Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

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lmuserx4849

Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by lmuserx4849 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:36 pm

This article (5 parts) on the desktop UI spoke to me.
Why do desktop environments increasingly degrade the desktop UX that once used to be straightforward and “common sense”? Is there a secret plan to cripple the desktop experience by infecting it with less suitable UX concepts invented for mobile phones?

Make. It. Simple. Linux Desktop Usability — Part 1
https://medium.com/@probonopd/make-it-s ... a0fb369b42
We are UI-shamed for liking menu bars, status bars, drop-down menus, static menu items with shortcut hints, wide scrollbars with arrows (stepper), window borders, window title bars, checkboxes that look like checkboxes, radio buttons that are either on or off, and a main desktop menu at the bottom along with a panel, task bar, and system tray.

There was an interesting section describing how the hamburger is not new, but actually was created in 1981 for the Xerox Star.

I really don't need or want my Desktop's desktop to look like my Phone's desktop.

If there isn't an RSS feed, I sometimes use lynx -dump to view just text news sometimes to eliminate the noise. This is a welcomed return: Text-only news sites are slowly making a comeback..

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Flemur
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by Flemur » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:20 pm

The main point of many modern GUIs seems to be "make it look clean" rather than "make it easy to use".

Another pain is error messages where you can't copy the text. Had this the other day on some linux program...

And linux has developed a bad habit a having "fake names" for programs; e.g. file-roller calls itself "Archive manager" and even in the "Help -> About" you still can't find out what the real name is, so try killall "archive manager", ha ha.
In one "task manger" it's called "file-roller" and in another it's called "Archive Manager": gnome-system-monitor vs xfce4-taskmanager.

Little things in firefox just keep getting worse:

- as the article mentions, the stupid hamburger menu, though you can still display a normal menu bar; though a "hamburger" which popped up the old menu bar would be nicer than what they came up with.

- there's no "CANCEL" on FF (and many other GUIs), so if you fool around and accidentally change something, too bad, I hope you remember what it used to be! (this seems like a common GUI mistake).

- the "find in page" text box that you have to re-open (Ctrl+F) for each new tab, with the close button on the opposite side.

- Show downloads - rather than opening another tab, you get a weird window labeled "library".

- can't copy text on "addons/themes/plugins" - I want to get a list of my addons and themes!

As for the OS menus, I don't use them much any more; I use keyboard shortcuts for common programs and made some terminal command which allow me to find and run a program from the terminal faster than poking around in menus for it.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by whm1974 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:20 pm

I know what you guys mean. I for prefer the traditional desktop. It works, and works well.

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by JosephM » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:44 am

And linux has developed a bad habit a having "fake names" for programs; e.g. file-roller calls itself "Archive manager" and even in the "Help -> About" you still can't find out what the real name is, so try killall "archive manager", ha ha.
In one "task manger" it's called "file-roller" and in another it's called "Archive Manager": gnome-system-monitor vs xfce4-taskmanager.
Don't even get me started on this generic name thing. It drives me completely nuts. You know sometimes I'd actually like to have more than one "Text editor" installed and I'd like to see them by their real name in the menu.
When I give opinions, they are my own. Not necessarily those of any other Linux Mint developer or the Linux Mint project as a whole.

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by trytip » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:28 am

yesterday i tried deepin 15.6 . i don't understand the use of a full screen menu and always hated it. deepin has a smaller popup menu which is like most modern menus cramped.
deal breaker for me was, menu has no category selection, only one long scrolling of all the applications. shortcuts to the usual videos and documents folder occupy the menu taking space . the theme is a mismatch of dark and light surfaces not able to be one or the other. all reviews about it can't praise enough how clean and polished it looks. am i on the same planet? let's not forget now that root access through file manager is prohibited

do developers have to pay with their children blood for allowing users root access ? or are they tortured to death by allowing minimize,maximize,close buttons to be next to each other or have icons in menus and buttons ?. i can't believe for the longest time gnome desktop didn't even have a shut down option.
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by aes2011 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:18 am

Thanks for the link. Good read.

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:49 am

Flemur wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:20 pm
- there's no "CANCEL" on FF (and many other GUIs), so if you fool around and accidentally change something, too bad, I hope you remember what it used to be! (this seems like a common GUI mistake).
Not that I need it for Firefox but in such cases I would just press the print screen button. Take a quick and easy screenshot before doing something dramatic to be able to recall what is was before.
Flemur wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:20 pm
- Show downloads - rather than opening another tab, you get a weird window labeled "library".

- can't copy text on "addons/themes/plugins" - I want to get a list of my addons and themes!
Enter about:downloads in your address bar to see downloads in a tab.

Enter about:support in your address bar and you can find the list of extensions there for copying. Same with about:plugins. I don't know if themes show up in any.

