OCT
1
2007

KDE Commit-Digest for 30th September 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Beginnings of a list view, and an applet browser integrated into Plasma. Optimisations in Konqueror. More work, including image practice support in Parley. XMP metadata support in Digikam, with new splashscreens announced. Work on playlists in Amarok 2. The Noatun music player becomes a KPart, with musings on its KDE 4 future. Further work on Phonon, with developments on the GStreamer backend. KNetworkManager is ported to work with NetworkManager 0.7. Deep refactoring in the Eigen 2 library rewrite. Kickoff is ported to KDE 4 as a candidate menu replacement option. A plan is hatched to get Kopete ready for the KDE 4.0 release. Import of the KBreakout game to playground/games in KDE SVN. Final moves in the recent KDE SVN reorganisation effort. The KDE Bug Tracker starts to be upgraded to Bugzilla 3.0.

Comments

It seems like this project is completely abandoned and it'll be pity if KDE4 lacks such a useful and important application.

So, who will volunteer porting KSensors to KDE4?


By Artem S. Tashkinov at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

well.. just a guess... but probably there'll be some plasmoids for stuff like this?


By thomas at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

yeah, with the help of solid, this might not be too hard...


By Jos Poortvliet at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

I just hope people wont forget on it :)

Its what makes KDE also great... the small and useful apps!


By she at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

Solid and Plasmoids. Problem solved.


By segedunum at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

well, how does it come that I most of the usability "improvements" look to me like obstructions?

I just looked at the Kickoff page and the video ... a bit of criticism (I know this is not the right place to discuss, but as I see aKademy 200_6_, I guess the battle is lost already ...)

- I do not understand the "favorites" improvement - why should I click some menu, when I can have my favourite applications on panel, accesible via 1 click? (or, at the desktop, which is the thing that 90% GUI users I know prefer ...)

- accessing "non-favorite" applications is horrible! ... after clicking menu, you have to click that you want to really select the menu, then if you are not sure in which category the application is, you are clicking forth and back like an idiot to browse it, instead of simply pointing the cursor and watching the menus unroll (still seeing the previous menu levels unrolled), just like with the current style

- grouping session options (logout etc.) is a good idea, but once again: why to force additional clicking?


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> - I do not understand the "favorites" improvement - why should I click some
> menu, when I can have my favourite applications on panel, accesible via 1
> click? (or, at the desktop, which is the thing that 90% GUI users I know prefer ...)

Are you saying you believe that having a new menu is incompatible with having the favourites on panel or at the desktop? I wonder who taught you the basics of logic.

In the first screenshot on the link page I see the ordinary panel with shortcut buttons. This menu is just a new menu.


By Eeli Kaikkonen at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

thankyou for the invective - and I wonder who taught you to read ...

I am not saying anything about those two methods of accessing favourites being incompatible; I just say that I do not need them both at once, and the slower one of these two should be dropped (er, not developed at all), especially if that method slowers my work with normal applications menu


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

I've been using kickoff for quite a while now, and what you may not understand from a video is that it's a one-click solution for every nearly item in the menu. When you hover over the kicker button it opens, and when you hover over the tabs they change, so you only need to click on the final app/action. Only within the "All Programs" menu you need to click on the submenus, so that's exactly where the favorites tab comes in handy :)


By bsander at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> When you hover over the kicker button it opens

even worse than I expected ...

> Only within the "All Programs" menu you need to click on the submenus,
> so that's exactly where the favorites tab comes in handy :)

but you cannot (well, theoretically you can but it is impractical) have everything within favourites - it's like saying "oh, look at this shiny new car you can buy for commuting, the only thing is that it does not go, but you can move closer to your workplace, so you do not need the car to move"


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

Come on genius, favorite menu, it's just for your most use application. In most cases they don't exceed 8 applications, so the favorite menu is more than enough, and when you want some non favorite app, you just search it on the SEARCH BOX or browse it, if you like it that way.


