Tweaks to optimize user friendliness

45 respostas [Última entrada]
buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

I don't really know if this is the right place to talk about this, but here goes.

I recently installed Trisquel, first on my machine, then on my better-halfs laptop.
I was impressed with how everything works, even the touch-screen. (it is a asus-s200e wich sadly comes preinstalled with Windows 8)
I gladly handed over the laptop after setup...

Alas, she has some strange user patterns,
* first of all she right click everything, (also in MS Windows), using the context menu as main navigation... I had to (again) inform here that right clicking is the way to go...
* Then she wanted to change the background, and she right clicked the desktop, selected 'change background', and was greeted with the 'background' screen. I was actually surprised that it was so easy at this point, but the next thing she did was click 'all settings' (Notice, I am freely translating the menu points since I am running a Danish setup) and asked where the images where. I told her to select the background again, and after some strugling she came to the background screen. Now the thing is, on the backogrund screen, you only see two large images, 'one' saying background, and the other saying 'lock screen' now to me it is clear that it is buttons, but even after statin that it was buttons, it didn't help, she was actually just staring at that screen... I then clicked the background button and it showed some avaliable images and she was happy...

Long story short; a text above the two images would certanly have made it simpler for her to change that background. Text suggestiong 'Select wheter you wan't to change the 'desktop background' or the 'lock screen' background, making it possible also to click the text 'desktop background' and 'lock screen'

what are your take in this?

oh, another interesting fact was that she tried to find the shutdown by doing that windows 8 gesture from the side of the screen to bring in whatever they call that thing... but she was glad to find it was in the lower right 'start menu' anyway :)

JadedCtrl
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Joined: 08/11/2014

Quite literately, my grandmother operates Trisquel better, but I digress-
What about GNOME 3? It might be a little more familiar- both Win8's "Metro" and GNOME 3 tie into the "modern" catagories, so I think she'll feel right at home.

Trisquelian
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Joined: 01/23/2015

I do not know what to tell you really. The GNOME Flashback DE is all about simplicity. It even comes with Metacity, which is a simple window manager. I do prefer the settings you get when you right click the Desktop on XCE, GNOME Flashback's is just too minimalist (it does not even give you access to a color palette). There are other ways of changing the Desktop preferences either way.
It is very hard to get lost with the background manager (see attachment).

For configuring gestures, there is a very complete package on the repository for Trisquel 7.0 called easystroke. In summary, it allows you to record movements with your touchpad/mouse/touchscreen and execute commands when they are detected with the ability of using modifier keys for detection/execution. Configuring it is not very intuitive from what I recall. I would like you to give me some feedback on this if you ever manage to implement this on the touchscreen as I would like to get this sort of thing given the pervasiveness of touchscreens.

For a different menu try using Cairo Dock, it is extremely flexible and includes a searchable menu, which you can open with a keybind (probably the best feature beyond it's own purposes). I would also like to get this documented, if anyone has anything else to add.

Edit: Errors.

background_gnome_flashback.png
buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

Hi Trisquelian.

The Cairo docks looks a lot like mac os, which we both here happens to find a fight to use, so that is not going to happen :)
also, we both like to simplecity of the current menu.

For most parts I really like gnome flashback as it is, and I think she will too, she haven't really used the computer so I don't know yet.
About getting lost, I was as surprised as any... But my point is actually that the background selection, you made a screenshot of, is focused on minimalism, while a descriptive text would make it clear that the pictures are not just pictures. There is no indication that the images are clickable widgets. A button below each picture would also make it more clear.

I actually just asked her about the background-screen, what do you see... She saw the pictures of my current background, and lock screen, when telling here they where clickable she asked 'how am I supposed to recognize that', so I guess that is the real question :)

thank you for mentioning easy stroke, I might look into that when I have some more time on my hand, it surely sound like it could be fun to play around with.
I would especially like to be able to scroll in the browser window using the touch screen and simply dragging the content as where used to from other devices.
I don't know if easy stroke would be the component too look at for that, or if that should be in the browser or window manager itself?

Trisquelian
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Joined: 01/23/2015

Hmm, I have heard linux handles touchscreens in non-natural way. I guess it has to be application specific or something. Maybe only some browsers support touchscreen movement? I am uncertain. This is all hypothetical.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

I like gnome flashback - I'm so used to it now that I really like it!!
Give her some time and she'll like it too
cheers

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

That is also my feeling,

I think that lowering the barrier at every point is a good thing,
so I am using this opportunity to observe these interesting user difficulties that are hard to imagine when you are on the other side.

that being said, I would like to point out, that I am very pleased by how gnome flashback looks and feels.

davidnotcoulthard (non verificado)
davidnotcoulthard

I think one should report tat to the GNOME's project.