In any case you don't need to remember all these, just remember about:about and you can always find your way back to these pages.
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by Flemur » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:44 am

xenopeek wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:49 am
Take a quick and easy screenshot before doing something dramatic to be able to recall what is was before.
There's always a way to deal with poor GUIs.
Enter about:support in your address bar and you can find the list of extensions there for copying.
Thanks! And - sigh - I notice that they interchange two names: about:addons lists ... "plugins"!
(LIke saying "Library" on the downloads window).

I used to design software and GUIs that were far more complicated than firefox, so this nonsense probably irks me more than most people. There's sort of a knack to designing good GUIs, but there are also no-brainer ideas, like USE ONE NAME FOR IT. It reminds me of website prompts that say things like "Click the 'OK' button to Continue" - how about click the 'Continue' button to Continue?
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by Moem » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:00 am

Flemur wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:44 am
It reminds me of website prompts that say things like "Click the 'OK' button to Continue" - how about click the 'Continue' button to Continue?
And then below that there will be a button that's marked 'Forward' or 'Yes'. :?
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:47 am

Proceed. Carry on. Make it so number one. We have an accord. Click, you fools! Remember when I said I'd click you last... I lied!

Some button ideas :lol:

Anyway, criticism about Firefox doesn't really say anything about Linux Desktop UI. That's taking it beyond Linux.
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by Moem » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:53 am

xenopeek wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:47 am
Proceed. Carry on. Make it so number one.
Energize. 8)
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by mwbworld » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:21 am

Just one big button saying
Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow
which will handle any particular task as needed. :twisted:
- Michael

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by Flemur » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:18 pm

Moem wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:00 am
And then below that there will be a button that's marked 'Forward' or 'Yes'. :?
I was just messing with my stuff at "archive.org", which has one of the worst interfaces in the history of the universe.

On the page for your "item" (a poor term, since it's almost meaningless, but an item is a page of similar files), it has Edit and Manage.

If you pick "Manage", the first thing that comes up is "Edit Operations". So Manage --> Edit.

If you pick "Edit", which is a different Edit than the Manage->Edit, well, right now you get "Temporarily unavailable", but you normally get something like "I want to change the files in my 'item'", then it explains that "change files" means "add" or "delete" files, not actually changing/modifying a file; so Edit --> Change --> Add/delete.

And, IIRC, it has a surprisingly ugly picture of a butterfly.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by Portreve » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:46 pm

lmuserx4849 wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:36 pm
I really don't need or want my Desktop's desktop to look like my Phone's desktop.
Well, from what I've seen, there's this push towards what one might call "convergence". I know that was all the rage a number of years ago, and that's largely why we've seen Apple, Microsoft, the Gnome Project, etc., all go that direction.

Gnome 3 is the very reason why Cinnamon and MATE were created, to say nothing of non-limited-hardware-driven interest in such things as XFCE, etc.

I've never understood what was wrong with having different, specialized UIs for desktop and for tablet/phone form factors. Nope, never understood it at all.

Apple, under lesser management, has utterly ruined what the UI folks created and ultimately perfected under Steve Jobs. The smoothness and visual execution was really top shelf, but now, there's this retarded, myopic insistence on the "flat" look, and wanting to have this seamless experience between Mac OS X and iOS.
Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: the message which follows is vital to the future of you all.

If your issue is solved or your question answered, please edit the first post of your thread and add [SOLVED] to the thread topic. Thanks!

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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:49 pm

We've heard it all before. If you can't appreciate what the developers of one desktop environment are doing, you can pick another desktop environment. Doesn't invalidate the work they are doing in any way. There's plenty of choice and every so many months another choice pops up. There's something for everybody.
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by trytip » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:51 pm

April 12, 2016 KDE4
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if i can't do this in 2018 then linux is going backwards. we can point fingers at whoever, but the fact remains that my desktops were much more beautiful and much more useful only 2 years ago. now developers have made this impossible. i could probably recreate if i started from scratch, but it would only be broken by new developer updates. how many times do i have to configure my system to conform to some new UX protocol?

it sucks that now i have to settle for whatever the wind blows in through my package manager. users have lost ability to keep a desktop as they wish for longer than 2 years. :evil:
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by xenopeek » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:15 pm

I assume the screenshot is KDE 4? Can't quite tell.
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Re: Good, bad, and direction of Linux Desktop UI

Post by trytip » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:46 pm

yes @xenopeek this was my kde4 pclinuxos before it went dead because of distro moving to kde5 and unrecoverable black screen of death updates to xorg i believe, killing my nvidia. before this it was a gnome-shell ubuntu even though i disliked the overlay full screen menu and no way to shut down from desktop i managed to give it a popup menu and many other tweaks which were brought down and rendered useless again by gnome updates :oops: don't understand why kde5 can't be backwards compatible with the settings i had in kde4.

i spent countless hours editing icons and scripts in all desktops only to be rendered useless by updates. why do i have to start from scratch every 2 or so years? no doubt many users are in the same boat.
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