By Luis at Wed, 2007/10/03 - 5:00am

> and when you hover over the tabs they change,
> so you only need to click on the final app/action

Not for me on my openSUSE system. The only thing that opens without clicking on it is the menu itself, and that doesn't even do it consistently (seems to mostly do it when I don't mean to click on it actually...

Weird, it suddenly started switching tabs without me clicking on anything (after about 5 tries of seeing if I was just crazy or not), but it still wouldn't go into any submenus without clicking. Maybe it's just a bug on my system, but it acts very weird and unfriendly for me...


By Sutoka at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> I do not understand the "favorites" improvement - why should I click some
> menu, when I can have my favourite applications on panel, accesible via 1
> click? (or, at the desktop, which is the thing that 90% GUI users I know
> prefer ...)
Because you can't have 12 applications in the panel (that is the number of
apps I have in my favourites) unless you have a gigantic screen. The one click
argument is flawed as well: most of the time you will have one maximized
window or windows covering the desktop icons, this means that to get to the
desktop you need to minimize/move the windows which is done by at least one
click. Besides that, you don't even need the click to open the menu, just move
your mouse in the lower right corner (assuming the menu is there) and it will
pop up immediately.

> accessing "non-favorite" applications is horrible! ... after clicking menu,
> you have to click that you want to really select the menu, then if you are
> not sure in which category the application is, you are clicking forth and
> back like an idiot to browse it, instead of simply pointing the cursor and
> watching the menus unroll (still seeing the previous menu levels unrolled),
> just like with the current style
This is why the menu has a nice big search bar, which has focus all the time
so you can simply start typing. I don't recall the last time I had to "click
back and forth" to find something.

> grouping session options (logout etc.) is a good idea, but once again: why
> to force additional clicking?
Because you need this about once every 8 hours, the additional click is not
going to hurt you. What would be more annoying is to have to skip over these
4-5 buttons every time you want to access some other icon. If you don't like
this behaviour, just add them to your favourites and they will be just one
click away. Also again, the "click" is not really needed to open the
menu/submenu, just move your mouse over it and it will pop up instantly.

Have you actually ever used the menu, or just looked at the video? I was
skeptical at the beginning too, but after 1 minute spent adding favourites and
another hour getting used to the new menu I turned into a raving fanboy, this
thing is (almost) the best thing since sliced bread!


By Luca at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

I agree completely. Since I set up my "Favorites", I have *never* used the "Applications" area. I love the "History" and "Computer" tabs!! When I need an application that is not in one of these areas, I always use the search.

For the people who like their menu to look like Windows 95, I'm sure you will be able to revert to the old menu as in Suse. The rest of us are living in 2007 and also want our computers in 2007.

There are always gonna be people who prefer the old way of doing anything, especially "Old Dogs". There is nothing you can do about that. Just look at all the old unix people who still hate GUI's. When I started using Linux in 2001, people were actually pushing "Lynx" because the only alternative was a buggy Netscape Navigator and the "evilness" of images. When images caught on, people were told to disable Javascript because it was unnecessary. HAHAHHAHAHA!!!

BTW, I'm not trying to be critical of others. Now that I've gotten older, sometimes I don't like to "learn new tricks." Just human nature.


By Henry S. at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

sorry, but you missed the point

I am not talking about learning new things - I am talking about what it takes to do a simple action ... and from the presentation, the new system is much worse for that

I do not have any objections to using whatever you like (favorites, search, javascript, whatever) as long as it does not make harder using other things - unfortunatelly, this is the case

btw,

> Since I set up my "Favorites", I have *never* used the "Applications" area.
> I love the "History" and "Computer" tabs!! When I need an application that
> is not in one of these areas, I always use the search.

ok, that is your usage, but it does not suit my needs - a simple use-case:

I have installed tenths of games
it does not make sense having everything in Favorites - it would take quite a time to browse 50+ items
sometimes, I want to relax and play "something" without knowing exactly what is going to attract me - so I cannot just type something in the search
then I use the applications menu and just browse until something catches my eye

maybe, when you get older a bit more, you will find that sometimes the good old things work best and do not need to be replaced just because we live in 2007

p.s. Windows 95? er, Apple menu does not count?