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Honestly, I think GNOME Shell is probably better for touchscreens than GNOME Flashback. You can get it by installing the gnome-session and gnome-shell packages (and get a better experience with it by installing gdm and making it your default display manager).

I used GNOME Shell until the Activities overview confusingly decided that my display is taller than it is. I think it has something to do with connecting my laptop to an HD TV. In any case, as long as you don't have that confusing problem, it's great.

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

I am right now trying out the normal Gnome, and it looks like at have some advantages on touch screen.

But it is quite fun, that the background selection thing is the exact same as in the Flashback :)

I will see what she thinks

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

minimalism rocks! :)

Screenshot from 2015-01-29 19:42:11.png
HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

Supertramp, you almost recreated Trisquel mini. :)

Really nice wallpaper!

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

Yes I really like this waalpaper. Here you have it if you want to use it on your desktop!

moonlight_cruise-1600x900.jpg
buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

I actually switched to that wallpaper now, it is quite nice :)

JadedCtrl
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Joined: 08/11/2014

True minmalism is xmonad, and xmonad is beautiful. =w=

quantumgravity
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Joined: 04/22/2013

But you have to master this strange programming language in order to change the config...
and i wasn't able to make this red border disappear. That's why i stick to i3 or awesome.

But actually, my mind goes always back to xmonad... it's sure fascinating somehow...

davidnotcoulthard (non verificado)
davidnotcoulthard

My idea of minimalism would be Docky/Cairo-dock/tint2 with synapse :)

Jabjabs
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Joined: 07/05/2014

I see we have the same layout. :D

Screenshot from 2015-01-31 23:32:26.png
HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

thank you Super!

Jaded, don't forget JWM (Joes window Manager) or just Openbox with tint2. I have some good configs for both if interested.

JadedCtrl
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Joined: 08/11/2014

I'd be interested to see your configs. There isn't anything much better than spending a weekend getting the perfect setup, right? :)

HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

Here you go Jade, this is a config for JWM designed to imitate a Crunchbang dark theme with single desktop. It was modified from a config posted on a Crunchbang forum.

Feel free to copy paste and enjoy! For me, JWM is usually around 1mb on up to 5mb depending on how much I add to startup commands. I have two or three other files as well, one has a red outline for active window, another blue etc... With proper setup JWM would be an ideal option for mini version, perhaps "mini-ultralight".

I can post a tint2 config for Openbox if you are interested.

<?xml version="1.0"?>

mate-terminal
gmrun

gnome-www-browser

dia
firefox
gimp

xterm -e mutt

ooffice

pidgin
rhythmbox

/usr/local/xilinx/bin/ise

gxine

xcalc
xfontsel
xmag

gksudo synaptic

xprop | xmessage -file -

-->

/etc/jwm/debian-menu

xscreensaver-command -activate

mate-screenshot"

root:1
showdesktop

terminus-10:bold
4
20

#c0c0c0
#404040
#404040
#404040

#c0c0c0
#202020
#202020
#202020

terminus-10:normal
#c0c0c0
#404040
#c0c0c0
#202020

terminus-10:normal
#c0c0c0
black

terminus-10:normal
#c0c0c0
#202020
#c0c0c0
#404040

liberation.sans-10:weight=bold
#3c3c3c
white
#3c3c3c

$HOME/.icons

nitrogen --restore

400

2

click

border

opaque

opaque

up
down
right
left
left
down
up
right
select
escape

nextstacked
close
desktop#
root:1
window

exec:aterm -fn terminus-12 -fg black -bg white -sb
exec:aterm -fn 6x9 -e alsamixer

conky -c ~/.conky/Orange/conkyrc_orange
conky -c ~/.conky/moc/conkyrc_obmoc
mate-volume-control-applet
nm-applet
mate-screensaver

HuangLao
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Joined: 01/19/2014

hmm, why did the format not remain, when posted?

onpon4
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Joined: 05/30/2012

Repeated whitespace in HTML is ignored by default.

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

i recommend
pastebin.com

davidnotcoulthard (non verificado)
davidnotcoulthard

Just attach the file to your post (add a .txt extension if needed).

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

well so far so good for gnome3,
I myself really like the overview you have from the activities since I have problems recognizing those small icons for the running applications that flashback provided, and for some reason, this is the first time I ever feel that using multiple desktops really works...

Now for my better half, See seems to like it, but when asked if it was intended that she was using multiple desktops then it was a no... And when I came home yesterday she was watching Nutflix on her mac :/ (apparently the problem with her Trisquel laptop was that it had run out of power... ) ohh the powerlessness...

JadedCtrl
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Joined: 08/11/2014

For the Trisquel laptop, install Popcorn Time. It'll allow her to ditch Netflix. Note that Popcorn Time is "pirating", and as such has a better selection and interface than Netflix. You should use a VPN+Popcorn TIme.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

and the right website for that is https://popcorntime.io

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

well...
my better half wasn't to happy with the laptop... It apparently had nothing to do with gnome but simply that it was to small and light!

