary (e.g. Konsole) present in small letters when the generic name is not unique. For gnome-shell, in it's current in-high-development state, proposing a design like this may also be good idea. Other than that - at least handling this by making a renaming compromise among the desktop environments would be very nice.
>
> We were thinking on expanding the release criteria to have one to deal with this issue, but for sure we need to discuss this first.
>
> Thus - thoughts? (Might be a good idea in having the conversation joined in one list we are all subscribed - perhaps test or desktop?)

The desktop-entry-spec does specify Name= and GenericName= to help
distinguish matters,
http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/desktop-entry-spec-1.0.html#recognized-keys

It's just that for various reasons, some desktops have chosen not to
use/implement Name= in menus. I've tried to advocate supporting the
spec for quite awhile...

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Old 06-02-2011, 06:52 PM
Rex Dieter
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

Rex Dieter wrote:

> On 06/02/2011 08:54 AM, Vitezslav Humpa wrote:

>> At last Fedora QA meeting John Dulaney had a proposal concerning the
>> issue of similar application names we use around Fedora desktops.
...
>> We were thinking on expanding the release criteria to have one to deal
>> with this issue, but for sure we need to discuss this first.
>>
>> Thus - thoughts? (Might be a good idea in having the conversation
>> joined in one list we are all subscribed - perhaps test or desktop?)
>
> The desktop-entry-spec does specify Name= and GenericName= to help
> distinguish matters,
> http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/desktop-entry-
spec-1.0.html#recognized-keys
>
> It's just that for various reasons, some desktops have chosen not to
> use/implement Name= in menus. I've tried to advocate supporting the
> spec for quite awhile...

Here's one really old example,
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=293851

-- Rex


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Old 06-04-2011, 10:07 AM
Vitezslav Humpa
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

Thanks everybody for the input!

> Yeah, changing how the various desktop's launchers work is an upstream
> decision (in fact, changing what things are named in desktop files
> probably
> is as well.)

> > Sorry but I have to disagree here, cryptic executable names don't
> > belong in the UI at all.

You're right, the workings of application launchers is completely
upstream, while what's in the desktop file is largely downstream and I
believe that what specific name is stated in the desktop file is one of
the things that are within the reach of Fedora, better said - of
maintainers of the packages that contain the various desktop files.

> Since we (fedora) have limited resources they could better be used on
> other things than changing all the menu names every time theres an
> upstream change which does follow the fedora way.

I agree that making a general change would require a tremendous amount
of re-factoring work spread around a huge number of packages that we
could direct in more pressing matters.

> I think showing the executable name for every application is vital.
> Whether its directly in menu, popup or alternating pink flashing
> lights .. :-)

That all said, question remains on what to actually do on this. In a
long term I'd suggest trying advocate that there is a appropriate
solution based in the upstream, might it be pop-ups (sounds reasonable
to do for all the desktop environments) or something based on how KDE
does it. Although having upstream to do something is, like I said -
long term. Thus let's decide on what to do about this now.

I'd say that a number of cases this relates to is limited to a fairly
small number. I am counting:
- Software Update/Software Updates
- System Monitor
- Terminal
- system-config-(e.g. date) vs. gnome control panel applets
(and likely a few more).

As a compromise between getting rid of the problem (user annoyance...)
completely and the amount of work that would have to be done, I suggest
that we simply target these applications and modify the desktop files
so that they become distinguishable. That means in the menus and on the
first sight, whatever *.desktop field is responsible for that in particular
environments. Should we manage to push having a popup in Upstream, that
would be great later on.

Now, should we agree on this quickfix now, how to do that? Am I right
that this would mean asking the maintainers of these cca 10 packages to
change the *.desktop files in the packaging process? Do the *.desktop
files come from upstream or are they made or at least modified already
by Fedora? I suppose it would be better if they already get modified,
as then the single extra edit would be less painful for maintainers.
Still - sounds relatively painless.

We can also consider making a simple (e.g. targeting just default live
installs) release criterion that would "force" such, though I'd think
having it done on "voluntary" basis is more appropriate.

This is my thinking on how to deal with it right now technically, the
question on HOW exactly rename the app names is another matter.

What do you guys think?

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Old 06-06-2011, 10:14 AM
Vitezslav Humpa
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

Forwarded from test list.
From: "John Dulaney" <j_dulaney@live.com>
To: "Fedora QA" <test@lists.fedoraproject.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 5, 2011 8:28:45 PM
Subject: RE: Proposal: Too similar application names







> That all said, question remains on what to actually do on this. In a
> long term I'd suggest trying advocate that there is a appropriate
> solution based in the upstream, might it be pop-ups (sounds reasonable
> to do for all the desktop environments) or something based on how KDE
> does it. Although having upstream to do something is, like I said -
> long term. Thus let's decide on what to do about this now.
>
> I'd say that a number of cases this relates to is limited to a fairly
> small number. I am counting:
> - Software Update/Software Updates
> - System Monitor
> - Terminal
> - system-config-(e.g. date) vs. gnome control panel applets
> (and likely a few more).
>
> As a compromise between getting rid of the problem (user annoyance...)
> completely and the amount of work that would have to be done, I suggest
> that we simply target these applications and modify the desktop files
> so that they become distinguishable. That means in the menus and on the
> first sight, whatever *.desktop field is responsible for that in particular
> environments. Should we manage to push having a popup in Upstream, that
> would be great later on.

