[maemo-users] [maemo-users] Application manager review

From: Marius Vollmer marius.vollmer at nokia.com
Date: Tue Aug 8 17:02:22 EEST 2006
"ext Alfonso F R" <aswarp2002 at yahoo.es> writes:

> I've reflashed my 770 and hanged around with the applications
> repositories [1] and the applications manager for a while now.

Hey, thanks for trying it out and writing this review!

> 1) There seems to be a bug in the update proccess where the
> repositories are checked sequentially.  It appears to me that, when
> a repo is empty or invalid for any reason (which??), the
> Tools/AppManager stops responding.

That looks like a problem with your network in general.  I have never
seen the AM block on its own when a download fails for some reason.
It is, however, very possible that the download itself blocks
because of bad connectivity.  The download will eventually timeout in
the kernel.

Also, the AM will attempt to download from different servers in
parallel, just like "apt-get update".  So, if one of the servers does
not respond, and the download doesn't finish, you should be able to
cancel it at that point and the already downloaded repository indices
should be used (contrary to the error message that says that the "Last
refreshed list is shown".)

> 2) It is not obvious how to set the repo's up. I mean it is not
> unexperienced-user friendly, specially in a language other than
> english.

Yes, managing the list if repositories that is in use was considered
'advanced' from the beginning, and we expected the 'average' users to
get all their new packages and updates from the pre-configured Nokia

There is a new feature coming where repositories can be added to the
AM by just clicking on a link in the web browser.  (You can also
install packages that way.)

> 3) It isn't obvious either that "unchecking" the "Active" checkbox
> under "Catalogue/Edit" for a repository that is blocking the update
> proccess does the trick.

I agree that the error reporting when a "Refresh list of packages"
fails could be much improved.  It's in the queue...

> 5) The "AppManager/Main/Install new apps" window has some problems too:
>     5.a) The categories are listed in a top-down view inside large boxes. The
> right-hand side of the window is blank and could be used to show two or three
> columns of buttons, thus not requiring so much scrolling-down to the user
>     5.b) The buttons are quite large in height, thus requiring the user to
> scroll down a lot when installing new apps (minor annoyance)

Yup, everybody here agrees that this is not a very good way to show
the list of categories.  It will be improved, one way or the other...

>     5.c) May be a tree-view would be more intuitiev and user-friendly?

Hmm, a tree-view doesn't fit with the "bread crumb trail" (or
"navbar") approach of the AM according to our UI people.  However,
they seem to like the "Tag Cloud"
idea... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_cloud).

> 6 and last) The "app catalogue" menu option should IMHO have its own
> button within the "Main" window. It's quite hidden from the average
> user and is used a lot.

My hope is that the "Application catalogue" dialog will not be needed
very much.  Right now, there are a lot of repositories out there, but
it would be better to have only very few of them.  Hopefully, it is
easy enough for developers to put packages into the "contrib"
repository associated with garage.maemo.org, for example.  Also, the
"single-click-install" feature mentioned above should help.

> For the rest, the Applications manager rocks! It's very confortable
> to use and I love the "Details" tab shown for each packet. Greatly
> improved from its antecessor.

Thanks! 8-)

> Keep up the good work!

We will, and thanks a lot again for the feedback!

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