Comments on new Software Manager

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Comments on new Software Manager

Postby remoulder on Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:56 pm

The new software manager 6.5.1 in Helena is certainly an improvement over the previous version, but I would just like to make a few personal comments regarding it. These are not intended to be criticisms.

1. It is beginning to resemble Synaptic and am not sure this is entirely a good thing. Whilst I appreciate it is aimed at newbies, I'm not entirely sure the tabular layout approach achieves that aim. Perhaps along the lines of GetDeb with a box containing screenshot and brief description for each app would be more appropriate?

2. The tick box against each application could be confusing as clicking it doesn't do anything. Also it shows either a blue cross or is filled green on some lines, but nowhere is the symbol code explained. The user is left to figure out that they must click the Install button which is totally detached to get the blue cross, and that the green box shows the app is already installed. This sort of begs for a Synaptic like function of ticking/un-ticking the box, but as I mentioned already, I don't believe this is the best way to go.

3. On a similar note, when one selects an application, the description (and reviews if any) do not automatically appear below. Again the user has to figure out they have to press the More Info button. To my mind the description should be automatically shown at the bottom, perhaps still with a button to show more detailed information such as version, repos, etc.

4. The Favourites seems to be detached from the status of apps in the main window. If I mark an app to be installed in the main window (by clicking the Install button), then go into Favourites and that app happens to be in the list, the fact that it is already marked for installation is not indicated. The Favourites window also uses the tick to install method which is contrary to the main window, but confusingly removes the app from the list once it is, rather than leaving it but changing the tick box to indicate status. Additionally, if something is ticked in the Favourites window but the user clicks the Close button rather than Apply(?), the user is not asked for confirmation to abort (or perhaps save) changes. Finally once an app is installed from the Favourites window and returned to the main window, the APT status for that app is not updated.

5. Lastly (you'll be sure to know), I like the way clicking on the screenshot opens a zoomed version, but perhaps this could be indicated somewhere by a 'Click to zoom..' arrow?

Sorry to drag on, hope someone finds these remarks useful. :D

Mike
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