Trip Report: GNOME UI Hackfest

C. Scott Ananian cscott at
Thu Oct 9 12:46:56 EDT 2008

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 9:13 AM, Michael Stone <michael at> wrote:
> This is just a brief note summarizing our experience at the
> In short:
> * Scott gave a long talk on his
>   and on his crazy journal ideas.
> * Michael gave a short talk on
> * We caught an *awesome* slideshow by David Richards
>   in which we learned that enterprise users and children are remarkably
>   similar.
> Perhaps cjb and cscott will contribute other more detailed thoughts
> about what we learned?

On key insight from the Largo presentation was that adult users are
generally unable to use the standard files-and-folders metaphor as
well.  Once they save a document, they've got *no idea* where it goes
(inconsistent default folder choices in applications don't help here),
and one of the most frequent help desk requests is to "find my file".
Also, they often add all sorts of crazy characters in their file
names, like leading and trailing spaces, and don't understand why
'foo.doc' and ' foo.doc ' behave different (and are not sorted

When OpenOffice write added an tiny 'email this document' button to
the toolbar, user satisfaction skyrocketed, because they never really
understood how to save the file, change applications, and find the
document again in evolution in order to attach the document to an

It doesn't help that the "file chooser" dialog and nautilus' "folder
browser" look and feel completely different.  David mentioned that he
felt that unifying the two interfaces would go a long way towards
helping the situation. (And this in, indeed, the plan for the

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