I agree, this is a good starting point.* I don't really see the point of the popups,
but if other folks think they're necessary, I won't argue.



> Now, should we agree on this quickfix now, how to do that? Am I right
> that this would mean asking the maintainers of these cca 10 packages to
> change the *.desktop files in the packaging process? Do the *.desktop
> files come from upstream or are they made or at least modified already
> by Fedora? I suppose it would be better if they already get modified,
> as then the single extra edit would be less painful for maintainers.
> Still - sounds relatively painless.

In theory, the technical side should be a thirty second fix.* The issue would
be deciding new names.* Some things shouldn't be too difficult, such as
renaming Software Updates to Software Sources.

> We can also consider making a simple (e.g. targeting just default live
> installs) release criterion that would "force" such, though I'd think
> having it done on "voluntary" basis is more appropriate.

I wonder if this should be a QA test?* It would help with improving the
end product for us to check things like this, but it is also fairly subjective
as to what constitutes as 'too similar.'* I'm for it, but the aforementioned
subjective nature makes coming up with a clear release criteria difficult.

John.


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Old 06-06-2011, 01:04 PM
Vitezslav Humpa
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

> I agree, this is a good starting point. I don't really see the point
> of the popups,
> but if other folks think they're necessary, I won't argue.

Wouldn't have to be popups. Actually they are used now to provide a
textual description of what the application does, e.g. for "Brasero
Disk Burner" -> "Create and copy CDs and DVDs", which just seem better
than having "Brasero Disk Burner" -> "Brasero". This unfortunately
doesn't provide for the distinguishment we seek, e.g. in example of two
terminals the popups are: "Terminal emulator" and "Use the command line"

> In theory, the technical side should be a thirty second fix. The
> issue would
> be deciding new names. Some things shouldn't be too difficult, such as
> renaming Software Updates to Software Sources.

Combination of previous brings an idea - instead of modifying
application names, we could alter the problematic applications' popups
by adding a binary e.g like: "Terminal: Terminal emulator" and
"Konsole: Use the command line".
This way:
+ Both names would stay the same, so we wouldn't have do any actual
renaming and (!) we'd evade any "arguing" among desktops
+ The original explanatory use of popups would be kept
- Great for LXDE and XFCE, but there are no popups in Gnome 3 yet, thus
out of direct reach of Fedora for now.

> I wonder if this should be a QA test? It would help with improving the
> end product for us to check things like this, but it is also fairly
> subjective
> as to what constitutes as 'too similar.' I'm for it, but the
> aforementioned
> subjective nature makes coming up with a clear release criteria
> difficult.

I agree that deciding what is "too similar" can be a tricky one. But
for most of the current apps the problem's simpler - the names are the
same.

Let's bring this up on today's QA meeting, I am sure we'll get a good
input on which way to go there.

Thanks!
Vita
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:37 AM
Vitezslav Humpa
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

> Let's bring this up on today's QA meeting, I am sure we'll get a good
> input on which way to go there.

On the QA meeting on Monday, we've decided to reach out to GNOME for ideas on presenting duplicate application names in the overview. We'll see if they are willing to help us. Based on that we should go either the upstream way - or address the issue merely in downstream.

We should also reach folks at XFCE and LXDE to have this complete, as upstream solution by GNOME would not help tackle this issue in those. KDE has this figured already for some time.

I'll reach out to GNOME, if you guys also have some good contacts (xfce, lxde...) please feel free to share them or please help bringing this up to them as well.

Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:50 AM
Vitezslav Humpa
 
Default Proposal: Too similar application names

----- Original Message -----
> On Thu, 2011-06-02 at 09:54 -0400, Vitezslav Humpa wrote:
> > The way KDE application launcher handles this also provides nice
> > example for a design solution to this problem. They use a
> > "Generic" (e.g. Terminal) field to describe the application
> > primarily
> > and have the name of the actual binary (e.g. Konsole) present in
> > small
> > letters when the generic name is not unique.
>
> I happen to think this is the wrong way round. For someone who's not
> sure what they want, it might be marginally better, but for anyone who
> already knows, i.e. for most people most of the time after learning
> it,
> it just produces a momentary hesitation every time you use it.
>
> For example, I have *never* thought to myself "Oh, I need to fire up
> the
> Groupware Suite". I just look for Evolution, but it's in small letters
> in a grey font. Much better would be to have Evolution as the main
> menu
> item, with Groupware Suite in a small grey font for those who don't
> know
> what it is (think of it as a poor man's ToolTip).
>
> There's a difference between easy to use and easy to learn. We would
> do
> well to favour the former over the latter whenever there's a conflict.
>
> poc

Are you referring to a situation in KDE(can't boot it now to check)?
Seems to me that most of the times we do use the application's actual
name in the menus. With few exceptions that form the base of this whole
problem.
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