So I gave her a older asus laptop... Pentium M 2GHz single core, 1GB of ram.
Nice 1650*10?? 4/3 monitor...

I set it up to run LXDE + claws mail, and everything is insanely fast...

she is using leafpad as text editor!
and she is finally happy with her GNU/linux install...
I am now setting up another laptop with LXDE for her co-worker :)

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

if you want something more office like than leafpad
Abiword is a good light-weight libre program:
http://www.abisource.com/screenshots/

also upgrading the ram from 1gb to 2gb is normally very cheap and should make it run much faster when you have more than a few applications running
if its a old laptop then the chances are its using ddr2 ram which is very very cheap
and if it is ddr3 is still only a few £'s for 1gb

if you dont know what i am talking about this explains it:
ddr2=not as fast as ddr3 and used in older pc's
ddr3=faster than ddr2 and used in modern pc's costs more
ddr4=a new type of ram thats coming out that some pepole are using in there pc's but its much more expensive

also your pc will only support one type of ram
so if it only supports ddr2 and you put ddr3 in it it wont
work

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

hi Tom,

Thanks for the recommendation with the memory, it is a good explanation.

Allow me to get lost in memory :)

I had the following computers in sequence

1) one with an integrated green monitor; I found it in the junkyard when I was... I don't know 6 or 7 years, I wasn't able to run any software on it. but I could type on the keyboard and it would trusty reply with some error message like syntax error or something :), I think I at some point broke it when I disassembled it

2) an Olivetti 8086 with two floppy drivers, I think it had starwars and wordperfect 5.1

3) MEMOTECH mtx 512 http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=168 (Awesome machine, my mother ruined it by twisting the power cable!)

4) Commodore 64 (I had a couple because I broke them :) )

5) IBM PS-1 486sx 25Mhz with 129MB harddrive
- OS Was IBM DOS and OS2, usually just DOS because with OS2 I 1) could't play any games, 2) it took up all the HD space
- Upgraded from 4 to 8 MB memory to make doom map7 episode 3 run smooth. (well not really smooth, but I was playing that at something like 1fps)
- upgraded with SCSI controller + 2x512MB external drive + CDROm drive + Soundcard,
- Upgraded with INTEL Overdrive to DX75MHZ, that odly enough actually made it faster than many 100mhz dx4
- Upgraded with SCSII CDrom drive and sepperate burner

6) IBM Aptiva 120MHZ Pentium I, the model with a processor that hade some calculation error... didn't give me any problem though
- Also running DOS and OS2.
- Still using ALL SCSII Gear from above!
- I am sure I upgraded the memory, but I actually don't remember to how much
- Upgraded with 3DFX voodoo 1, Quake 3D with Glide.

7) Supermarket brand Pentium II 450MHz (This PC lasted a loong time!)
- Dual booting DOS and Redhat GNU/Linux
- And Still using ALL SCSII Gear from above!
- Upgraded with 450MB tape streamer
- Upgraded with 3DFX voodoo 3.

8) IBM Server P III 800MHZ with 515MB Rambuss RIMM-ramm
- Dual booting, windows (I think 98 (The games required that now :( ) + Slackware and Gentoo
- Motherboard support dual processor SLOT A, that was a beast :)
- The RIMM ram was sadly a failing technology, DDR was much cheaper, as I remember it, they where slower, but RIMM ramm was never adopted. My RIMM ram was running at 600MHZ (actually the slow speed RIMM), I think drr was running at 133, so even if they did two opperations pr cyckle the RIMM ram would munch em.

9) Pentium4 2.4GHz without hyperthreading,
In my mind, I had the first Asus P4C800 Motherboard with a Pentium 4 in Denmark, I called a supplier and explained that I needed to test the new precision timer in the pentium 4 to make them rush the delivery... I actually just wanted to play Command & Conquer Generals.
- Dual booting, windows (I think 2000 (The games was working fine in 2000 despite all the talk, don't mix 2000 with ME! :( ) + Slackware and Gentoo
- I do not really remember if I still was using the SCSII hardware in this machine, but I do miss those physically huge disks. Each disk had its own fan running at rather high speed, and they where heavy, I remember I once created a partition for each game I installed. the reason I do not remember...

