Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (365 mails)

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[openFATE 302306] Reorganization of YaST control center
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2010 16:39:34 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <feature-302306-79@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: Christoph Thiel (cthiel1)
Feature #302306, revision 79
Title: Reorganization of YaST control center

openSUSE-10.3: Rejected by Stanislav Visnovsky (visnov)
reject date: 2007-07-03 17:08:02
reject reason: Postponing, we are running out of time.
Requester: Mandatory

openSUSE-11.0: Rejected by Stanislav Visnovsky (visnov)
reject date: 2008-04-25 15:09:31
reject reason: Needs more discussion.
Requester: Mandatory
Projectmanager: Important

openSUSE-11.1: Rejected by Federico Lucifredi (flucifredi)
reject date: 2008-07-18 18:56:09
reject reason: postponing as per engineering's request.
Requester: Mandatory
Projectmanager: Important

openSUSE-11.2: Rejected by Jiri Srain (jsrain)
reject date: 2009-07-17 10:19:44
reject reason: Let's do it early in the 11.2 development cycle to have
feedback from Alpha snapshots and be able to adjust.
Requester: Mandatory
Projectmanager: Important

- openSUSE-11.3: Evaluation
+ openSUSE-11.3: Rejected by (cthiel1)
+ reject date: 2010-03-08 16:39:30
+ reject reason: out of resources for 11.3.
Requester: Mandatory
Projectmanager: Important

Requested by: Martin Schmidkunz (mschmidkunz)

As many users (even the experienced ones) find the current organization
of YaST modules confusing a reorganization is needed.
We have conducted a usability study where experienced users sorted the
YaST modules. So I would really ask to take advantage of these data.
You find the data and some thoughts about a possible re-categorization
The reorganization would affect the sorting and presentation, some
labeling issues, the use of a consistent icon set, the use of tool tips
and an enhancment of search
One possible solution would be to organize it similar to the GNOME
configuration center:
I already heard that it might be mandatory to present AppArmor as an
extra section (which in my opinion would be not advisable from a
usability perspective, but if it is mandatory, then we have to add it
as an extra section).
I also thought that some YaST modules (e.g. keyboard, mouse, DNS,
Hostname) are doublicated but it turned out, that this makes sense for
Still I suggest combining the modules "user management" and "group
management" into a single module called "User and Group Management".
This makes sense because opening "user management" and "group
management" opens the same module but only show a different view.

Documentation Impact:
This would require a lot of changes throughout the manuals.

#1: Tanja Roth (ta-ro) (2007-05-30 14:33:36)
Would a reorganization apply to both KDE and GNOME desktop, then?
Whatever a new YaST structure would look like, from a doc perspective
it would be important that YaST structure and appearance are in sync
for both desktops as we strive to use a "common doc base" for both
desktops whereever possible to reduce efforts and costs.
As reorganization of YaST would require many changes throughout our
manuals, we cannot afford to additionally maintain different "flavors"
of YaST chapters for KDE/GNOME.
Apart from that, consistent structure and appearance of YaST in both
desktops would also be a benefit for users.

#2: Stanislav Visnovsky (visnov) (2007-06-12 11:40:45)
Sigi, is the card study finished now? Where can we find the results?

#3: Martin Schmidkunz (mschmidkunz) (2007-06-12 13:58:58)
> Would a reorganization apply to both KDE and GNOME desktop, then?
Yes. Exactly for the reasons you named, Tanja :-) By the way, a
reorganization of YaST control center already took place in SLES 10
SP1. This solution is similar to what Sigi and I suggested. Perhaps it
would be a good idea to take the YaST control center as it is in SLES
10 SP1, improve it a little and implement its design into all our
products. What do you think about that?

#4: Stanislav Visnovsky (visnov) (2007-06-12 14:00:46) (reply to #3)
There was no reorganization for SLE10 SP1. The only change was
introduction of slab-based GNOME control center for YaST. The
categorization, description and module lists did not change and are
shared between KDE and GNOME control centers.

#5: Martin Schmidkunz (mschmidkunz) (2007-06-12 18:01:19)
I am sorry for a missunderstanding. I meant that we should take the
current "GNOME control centre" - like design of the YaST control centre
in SLES 10 SP 1 as a base for a redesign of the YaST control centre in
our other products. Additionally to that, we should discuss (and
perform) a reorganization of modules.