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

There is always a tradeoff. Although I have no proof, from my observations it is much more common to launch the top 5 or so apps, so having that easily accessible is of higher priority than having an easily browseable menu. While you might browse your menu once in a while, looking for an application that catches your fancy, I hardly think that's a common task.

This gives me an idea though. Is it possible to search for menu groups in kickoff? So if you want to see all the games, can you enter "games" into the search bar or does it just search application names?


By Leo S at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

well, as i said allready on roberts blog: search and favorites don't depend on a non-functional menu... you could add a real menu to kickoff just fine, without losing those new abilities.

so, does it make sense to cripple normal-menu users, just because of nothing (or aesthetics)?

writing games into a textbox is still much slower than just clicking games in a menu. a list of 50+ games without any directories is also nothing a would like search to find what game i would like to play today...

and i don't think using the menu for what its made for (browsing your applications!) is a minor usecase...


By ac at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> writing games into a textbox is still much slower than just clicking games in a menu.

Maybe if you are a very slow typist. With incremental search you'd probably not even have to type the whole word.

> and i don't think using the menu for what its made for (browsing your applications!) is a minor usecase...

Since when is a menu made for browsing applications? That is a one use case, but I doubt it is the primary one (more like launching applications). Watch some regular users using the Windows start menu sometime. Usually they know what they want to run before opening the start menu.


By Leo S at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

thats interesting. didn't you say there are better ways to use kickoff if you allready know what you want to start? so what do you think is the application menu in kickoff good for?

maybe you should watch some regular users type "games" (ore "gam" for that matter, if you don't want to type the whole word ;))... for most users the keyboard is not of much use, except for typing longer text in it. thats why we use guis these days ;).


By ac at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

"for most users the keyboard is not of much use, except for typing longer text in it. thats why we use guis these days ;)"

Yeah but

a) I am also not a "typical" user
b) I like to type things

I use 9000 aliases in my shell. I use them to navigate to my
directory structure with 1-5 chars, or to open documents and so
on and so on.

For me, konsole ROCKS. Thats why I dont care much about the GUI.

But my old parents, they really need to use the GUI, and for
THEM I do test things in the GUI world.

Why cant the GUI world *also* focus on "power users"
that DO have better ways? I dont like any attitude that
says "we exist only for the stupid users" .... :(

PS: Just to make it clear I think KDE rocks.


By she at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

maybe you should read my comments more carefully... i never said i want the search feature gone.


By ac at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> didn't you say there are better ways to use kickoff if you allready know what you want to start?

Yes.

> so what do you think is the application menu in kickoff good for?

Browsing apps if you don't know what you want to start. Or launching apps if you prefer to use the mouse (although most of the time your most used apps will be in the favourites or history. The menu of all applications is really just a last resort.

> maybe you should watch some regular users type "games"

I would hazard that even for hunt and peck typists, typing a few letters is faster than finding their application given a screen full of 50 apps and then selecting it. You are right in that people aren't used to it, but I believe it is faster anyway. Proof is another matter though.


By Leo S at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

well, its faster if you can type fast. thats probably me and you, but not a normal user. and it shouldn't be. a search feature is all nice, but in many cases it just can't replace a fast menu. so why not have search AND a fast menu?

but your usecase is kind of scary anyway ;). no menu implementation will work good with a plain list of 50 applications. thats why many (not all, don't get me wrong again, please ;)) "hardcore" windows users don't use their start menu at all. all those installers creating new toplevel directories are a real pain.


By ac at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> sometimes, I want to relax and play "something" without knowing exactly
> what is going to attract me - so I cannot just type something in the
> search then I use the applications menu and just browse until something
> catches my eye

Well, you can do that with the (IMHO wonderful) Application tab.