10) My current system, Intel I7 920 with 6GB of ram, it's only problem today I guess is its power usage
I actually had Windows 7 since beta and Updated to Windows 8 when that come... But I just got feet up with all the crap software that I constantly had to navigate around and actually saw some talks with RMS about libre software :) And here I am now :)

that was the good time :)

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

my first pc was a very very slow
computer running windows 2000 i think
that my dads school(he was a teacher) didn’t want anymore
i was 6 so i don’t remember much though
apart from the fact i was very disappointed :(
and i didn’t know what lxde was at the time

the second pc i owned was a 2gb ram i3 proessor
laptop with a 320gb HDD running windows 7
it ended up (like most windows machines do) after a 2 months on the internet with virus software that costs £120 a year slowing down
loads so that even Google chrome(no i dont use it anymore)
took about 2 minits to load and i did not know about
gnu/linux then

so i sold it and got this thing:
http://www.msi.com/product/nb/GX660.html#hero-specification
which was a very good laptop and initially i ran ubuntu on it but after hearing about the spy-ware and listening to rms
i ran a libre operating system on it
but i ended up selling it for about £500 as the WIFI and GPU
didn’t work too well with libre software

then i decided to build my own computer with a
£700 budget (after negotiating with the shop selling the parts i got the price off 10%)

my current system(running trisquel 7) is a custom built
pc with 16gb 2400mhz ram a i7 processor oct core
3.5ghz 8mb cache and a 128gb SSD with 1tb HDD
and 450mbps WIFI card

the PC is quite low power considering its spec
it used between about 60 and 120

i think this is due to that fact i don’t have a external GPU(don’t need one as my ram is 2400mhz which rely helps as
the system ram becomes the video ram so the faster that is the faster your GPU is basically)

also i use a SSD as my main drive which makes everything rely rely fast and as it has no moving parts it consumes less power

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Joined: 07/24/2010

I set it up to run LXDE + claws mail, and everything is insanely fast...

Did you install Trisquel Mini 7 as a base? If not, why not? Trisquel Mini comes with the LXDE desktop, the Leafpad text editor, Abiword (that tomlukeywood recommended), the Midori Web browser, the Pidgin instant messenger, the Evince document reader,the mplayer movie player, all common codecs, etc. For e-mails, Sylpheed is installed by default. If you prefer Claws, it is about three clicks away in the Synaptic package manager (also installed by default).

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

"If you prefer Claws, it is about three clicks away in the Synaptic package manager (also installed by default)."
i counted a minimum of 8 clicks

Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

I underestimated the effort then. Lol.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

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Joined: 10/31/2014

:)

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

i assume you are expressing your value in ASCII
if so it would be 99 a lot more than the minimum clicks
for claws mail on a LXDE desktop environment would be
however if the firmware in the mouse was programed to only send a value to the operating system letting it know the mouse was clicked if the mouse in the "physical world"
was clicked 12 times with a extra mouse signal sent after those 96 times that was sent 3 times

YOU WOULD BE A GENIUS! XD

or just very lucky or just a manufacturer of the kind of mouse and you found that buildcomplete uses it
or one of the other many possibility's that are probably not infinite in amount

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

LoL That IS my mouse!

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

hi Magic

the machine was actually an older install of Debian server that I intended to use for some development but never got around to :)

regarding leafpad, I am sure she is going to prefer that before abiword...

On her w1ndow$ machine, she has lots of text editing software, and she always use notepad. Although, when pressed she sometimes start open office calc when she needs to make spreadsheets.

a recommendation for a standalone spreadsheet application would be nice though.

by the way, it is in the pipeline to get rid of windows in her other work machine!

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

Libre office calc is good but for a slower pc gnumeric looks good:

Screenshot from 2015-02-14 12:05:47.png
buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

it looks good.

The only thing I am not to happy about is that it relies on 'gnome-desktop-data'...

So if I install it, and don't like it, how do I clean out the packages that I don't require anymore?

tomlukeywood
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Joined: 12/05/2014

when i run
apt-get autoremove gnumeric
this is the output:

root@trisquel7-gnu-linux:/home/tom# apt-get autoremove gnumeric
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED
gnome-desktop-data gnumeric gnumeric-common gnumeric-doc
linux-headers-3.13.0-43 linux-headers-3.13.0-43-generic
linux-image-3.13.0-43-generic linux-image-extra-3.13.0-43-generic
0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 8 to remove and 16 not to upgrade.
After this operation, 305 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

so it looks like it will remove gnome-desktop-data when you uninstall it

also if you ever want to try something out that may affect your main os badly why not use a virtual machine? like qemu?

buildcomplete
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Joined: 01/27/2015

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the reply, it is nice to know that it will be removed beforehand :), I guess I am a bit untrusting regarding package management.

The idea with a virtual machine is good so I will try that when I have some time.

Magic Banana

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Joined: 07/24/2010

To remove packages that were installed as dependencies of software that has been uninstalled since then:
$ sudo apt-get autoremove

As for Leafpad vs AbiWord, the former is a text editor, whereas the latter is a WYSIWYG word processor. Those two applications fulfill different use cases: you do not edit a configuration file with AbiWord and you do not write a letter with Leafpad... unless, like me, you write it in LaTeX. ;-)