#7: Federico Lucifredi (flucifredi) (2007-06-29 17:59:43) (reply to
This is worth pursuing, I am no UX expert, but if we can make it easier for
users to find things, we should.
A reorganization should be well thought-out, so that we break the
existing habits *only once*, we should not be reshuffling things too

#8: Siegfried Olschner (sdolschn) (2007-07-03 12:35:30)
The results of the the cardsort study are available at:
The subjects (N=~30) have been "Experts", so you can transfer the
results to a new openSUSE YaST Control Center.
The cluster trees with 2 different statistical options show only one
difference: - ISDN, Modem, DSL, Network => Hardware - ISDN, Modem, DSL,
Network => Network see
I'm just writing a sumary. This section is placed at the top of the page.

#9: Siegfried Olschner (sdolschn) (2007-07-03 12:39:23)
I got only 2-3 NOT-Expert users in the sample. Their results are not
presented on the page. But it's clear, they separated out cards like:
VLM, iSCSI Initiator, Powertweak, VNC, Sudo, AppArmor, LDAP, etc.,

#10: Siegfried Olschner (sdolschn) (2007-07-06 10:05:23)
Some mockups available at:

#11: Martin Schmidkunz (mschmidkunz) (2007-11-29 13:50:55)
Some additional mock ups and thoughs about that topic are available at:

#13: Martin Schmidkunz (mschmidkunz) (2008-02-11 15:24:24)
One other suggestion was influenced by the KDE 4 control center:
The main concerns with these mock ups are:
* information overload
* "search" is somehow meaningless if it isn't provided by some kind of

#15: Berthold Gunreben (azouhr) (2008-04-09 12:52:12)
I don't know if this is just too late, but for me the only design that
looks like a real step forward from all the designs on is
I really like this approach.
Please don't just create huge lists of modules, or preselected lists of
modules that never can meet the customers needs.

#16: Duncan Mac-Vicar (dmacvicar) (2008-04-24 14:56:14)
This feature was on impl. But limited resources and refocus on
PackageKit froze development. Passing back to Stano.

#17: Federico Lucifredi (flucifredi) (2008-06-13 19:49:56)
lets figure out a plan and get it done this time :)

#20: Martin Schmidkunz (mschmidkunz) (2007-09-29 03:17:48)
As there is some negative feedback from the KDE 4 personal settings
menu (, maybe we
should take it into account when talking about a YaST control center
redesign. BTW: what is the status on this feature request?

#21: Thomas Göttlicher (tgoettlicher) (2008-10-23 17:03:56) (reply to
Thanks for this hint. Development on this featrue is postponed.

#22: evamaria fuchs (nefuchs) (2009-01-22 17:49:48)
Currently we are conducting usability tests, see:

#24: Karl Eichwalder (keichwa) (2009-05-08 07:37:16)
For what's worth, things got worse in the meantime ;)  This feature
needs to be split into 2 or 3 subfeatures:
* Improve labels (e.g., "/etc/sysconfig Editor" -> "Sysconfig Editor").
* Reorganize groups: Move items from "Other" to Miscellaneous, split
Network Services into Network Servers and Network Clients, make the
Apparmor entries one entry and move it to Security, make Virtualization
entries one entry and move it to System, move Hostnames from Network
Services to Network Devices and rename Network Devices to "Network
Devices and Hostnames".
* Improve the UI.
The Gnome CC is rahter pointless because its left navigation (?) is
just superfluous (ok, there is now "Common Tasks"...).  Because YaST
contains more groups and especially entries, we need a way to hide or
collapse groups completely. (I do not like the KDE idea just to display
a subset of the entries of a group.)
BTW, the worst thing about yast's gtk ui is the idea of sorting groups
alphabetically. In English, happily "Hardware" comes before

#28: Bart Otten (bartotten) (2009-11-08 14:19:50) (reply to #24)
The AppArmor-group is annoying me for a long time. When it came into
openSUSE I allready filed a bugreport (FATE was not openFATE yet). I
think there are still some lessons in the card sort study.

