[maemo-users] [maemo-users] Application Manager: the good and the bad

From: Danny Milosavljevic danny_milo at yahoo.com
Date: Thu Sep 21 22:30:43 EEST 2006

so since I read the mail from Frank Burton, I was exposed to the Application
Manager again. And I noticed the good and bad points again:

First the good ones:

- Nice _big_ (as in "good" :)) main buttons 
  (I mean "Show installed applications" etc)

- Nice "path bar" navigation
- Nice Update support
- Support for installation from multiple catalogs
- Nice "Settings" dialog ;)

That parts are well done :)

And now, inevitably, the bad...

Application Manager

[ Update ]         [ i ]   [ |-| ]

- This one is a little weird in that half of the buttons are text
  and the other half of the buttons are symbols, for no apparent reason
  (the symbols even are spaced in a way so that their word representation
  would have fitted easily)

Application Manager > Check for updates > Update

[ Update ]

xournal 0.3.1-indt3
0.8 MB

[ OK ] [ Details ] [ Cancel ]

- Dialogs shouldn't really have a title bar. 
  Most on the nokia don't, this one does. Weird.

- The dialog text could have read 'Update "xournal" to version 0.3.1-indt3'

- Action Buttons should have a caption that denotes _what they do_.
  I would prefer if gtk just removed the GTK_STOCK_OK, GTK_STOCK_YES,
  GTK_STOCK_NO from their headers and crashed whenever a textual match
  were found, to foil people that are trying to break the UI at all 
  costs ;-)

  Button order is non-gnome, but I guess it's arguable which order is
  better, so I mention it once here and then I shut up:

  Gnome's way is:
  Button causing progress to the right, 
  buttons causing cancellation to the middle and
  uncommon buttons to the left. 
  The reason is so that when you want it to progress, 
  you can stay at the right side at all times.

  That said, I am not convinced that's enough to warrant breaking 
  user's habits of x years. So I'll not change button order in the
  suggestions below.

- Suggestion

[ Update ]

Update "xournal" to version 0.3.1-indt3?
(takes 0.8 MB)

[ Update ] [ Details ] [ Cancel ]

- End Suggestion

- Ok, so I click on "Update", err, I mean "OK", and this appears:


If the software is not obtained from Nokia, Nokia is unable to guarantee
that the software will not harm your device and installation will be at your
own risk.
Continue anyway?

[ OK ] [ Cancel ]

This notice is too DARN LONG.

- Suggestion

Install non-nokia software?

[ Update ] [ Cancel ]

- End Suggestion

Anyway, so I click on "Update", err, "OK", and:

[i] xournal successfully updated

[ OK ]

- If there is one button and it does nothing except closing the window, 
  it should be named "Close"

- So I click "Close", err, "OK", and:

Application Manager > Tools > Refresh list of packages

[?] Refresh Package List

  [ OK ]   [ Cancel ]

- Well now that's strange. For the life of me, I can't figure out what 
  kind of destructive things it is plotting. Why does it ask me? 
  I don't ask "may I breathe in", "may I breathe out" either ;-)
  And it's not a question. "Breathe in". "OK". ;-)

- If that was intentionally, the menu items need "..." at the end:
  "Refresh list of packages..." (dot,dot,dot)

  This signals that the command needs extra information for it to commence
  (read: user still able to back out after clicking :))

- the buttons, try "Refresh" and "Cancel" instead

- anyway, I click "Refresh", err, "OK" and:

[!] Unable to refresh list.
    Last refreshed list is shown.

  [ OK ]

- The button should be "Close".
- It's kind of obvious that it doesn't fabricate a list out of thin air, 
  so remove the obvious "Last refreshed list is shown."
- How about a button "Show Log", too?

Application Manager > Tools > Application catalogue...

[ Catalogue ]


[ New ] [ Edit ] [ Delete ] [ Close ]

- the application catalogue appeared without requiring further input and
  without giving the user the chance to back out, so the menu entry 
  should read:

  "Application catalogue" (no-dot-dot-dot)

- dialogs have no title, this one does: what is it, then?
- this dialog is too small, all the URLs are cut, but half the screen is
  still available.
- The buttons are nice, but the "New" button needs extra information to 
  be able to create a new entry, so "New..." (dot-dot-dot)

- the "Edit" button needs extra info... blah... you get the idea

Application Manager > Tools > Application catalogue > Delete

[?] Delete catalogue?

    Package list originating from this catalogue will also be deleted.

    [ OK ] [ Cancel ]

- The buttons should be "Delete" and "Cancel".

- I find the extra lines stating the obvious funny. 
  Is that some kind of plot to keep user's brain cycles occupied? ;-)

[?] Refresh package list

    [ OK ] [ Cancel ]

- Why does that appear now? I only _removed_ a catalogue... 
  Well anyway, the dialog itself has already been criticized above.

Application Manager > Tools > Log...

- The menu item should read "Log" (no-dot-dot-dot)
- Horizontal scroll bars are evil, how about word wrapping?

Application Manager > Tools > Settings...

no "..." needed in the menu item, so "Settings".

Phiew, enough application manager bashing for the day ;-)

See it this way: The application manager works well enough so that simple UI
mistakes (and the missing ability of the web browser to add catalogues by
clicking on some resource in the web) are the only bad things left :)


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