By Capit. Igloo at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> Well, you can do that with the (IMHO wonderful) Application tab.

err ... this is what I criticise about Kickoff - using Kickoff, I cannot access that menu directly (the first bad thing) and the new style is worse, since I have to click (or put the mouse on the right place if set to hover action) forth and back to browse the menu, I cannot simply move over categories to unroll them, to see it together

btw, the second thing is exactly the same problem as I see in the new SystemSettings interface - and I find it so annoying that I hired a programmer to port kcontrol to KDE4 (hope we will see it finished soon ;-)), because in kcontrol I have the overview and I do not have to click forth and back (imagine an example - you are doing something and with kcontrol style, you can have all the tools around you at the table, if you want to use something, you simply take it ... with SS style, you can only have one tool at a time, when you want to use another, you have to put the first tool to its place in the closet ... clear?)


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> and I find it so annoying that I hired a programmer to port kcontrol to KDE4 (hope we will see it finished soon ;-))

Really? Awesome. I also am not a big fan of system settings. When you know what you want it's fine, but sometimes I don't know exactly where a setting will be and I need to open a few. That's much slower with system settings..


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

>> and I find it so annoying that I hired a programmer to port kcontrol to KDE4
> Really?

you can track the issue here: http://burza.m4r3k.org/view.php?id=10 ... if you understand Czech/Slovak ;-)


By kavol at Wed, 2007/10/03 - 5:00am

> Because you can't have 12 applications in the panel
> (that is the number of apps I have in my favourites)
> unless you have a gigantic screen.

actually, you can ... I've seen people with one half row full of application shortcuts (about 30), but this is matter of personal taste

if 12 is too much for you, then you can replace it with one button and you will have the same functionality - no need to destroy applications menu because of this

> The one click argument is flawed as well: most of the time you will
> have one maximized window or windows covering the desktop icons,
> this means that to get to the desktop you need to minimize/move
> the windows which is done by at least one click.

please, do not confuse what I write - I did not say that desktop access is equal to quick launch in number of clicks ... I just said that I know a number of users who prefer to find the application icon on desktop then to use quick launch or menu (well, it's been years since we have the "most used" list ...) - some of them even minimise the applications one after another instead of clicking some "show desktop" button (!)

> Besides that, you don't even need the click to open the menu,
> just move your mouse in the lower right corner (assuming the
> menu is there) and it will pop up immediately.

which is even worse - so that the people who do not handle the mouse well(*) will have randomly appearing and dissappearing menu ... well, I guess this is going to be configurable since we are not talking about Gnome, but the default is what matters ...

(*) or using notebook with broken touchpad ... on some models, only a little humidity (sweat) suffices to cause the cursor jump here and there

> This is why the menu has a nice big search bar, which has focus
> all the time so you can simply start typing.

oh great! - so I have to remember the name of each application (or have a crystal orb implemented in my brain so that I can prophesy what keywords had the author in mind) ... then why not simply hit alt+f2 and run the desired application directly, why to have any menu at all?

> Because you need this about once every 8 hours,

I wish I had _your_ certainity about what _I_ need ...

> the additional click is not going to hurt you. What would be
> more annoying is to have to skip over these 4-5 buttons every
> time you want to access some other icon.

no, once again you are misinterpreting ... if that is grouped, you need to skip one button, no 4-5

> Also again, the "click" is not really needed to open the
> menu/submenu, just move your mouse over it and it will pop up instantly.

also, again, this argument is silly, one reason stated before and the second one is that if you need to point you cursor somewhere and hold it there so that the system notices, then there is no difference if you need to click or not (from the "obstructions" point of view; the difference is that I do not want the computer to try to guess my thoughts or react on unintentional moves, I want it to react on clear order)

> Have you actually ever used the menu, or just looked at the video?

have you actually tried to read and _understand_ my previous comment?


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

Just so you know, most of your logic is wrong...but that would happen when criticizing something you've never used. I doubt anything will convince you otherwise, just based on your tone. But here it goes anyways:

1.) Traditional menus use "on hover" to open submenus which often cause "randomly appearing and dissappearing menu." The Kickoff doesn't have "randomly appearing and dissappearing menu" because it doesn't have submenus...only the window contents change. However, if you make a mistake, you can fix it instantaneously, no different than a regular menu.

