[maemo-developers] Command line apps & Extras

From: Andrew Flegg andrew at bleb.org
Date: Sun Nov 29 14:08:36 EET 2009
On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 15:57, Valerio Valerio <vdv100 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Based in your feedback, here are the best solutions in my opinion, let's try
> to reach a good solution that can make both sides happy:
> 1 - Modify the HAM code in order to add some kind of switcher for the CLI
> apps - Very good solution IMO, but very hard to accomplish in the short
> term.

Should we introduce an `XSBC-Maemo-Type' header which can have the
following values:

  * application [default] - means it provides a UI through Control Panel,
    apps menu etc. This'd include new IM plugins (as they show up) and
    wallpapers with .desktop files, themes, fonts and so on.

  * background - services which have no direct UI, e.g. codecs,
    auto-starting daemons.

  * console - command-line apps.

This then allows HAM to distinguish these apps; rather than trying to decode it.

> 2 - All Cli apps should use the same app icon - Seems good to me, the
> regular users will learn and the power users will be happy to have all these
> apps available.

I quite like the idea of an emblem as WELL as an icon - this'd allow
things to still have a different icon to aid the user navigating, but
have a standard for when there is no better icon available.

> 3 - All CLI app should have a default sentence in his description, that
> clearly states that the app is only usable from the command line (no icon,
> no GUI) - Most of the users will not read the descriptions, but if they
> complain about it, is their fault because the notice is there :P .  A
> similar sentence should be also used in the enablers (OGG support,..).

Indeed. Suggestions below.

> I think 2 & 3 is perfectly doable in the short term and perhaps can make
> both sides happy. Thoughts ?

Agreed. Here are some concrete suggestions:

  * Standard emblem (>25% of icon) and sentence for things which
    don't install an icon (e.g. OpenSSH server;
    google-album-art-downloader). This could be a representation of
    the "More..." from the menu with a red, crossed-out circle and
    something like: "This package installs background services on
    your device and does not appear in the list of available

  * Standard emblem and sentence for things which are intended to be
    run from CLI (e.g. OpenSSH client; socat). This could be a
    representation of the X Terminal icon, perhaps in a yellow
    warning triangle and something like: "This package installs
    commands intended to be used in X Terminal and does not
    appear in the list of available applications.
    Consult this package's documentation for how to use it."

To carry this forward, I think we need to:

  1) Open up communication on maemo-developers [CCed ;-)]

  2) Have a UX expert comment on whether the emblem idea is
     workable in 48x48 icons. With colour and shape variants,
     I think it *could*; but aren't sure.

  3) Design said icons (large version for screenshots on
     web UI, small-sized versions for overlaying on other icons
     in XB-Maemo-Icon-26 and medium-sized for sole use as
     XB-Maemo-Icon-26 when there is no icon to overlay).

  4) Create a wiki page describing how and where to put them
     (consistent place such as bottom right seems best) and
     suggested package description language.

  5) Update the QA criteria.

  6) Communicate to all packages currently in Extras and assist
     with new screenshots and XB-Maemo-Icon-26s for them.

Is it also worth a consistent suffix to XB-Maemo-Display-Name, such as
"[CLI]" and "[Daemon]"? Perhaps not.



Andrew Flegg -- mailto:andrew at bleb.org  |  http://www.bleb.org/
More information about the maemo-developers mailing list