Raymond on poor usability of CUPS
zander at kde.org
Sun Feb 29 17:07:50 CET 2004
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On Friday 27 February 2004 10:24, Jan Muehlig wrote:
> There is a very interesting article from Eric Raymond about the poor
> usability of CUPS (and OSS in general):
This piece touches on (at least one) very central issue in
computer-usability. It advocates that, if at all possible, the computer
should choose what to do and not the user.
His rant on selecting queue type where he had to choose from
'LPD'/'SMB'/'NCP' etc is a valid one; the user really does not want to
know what kind of networking is used to connect the printer.
This is the same kind of problem as when a dialog comes up asking you to
make a selection out of a list of 1 item. (after detecting installer media
So a good solution would be to search for all possible scenarios the user
is likely to take and present that to him. In the case of the printers;
search for printers on all those networking-types and show the ones that
The mindset problem we are fighting here is that a programmer tries to do
_everything_ in one logical way. He would never think that 2 routes could
be used. One where 80% of the cases are caught by auto-detection etc, and
the other 20% with the simple, but abstract 'advanced' dialog.
Any programmer will try to generalize a solution to make even more
solutions fit his algorithm (the best programmers are the laziest). For
usability that is rarely what you want.
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