Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (144 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-ux] Re: [yast-devel] printer module redesign
  • From: Lukas Ocilka <lukas.ocilka@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2008 12:39:58 +0100
  • Message-id: <47A99C8E.9070309@xxxxxxx>
Johannes Meixner napsal(a):
On Feb 5 21:29 Rajko M. wrote (shortened):
On Tuesday 05 February 2008 02:21:28 am Lukas Ocilka wrote:
I'm afraid that there are more than just two people :) I also rather do
like more in one dialog than four tabs.
I know there is more, but someone has to say that :-)

Having both local queues and remote queues in one single overview
and have them nevertheless strictly separated is the fundamental
"message" which must be made obvious to the user because this tells
him in one single overview what the printing stuff is all about.

It's all about printing, details might come when user wants to configure
how to print (local printer, remote queue, local queue, ...). A simple
overview can show already configured devices and queues at once.

Mix up local queues and remote queues in one list might look better
on the first glance for those who don't know what the printing stuff
is all about but it doesn't help them to deal with it.
It does even confuse them because they will not be made aware
of the crucial distinction between local queues and remote queues
and what one can do with each of them.

I'm afraid that splitting into more and more tabs will help even less
because users will never find what they are looking for, especially when
they are unsure what *exactly* they are looking for.

In my opinion, what users want is *to configure a printer or queue* to
use them for printing. Additional sharing local printers to another
clients can be done via per-device basis.

User mustn't be scared with *so many options* we provide. Having four
different tabs makes user run away, especially with terms they don't

Configuring a printer or print queue is nice example for Configuration
wizard: YaST asks for simple questions, user selects from simple options.

Provide local queues and remote queues on two different screens
(e.g. via two tabs or whatever the usability experts like)
might look better on the first glance for those who don't know
what the printing stuff is all about but it makes it harder
for them to deal with it.
When only the local queues are shown by default it is no longer
obvious when there exist already remote queues which are ready
to be used for printing in the network.
Users might then start to set up local queues when they like
to print in the network but the [Add] button is the wrong way
for printing in the network with CUPS.

Almost nobody (except Johannes) exactly knows what all this stuff is
really about :) ;) The only way is to provide a simple view to that

* Newbie users would not run away because of thousands of check-boxes
and other options.
* Experienced users would almost know what is it about and where to find
and tune details.
* Experts would configure cups directly or know exactly where to find
the options.

By the way:

The word "printer" becomes meaningless when "queue" is not used.
When "printer" can mean both the device and its queue, the meaning
of "printer" is degenerated to "thingy regarding printing".
This does not provide real information so that it is meaningless.

It doesn't matter whether a printer is local or remote or how do you
print with it (directly, cups). What matters it what users want to do:
just print. It doesn't make sense to configure a printer (or queue) just
to have it configured. Printing must be transparent: you have document
and you want to have it printed. Philosophical questions can be reduced
to simple human-understandable tasks.

* Printer (publisher), a company or person who operates a printing
* Computer printer, a computer peripheral that reproduces text
and/or pictures
* Optical printer, a device to copy and/or modify images on motion
picture film

A computer printer, or more commonly a printer, produces a hard copy
(permanent human-readable text and/or graphics) of documents stored in
electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper or

It does not mean that we must use "queue" in the dialogs.
But it does mean that we can no longer use "printer"
when we mean the device.

As well as I don't agree with the the argument, I don't agree with te

Therefore we should use strictly "device" when we talk about
the piece of hardware and we can use "printer" or "configuration"
or whatever else fits - except "device" - when we mean the queue.

The device is called a "printer". And at the end, a printer prints the

Exception: 'Virtual Printer' that creates and stores a Post Script or
PDF document instead of printing it :)

The wording "printer" for queue and "device" for the hardware
is even consistent with the wording in CUPS.

We should keep consistent with how humans understand it. Because our
users are (mainly) humans :)

As a small exercise think about the differences regarding
the meaning behind the following terms:
- local queue for a directly connected device
- local queue for a local device
- local queue for a remote device
- remote queue for a directly connected device
- remote queue for a local device
- remote queue for a remote device

Simple overview can show details for each configured printer (device) or
queue. You can't have tabs for all possibilities.

... Johannes has some ideas that IMHO are more promissing, than currently
discussed UI design. Look at one of threads "printer module". The text
included in line with buttons can explain what buttons can't.

Unfortunately any further discussion is futile because
descriptive texts for buttons was already rejected.
Instead we have exhaustive discussions about button names...

A style guide (haha) defines, that some buttons can have more
informative label:
[ Print ] [ Cancel ]
[ Yes, Shut-Down ] [ Cancel ]
But they are mostly used in pop-ups.

Have a nice day


Lukas Ocilka, YaST Developer (xn--luk-gla45d)
SUSE LINUX, s. r. o., Lihovarska 1060/12, Praha 9, Czech Republic

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