2.) There is no need to "point you cursor somewhere and hold it there," it is actually instant where it is used, again, just like the "on hover" of any menu. Think of the tabs as vertical menus and you'll see that it is really the same thing, just vertical and grouped differently. The way the "Applications" menu works is the only fundamentally new interface concept.

3.) I have a terrible, terrible touchpad on this laptop...Kickoff actually works better because there are fewer motions. I've always had problems with the touchpad and trying to go perfectly horizontal into a submenu...cuz if you drift tot high or too low the submenu closes before you get there! Pay attention to the horizontal motion required by a traditional menu and you'll see how it is actually tricky for motion impaired people and crappy touch pads! You've just learned to deal with it, so it feels "normal" to you. Kickoff actually has this same problem in that you have go stay within the main tab as you move vertically, otherwise one of the ones next to it may activate. But it has much more tolerance than a normal menu because it is a big square instead of a thin row.

4.) Regarding the comment about "I wish I had _your_ certainity about what _I_ need ...". The people behind kickoff actually did studies to find how to reduce the number of clicks in the majority of cases for the typical user. That means it is weigted towards making the applications you use, say 90% of the time, available in a single click(Favorites, History, Leave), and the rest require a little more work. No desktop software is designed to be perfect for _you_, they are designed to be great for the typical user...if you aren't typical, then KDE is very customizable. However, if you used kickoff for awhile, it may turn out that other people did know what you needed better than you did (although you may not want to admit it).

5.) As I said before, KDE is trying to move into the future. It can't keep behaving like Windows 95 just because that was cool 12 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we should change things for the sake of it. I wasn't crazy about Kickoff until I actually used it. That being said, some folks may not like it...you can't please everybody with _defaults_, some will have to settle with configuring some options.

None of my comments above are meant to address the popping up of the menu when hovering over the "Start Button." This part of Kickoff does actually require a "hover and pause" in the Suse 10.2 version...although you can choose to click if you want. However, this isn't so much a feature inherent to Kickoff...I believe it should be used on all start menus.

Regardless whether you agree to the details of Kickoff...just give it an honest try before criticizing it. It is not perfect...but it is the best thing out there for most people.


By Henry S. at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

thankyou for your effort put in the answer, but I would be happier if you would rather put it in thoroughly reading what I have written and in trying to understand that

there is interesting topic about the mouse movement needed, what is easier to achieve for impaired, but this is in accordance with my thoughts about "click to do action"

however, I cannot seriously answer a post which begins "your logic is wrong" without pointing to anything that can be undoubtedly denied ... "just based on your tone" you would not listen to anything which does not agree with your opinion, as you prove by repeating your "Windows 95" dogma although at another place, I tried to tell you that I do not just copy Windows 95 look

p.s. sorry for the mistakes in English, I am not sure about "would" and tenses usage; I hope the text above makes sense ...


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

>> Have you actually ever used the menu, or just looked at the video?

> have you actually tried to read and _understand_ my previous comment?

Answer the question. If you haven't used it, then why are you still trying to convince people that _have_ used it that it is bad? You don't even know if it's bad or not, you are just guessing based on a video. Try it, and if you still don't like it after giving it an honest shot (a couple days of use), then you have a case. Until then it's just speculation.


By Leo S at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

>>> Have you actually ever used the menu, or just looked at the video?
>> have you actually tried to read and _understand_ my previous comment?
> Answer the question.

I am convinced the answer can be deduced from my first post ...

> If you haven't used it, then why are you still trying to convince people
> that _have_ used it that it is bad?

please go back to my first post - does a sentence like 'most of the usability "improvements" look to me like obstructions' say something about Kickoff being universal evil and everybody has to dislike it?

> You don't even know if it's bad or not, you are just guessing based on
> a video. Try it, and if you still don't like it after giving it an honest
> shot (a couple days of use), then you have a case. Until then it's just
> speculation.

well, I have seen a video of man falling of the roof (quite high) and he died ... is it a speculation that I'll be probably hurt a lot (or die) when I fall from some high place? - do I have to actually try it a few times?


