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Thursday·02·March·2006

The Galeon 1.3.x Rant, Part 2½: Two completely different minds? //at 01:55 //by abe

from the flamewar dept.

Hmmm, there are people who left Usenet for Blogging. I never understood how blogging could replace Usenet. But at the moment I realize that Erich’s and my flamewar discussion about Galeon, GNOME and UI design is just like some thread in some newsgroup. That frightens me. But I have to answer to his recent posting, though, since his blog has no comment function. ;-)

So here’s my reply to his reply. :-)

Please, never claim again that kazekahase as a good UI. It’s sooo stupid.

Well, I haven’t played around with it long enough and already found some bugs to claim that, but it at least shows the right approach to how I expect a web browser to be: Fast and intuitively to use and configurable. So I do not claim that — yet.

close tab icon in the toolbar on the very left

Firefox has that, too, just on right side. If Kazekahase would have that as the only close button for tabs, I would agree that this isn’t that good. But it also has configurable close icons for each tab. And if the toolbar would be configurable, you easily could get rid of it. (I would remove it, too.)

preferences icon in the toolbar (I want to work, not toy around with my preferences!)

Just don’t click on it. And while you talk about it: Yet another thing I dislike with Galeon 1.3.x over 1.2.x is that it has no more “Settings” in the main menu. *eg*

No default keybinding for view source, view source opens in the back

Changed that easily by hovering with the mouse over “View source” and pressing Ctrl-U. Regarding the opening in the back, I agree with you. But since Kazekahase is still in a quite early state (in comparison to Galeon) I expect that this will change…

user level setting is useless, as shown by nautilus. Everone wants to punish himself by seeing all the options he has (and doesn’t understand)

There! Look! You said it: “Everyone wants configrability.” So why don’t give it to the users? Do you like dictators? I don’t. (With the usual exception: “Except if me being the dictator…” ;-)

A little bit later, you wrote:

No! Don’t tell people that there are more options. Don’t make them waste time by investigating what they could do, just let them use the browser…

You like censorship, too? Sorry, but since when a developer has to and can decide if looking through the configuration options is a waste of time or not for the user?

Do you think, looking through the list of packages to know what is available in dselect or aptitude is a waste of time? I’m sorry, but for me that’s the biggest fun in a new installation or after an dist-upgrade. Same counts for configuring a newly discovered application. What do you think was the first thing I did after starting Kazekahase? Yes, I went through all the configuration menus before loading a single web page.

two search fields wasting screen real estate (I already hate the one in firefox up there…

Yeah, history search could be done using the location field. But regarding “waste”: The default toolbar of Galeon 1.3.x wastes quite a lot of space by putting the location field in a toolbar of its own. (Can’t remember how the default toolbar in Galeon 1.2.x was… :-)

Default encoding: arabic […] Font settings let me choose the arabic fonts first…

Yeah, wondered about that, too, and will probably file a bug report about that.

autodetection disabled according to prefs.

Not sure about this. I saw that with other browsers (Galeon 1.3.20 under Sid for example *eg*), too, and it just meant “on” in comparsion to the other options which just hardwire the charset.

Fixed tab width not using my screen efficiently (“GNOM”) is all fitting on the tab label, thats a total waste!

Gotcha! Yet another thing I hate with Galeon 1.3.x. In Galeon 1.2.x this was configurable, in Galeon 1.3.x all tabs have the same width. Really a waste of space. But you probably can tell me how I can change this since you have changed it in your Galeon, too, or? (You have changed something in the configuration of your browser? Really?!? Woah! SCNR.)

Why do I have a “switch proxy” checkbox in the menu when I don’t have a proxy?

Why there is a possibility to configure a proxy if you don’t have one?

Don’t tell me that it makes more sense to you to setup stuff like Emacs- vs. windows-style keybindings in every single application you use. That is just stupid, sorry.

It may be of use to configure some keybindings globally. But there always should be the possibility to change them locally. BTW: AFAIK GTK offers such global keybindings, but GNOME is just overkill for me.

Also I don’t like mouse gestures.

You don’t have to use them. Just keep them switched off. But don’t disregard the thousands of people who use and like them.

When they were introduced in Galeon I tried them, but I never got a hang for them.

Mouse gestures in fact were initially my main reason to use Galeon and not Mozilla. I first heard about mouse gestures in Opera 3.x and in my HCI classes at university. I like them and started using them with Opera 3 under Windows. I very quickly found out that the Linux browsers I used, didn’t have them, because I got so used to them, that I kept making mouse gestures in browsers which have never heard about it. And Opera wasn’t available for Linux at that time. So I found Galeon (1.2.x of course ;-).

And in general they are not faster in my opinion.

It’s just like gear shifting in a car: After a while you just don’t even have to think about it anymore. You just do it. You’re used to it. You can’t say, that counts for click back buttons, do you? (Well, it counts for hitting escape buttons, depending on you keyboard. ;-)

They lack interim feedback IMHO.

Does Alt-Left has feedback? Do you have a force feedback keyboard?

Apart from using the mouse usually is quite slow anyway…

You use always the tab key to navigate through web sites or your bookmarks? (As far as I remember, you aren’t a big fan of type-ahead find either…)

I’m a keyboard and command-line freak, I hold talks about command-line efficiency. But when it comes to the web, I need mainly two things to navigate: A location bar with history completion and auto-suggestion and a mouse with at least three buttons and a scroll wheel. My web browser is also the only graphical application I use regularly. Everything else runs in text-mode.

I consider mouse gestures to be another big hype.

Well, then it’s a hype which works very good for about eight or nine years for me.

I load about 50 (internal and external) web pages when I log in.
Oh my god. I would DIE if I had to work that way!

You don’t have to, but I want to. Why should I open all that pages manually, if Galeon can load sessions?

I let you use browsers the way you do (just use them and adapt yourself), and you let me use browsers the way, I do (configure and adapt them).

Today, also Wouter Verhelst joined the discussion with visualising very nice and clearly what the core of our discussion is: How to deal with experienced users who know what they want at same time as with beginners who should be able to start working right off.

Regarding Wouters rhetoric question, why he left GNOME, my answer is: Because I just don’t need it. I tried sawmill/sawfish and metacity with GNOME, but it just didn’t satisfy me and it doesn’t have anything I really need. fvwm2 with the keybindings a friend of mine and me developed during our HCI studies at university (about 8 or 9 years ago) worked better and were easier to implement. So after a few months of using a GNOME desktop I got back to good ol’ fvwm, which still works fine and fast on my 400 MHz desktop, although fvwm evolved over the years from version 1.0 to 2.5 since then.

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This is the blog or weblog of Axel Stefan Beckert (aka abe or XTaran) who thought, he would never start blogging... (He also once thought, that there is no reason to switch to this new ugly Netscape thing because Mosaïc works fine. That was about 1996.) Well, times change...

He was born 1975 at Villingen-Schwenningen, made his Abitur at Schwäbisch Hall, studied Computer Science with minor Biology at University of Saarland at Saarbrücken (Germany) and now lives in Zürich (Switzerland), working at the IT Support Group (ISG) of the Departement of Physics at ETH Zurich.

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