Tuesday, June 03, 2008

RTFM

Linux is user-friendly. Gone are the days of "RTFM". Yeah, right.



How much extra effort would it have taken to provide, in the widget, a link (or at least a clue!) to the Fine Manual?

What about more options for the user. What do you mean "Don't show me this again"? Ever? What if I want to ignore the error for now (the computer is still working, so I want to actually use it) but come back to it later? If I want to file a bug, how in the name of ${DEITY} can I figure out what "product" or "component" to file it against?

Sorry for the rant. After having watched the excellent Lug Radio Live USA videos (thanks!), particularly Aza Raskin on "Humane Computing", and Benjamin Mako Hill on "Revealing" errors, (here is the schedule of links to the talks), I'm a bit sensitive to this sort of thing.

Yeah, I know you get the same BS on legacy systems. But if we want people to adopt Our Favourite System, we have to be so much better that the benefits will outweigh the barriers to, and costs of, adoption.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

100% agree with you

Richard Hughes said...

There is a link in upstream GNOME. Ubuntu remove it for some strange reason. (I'm the gnome-power-manager maintainer)

sankarshan said...

"Do not show this to me again" sounds a bit more easier on the ears :)

Calum said...

GNOME apps have actively avoided the use of "don't show me this again" buttons for years for precisely the reasons you mention. Unfortunately this isn't written into the HIG, but perhaps it should be next time around.

Anonymous said...

Very wise, telling the user something that he already knew. "Hey, your computer just failed!" - DUH!

That popup balloon should not exist at all. It is irritating and although the problem it tries to solve is good the way is not. All I see is moot, wasted development time that could have used in solving the actual problem(s).

Anonymous said...

I actually saw the same thing the other day and had the same thoughts. It's really a worthless dialog. Also, couldn't it contain at least a hint as to what went wrong?

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