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

So your answer is ...

...

NO.

Try it. I found that it changed my way of accessing applications.

I have rarely looked through the Applications tree. It is far simpler to type a search term. It does a search. You don't have to type the whole name.

I still use application buttons on my taskbar, but quite a few less.

Maybe you have some ideas. How do you handle the very large number of applications available, allow access to them all, at the same time not forcing people to scroll through hundreds of choices to find what they want?

Derek


By D Kite at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

"Because you can't have 12 applications in the panel (that is the number of
apps I have in my favourites) unless you have a gigantic screen."

- this is not true, i have about 15 app icons on panel (3x5) and it automatically modifies some according to usage.. so i use menu only rarely

is kickoff somehow related to kickers' new launcher?


By mdl at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

I, e. g., use two kicker bars (one on the top for the favourite applications & status information and one on the bottom (task bar)) and can have many, many applications in the bar.
I also agree that there is really NO need to put favourite applications in the menu and hide all the programs behind a "all programs"-button like in windows xp. This REALLY sucks


By Bobby at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> Because you can't have 12 applications in the panel (that is the number of
> apps I have in my favourites) unless you have a gigantic screen.

Off course you can, just use smaller Icons. Also, Screenspace is'nt expensive any more. Today, every stupid Laptop has axis with 1200 and more pixels, enough for ~20 big Icons.

Also, if you use something like a taskdock, which reuse the icon to show the status of running applications, there wo'nt be any wasted screen.


By Chaoswind at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

I'm seeing very mixed opinions about this .. and I'm not very technically skilled so I don't know if this would be a big performance hit or anything.. but surely it's possible to have two separate buttons in the system tray? One that leads to a menu suited for browsing applications and another that functions more as a quick launcher? That way we're still not doing too much clicking and, if designed well, it can look quit nice too.

Just a thought..


By Rahul at Wed, 2007/10/03 - 5:00am

>I do not understand the "favorites" improvement - why should I click some menu, >when I can have my favourite applications on panel, accesible via 1 click? (or, >at the desktop, which is the thing that 90% GUI users I know prefer ...)

I do not see how this perceived problem of yours is specific to Kickoff. It does apply to pretty much every menu out there and not everybody likes to have a crowded panel / desktop either. This can happen pretty fast if you have on of the "old" 4:3 monitors with a low resolution (for instance 1024x768) and the desktop is competing for space with applications like KNotes.

>accessing "non-favorite" applications is horrible! ... after clicking menu, you >have to click that you want to really select the menu, then if you are not sure >in which category the application is, you are clicking forth and back like an >idiot to browse it, instead of simply pointing the cursor and watching the >menus unroll (still seeing the previous menu levels unrolled), just like with >the current style

If you know the name of the application you can use the integrated search to start the application, no need to bother with the application tab at all. In case you don't know what you're looking for the categories give you at least hints what to expect in each sub-level. If the package is not there complain to the package maintainer for not putting it under the right category.

The problem with menus unrolling is that it can get very crowded very fast, especially if you have a lot of applications installed (for instance, both GNOME and KDE desktop). In a way I speak from experience: My employer installs about 50 applications by default on our work laptops (don't ask). If the menu unrolls it takes up the whole vertical screen space and it takes ages to look for something.

>grouping session options (logout etc.) is a good idea, but once again: why to >force additional clicking?

Well, I guess it must be because the Kickoff has about half a dozen options for session management. It's a tradeoff between usability and accessibility.


By Erunno at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> If you know the name of the application

The generic name and keywords are also searched. I think the description may also be searched. So you can find Amarok by typing in "music" and K3B by typing in "cd" or "dvd" or "burn". "card" will find the available card games.

