Configuration experience level

Various KDE 1.-4. Improvements

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Description:

I am an advanced linux user, but my sister is just a beginner. I discovered that she is afraid of application(Konqueror) configuration,because it is too advanced for her and she is overwhelmed.
I found the solution in xine-ui setup : "Configuration experience level" with the following levels:-beginner -advanced -expert -Master
each level shows more and more configuration options(options not shown are set to default;Master shows ALL options possible).

More usefull can be the existence of a small number of levels(for ex two: normal & advanced)

This should be implemented using
-radio buttons(see the picture attached) or
-comboboxes or
-buttons that increase the current level(like an "Advanced" button) or
-tabs or
-sliders(Every widget in the Control Panel should have some difficulty value attached and based on the slider's value, the widget will be shown or hidden.)
IMPORTANT:When u select an advanced level it should not open a new window(tab) with the new options, instead it should insert every new option into the its category(along the old options) and mark it(another color or a *) as advanced.

This idea can(should) be implemented in all configuration tools(like Control Center).

If you agree please click the download link,vote and
POST your (good)comments/ideas there so the KDE developers see them.
All ideas are welcome : this is the way open source software quality increases!


WE REALLY WANT YOUR OPINION & IDEAS !!

protoman

14 years ago

Miranda-im also have this option.
Basically it hides the not comkon options from user. Ieven I that love tweaking and messing on configs find it usefull when I want to quickly find something that I'm not finding.

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vide

14 years ago

Could you please stop to do fake updates only to get your "suggestion" always on the top of kde-apps.org? There are real and serious applications that deserve this place, and there are better places to discuss your topic.

This thing is getting irritating.

Sidenote: before answering, please stop a while and think about if every people which opened a wish on bugs.kde.org start flooding kde-apps to get attention on their wish.

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zvonSully

14 years ago

I updated the text in the message! I added some ideas!
if u don't like it BLOW me

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vide

14 years ago

There is no sense to keep this topic here and on bugs.kde.org at the same time, moreover if you're using a site meant to publish REAL APPLICATIONS. Suggestions/idea/improvements go on bugs.kde.org as wishes, as you already did. So, keep the question there. If there are KDE users thinking about this topic, they will try to open a wish on bugs.kde.org, see the one you reported and join it.

I'll repeat myself: think if every wish on bugs.kde.org has a repetead entry on kde-apps.org. It would be a mess.

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spiryt

14 years ago

Perhaps setting of the levels should be made with the KDE Start Wizard. Or even by default the begginer option should be automatically assumed. Experts can change it later in the preferences. That would be sensible option if we want a wider adoption of the KDE desktop or OSS desktop in general.

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rgfree

14 years ago

This idea comes up quite often
whenever there is a seemingly confusing user interface.
My arguments against it:
1) This very often takes ANY incentive
to reorganize a cluttered config
dialog. Expert users
who need/wants lots of options
are left with an extremely crowded
interface and when they are
complaining people will say: Hey,
just set your level to "basic".
2) It's difficult to define
what "basic" is. Some people
need these options, some people
other options. And even worse:
When it's set to "basic" you
never know if you are missing
important options you actually
want. The video player you
mentioned using this technology
is a great example:
I would consider myself an
expert user but not if it
comes to video-codecs. I just
wanted to play my movie files.
So, I chose "basic" in said
dialog. Unfortunately a very
important option (cant quite
remember which one, I think
it had sth. to do with "buffer
size") was wrong, but not
visible for me. Finally I
found a doc on the internet.
More confusion: It describes
an option but the option isnt
there. Did I use the wrong
version?
Even worse scenario: You
set an option in advance
mode, switch back to basic and
never find it again.
To sum it: No, I definitely would
not want that. Really afraid
users like my mum would never
ever use a config dialog - no
matter who easy it is. Medium
users can learn it if someone
shows it to them. It doesnt matter
then if there are other options
as well - they will ignore them.
So, the target audience for this
idea doesnt really exist. It's
a typical geek idea making
apps even worse. Did you ever
notice that neither Microsoft
nor Apple uses that approach though
they have large usability labs.
Would you want a car that you need
to set to advanced mode to be
able to switch on fog lights?

IMO there is often a better
way to organize things instead
of just hiding them. Re-thinking
dialogs is difficult but
necessary to create a great
interface for all.

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zvonSully

14 years ago

I am the reporter of this "Improvement". If this will be implemented, I will use ONLY the advanced tab/button/.../. :) The problem is with beginners who are afraid to configure and let ALL the options on default. A little number of options and the ability to show the "hidden" ones will help them because once they learn the basic options they will try the "advanced" ones from curiosity.
When u select advanced it should not open a new window(tab) with the new options, instead it should insert every new option into the its category(along the old options) and mark it(another color or a *) as advanced.

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aseigo

14 years ago

agreed. this just doesn't work out very well in practice.

it's been tried before on other platforms and abandoned as the flaws became obvious.

people are not uniformly "beginners" or "advanced" and are very bad at figuring out where they are on such a spectrum. developers who struggle with creating config dialogs would only make more mistakes with this sort of system. and finally, configuring configuration dialogs with metaconfigurations is, if one thinks about it for a few moments, pretty ludicrous =)

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isma

14 years ago

Man, I think you've hit the point.
Begginers just don't find the settings dialog... advanced users kwnow how to find the things... but may be a bit harder...

