improving session management

Various KDE 1.-4. Improvements

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hi all,

while thinking about some other usability-related stuff, i remembered a chapter in a book i've read some time ago by j. raskin (don't remember the name right now).

this chapter dealt with the possibility to use the user's "weakness". raskin's example was:

there is a computer a) and a computer b). both of them are able to do session management. computer a) does it the kde way - the apps you have used previously just "pop up" one after one until loading is finished (only disturbed by kwallet, which forces you to enter the master password if you are using it together with kopete like i do - but that's another issue).

computer b) does the loading in the same way like computer a) but with a SLIGHT difference - before logging out, it creates a screenshot of the whole desktop. the next time, the session-manager presents this screenshot while loading the applications in the background. maybe it shows an additional progressbar with a button labeled "cancel" (don't say "kde does this already - it does not! the apps are just popping up.)
when loading is finished, the screenshot is replaced with the "right" desktop.

this gives the user the impression of a lower loading-time and is much "smoother" than have 20 windows pop up one after one.

ps: actually, win2k does something similiar (without the screenshot, though) - it gives the user the impression of a lower loading-time by using three progress bars: one in textmode, one while showing the fancy win2k-logo, the third while loading the login-window.
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16 years ago

THIS IS JUST A SCREENSHOT - NO CONTENT (AS I AM TOO STUPID TO BE A CODER... ;-) )

Sebien

16 years ago

I totaly agree :
- It's useful and must be made available (perhapse not activated by default, but it's another discution).
- Desktop must be grayed/alpha-ed... So it will be CLEAR that the capture/windows is/are not usable yet.

I've recently downloaded a KSplash that use the redmond engine.
All the desktop is hidden by a beatiful splash image.
And startup seem faster AND less uggly (more fluide).
We don't see all the applications flashing, etc... We just see a final desktop when it's done.

IMHO, this sort of loadind must be a KSplash engine !!
IE : Users can easily choose between the actual splash screen or see the old desktop.
Because after all, it's a splash screen (or it can easily considered as a splash screen).
If anyone try to code this engine, it could start from the redmond engine, and include the progressbar of the OSX engine.
What must be added is just the save screenshot at KDE exit, with grayed. This save must be done only if the "Show final desktop capture" engine is selected as a splash screen.

But what harm me is the uggly "darking" of KDE when we log out (animated black pixels).
GNOME (animated luminosity decrease) or XP (animated alpha increase) are very cool. But KDE one is a old-aged look, IMHO.
Users should be able to configure what sort of graying/blacking they want :
- Color to... [Black, Blue...]
- Transform to alpha x%
- Play with luminosity to x%
- Play with contrast to x%
- Blurifie
- Invert colors
- Use the actual uggly 3 pixeled frames
- Use the old 1 frame graying (Windows 95 style) [for slow computers]
It's already doable for icons (but not so detailed). So, why not for logout screeen ?

And then, take the screenshot AFTER the graying.
And perhapse after the load, invert the process : cool and consistent.
To resume :
- Log out : gray to 50% black
- Log out confirmed, reboot, and relog in
- Log in : see the grayed version (with progress bar/dialog)
- Load done : ungray from 50% to normal and close the screenshot/splash : we see the *real* desktop as we leaved it. The user do not see the computer was having to relaunch apps and reload session : it's transparent. And that is right.

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natas12

16 years ago

i know this concept sounds confusing. maybe i did not explain it correctly: it is absolutly necessary, to make it clear that windows and other ui-elements are not "clickable" while restoring the session. maybe the screenshot could look a bit faded.out (like logging off in gnome) with the window on top of it (which would show the progress of restoring).
this would provide the following:

(1) consistency - because users can remember pictures better than other things and because most users are "task-oriented", they instantly recognize "this is my desktop. that's how i left it. i can continue my work when loading is finished".

(2) imho it would look better and smoother than windows popping up. currently, the applications pop up one after one and i've seen users who just start using the first application while the others are loading. than the next application "steals" their focus, e.g.: the first app is kate. you start to write something. the next app is konqueror which opens your homepage (e.g. you gmx mailaccount). when you continue your writing, it is possible that a part of it leaks into konqueror (for example into a textarea of your homepage). the third app is kopete, which demands a password, and so on.
[actually, this "leaking" is a general problem with konqueror and tabbed browsing - you enter a text but if another tab finishes loading, it is possible that it steals your cursor and so everything you enter - that's another issue... ;-)]

(3) from a "psychological" point of view, the loading-time appears to be shorter, maybe due to the fact that you already SEE how your desktop will look like (and you SEE the progress-bar).

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scottythesmell

16 years ago

I think it's a good idea, as long as it is clear (e.g. by fading, or decolourising, blurring, or some other artistic magic) that the desktop behind is not your 'real' desktop(yet).

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Brandybuck

16 years ago

There is no need to trick and fool the user. They are smarter than that.

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jmazz

16 years ago

that is not really "trickery". Software currently does many things like that already. For example, when you click an icon, your cursor changes into a new icon resembling what you clicked, and moves around (in kde 3.2 anyway). This gives the user the impression that something is indeed happening. Same with the throbber in browsers. You know your page is loading.

This is the exact same reason the mouse is given such a high priority in the kernel, so that users see their mouse react immediately and know the computer is doing something, not just hanging.

I like the concept, especially being able to cancel the session restoration.

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stevenr

16 years ago

1) The screenshot would be confusing. Why bother? The user may be confused and start trying to use the applications that appear on it.
2) What benefit would a screenshot have, other than wasting time and further prolonging the loading?
3) Win2k does not have 3 progress bars for logging in. It has one. The 1st two are for booting up. The same method would be very difficult and pointless to do under linux/X. (yes there's a bootsplash, but not one for loading x, pre-login)

However...
4) The cancel button to stop old session loading would be useful.

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16 years ago

THIS IS JUST A SCREENSHOT - NO CONTENT (AS I AM TOO STUPID TO BE A CODER... ;-) )

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