There isn't any mimetype searching yet but I think that would be a useful addition. (eg. Find Amarok by searching for "mp3" or "ogg")


By Robert Knight at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

just a note ... Google is becoming useless for me, because it always finds zillions of totally irrelevant things - if you extend the search too much, you can easily get user confused with false hits


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

Perhaps a way to solve that would be to weight search results. Matches on name have higher weight (and thus appear earlier) than matches on thinks like mimetype (if it was implemented). So typing in mp3 would get you "MP3Blaster" before "Amarok".


By Leo S at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> I do not see how this perceived problem of yours is specific to Kickoff.

because Kickoff replaces the applications menu ... and it adds another Favorites implementation

> If you know the name of the application

... then I do not need any menu at all - do you see the point?

> In case you don't know what you're looking for the categories give you
> at least hints what to expect in each sub-level. If the package is not
> there complain to the package maintainer for not putting it under
> the right category.

no, this is not fair - I cannot blame the package maintainer that he does not have an oracle to tell him where the users will look for something

> The problem with menus unrolling is that it can get very crowded very fast

- I do not understand, how it is solved by displaying a single menu level at a time?

if the last menu level is displayed on top of all the other things, is it somehow less usable then if it is displayed in the same place as the previous menu level?

>> grouping session options (logout etc.) is a good idea, but once again:
>> why to force additional clicking?
> Well, I guess it must be because the Kickoff has about half a dozen options
> for session management. It's a tradeoff between usability and accessibility.

er, it looks like my mistake how does it work; but sill I do not like that kind of division and the way of mouse movement or how to say ...


By kavol at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> ... then I do not need any menu at all - do you see the point?

No. In the Run dialog, you need to know the exact name of the executable to launch a program (krunner excluded here for now). So to run OpenOffice Writer, you need to type 'oowriter'. This is not intuitive. In kickoff, you need only know part of the name, or the type of application you are looking for. So you can start typing openoffice, or writer, or document (perhaps, this is a guess) or other keywords pertaining to the application you want. And because the search is incremental, you only need a few letters to find what you want. This is not at all the same as the run dialog.


By Leo S at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

obviously, you did not try KDE4 ;-) - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/Kde4Beta1.png

yes, this is a bit different ... but I do not want to take your Favorites and Search field away, I just want them not to block (complicate) access to the "normal" application menu


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> obviously, you did not try KDE4 ;-)

That's why I said "krunner excluded". Krunner is what you see in the screenshot there.

> I do not want to take your Favorites and Search field away, I just want them not to block (complicate) access to the "normal" application menu

Perhaps you have a mockup... Try uploading to kde-look and check the feedback. Perhaps it will be better and eventually adopted. I can't imagine a good solution at the moment, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.


By Leo S at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> That's why I said "krunner excluded". Krunner is what you see in
> the screenshot there.

oops, sorry, it must have been temporary blindness :-)

> Perhaps you have a mockup...

well, "Tasty Menu" looks like it is doing the right thing (I do not know this software, I just looked at the kdeapps page and the screenshot after it was mentioned within this discussion) - the key features that are highlighted in Kickoff are there: the Search and the Favorites, while still having easy access to the application menu tree (I am not sure about how it is displayed when there are more than two nested levels but it would not be hard to imagine to expand to more columns)


By kavol at Wed, 2007/10/03 - 5:00am

"because Kickoff replaces the applications menu ... and it adds another Favorites implementation"

You were questioning why menus where necessary at all by pointing out that favorite applications can be started via one click from the panel or desktop. Selective reading is unnerving.

"... then I do not need any menu at all - do you see the point?"

No, actually I do not. If you don't need the menu for known applications why complain about it in the first place?

"no, this is not fair - I cannot blame the package maintainer that he does not have an oracle to tell him where the users will look for something"

If KDevelop is filed under Games/Puzzle the package maintainer is *not* to blame?

"if the last menu level is displayed on top of all the other things, is it somehow less usable then if it is displayed in the same place as the previous menu level?"

On top is even worse than besides the other levels as you'll have to take extra precaution to not click one of the underlying layers and therefore make all following ones collapse.

