Change the "tone" of some (error) messages

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Husse
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Change the "tone" of some (error) messages

Postby Husse » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:03 am

I f you right click on the clock you get a message:
"THE CONFIGURATION COULD NOT BE LOADED - You are not allowed to access the system configuration"
The phrase "You are not allowed to access the system configuration" is a bit blunt - something like "Use sudo to do this" is better language (though incorrect)
This is what the user telic has to say:
Thing is, that's not a proper way for any desktop OS to address its user(s). Whenever the word "You" is used, even by a machine -- or, perhaps, especially by a machine -- then the situation is needlessly (thus inappropriately) made personal. My PC is my servant. It may cop an attitude only so far as that amuses me.
I agree to some extent. This is a legacy from Ubuntu, but checking trough messages sometime in the future might be worthwhile
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Postby Boo » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:00 am

I agree.
This sort of message is where mint can refine itself and also not scare off new users.

But this is more than just an error message problem. This application/action and any that requires sudo access should first ask for a password and attempt to sudo the command before politely denying you access (if you're not a sudoer).

wax on, wax off.

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Re: Change the "tone" of some (error) messages

Postby bef » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:09 am

It is correct language, it's just not particularly polite.. How about "Sorry, you are not authenticated to access system configuration. To gain access, or report the problem, please contact your system administrator."
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euthypro
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Postby euthypro » Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:28 am

Are you guys really serious? Offended sensibilities? Hell, when I started messing about with this system, I was not only "denied access," but when I persisted it wagged it's figurative finger at me and told me I would be reported. And report me it did. It reported me to myself. I found it somewhat amusing, but my sensibilities remained intact.

Now, if my girlfriend denied me access in such a tone, well. . .

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Postby telic » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:09 pm

A careless "Hey, the Linux user interface is less of a dog than it used to be" mindset is counterproductive to making Linux Mint suitable for the mainstream desktop user.

Bianca makes multiple errors in this case.

First, as the sole user of my PC, I do indeed have authority to change the system clock. I can wipe Bianca off of my PC completely if I tire of her "You can't do that" presumption. If I wanted an OS with a bossy persona I'd buy Microsoft Vista.

Second, the Adjust Date & Time item shows as an active option. Since Bianca knows that I can't make any use of that menu item (unless I'm logged in as root), the option should be faded out so that I won't bother to click it.

Does the way Bianca handles this situation imply that I should always be logged in as root? Madness.

PCLinuxOS does it right: I'm simply prompted to enter the root password to proceed with the requested action.

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Postby Sorensei » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:59 am

I agree that an action requiring root access should not appear as active for a normal user, and simply having a password prompt is the cleanest way to go about it.

That's for ease of use, but offended sensibilities? Are really people that thin-skinned? :?:
I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.

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Postby Husse » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:59 am

When I clicked on that the first time I felt baffled and a bit irritated by the combination of "you don't..." and a not greyed out menu item....
This is a small and in itself insignificant problem, but it can lead to quite unnecessary frustration.
It may be to time-consuming but I believe all (?) messages should be looked upon and changed if needed.
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Postby Sorensei » Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:27 am

Let's avoid unnecessary frustration, then. :mrgreen:
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Postby telic » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:53 pm

That's for ease of use, but offended sensibilities? Are really people that thin-skinned?


I purposefully chose those words, in jest of those who say "Personally I get offended by people that take offence so easily to anything and everything."

Seems there's a Terminal lack of couth in this Wild Frontier.

Again, Linux's old guard can be its worst representatives. As though they've spent so much time at the fringe that they've become unable to walk down Main Street without lurching like feral misfits. Genius, but generally unable to see the difference between a class act and the undue "politically correct."

Bianca is going out into personal spaces and private quarters. Her "You are not allowed" yip is an error, both in fact and in manner.

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Postby Sorensei » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:52 am

telic wrote:I purposefully chose those words, in jest of those who say "Personally I get offended by people that take offence so easily to anything and everything."
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Well, one problem with written posts is that jest is not immediately obvious... whatever your intent. :wink:

And while I can understand "frustrating", "offending" for an error message seemed to me a somewhat over the top.

Now, as frustration is one of the main things that drive people away from an operating system, I wholly agree that making the user experience as smooth as possible is a good idea, and changing unhelpful/blunt error messages may help. We should be careful not to overdo it, though.
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Postby telic » Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:38 pm

And while I can understand "frustrating", "offending" for an error message seemed to me a somewhat over the top.


Yet even "over the top" signals didn't stop you from taking a negative approach to harmless words from a stranger.

It isn't my intent to be cruel. I've noticed that the Linux community is thick with buckaroos who have a chip on their shoulder about their OS. It's part of a mindset. So, while my choice of words was entirely innocuous to the mainstream consciousness, I anticipated that my phrasing would overload the buckaroo "sensibilities". And it did, evidently, as you couldn't let my words pass without some huff.

You (and others) prove to be readily "thin-skinned" in your own predictable ways.

That's human nature, and it's why sentient predators will study their prey.

Corporate studies show that the average Jane and Joe don't want technologies that minimize them or convey a lack of "emotional intelligence."

I believe Ubuntu's relative popularity, for example, is due to its "Humanity to others" agenda. That has a tribal appeal to everyday people.

Methinks desktop Linux may become popular for home use only after it has been tempered via widespread corporate office use.

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Postby Sorensei » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:47 am

telic wrote:Yet even "over the top" signals didn't stop you from taking a negative approach to harmless words from a stranger.


I usually assume people post in good faith. It' you're deliberately choosing your words as "over the top" to make people react, don't go and and call them "harmless" afterward - you can't have it both ways... :D

telic wrote:It isn't my intent to be cruel.


Never would such an idea come to me. In fact, stuffed was what came to my mind... Sorry if this wasn't what you were trying to project. :mrgreen:
I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.

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Postby telic » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:02 am

I usually assume people post in good faith.


So, believing that I truly was offended, you chose to huff at my sensibilities -- in good faith?

This is where we cue the buckaroo Wild Frontier music. Mind your feral lurching.

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Postby Sorensei » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:38 am

telic wrote:So, believing that I truly was offended, you chose to huff at my sensibilities -- in good faith?


In good faith, I thought you were over-dramatizing. I could have put it that way, but I chose not to.

telic wrote:This is where we cue the buckaroo Wild Frontier music.


And I don't even have speakers on that workstation. What a waste. :(

telic wrote:Mind your feral lurching.------


You're promoting me to Linux Old Guard? Why thanks! I'm flattered. :D
I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem.

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Postby telic » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:17 am

In good faith, I thought you were over-dramatizing.


Why would an apparent, "over the top", over-dramatization prompt you to ask, "Are really people that thin-skinned?" And then you say that "offended sensibilities" isn't harmless, while those words aren't even part of the report here.

Are Husse, Boo, bef, and I really thin-skinned and disingenuous?!

Oh my.

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Postby Husse » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:18 am

@ telic
Are Husse, Boo, bef, and I really thin-skinned and disingenuous?!

I'm not - are you? :)
On a more serious note - why did this turn out to be so sensitive?
I don't take any blaim for starting the thread :)
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Postby telic » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:54 am

why did this turn out to be so sensitive?


"Offended sensibilities."

:twisted:

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Postby Husse » Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:02 am

:D
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