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Old 04-28-2009, 10:03 AM   #16
james100
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Onebuck

Thank you for response and for providing some great links. I already have a copy of the Rute Tutorial and have been gradually working through it. At this stage I think that I am taking in about half of it, so as soon as I finish I will have to go through it again. It is a fabulous resource. As for the Linux Documentation Project, you gotta be kidding me, all of that information for free, just for the cost of a download. And then the great links in the Slackware Links page.

Now if I could just go without sleep for a couple of months.....
 
Old 04-28-2009, 10:28 AM   #17
james100
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Bitpicker

Sorry for not responding earlier, I have somehow got out of sync with my reading and responses.

Thanks for your response, and also for providing an alternative viewpoint.

Quote:
The argument about names works both ways. Look at Windows: there's an icon called 'My Computer', but what it opens is an instance of Explorer. Why does it not say 'Explorer'? Because it is meant to open Explorer with this specific location.

Of course you are right when you say that from the legend 'Computer' on an icon you cannot glean the name of the program which it is supposed to start, but if you right-click the icon and look at the properties of the icon you can find out the command it actually executes.

Some icons say 'video player' or somesuch. Well, they could say 'Totem', too. But would a newbie know what Totem is? I suppose if all icons only showed the name of the program instead of saying what the program does, even more newbies would complain.
I agree with much of what you say. We noobs can be contrary and ungrateful. (Those are my words by the way, I am not implying that this is what you were thinking.) No matter what a developer does, some of us will like it and some of us won't. But in this regard we are just like any other linux user, regardless of experience. Some users love Ubunto, others love to hate it; some love KDE, some love Gnome, but other like something completely different. I personally like menus to show the actual name of a product rather than its generic use. The way I see it, somebody, or several somebodies, have put a lot of work into developing an application, the deserve to get at least the recognition of having their 'baby' properly named. But as I have outlined elsewhere in this thread this problem could easily be fixed by simply using 'tool tips' to either provide the specific name of an application, or to show its generic purpose.

BTW, in the case of this particular Debian application, right-clicking does not provide the information required. I summarise this in posting 15 above, which I wrote before I had a chance to read your response.
 
Old 04-28-2009, 10:37 AM   #18
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by james100 View Post
Onebuck

Thank you for response and for providing some great links. I already have a copy of the Rute Tutorial and have been gradually working through it. At this stage I think that I am taking in about half of it, so as soon as I finish I will have to go through it again. It is a fabulous resource. As for the Linux Documentation Project, you gotta be kidding me, all of that information for free, just for the cost of a download. And then the great links in the Slackware Links page.

Now if I could just go without sleep for a couple of months.....
Sleep? What's that?

Just read what you need at the time that you need it!

There's a lot of resources out there. You just need to weed through to what you find useful.
 
Old 04-28-2009, 01:57 PM   #19
farslayer
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Now just for fun.. lets look at file managers for a second.

In Windows you have Explorer, and that's pretty much it. there's a few obscure third party file managers that most people don't bother with.

In Linux there are 14 Decent Choices for File managers, and quite a few other less well known options as well.

So by using the simplification method I can setup multiple computers, with multiple desktops and throw an icon on each desktop called 'computer' or something similar but each icon might link to a different file manger: Nautilus, Dolphin, Konqueror, Thunar, etc.. By naming the icon Computer you don't have to remember the names of the 14+ Different File managers. This is where the usability projects come into play. Gnome KDE

One definite difference between Linux and Windows is the number of choices and options you have for everything from Desktop environment through the File manager, etc..

I will Definitely agree it would be nice to right click that icon and see what it's pointing at, and even *Gasp* edit it !!. It is rather annoying that you can't do that by default..
 
Old 04-28-2009, 05:02 PM   #20
onebuck
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Hi,

MC anyone?

If you must have a GUI then MC will suit you from the 'cli' and you'll know what it's supposed to do. Let alone what the program is.
 
Old 04-28-2009, 07:40 PM   #21
chrism01
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Agree with onebuck, now you've got some good tutorials eg Rute, take your time through them.
In general just look stuff up as you need it; it takes a while before it all sinks in 'practice makes perfect'


... and remember, we're always here if you get stuck...
 
