Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-ux (48 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-ux] new UI in yast2-printer
  • From: Johannes Meixner <jsmeix@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 15:12:01 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0711231358020.23601@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


On Nov 23 12:24 miso zugec wrote (shortened):
new yast2-printer is available in FACTORY, so you can test it now.

I dare to introduce competition ;-)

I made an experimental YaST printer setup module, see
Currently is in read-only mode so that I cannot
update the info there and therefore some details are outdated.

It is is a completely new design from scratch.

To avoid misunderstandings:
I make it only to get something which is executable instead of tons
of ideas in tons of mails or tons of nice graphical "mockups"
which nobody can really verify if any of those ideas does actually
work and/or could actually be implemented.

A printer setup tool depends on what the printing system supports.
For example "there is no printer in the printing system", see
so that a design based upon printers instead of based upon queues
(which would of course be a better design) cannot be implemented.

I provide it for testing and only for testing for the
released openSUSE 10.3, openSUSE 10.2, and for the
openSUSE development version openSUSE "factory"
in the "noarch" sub-directory at

Its version number is intentionally less than the version
of our official yast2-printer RPM so that you cannot install
the experimental YaST printer setup module by accident
(e.g. via whatever automated package installation tool).

If you like to test it, first of all make sure that you have
our official yast2-printer RPM available so that you can
go back to the official package.

Then download yast2-printer-2.1.0-1.1.noarch.rpm
and install it as root with this command:

rpm -Uhv --force yast2-printer-2.1.0-1.1.noarch.rpm

Currently only the "Configure a Printer (i.e. Set Up a Print Queue)"
dialog is of interest for me. Neither the "Connecion Wizard" nor
the "Driver Wizard" is implemented.

A simple queue deletion is possible but it is mainly intended
for more convenient testing.

Nothing is implemented regarding the CUPS server.
A default CUPS 1.2 setup (i.e. a local running cupsd) is required,
preferably listening to incomming CUPS browsing information from
other CUPS servers in the network (which is the default).

Nothing is implemented regarding "printing in the network"
which is the real problem.

Some background information what I had in mind when I made
the new design:

First of all an
"Overview of Already Configured Printers (so called 'Print Queues')"
is shown to the user which lists also remote queues.
The intention is that the user can directly check if there
exists already a queue for a particular printers.

Set up a new queue happens in one single dialog, the
"Configure a Printer (i.e. Set Up a Print Queue)" dialog.
There is no three-step wizard-like sequence (first select the
connection, then the driver, then specify a queue name).
All three mandatory steps happen in one single dialog
from the top down to the bottom.
"Creating a (usual) local queue requires three mandatory parameters
... One parameter describes how the printer is connected
... One parameter describes which driver is to be used
... One parameter is a name for the queue"
Anything else which can be set for a queue is not mandatory
and should therefore be in an [Additional settings] sub-dialog
to make it clear for the user what the crucial stuff is
and what is only optional where is is usually best to
leave the defaults.

The driver is visible auto-selected.
There is no longer a hidden automatism which results
whatever driver it thinks is best.
The new design makes it (hopefully) more obvious to the user
if there is more than one driver available and which one
actually is auto-selected.
If a driver can be auto-selected, it does not require
one more click for the user - it is just that the user
can see that a driver-auto-selection happens.

More descriptive text directly in the dialogs, see
For example:
No longer plain buttons
[More Drives] [All Drivers] [Driver Wizard]
but now enriched with some text:
If no suitable driver is shown, try [More Drives]
or [All Drivers] or use the [Driver Wizard]

Stretchable empty space instead of nested frames.
I used stretchable empty space to separate the connection selection
from the driver selection and from the queue name setting
instead of having a frame around each of them.
Now the 80x24-text-only-mode advocates may complain because
my design seems to need more space.
Of course I tested my design in 80x24-text-only-mode
(call "yast printer" from a terminal emulation like "xterm")
and it works but of course it doesn't look really nice there.
Stretchable empty space works even better than frames in
80x24-text-only-mode because stretchable empty space can be
condensed to nothing if there is no free space on the screen
so that there is more space on a small screen for real content.

Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Maxfeldstrasse 5, 90409 Nuernberg, Germany
AG Nuernberg, HRB 16746, GF: Markus Rex
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