Running a program after install

gpk-application now offers you to run the application you just installed. It uses the just-installed desktop files to try to get the executable names and localised descriptions. There’s heuristics to only show the true application rather than any importer or viewer with the same executable name. Anyway, it looks like this:

New UI?

Comments, suggestions?

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

12 thoughts on “Running a program after install”

  1. gnome-app-install has something similar. I would nuke the package names. Try as much as possible to hide package names from the end user with this kind of app. Otherwise it looks good.

  2. +1 for not showing the package name, as Corey already said.
    I would, however, show the “Name” filed as well.

    That said, I like the idea but the listview looks so boring… what about a dialog using tiles a la gnome-control-center or the novell menu?

  3. Looks like a fun idea, but unless you show the user where to find the program the next time, it’s not very useful. I think it should have a button, that when pressed shows the menu with a highlight on the item.

    Another idea of course is to split this:

    – What’s new
    – What’s installed
    – What’s available

    Although those could contain many items, so they would have to be categorized and searchable.

    Also very neat would be to include interactive or video tutorials in the list.

  4. Not to rain on any parades, but why? I can’t imagine that ther’s been any major clamour for that feature.

  5. When I implemented this for the Eazel software installer (which sadly died with the company) I made it so you could drag the applications to your panel / desktop, and it listed what menu path the program is available so that users can find the software they just installed again next time…

  6. The idea is quite good. However, I would move the button “Run” to each row where programs’ descriptions reside. I would also add “Remove” button there in case one didn’t like the program that just ran.

  7. +1 to what Michael said above (Name field, no package names, tiles instead of list).

    Also, is “Run” really the best verb? Why not “Start” or “Open”? I suppose “Run” is used some other places in Gnome, but it seems antiquated.

    Better yet, drop that button altogether and make each App clickable (similar to Domas’s suggestion).

    +1 to Ian McKellar’s drag & drop feature as well.

    Did I just end up suggesting a Nautilus window with links to the apps you just installed? Oops.

  8. I, for one, have clamored for this. There have been plenty of times when I installed stuff, and had trouble finding it in the menu system. I agree that showing where it is in the menus when you click on it (or at least showing the menu path in the list view) would help.

  9. One thing I forgot, make sure to add a

    [ ] Don’t show this again

    checkbox to dialogs like this, some users are offended by the system treating them like beginners.

    Drag & drop to the menu bar or applet to show the path might have the advantages of being slightly easier to write (you don’t have to figure out what kind of launching system the user is using) and not requiring a button, but it is undiscoverable and counterintuitive; the drag and drop doesn’t have the effect of moving an object or applying it to anything. I would in fact expect dragging an operation like those in the list to cause a shortcut to that operation to be created.

  10. Good initiative!

    If I may add some comments with respect to usability: usability studies have shown that people only ‘scan’ text briefly from the start of a sentence. If you start each line with ‘Play’, this requires a user to read more of the sentence. So, it is advisable to start each line with a keyword that clearly defines what that action does, e.g.

    Blackjack – the classic casino card game
    Freecell – challenging decks of cards
    Chess – the unsurpassed two-player board game

    A few rules of thumb:
    * don’t make lines too long and put the important stuff at the beginning of the sentence
    * avoid ‘wordiness’ (i.e. remove words that do not add anything to sentence)

    Moreover, mentioning the games by their name makes it easier for people to find them back at a later stage (if those names also appear in the menus).

    A few short articles by Jakob Nielsen on this matter:
    how users scan a page:

    aligning text in menus:

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