Old 04-29-2009, 06:03 AM   #22
bitpicker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james100 View Post
BTW, in the case of this particular Debian application, right-clicking does not provide the information required. I summarise this in posting 15 above, which I wrote before I had a chance to read your response.
I see, you're right, it doesn't work that way. But here's another way to find out just what program you are actually using: when opening 'Computer', the resulting window has a menu 'help', as most programs do, and there's an entry 'about' or 'info' on that menu, which says what program you are using if you click on it.

Robin
 
Old 04-29-2009, 06:27 AM   #23
jschiwal
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Whether the names of applications should be listed or what they do, was the subject of a debate on a Linux LUG Radio podcast episode.

I prefer how some distro's like SuSE do it in KDE. It I move the cursor over "Mail/News Client", the name of the application fades in just below the "Mail/News Client" general description.

I don't know if it is now the default menu gadget in KDE4. I have a choice between this one and the Classic KDE menu.

Last edited by jschiwal; 04-29-2009 at 06:29 AM.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 06:57 AM   #24
james100
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Onebuck, Farslayer and Chrism01,

Thank you greatly for your advice and encouragement. I will certainly be taking steps to improve my knowledge and skill on the command-line, at least to the point where I am comfortable using the more common commands. I used to use MS DOS many years ago, but only the basic commands that were required by a computer user in the pre-Windows days. As a result I am familiar with some of the more basic CLI commands, eg cd, mkdir, cp, etc. At the moment, I am still out of my depth when it comes to running groups of commands together or using text editors, but I am prepared to read and apply information on these topics from the links that you have provided so that I can become more proficient. I am also confident enough not to be too concerned about making mistakes.

Farslayer, thanks for the link to the page about different File Managers. That really blew me away. Talk about spoilt for choice.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 07:23 AM   #25
james100
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Robin,

As soon as I read your response I had to boot up Debian and have a look. You're absolutely spot on. That's a really easy way of getting this information. I could kick myself for not thinking to look there myself.

I still think that the application name should be available from the main menu, either by giving giving the application its proper name or by displaying it as a tool tip when the mouse pointer passes over the icon for the application; however, I offer my whole-hearted apologies for implying that the developers had hidden the name away where it was difficult for a new user to find.
 
Old 04-29-2009, 08:24 AM   #26
onebuck
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Hi,

Don't get into the information overload! Just use the information as you need it, that is unless you need some casual reading while your not doing anything technical.

As for the scripting, take a look at 'Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide' or the 'Tutorial section' part of 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!

Last edited by onebuck; 04-29-2009 at 09:13 AM. Reason: format
 
Old 04-29-2009, 08:55 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james100 View Post
I still think that the application name should be available from the main menu, either by giving giving the application its proper name or by displaying it as a tool tip when the mouse pointer passes over the icon for the application; however, I offer my whole-hearted apologies for implying that the developers had hidden the name away where it was difficult for a new user to find.
I'm not entirely sure about how Debian does it, but I'm on an Ubuntu system right now, and that is based on Debian. If your desktop looks anything like this one I take it the 'Computer' entry you mean is one which appears in the 'Places' menu, which as the name implies is about locations, not Applications. The reason I am pointing that out is that on my Ubuntu system most menu entries in Applications either show the name of the program or include it in the tool tip, as you suggested. Of course that could be different on Debian, but I should expect it to be similar.

Now 'Places' is, as I said, about locations. I don't think it should even imply opening an application - of course it must open one, but it should imply the metaphor of a location, as 'My Computer', 'My Home' etc. Note that if there was a tool tip saying 'Nautilus', that same tool tip would have to appear on almost every single entry in that Places menu - most of them open Nautilus.

Furthermore, remember that what you actually were looking for was an editor. Nautilus is not even the correct answer to that because it isn't an editor, it just has the capability to start one. Now if I were in that same situation here on my Ubuntu system, I would find 'Texteditor' (might be called something else on your system, mine is German) in the Accessories menu inside the list of Applications. Its tooltip says 'Edit text files' (in German). So in this case there really is no hint at what the actual program is called. But in contrast to Nautilus, which uses its window title to display the caption 'File Browser', this text editor does say 'gedit' in its window title, which is the name of the editor and the command to start it, so 'sudo gedit' does the trick.

