[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Gnewsense-dev] Bad defaults cause bad bug

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: [Gnewsense-dev] Bad defaults cause bad bug
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 16:02:18 -0500

When I tried to use Audacity to record from the microphone, the
recording it made was almost inaudible.  I was unable to fix this
without help.

This revealed several usability problems.  I hope you will take steps
to fix each problem.  Some should be fixed directly in gNewSense.
Some call for changes in specific packages -- would you please at
least report these problems to the people who should fix them?

(It is not feasible for me to send bug reports in GNOME because it
can't be done by email.)

The problem turned out to be due to bad settings which were hard to
find and not documented.  Here are the specific problems it reveals.

0. Documentation for Audacity seems not to be loaded.
Why not?

1. Older versions of Audacity had a menu on the control panel to
select the input source.  That was self-evident as GUIs are supposed
to be.  It has disappeared, and nothing in Audacity says how to do it.

Why did it disappear?

There is a way to specify something about input sources in Preferences,
but (1) nothing in the ordinary Audacity screen tells you to look there,
and (2) it is presented in terms that don't make sense to me as a user.
Option include ALSA Default and OSS: /dev/dsp.
Another is ALSA: CS5535 Audio: CS5535 Audio (hw:0,0).
I have no idea what these mean, or how they relate to choosing the microphone
or the CD player.  I don't know which of those settings is "right".
It does not offer documentation.

Perhaps the first click on the Audacity Record button in any session
should pop up a window saying how to select the input.

2. Eventually someone showed me how to control these things with the
Volume Control.  I could not find them myself because they were
hidden: they did not appear in the Volume Control window.
Danny showed me that the Volume Control window has a set of
preferences with which you can control which settings appear.

All the settings relevant to making a recording should be visible
by default.

And Audacity should tell you which ones to look at.

3. The Volume Control help does not match the appearance of the volume
control window.  Also, its descriptions of the individual faders are
so terse that I can't understand many of them.

Some seem simply inaccurate -- for instance, it says the PCM fader
controls the volume of "the wave file".  In fact, it seems to affect
the volume of the output from Audacity and many other programs.  Why
is this?  The Help should make it clear.

And many things such as Mic Boost and Duplicate Front are totally
mysterious to me.  It seems to me that each button and fader should
have a tooltip which _explains_ what it does.  (Repeating the name
does not explain.)

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]