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Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 14:49 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
In reply to: Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases by niner
Parent article: Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

I thought I tried the panel spacer, and maybe it more or less did the job, acting like some aggressively spring-loaded gadget but also squashing other applets, but none of this is an improvement over the control of panel applets and icons in KDE 3.5. One would have thought that the usability experts would have stumbled across something nicer than the "it's stuck to the mouse, how do I get it off?" paradigm for configuring the panel arrangement.

I also don't think it helps that the applet chooser (or whatever it is called) is a long thin window that sits above the panel and has to be scrolled large distances horizontally. It's not as if the remaining 90% of the screen is unavailable to show the available applets because we have to keep an eye on the progress of our city/civilisation/spaceships. Also the choice of horizontal scrolling must surely be some kind of joke in the age of the scroll wheel.

And let us not dwell of the function of the scroll wheel as a workspace switcher when the mouse points at the desktop background. A neat hack for some, but when the scroll area of a trackpad maps to the same function, it's like some kind of cruel experiment for many groups of users. "Why does the screen flicker and I sometimes lose all the windows?" Because someone thought it necessary to be able to "scroll" through 50 workspaces in one finger movement.

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Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 14:56 UTC (Fri) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

Right click on the desktop, Default Desktop Settings / Mouse Actions / Vertical Scroll. Click on Remove.

IIRC the same feature was already in 3.5.

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 15:22 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

I did manage to switch it off, but I was just saying that enabling niche features like this by default isn't exactly an encouraging statement of usability progress. In 3.5, I think this only happens if you have the pointer over the pager, which is bad in itself, but not yet another trap set for the less-than-totally-confident user just trying to get his/her pointer to move across the screen.

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 16:53 UTC (Fri) by sebas (subscriber, #51660) [Link]

This "niche feature" was on in 3.5 already. I personally find it hugely annoying (as you do), but as with any such things, we get complaints when we change these settings by the vocal crowd of people who claim that 3.5 was the best thing since sliced bread (which says more about their memory, than about bread).

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 22:09 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

Well, I don't see any sign of it in my settings: I looked in the desktop settings as well as in many of the system settings dialogues. I didn't actually use a mouse with a wheel at home until recently, but neither my home nor work desktops suffer from this, so either Kubuntu and Red Hat switched this off or it just wasn't there to begin with, especially since in the former case I had no reason to even switch it off until recently after I first knew of the feature from KDE 4, so it should be enabled by default and exhibit the effect, but that just isn't the case. Maybe I was "in the zone" and in a fit of rage sought it out and hit the switch, but I'm doubting that right now.

I appreciate that people don't like change, which is probably how my remarks are interpreted, but sometimes one has to eliminate disastrously bad features just to avoid the need to have someone hovering behind new users helping them turn all the bad stuff off. And 3.5 still rules, by the way. ;-)

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 22:14 UTC (Fri) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

on my kubuntu system I just tested and found that it is on.

That being said, I have never knowingly run into this issue before, so it doesn't matter much to me, but I can see why others would care about it (either to love it or hate it)

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 11, 2013 15:48 UTC (Mon) by nye (guest, #51576) [Link]

It was definitely in all of the 3.5 releases that I recall, but it was not in the first couple of KDE 4 releases (and then there was at least one release in which it was there, but didn't actually work).

I know this because I found it incredibly frustrating to use the system without it.

I'm constantly saddened by drives to remove all the features that differentiate Linux from Windows for me, in the name of the mythical 'new users'. This has already reached the point where I don't bother to use Linux on my home desktop any more; at some point I'll probably end up having to give up on it at work as well :(.

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 11, 2013 15:58 UTC (Mon) by BlueLightning (subscriber, #38978) [Link]

That's not why features got "removed" in KDE 4. Features unfortunately disappeared because a lot of the workspace code was rewritten from scratch; as time went on they were added back in. For the most part KDE 4 has surpassed the feature set of 3.x by now, so assuming you are a KDE user why give up now?

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 11, 2013 16:05 UTC (Mon) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

Binding scrollwheel motions on the root window to "switch desktop" is an excellent feature which (a) is well worth including in a way that makes it easy to enable (b) is no longer a sane default, regardless of whether it was a sane default when it was first added.

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 11, 2013 19:08 UTC (Mon) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

Well, I just looked again and I can't find how to switch this feature on or off in KDE 3.5, so unless someone can actually point me to the dialogue in question, I'll take my own experiences with my current desktop over people's recollections.

As for whether it's a useful feature, I'm sure people do like it, but I've always been happy with the Ctrl-F<n> shortcuts and don't use the equivalent workspace-cycling shortcuts that are equivalent to the scrollwheel actions.

I also take exception to the "only new users would hate this" insinuation. First of all, new users might like it if it didn't impact them because of the mousepad scrolling region functionality, which is another area that you either love or hate regardless of whether you are new to computers or not. It is almost like pressing the wrong part of the space bar and experiencing the same effect as holding down Alt-Tab.

But I can see the point of it: you might want to navigate by depth which either means navigating the window stack or navigating workspaces, and the mousewheel provides that extra dimension of navigation. What is quite clear, however, is that no-one thought that this potentially useful function would "leak out" and damage usability elsewhere. We get lectured all the time about how the smart usability people know much more than us, but either the people exposed to the feature with a mousepad during testing were comfortable with it already (and probably using a mousepad they were already familiar with) or it didn't get usability tested in that environment at all.

My regret is that we're still having to deal with such annoyances when we could have moved far beyond them instead by now.

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 8, 2013 23:58 UTC (Fri) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

Your comments would mirror mine. I am a relatively happy and new user of KDE 4.10.1 now, and have configured the keybindings to mirror macbooks as far as possible. I got to admit it's awesome to be able to do this, I can use Linux a whole lot like it were OS X at least when it comes to cut, paste, copy, new tab, close tab, etc. operations.

Almost everything bad about KDE (for me) follows about it having too many options, which makes everything ridiculously cluttered and ugly to look at. Therefore a lot of things can be fixed just by disabling everything that can be unchecked. I disable most keybindings, remove most applications, disable most window title bar buttons, etc.

Shuttleworth: Not convinced by rolling releases

Posted Mar 9, 2013 16:09 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

... while I do the opposite and turn most of the bells and whistles on (other than searching/semantic desktop stuff because it *still* doesn't work if $HOME is on NFS). One size really, really does not fit all.

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