See, I do understand your problem, but I hope you see, too, that you went down a number of wrong paths on your quest for a solution to your problem by choosing the wrong place to search for the wrong program to do what you wanted to achieve.

Robin

Last edited by bitpicker; 04-29-2009 at 08:58 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 02:04 AM   #28
james100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,

Don't get into the information overload! Just use the information as you need it, that is unless you need some casual reading while your not doing anything technical.
Onebuck, I have a very easy way of avoiding information overload...one powerfully bad memory. When you only remember a small proportion of what you read its hard for the old grey matter to overload.

Seriously, I don't spend large amounts of time reading, unless I am looking up information on a specific matter. However, I try to find at least an hour or two during the course of a week to read some technical literature related to Linux. I find that although I can seldom remember the precise details of what I read, when a problem comes up I can often remember where I read about it, so I can go back there for those details. So I really do appreciate it when someone points me to a particularly useful article or tutorial.

But, at the end of the day, I would rather be spending my time using Linux than just reading about it.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 02:37 AM   #29
james100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitpicker View Post
I take it the 'Computer' entry you mean is one which appears in the 'Places' menu, which as the name implies is about locations, not Applications.
Robin,

I know what you are referring to by the Places menu, but the "Computer" that I am referring to is an icon on the Debian 5 desktop. You can see it in the top left-hand corner of the image in this link:
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/n...y-released.ars

I agree with you that I should not expect an icon in the Places menu to treat locations as applications. On my PC most, but not all, of the links on the places menu are to partitions on my hard drive. I currently have 11 partitions as I have 6 distros loaded on my hard drive, each in a separate partition, plus separate partitions for each of my initial grub boot menu, a common data location,and my swap file. Plus of course my extended partition that holds the logical partitions that hold my distros. Of these 11 partitions 9 of them usually show up in the Places menu, depending on how Fstab is set up.

Oddly different distros show these partitions differently in Places. Some distros show them by their description (is sdb1, sdb2), while other show them by their label name (ie Mint_6, Debian_5). I don't know why there are such differences between distros, but as I am sufficiently familiar with both naming methods it doesn't bother me.

On the version of Debian that I am using (Debian 5), I can't see any tool tips in operation when I use my mouse on icons within the main menu. I don't know if that is standard for Debian or not. It is possible that I have accidently switched tool tips off, I can't rule out that possibility, but I also can't remember having done so.

Quote:
I hope you see, too, that you went down a number of wrong paths on your quest for a solution to your problem by choosing the wrong place to search for the wrong program to do what you wanted to achieve.
You are absolutely right. In fact a couple of people have responded and showed me much better ways that I could have used to obtain the results I was after, for which I am very grateful. On the other hand, if the interface was just a bit more user-friendly (and you have no idea how much I don't like that expression), then I would not have made some of those mistakes to begin with. But on the third hand, if such an anatomical feat was possible, I would then not have written in to Linux Questions, and I would have missed out on the opportunity to discuss some interesting matters with some very nice and helpful people.

So, in the long run, even the bad parts of Linux are great.

Last edited by james100; 04-30-2009 at 02:38 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 08:26 AM   #30
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by james100 View Post
Onebuck, I have a very easy way of avoiding information overload...one powerfully bad memory. When you only remember a small proportion of what you read its hard for the old grey matter to overload.

Seriously, I don't spend large amounts of time reading, unless I am looking up information on a specific matter. However, I try to find at least an hour or two during the course of a week to read some technical literature related to Linux. I find that although I can seldom remember the precise details of what I read, when a problem comes up I can often remember where I read about it, so I can go back there for those details. So I really do appreciate it when someone points me to a particularly useful article or tutorial.

But, at the end of the day, I would rather be spending my time using Linux than just reading about it.
Peruse only when required. It's not knowing everything but knowing where to look for the 'everything'. I do a lot of reading, both casual and technical everyday so I exercise that gray so I don't loose it. Knowledge is something that cannot be taken but should be given freely to everyone who is willing to take the necessary steps to achieve it.

You can always continue your endeavor with GNU/Linux by experimentation. Break it intentionally or by accident then attempt to repair it, by use of related material or experience along with the knowledge that you attain. Don't forget to have 'Fun' along the way.
 
  


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