Peter Flindt | 9 Jan 19:48 2009
X-Face
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Some thoughts about user-friendliness and the core.

Hello,
i have tried it in the forum and the bug tracker more than one time,
but no answer (or no good answer), therefore here again, some ideas
about user-friendliness.

(With "Core" I mean all protocols, plugins and the miranda32.exe on the
SVN)

A) "What's new?"
The popup, fingerprint and some other plugins have a nice feature.
When an user install a new version, he see a window with important
changes when he start this new version the first time.
It would be nice to have this feature in the core too.

There are sites like:
http://www.miranda-im.org/download/ ,
http://www.miranda-im.org/2008/11/19/miranda-im-v0713-released/ ,
http://sourceforge.net/project/shownotes.php?release_id=641595 or
http://forums.miranda-im.org/showthread.php?t=20606 , sure, but 1)Who
read it? 2) There are 100th other sites, like
https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=94142&package_id=100076
, http://fileforum.betanews.com/ ,
http://www.filehippo.com/download_miranda/changelog/ without infos
about important changes (or without any info). I mean not changelogs
like "0.7.13 includes stability fixes for Jabber" that's very
important, yes, but it's more or less unimportant for the users. But
for e.g. the account managem the search box in the options, uPnP, ...,
this should be display somewhere if a new version start the first time.
Either a dialog with a translatable text or a dialog with a HTML
control (the url can be in the language pack or the English language
URL if the LP (or the URL within the LP) is not available.
----------
B) "Options which could block miranda"
There are some options which could block miranda or make it unusable.
For example, status locked, disable the option entry in genmenu, block
messages from unknown contacts in the ignore list (in this case single
chats in IRC channels or jabber mucs not work any longer) or other
settings.
I speak NOT about wrong popup color, ARIAL 32 in the CL, wrong settings
for file transfer, whatever, this settings are not "critical", but
there are some options, in my opionion, which should be a little bit
better "prodect" from user changes. Maybe a general warning messages
box or something like this.
And before someone talk now about this "Expert check box" at the lower
left corner, most plugins not handle this option and/or most of the
users have it always activated.
----------
C) "consistent with other plugins and consistent in the options"
1) Some 3rd party plugins works with some parts from the core some
others not. E.g. the custom folder plugin.
2) The user want ONE central place for some things; e.g. the ignore
list, visible list, jabber privacy list/block list from the protocols;
font settings, colors, message window, ... is there really a need to
have some settings at 2-4 different places?
3) There are still some missing function in the core, e.g. this ersatz
plugin. Someone should read the bug tracker feaure request section
attentively. Some 3th plugin to hack arround some missing function in
the miranda API, if this could be included with a few lines of code and
could be used from more than one plugin, why not?
4) Main menu. Apart from some missing icons, like "Exit", "Frames",
"Show/Hide" and "Status", 1)There is no "ICQ" entry in the main menu,
2) "My user details" hmmh, MSN and Yahoo is missing in this diaolg (at
least an entry and an URL to the online profile, maybe)
=============================
However, my summary about the user-friendliness part:
a) Give it up with the idea "from experts for experts". Better 8
"expert users" make a click on a confirm dialog than 2 users ask in the
forum "Why?". If anything can go wrong, it will, and that's not always
the fault from a "beginner", in my opinion.
b) The developers do a very hard and good job, but I fear some parts
from miranda goes in a wrong direction.

Peter

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