#25: jimbo bigcreed (dimble_thricefoon) (2009-06-04 16:24:54)
the split between kcontrol and yast is confusing

#26: Rémy Marquis (spyhawk) (2009-06-05 02:22:02) (reply to #25)
This issue has already been discussed here

#27: jimbo bigcreed (dimble_thricefoon) (2009-06-17 16:10:31) (reply to
cheers for the info.
as long as they provide a non-confusing synthesis of the two related
system management functions in a native QT4.5 environment i will be

#29: Atri Bhattacharya (badshah400) (2009-11-25 00:55:36)
In my opinion, it would be nice to split up YaST's Control Centre into
two tabs
1) Basic tasks: This tab should show a limited number of tasks (not
modules) used frequently by a typical desktop user. The list might
include things like: Set up a printer, Set up a TV card, Check for
update, Install/uninstall software, Change system-wide network proxy,
Configure date and Time, Add/remove user, manage network settings, view
release notes, etc. Tasks might also be grouped into categories like
hardware, etc.
2) Advanced view: This is a separate tab that shows all the modules
categorised into groups. This is equivalent to the present control-
centre view.
By not presenting at first view a large number of icons with
complicated names and advanced functionality (e.g. Kerberos client,
AppArmor, Remote administration-VNC, etc.) the control-centre will
prevent a typical desktop user from being overwhelmed, which happens
with the present view. The task based list will also help in the sense
that one generally thinks in terms of tasks when he/she starts up YaST
to configure something. The advanced-view is also present (could use a
check-box that says show advanced view by default in YaST for
experienced people) for all other modules that might be necessary for
specialised usage (like the kerberos client).
The present YaST Control Centre is overwhelming for a typical desktop
user. Reorganising it so that it shows a task-based list at first view
will help regular users appreciate the power of YaST and also
importantly its simplicity. It is imperative that we concentrate on the
average Joe desktop user in streamlining the interface while keeping in
mind its versatility and strengths for the experienced user as well. I
believe a reorganisation of YaST's interface along these lines will
achieve that.

#30: Karl Eichwalder (keichwa) (2009-11-25 09:09:31) (reply to #29)
The idea is quite good, but I'd avoid tabs.
I'd add two additional additional groups ("Favorites" and "Basics") and
list them at the top of the left pane.
"Favorites" are meant to be populated by the user, just add two or
three entries to make look it nice. "Basics" should contain 8 or 10
entries such as "Install/Remove Software", "Network Config", "Update
Config", etc.
As a third group you could add "Recent Modules"...
After these two are three groups add a separator.

#31: Atri Bhattacharya (badshah400) (2009-11-25 17:59:07) (reply to
>The idea is quite good, but I'd avoid tabs.
Why? Tabs might help separate the gui into two distinct views: basic
and advanced. Isn't that useful?
However the Favourites and Basics groups you have mentioned also sound
very interesting. My point in the above post was to have a view that
lists tasks instead of modules, this in my opinion is important for
useability. If the basics group as mentioned in your comment has tasks
that would be great, the point being when we fire up YaST we are
thinking "gotto change the proxy" or "have to add another user" or
"have to set up my printer" as against when we are launching
application-browser in Gnome for example where one is thinking "OK, let
me start this image-editor". A task-based YaST would really help in my
opinion, whether they are organised in a tab-based view or as groups as
you mention (I actually like the group view more, but there should also
be an advanced view which should be useful for the experienced users).

#32: Karl Eichwalder (keichwa) (2009-11-26 08:23:43) (reply to #31)
> Tabs might help separate the gui into two distinct views: basic and
Maybe, it's useful. I think vertical space is precious. Screens are
wide and wider, but often not that high. Really small screens are back
with the NetBooks. And then, there is the ncurses YaST UI.
I think most things are already task based up to some degree. There is
not just one single module called "software management", but there are
also other entry point to software managing such as managing
repositories or doing online update. The same is valid for networking
But it would be nice to add a search interface. The gtk incarnation
comes with a filter option what is a start.

#33: Ladislav Horvath (6205) (2010-02-13 22:54:16)
YaST should IMO drop unnecessary module for which are there already
good GTK/QT alternatives and keep only andvanced modules for network or
servers or some specific HW

openSUSE Feature:

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