If all the settings are auto-explanatory, and well placed in dialogs everybody could fit all things to his/her own needings.

By the way... there are a bit options in Kicker settings under "Advanced.." button, that are IMHO really necesary (transparency, and "handles" of applets visible/invisible) but it's so much space wasted on button background and tiles... just an example of what can happen if every app spread its settings in easy/advance...

Anyway.. what moves this topic is true... we need better settings dialogs, and it's good to think about possible solutions.

Greets!

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aseigo

14 years ago

re: tiles settings in kicker... all of that crap is going away in kde4 =)

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bram85

14 years ago

I have also thought of this option on the way back from FOSDEM, a couple of months ago. I think a slider widget might be more appropiate for this, ranging from "easy" to "advanced".
Every widget in the Control Panel should have some difficulty value attached, and based on the slider's value, the widget will be shown or hidden.

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zvonSully

14 years ago

Very good idea. I added it to the description

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raditzman

14 years ago

I think this idea should be discussed, perhaps for implementation in kde 4 (plasma)... why don't you check the www.kde-artists.org which is a new site for artists who want to help develop the new look for kde 4. It's very cool, because that site is meant to guide the developers, instead of what has happened until now, developers guiding the user-interface.

You seem to have some nice ideas, go there and show them!!!

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MaxAuthority

14 years ago

I think it's a bad because of the 2 main reasons:

1.) Who wants to call oneself a beginner or master? Self-classification is not a good thing in my opinion, and most of the beginners probably think they are masters, when they know how to print a KWord document anyways ;)

2.) As from the developer's point of view: The design of dialogs is still made up by hand, and not automatically generated, and keeping up 2 (or in your proposal even 4) layouts for options is just awkward.

I think the current design with hiding some options behind 'advanced' buttons is just fine.

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linuxcolor

14 years ago

ya really a good idea.......

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jbaehr

14 years ago

I like the idea of a simple configuration for beginners and a powerfull one for experts. However, four radio-buttons make the whole thing even more complex.

Here is my Proposal:
When the config-dlg. ist first shown, it's in simple-mode. In the bottom-line you've got the buttons:

[help] [defaults] [expert-mode] <-> [ok] [apply] [cancel]

When the user clicks the expert-mode button, all options become visible and the caption of this button changes to "simple mode".
In simple-mode only the basic options are visible, the rest is default, while in expert-mode everything is accessable. that's it.

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Shadowfiend

14 years ago

It'd be cool if this was added to the KConfigXT framework, so the programmers could label something as `basic' or `advanced', and then the relevant code was generated automatically.

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december

14 years ago


No disrespect to the attempt, but I don't think it's wise at all. It will make the whole thing complex and inconsistent for either beginning or advanced users. And it will stop users from learning and discovering options that they hadn't thought of first.

Moreover, it will make way for the Gnome no-options kind of philosophy where all the so-called 'advanced' stuff will disappear into a halfass registry system.

I think there are two kinds of people. People who don't care and don't want to know, by far the biggest group; and people who check every option to customise it.

For the former group, there should be sane defaults, and perhaps a smart first-time wizard to configure the startup page or such. They're just not going to check the settings anyway; I've personally never seen computer-ignorant users mess with browser preferences by themselves or even click any menu option they don't know (Sadly enough tons of shortcuts and productivity tools go wasted on the masses.). On top of that all, nobody knows which options are important to beginning users and which should be hidden.

The latter group of more advanced users who are willing to understand options and customise settings, want the full preferences window anyway.

Hey, it's a browser, not a CAD program, and you're talking about the preferences window, which many of users never see at all, or perhaps once to set things up. Who wants to maintain a multi-leveled structure or two interface windows for the same thing?! Stop making it complex and bloated.

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Goamaus

14 years ago

I agree with you. I don't use Gnome because I hate to search a long time for options to modify my desktop.

I like KDE as it is. Why should one make it complex? The first-time-assistant is really enough.

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zvonSully

14 years ago

every person has its opinion, this is democracy.
It you want ALL the options then just chose the master level

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jesusmjjg

14 years ago

It could be even better to have the application authors define the number (and names) of configuration level themselves.
The users would set their level (ie. some percentage) globally, and the dialog shown to them would be the closest one in the application's. (ex: user level - 7/10, application level - 4/6 ).
They would then be able to change their setting for the application, using a button showing some kind of cursor (~percentage, again) - which seems better than radio button, IMHO.

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Deciare

14 years ago

Then what goes into expert mode and what stays out? There've been similar arguments on kde-usability before: if they create an advanced options dialogue, what is "advanced" and what should be presented immediately?

If there is to be an Expert Mode button (or mastery level radio buttons), it would need to be persistent. If I click the Expert Mode button once, I want all subsequent config dialogues I call up to default to expert mode. Until I click the Beginner Mode (or whatever) button, at which point it'll all default to beginner mode again.

But persistence like that is not consistent with how the Defaults/OK/Apply/Cancel in config dialogues work.

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zvonSully

14 years ago

see the kde bugs . have allready said that

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khaitu

14 years ago

I totally agree. Too many radios would be confusing, whereas a simple "Expert Options" button would do just fine.

A great improvement though. I don't think it should stop at konqueror though. Why not make the whole kcontrol application available with different levels of customiseablility?

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zvonSully

14 years ago

This is exactly the role of the radio button object

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updated Jul 05 2005
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