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Re: Installer UI advices

From: Jesse Ross
Subject: Re: Installer UI advices
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2005 22:56:38 -0600

Then you run into problems with user X having files in location /foo/bar, while user Y and Z may have them in /my/gosh/my/files/are/so/organized. However, 40 thousand other users may have 40 thousand other different places to put the same files, it makes for hell.

Oops... sorry. I guess I meant that what I _really_ want, is a clear separation of user space and system space, such that, for those who don't ever want to look, the all system files are invisible. All they ever see is their home directory. I think I already argued this point in another thread and lost, though...

99% of the time, a user need not navigate outside their "home directory" (under windows, this would include my documents, my pictures, etc; under Unix systems, would be /usr/home/joe_user (or wherever you keep your home dirs). And you can organize this however you like, more power to you; but changing the where the system files are, is just silly in my opinion. Leads to more problems (with regards to upgrading programs) than its worth.

Right. Like I said, let's not get rid of the Unix hierarchy. Let's just hide it for the end users. Let them start in their home directory, and let them see the Application directory. If 99% of the time they're not venturing outside of their home folder, why make them see all those other folders. I'm really not suggesting we change what's already in place. Just make the file manager show them only what is important to their task at hand. I think the fix is probably easier than I made it sound like I wanted it to be.

I don't think there's one single developer on this list who couldn't possible comprehend what a user wants. With this statement you seem to imply that developers aren't users either, when, we are.

I agree -- I think this list has exceptional developers. They are some of the most usability-minded individuals I've met. I'm probably preaching to the converted. Maybe I just like to stand on soapboxes. :)

These are big problems to try and solve. I'm not saying I have all or any of the answers. I just think that there is a way to make all of this easier, more invisible. Wouldn't making an open source system that is easier to use than a Mac be an amazing and worthy feat? I want to make something I could give my mom, and have her understand. She's frightened of computers, and I want to make something she can manage and not be afraid of. If I didn't think GNUstep was a great base for that "something", I wouldn't be here.

This is why God ... I mean Steve Jobs and friends spent much time working on systems that do just what you want. I doubt your Mom is going to have any need to poke around the file system much more than looking for her documents, opening up her "Applications" directory to start an app, etc... (Though admittingly, I don't know your mother, so that's only a loose assumption.)

I wonder if maybe I just like the Mac so much I want to make that experience open source... yeah, that's probably exactly it.


Had fun?

Yep -- as always. I'm here all week ;)

Jeremy Tregunna

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