I still do not see the issue to be honest. The only people browsing the application menu are first-time users who have no idea about the preinstalled applications and even that doesn't imply that this group of persons is hindered by Kickoff.. Each following application has to be installed consciously by the user (assuming an one user system) and is therefore *known* (name, functionality) to him beforehand.


By Erunno at Mon, 2007/10/01 - 5:00am

> You were questioning why menus where necessary at all by pointing out that
> favorite applications can be started via one click from the panel or
> desktop. Selective reading is unnerving.

I am afraid that this is only _your_ selection from what I write :-p

I was not questioning why menus are necessary, I was questioning why to hide "normal" menu behind _another_ favorites implementation, when there already exists comfortable favorites implementation - or, to be precise, "something like favorites" because quick launch depends on user to add the favorite applications (at the time, but this can be changed)

> If KDevelop is filed under Games/Puzzle the package maintainer is *not*
> to blame?

this is an obvious mistake - but what if I find some board game under Games/Puzzle when there is also Games/Board category or vice versa?

> On top is even worse than besides the other levels ...

please, do not do what you criticise yourself - why do you catch a single phrase, abusing my lack of expertise in English, or do you really not understand that I have meant the default KDE 3(.5.7) menu behaviour?

> Each following application has to be installed consciously by the user
> (assuming an one user system) and is therefore *known* (name, functionality)
> to him beforehand.

but my experience not just fail the "one user" assumption (I administer desktops for 5 people not counting myself and visitors, they are not root so they do not install applications), it even tells me that people (including me as an advanced user!) do not remember names of all the applications they occasionally use

and of course, your argument fails my "pseudo-random game" use case mentioned above within the discussion


By kavol at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

Why hide the normal menu?

How is the normal menu, or rather, by what measure is the normal menu useful?

It is a long, nominally sorted list of applications. It is only useful in the situation where I'm browsing through a list.

One use only. And a rare use. Anyone who has used the KMenu over distributions and releases have found things moved around. The descriptions have proven to be lacking. I have many times installed applications through distro packaging systems that end up somewhere on the menu, damned if I know where. My systems end up with a very large number of applications due to my usage patterns. The menus end up nesting and subnesting into an awful mess. A hierarchical menu system doesn't work for me.

The menu is an attempt to allow people to run applications they want to run.

One usage pattern is the common usage of [insert number] commonly run applications. Kickoff does this very well. It is easy to move an application from the hierarchical list to the favorites, or to the taskbar.

Another usage is to find the application you ran recently, but that isn't an everyday usage. Again Kickoff does this very well.

Another usage is finding something that does a specific task. The search bar works very well. Don't think that KRunner does similar. KRunner is a long way from being useful. Kickoff works amazingly well, and this functionality is so good it changes the way you use a menu. Just a note here. I recently shut off Beagle indexing due to overgrown and out of control cpu and disk usage. Kickoff without indexing becomes noticeably less useful.

Another usage is to logout, hibernate, switch users, etc. Kickoff works ok here. Too many mouse clicks. There are other situations where moving the mouse switches focus too easily, other situations where too many mouse clicks are required. It isn't perfect by any means, but it is a vast improvement on a hierarchical menu.

You are focussing one one usage, browsing through a long list of applications. That is only one usage pattern.

Derek


By D Kite at Tue, 2007/10/02 - 5:00am

> You are focussing one one usage, browsing through a long list
> of applications. That is only one usage pattern.

yes, I am - but, until now, I have not read any single good argument what is the reason for destroying easy access to and easy usage of it, why the good ol' applications menu cannot co-exist with the new features?

you are right - the application menu has a rare use (running the program via alt+f2 or typing it in console versus selecting from menu has a ratio about 50 to 1 in my case), but this does not justify making it harder to use

btw,

> KRunner is a long way from being useful. Kickoff works amazingly well

interesting ... one would think that KDE is designed with modularity in mind, especially KDE 4, and you do not have to reinvent the wheel, i.e. two search fields with the same purpose should share the same engine ... so how that difference comes?


By kavol at Wed, 2007/10/03 - 5:00am

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