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JZL240I-U 09-08-2016 02:20 AM


Originally Posted by p_i_n_o (Post 5602094)
"aghast at the number of hours spent in search of answers to questions that shouldn't exist in the first place".



Originally Posted by p_i_n_o (Post 5602094)
But if we had some general guidelines, which would help to write better software, could that help?

Hmm. I'd rather guess, that those developers either don't read those in the first place or might understand them in a way different from what they are trying to tell.


Originally Posted by p_i_n_o (Post 5602094)
better error handling

Oh, please yes ;).

I think best would be for developers to look over the shoulders of a few noobs when those first try the mearvelous new software. Then they would get a first hand impression what normal users expect and how they "tick".

JeremyBoden 09-08-2016 07:23 AM

So what is Beta testing for?

JZL240I-U 09-08-2016 08:22 AM


Originally Posted by JeremyBoden (Post 5602367)
So what is Beta testing for?

To iron out errors in the program logic. What I was driving at is the interaction of the user with the software. Example: The installer for Fedora (Anaconda). During F17 - F19 (mayby to this day, I didn't check) was unable to handle multi-boot environments since in one menu there was no viable exit. No program error, but...

JeremyBoden 09-08-2016 10:41 AM

As a user, if a piece of software didn't satisfy an obvious requirement, then it ought to be rejected.

JZL240I-U 09-08-2016 10:48 AM


Originally Posted by JeremyBoden (Post 5602474)
As a user, if a piece of software didn't satisfy an obvious requirement, then it ought to be rejected.

As I did, I'm not using Fedora anymore.

p_i_n_o 09-08-2016 03:29 PM

@JeremyBoden: Yes, of course, there are indeed some exceptions. There are even some more. But there are much more, which are broken, erratic and unstable. I've seen tons of frontends for cd-burning, for multimedia operations (ffmpeg and all its friends), for debugging, version control, and so on, which all probably worked 'in the laboratory', i.e. in the most benign cases, but never in the real world. And this is because those tools didn't use an api from a library, but they tried to communicate with a command line tools. What a brainf*cked idea, isn't it? The command line tool changed details in the output for the next version or a different language/environment/whatever, and the frontend needed an update. I don't know what the exact reason was in each case. I just know those tools were terribly broken in virtually all cases.

@JeremyBoden again, about your Beta-question: I could maybe lament about that for hours now^^ But shortly: imho, just a few large project seriously have systematic beta tests. Firefox, Linux (in some way), KDE, Libreoffice, and similar. The majority of (smaller) projects assign beta version numbers from time to time, but that's mostly it. And another truth: The bugtrackers for virtually each project is full of actual unfixed bugs and a large amount of them never become fixed. Instead, new imcomplete features appear all the time. And new major versions or even entirely new projects appear, which begin to make large parts of the same nonsense of the last iteration again, before at least the quality of the last one is reached. If ever. The two biggest desktop environments appear to always make 0.9 steps backward for each step they made forward in the last 5 years. It's all an incomplete, erratic and inconsistent mess. Client Side Decorations. What a _terribly_ _stupid_ idea. Okay, sooorry, back to the point: I don't think that the quality control we currently do in FOSS is enough for more than 1% market share. Regardless of how great it is documented (Note: Here I talk more about the Desktop world and not so much about Linux as a server system).

p_i_n_o 09-08-2016 04:07 PM


Originally Posted by JZL240I-U (Post 5602298)
Hmm. I'd rather guess, that those developers either don't read those in the first place or might understand them in a way different from what they are trying to tell.

Yes, could all be a problem. There are even more. I'm not sure if the idea would work at all, admittedly. My imagination was some kind of short document, pleasureful and easy to read, ultimately accepted as a good thing, visible and easily accessible to the beginning FOSS amateur developer, which tells about some abstract (i.e. language-agnostic, environment-agnostic, ...) and basic best practices. Like 'please also test some corner cases', 'please implement error handling' and 'please dont design your gui similar to an airplane cockpit if it just steers a bicycle'. Maybe with some funny and catchy examples and anecdotes. When I try to write documentations, they never become any kind of pleasureful or funny :-/ But maybe we have some great technical authors (the OP?!) here which could see an idea for a new project in it :D

josephj 09-09-2016 12:28 AM

@p_i_n_o - You just accurately described my experience with KDE (which I still use.) :(

p_i_n_o 09-09-2016 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by josephj (Post 5602763)
@p_i_n_o - You just accurately described my experience with KDE (which I still use.) :(

I'm not glad to hear that :( Is it still that immature? Which version do you use? I stopped using KDE years ago, somewhere in the earlier times (but not _that_ early) of the 4.x line, when I had the impression to use a desktop environment, which tries hard to be broken in every place I look at. It was everything from crashes (e.g. just for moving some plasmoids 'too fast'), broken presentation (some people really try to blame the gpu driver for bad dialog layouts with cropped labels everywhere), poor performance (ever compared ssh-kioslave with native scp?) and things which really did not work at all (KMail/Akonadi to just mention one part). On many machines and many distributions and kde versions.

