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Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 12, 2012 13:40 UTC (Mon) by cortana (subscriber, #24596)
In reply to: Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users by jirka
Parent article: Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Thinking about this further... what if you could look at the properties of an application in the Overview, which would present a list of all the file types that the application could open. Each list entry would have a checkbox indicating that the application is the currently chosen default for that file type; and there would be a button saying 'use this application for all the above file types' which would click all the check boxes.

Obviously this needs more work (the Overview has no way to indicate that an application might have such a properties window, nor does it give the user any opportunity to interact with an application except to launch it) but I think it might go some way towards satisfying your use case.

Out of interest, what DE do you use? How do you set a program to be the default handler for one or more file types under it?


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Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 14, 2012 0:06 UTC (Wed) by jirka (guest, #83100) [Link]

Right now I use XFCE as it is the least painful to use. Terminal starts quickly (yeah I need my terminal when I hit the key combo I set up, not several seconds later, I am an impatient person, and computers are fast enough nowdays aren't they?), it has a simple app menu for launching apps where I can always easily find what I am looking for, and I can set certain apps onto a panel for a quick launch.

In XFCE there is "MIME Type Editor" which lets you set default apps. It's a bit too simple, and could use some improvements, but it's far easier to use than the GNOME way. That's the correct way to do it. That's the correct metaphor. It's not right to do it in the application. That's backwards. Though it wouldn't hurt if you could set it from the application as well.

Don't overthink it. Overthinking is exactly what got current GNOME UI designers into trouble. Don't make too many abstractions. Abstractions are bad unless they work perfectly. Then you precisely get into trouble when users are not working in the way that you envisioned they should. They get frustrated and complain loudly.

There is a lovely book "The Design of Everyday Things" that is an excellent critique of interface of ... well "everyday things". I got the book from some usability people when working on GNOME. UI designers are still not taking the advice there to heart, and they should.

Now ... get off my lawn!

Mena-Quintero: A Friday rant on Gnome 3, journalists, and power users

Posted Nov 14, 2012 10:21 UTC (Wed) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

> it has a simple app menu for launching apps where I can always easily find what I am looking for, and I can set certain apps onto a panel for a quick launch.

AND a tool to look up applications by name or description, not unlikely the search bar in GNOME's overview. It's summoned by pressing Alt+F2. If XFCE allowed one to bind this application (that by the way is named xfce4-appfinder) to the windows (AKA "super") key _release_ so that it didn't interfere with other shortcuts, I would be just happy.


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