MAY
27
2007

HIG Hunting Season in its 3rd Week

Are you fed up with cryptic error messages you don't understand? Then get involved! This week's target of the HIG Hunting Season is warnings and error messages. Read on for more details.

The HIG Hunting season is an experiment to include the community in the search for obvious infringements of the KDE Human Interface Guidelines. This week we turn towards Error and Warning Messages: Most computer users know that feeling when all of a sudden, a message pops up showing cryptic error codes. Often, "confirm" is the only option it offers - and users are at a loss.

To avoid such situations in KDE 4, we ask all community members to report warnings and error messages that make no sense, are not understandable, make use of technical wording, are not constructive or otherwise annoying. This checklist lists further details and some examples.

As a dedicated "hunting" for warnings and error messages is difficult, we ask you to report such annoyances whenever you come across them during your daily work. We ask you to report them for both, KDE 3.x and KDE 4 applications. If you don't have the time to report a bug immediately, create a snapshot and send it to kde-usability-devel.

Reporting Procedure

  1. Whenever you find a problematic warning or error message (see checklist for reference), create a screenshot.
  2. Open a bug in the bug system. In the title, write "HIG CL3:", in its body link the checklist and attach the screenshot. Describe the problem you found.
    Alternatively, send the screenshot to kde-usability-devel.
  3. On the wiki page of this checklist, add a section for the application you reviewed and link all bug reports you have created.

Of course you are also welcome to review KDE 4 applications according to the prior checklists:

Happy hunting!

Comments

i think this is something where the translators can really help. They usually see every message in the application. So they can report all of the messages that look like a mess. Most of the time translators ask what a message is supposed to mean it's a message that should be done better. (exception obscure configuration options that most user can ignore).


By Martin at Sun, 2007/05/27 - 5:00am

> i think this is something where the translators can really help.

they really _already_ help .. with.. you know.. translation.


By elveo at Sun, 2007/05/27 - 5:00am

The proposed message: "You do not have the permissions to copy to the Root folder" instead of "Access denied" in the example is interesting: KDE should determine if the destination was the root folder, the home folder of an other user etc.? Many other situations can be imagined where somebody doesn't have the permission to write to a directory.


By Grósz Dániel at Sun, 2007/05/27 - 5:00am

I'm not sure if "the permissions" is grammatically correct. I see how it came about, but... it really looks wrong.


By Chani at Mon, 2007/05/28 - 5:00am

Try this instead: "You do not have permission to copy to the Root folder"

That seems grammatically correct


By Amy Rose at Fri, 2007/06/01 - 5:00am

It's _filled_ with cryptic errors and notifications that aren't even configurable via the "Configure Notifications" KNotify thinger. For instance, I use jabber.org for a Jabber account, and they're not exactly the most robust provider out there, so I frequently get disconnected from them. Even though I have disabled _all_ notifications for Kopete, I still get an annoying, blinking (via the taskbar) popup that it couldn't connect for one of several reasons (e.g., "operation not supported", "connection refused", etc.).

Then there's Konqueror which has some inaccurate error messages that appear when your internet connection isn't exactly as stable as it should be (you might be torrenting something for example; this is especially bad when trying to torrent some Linux distro or other stuff on a slow ADSL connection). No, the server _can_ be found, you just didn't try hard enough! These errors also seem to appear if you have misconfigured MTU settings for example.


By matt at Mon, 2007/05/28 - 5:00am

Good to see your feedback. Could you actually put this up on the wiki, so it will actually get fixed? I don't see your review on the wiki page (yet).


By Sebastian Kügler at Mon, 2007/05/28 - 5:00am

I tried to listen to a realplayer sample in amazon.com using Konqui. then I get a pop up windows which gives me the option to open it with amarok or save it or cancel it. In my opinion this save as option should be provided only as a context menu and the whole dialogue needs to get obsoleted. I took play with amarok and get the error when loading audio files, there is no audio channel. I have absolutely no idea what when wrong. As I have the realplayer installed I think using realplayer would work. Yet, no option in Konqui


By semsem at Thu, 2007/05/31 - 5:00am