So I thought some days ago, 'well, the 4.x line was just obsessed by the devil in some way, kde 5 looks really great at least, hopefully all the K-devs learnt a lot of stuff and maybe it is less buggy and I should give it another try'. Do you use 4 or 5? Is it better than the early-to-mid 4.x versions? Should I give it a try? :)

josephj 09-10-2016 03:49 AM

General thoughts on KDE
I started with KDE (3.1?) in Mandrake 9.1. Now I'm using 4.14.2 on Kubuntu 12.04 with backports. I'm gradually configuring Kubuntu 16.04 in a couple of other places which uses KDE 5.x. I can't look at the version right now.

kdm crashes occasionally, but if it didn't tell me about it, I wouldn't know. It must respawn.

I missed the early 4.x days which apparently were not much fun.

My most major complaint is that it can't seem to restore the session with programs in the correct previous virtual desktops unless they're KDE apps.

I haven't played with KDE5 much yet, but it doesn't seem to restore applications at all - but I may have missed a setting somewhere.

In the old days activities were a nice idea that didn't work. Now, they seem to work, but I haven't explored them much yet.

I guess my biggest overall beef with KDE is that getting support is very hit and miss. The unofficial KDE site has died, but the official site is still there. Sometimes I get answers, but sometimes no one even replies. I never had any luck with the KDE look site.

I stay with it because I've used it forever, I know how to get it to do things and I like the general look and feel. We'll see how long that lasts.

I was a Firefox user for many years until I finally got fed up with them changing and breaking things I loved. Now, I use Vivaldi - which still needs work, but is already much nicer than most parts of Firefox. The point being that there may come a time when I finally switch from KDE to something else.

Most of the alternatives I have looked at are too spartan for me.

Now that there are all sorts of ways to set things up with VMs, containers, or even the old dual boot way, I would say go ahead and try it off to the side somewhere.

Desktops are the way you talk to your computer when you're not at a terminal command line, so it tends to be a very personal decision rather than one size fits all or one way is just better.

p_i_n_o 09-10-2016 10:32 AM


Originally Posted by josephj (Post 5603268)
Desktops are the way you talk to your computer when you're not at a terminal command line, so it tends to be a very personal decision rather than one size fits all or one way is just better.

Yes, maybe. I don't see this as a law of nature; but at least with the desktop environments we currently have, you are right, no one is flexible and mature enough to fit for all (or, at least 95%). I'm downloading a live cd with kde 5 for tests now. Btw: xfce isn't as large as kde, but not as spartan as many people think it is ;)

JeremyBoden 09-10-2016 01:27 PM

I find that Cinnamon, in appearance an improved Gnome 2 to be pretty good as a universal desktop.
At least for me. :rolleyes:

mybrothersentme 09-13-2016 08:13 AM

Okay, I'm going to Double Dip
I already answered this, but now that a several weeks have passed, I find that there are more times I need to use Command Line than I had originally thought. I find myself using Aptitude a lot. And grep.

Recently, I had a GUI file manager eat most of my home directory. It is a double pane GUI application (won't say which one so I don't start a firestorm). I went into a folder shared by Win7 running inside VM. I had VM closed because I'm not a total idiot. I went into the shared folder and selected all folders within the shared file (it was music and iTunes makes a folder for every artist and inside that for every album -- but you already know that) I moved these files into my /home/me/Music directory. When the move was done and I clicked back to /home/me directory EVERYTHING further down the alphabet - including all hidden files were gone. (No, I was NOT running in root mode - again I'm not an idiot.) There is no UNDELETE left in that GUI application. The files weren't in my trash.

So I don't trust that particular GUI application. And since I'm not sure what happened and my Linux Sysadmin brother couldn't give me any help besides trying some command line stuff, I ended up having to reload Ubuntu once again. Then put back all my apps and restore my data files - which I mostly had on DVD from when I had done the migration to Windows in the first place several months ago.

Moral of the story? You WILL have to learn to use command line. Because I would rather use command line than another GUI that could eat my home directory again. The good news? I am learning more about command line because there is a lot of help available (like on this site). I have partitioned my system and sort of duplicated my "live" system. That way I can learn to use command line and not screw up my "live" system.

So, because everybody thinking of going to Linux always hears about how much they'll need to use command line, they should know there is plenty of help. And don't forget |grep !!!!

Once again, I have written a novel. Sorry, folks. I write in Verbose.

JZL240I-U 09-13-2016 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by mybrothersentme (Post 5604548)
... I moved these files into my /home/me/Music directory.

In the normal usage this means copying, then deleting the source. To me it is not exactly clear, what you really did...

JeremyBoden 09-13-2016 08:38 AM

"I had VM closed because I'm not a total idiot.":)

Surely, because this was a shared directory, you should have had the VM running?
Isn't the idea to share data between machines?

Most file GUI's are pretty similar e.g nemo, nautilus etc
It would have been interesting to look at your files - almost certainly:D a slight slip of the mouse could cause the files to apparently disappear.

For example:-
If /home/me/Music already exists you might add the files as /home/me/Music/Music (its easy to do).
It is likely that all your files still existed.

If it gets f**ked up again, try logging off, then on.
This tends to make things more obvious, since you are in a standard configuration.

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