some (software) plans for 2008.

evolution

at the beginning of the 2.23 cycle, i want to take a look at evolution’s user-visible messages. a lot of non-crasher bug reports (and especially support questions in forums) deal with error strings that are hard to understand for average users. i filed an evolution tracking bug to collect bug reports based on cryptic messages. in a kind of way “evolve your user interface to educate your users“, though you of course cannot compare the information that can be displayed on a 1024x680px webpage to a small error popup.
this should also include error messages that are useless to the user, e.g. the famous (and now fixed) bug 213072:
213072-fake.png

it does not totally fit here because it is about security and phishing, but i love the Phishing Tips and Techniques somebody linked on planet gnome a while ago. it tells a lot about application dialog design and its effect on users’ behaviour.
so my task currently sounds like going through evolution’s error messages xml files and see what can be improved. any additional comments to bug 502515 appreciated.

translations

at the beginning of 2.23 gnome should migrate from using context for strings to msgctxt which is less error-prone and supported by most translation tools. see http://live.gnome.org/GnomeGoals/MsgctxtMigration. i also hope to push other gnome goals and the migration from deprecated modules like gnome-vfs and libgnomeprint*. let’s get a platform that is attractive to vendors and contributors.

marketing

for the second half of this year, i would like to concentrate a bit on FLOSS marketing. which projects have good marketing, and what can be improved? i hope that this will lead to become my diploma thesis. firefox and gnome are of potential interest here, though they have quite different target groups.

5 Responses to “some (software) plans for 2008.”

  1. sragavan says:

    This is gonna take Evolution to next level. Users have been complaining of too many error message popups. Since we have fixed that already, this is gonna be the next and the most important one. Thanks Andre.

  2. ovitters says:

    Please don’t approve those spam trackbacks.

    Regarding removing old / deprecated stuff: Time to revive the ‘what should a good GNOME program do’. Set some standards and ensure that all programs within GNOME follow it.

  3. lucasr says:

    ovitters, do you mean “Human Interface Guidelines”? :-P

  4. Sven says:

    If someone is actually working actively on Evolution, does that mean that one day it may not any longer need insane amounts of time to filter incoming mail?

  5. aklapper says:

    @Sven: thanks for the boring trolling. i will do the same for every blog entry about gimp from now on, if somebody still works on that. ;-)