[Openicc] GoSoC 2011: CPD and target printing
rlk at alum.mit.edu
Fri May 6 19:16:11 PDT 2011
On Fri, 6 May 2011 13:42:24 -0700, Hal V. Engel wrote:
> On Friday, May 06, 2011 12:26:23 PM Chris Murphy wrote:
>> On May 5, 2011, at 7:32 PM, Robert Krawitz wrote:
>> > There are two schools of thought that I see here. One, which seems to
>> > be exemplified by GNOME (yes, I'm calling that project out by name),
>> > is to have UI experts determine the minimum set of features needed by
>> > users and present an absolute minimal interface. The other, which I
>> > greatly prefer, is what a former colleague of mine described as
>> > "successive disclosure of complexity".
>> I would not call the current presentation of Gutenprint driver options as
>> successive disclosure of complexity. Its present disclosure of increasing
>> complexity occurs in parallel. But even if it were successive, you're
>> talking about a rabbit hole of successive disclosure and that still makes
>> software obscure.
> I agree that the current print UI(s) do a poor job of presenting
> complexity adn that how these do this for the GutenPrint drivers
> makes this particually obveious but we aren't talking about the
> print UI as they exist today. WIth the CPD how this is presented to
> the user can be altered greatly by editing the PPD file. And it can
> be made to be very successive in it's disclosure of complexity.
> This is integral to the UI design of the CPD as one of it's design
> goals was to deal with this issue.
PPD files in general, and CUPS specifically, were never really
designed with successive disclosure of complexity in mind.
>> > that they only see the name
>> > of the printer and how many copies or the like. As people's needs
>> > grow, they can access more elaborate functionality.
>> This sounds very nice in theory, but in practice what happens is that as
>> users get more advanced, the options they require differ radically. So
>> what happens is moderate to advanced users will have to sift through
>> multiple extra panels
And that's why the options need to be available -- because different
users will need different options.
> There is only one options panel in the CPD and the user can control
> what apppears on it. Don't conflate current print dialog UI design
> with the CPD's UI design as the CPD has a very different UI. It was
> specifically designed by a UI design expert (actually a team of
> experts) to deal with this issue. It does a good job of presenting
> the complexity continum if the PPD file for the printer driver is
> done correctly.
Bingo -- and that's what we need to fix.
>> So what this does is it kicks the bucket of obscurity down the road to just
>> moderate and advanced users. They are still users, just because they are
>> advanced does not mean they should be subject to sifting through options,
>> 90% of which do not apply to them.
> Again this is a matter of how this is presented to users. I just
> brought up the most recent version of the CPD on my machine to
> refresh my memory using the GutenPrint driver PPD for the Epson
> R2400. This driver is close to as complex as any GuenPrint driver
> can get with options for setting many things that most users will
> never use. The current GutenPrint R2400 PPD is not real well
> designed to take full advantage of the CPD with option groups named
> things like "Output Control Common" for things like Brightness and
> Contrast which some users will use, "Output Control Extra 1" and
> "Output Control Extra 2" (through 4) for things like GCR, drop
> sizes, ink density and other things that are used very rarely.
> There is a "General" options group that has things like color model,
> media source, media size and media type that many users will use at
> least some of the time. Most of these groups do not have very
> descriptive names but I am fairly sure that the GutenPrint folks
> have not had the time to look at these names in detail to improve
> how this is presented in the UI. On the other hand the groups do
> appear to be fairly well orginized and the items in the groups
> appear to be logically grouped.
> The GutenPrint R2400 PPD also creates five additional non-Default
> presets "Text", "Graphics", "Mixed Text and Graphics", "Photograph"
> and "Line Art". But I am not sure if these are correctly setup in
> the PPD file since I don't seem to be able to select any of these.
> This could be a problem in the CPD as well.
I've certainly used them, at least in testing. What happens if you
try to select them?
>> There is a cost to designing a GUI for 99% instead of 80%, and that
>> means 99% of the people will have an increasingly negative
>> experience for each option inserted into a print dialog that cannot
>> be anywhere nearly as effectively hidden from the user as is
>> possible in applications.
Yup, there is a cost -- the remaining 1% will be inconvenienced.
That's why I'd like to get that number *higher* than 99%, not lower.
As Hal points out, the real problem is that the print dialog needs to
be more effective at presenting only the options each user needs. I
don't claim to know how to do that. But I *don't* see how successive
disclosure can work just fine in applications, but not in common
>> This is why I think the bulk of Gutenprint options should be in an
> And what application should that be?
And it means that if I do want to use those options I have to somehow
export it to that special application and hope nothing goes wrong
along the way, in addition to requiring a clumsy extra step. I just
think that that's the wrong design point.
Robert Krawitz <rlk at alum.mit.edu>
Tall Clubs International -- http://www.tall.org/ or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- http://ProgFree.org
Project lead for Gutenprint -- http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net
"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
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