David Monniaux <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> The installation process is frightening:
> 1. The user is presented with a dialog box "Welcome to GIMP" that is half
>    full of legalese (NO GUARANTEE etc...).

actually our first version had an "Accept" button at the bottom ;-)

The GPL wants you to put a visible notification about the license into
your program. This notice should be seen whenever you start Gimp. We 
only show it on user installation and one day RMS will come and get us
for this lazyness.

I think the license part should stay and we should add an additional note
about the GPL to the About dialog.

>    Perhaps the first installer screen should simply state that Gimp is
>    a painting, touch up etc... program able to read various image formats
>    etc..., and the legalese should be pushed to a second dialog box ?

if you think adding a useless advertisement page to the user installation
will help, I wouldn't object adding it even though I don't see the point.

> 2. The current second dialog box shows a full list of files and directories
>    that most users will never care about at first. Maybe we should add an
>    indication that knowing all about this is not necessary to use Gimp?

I think it is very nice that we don't quietly install a bunch of dirs and
files in the users home directory without telling him. Perhaps we should
indeed change the accompaigning words. Patches are welcome.

> 3. The installer runs a script that copies files and asks the user to spot
>    an error in the execution of the scriptx and investiguate in case
>    there is an error. [even worse in the Windows version]
>    Come on. Users do not know about scripts, and they do not know what an
>    error looks like [*]. The installation process should see by itself if
>    an error has happened, and display a meaningful error message in that
>    case.

It's not that easy. Don't think we didn't try it. Again, patches are welcome.

> 4. Adjustment of parameters
>    Another frightening dialog box. We should really convey the idea that
>    the default settings are OK, and that those settings can be changed
>    at any time afterwards (otherwise the users may spend time pondering what
>    to say here).

It is indeed possible to change this later, but we moved it into the user
installation since experience shows that these values will never be adjusted
later. Setting the tile cache correctly is viable for a good user experience
so I expect the user to spend some time here pondering what values to choose.

>    a) The default tile cache size should be adjusted with respect to the
>       installed RAM size. This should fulfill the need of most users
>       (PCs with one console user). In the case of multi-user systems,
>       the system administrator should be able to set other default values
>       (maybe depending on the machine).

Yeah, we had that discussion before quite often and everyone agreed that
it should be as you say here, but until today noone found it important 
enough to change the code.

>       Many people just leave the default of 32M, open a big image and claim
>       that Gimp is soooo much slower than PhotoShop. If those people knew
>       better, they'd heard their hard drive churning and understand that
>       Gimp is swapping, but this should not be expected from most users -
>       how do you think that computer resellers sold boxes with fast
>       CPUs and only 32M of RAM ?

That's exactly why we've put the tile cache size setting into the user 
installation process.

>       Furthermore, we should add the precision that the value there should
>       not be the total amount of RAM in the machine, but the size of the
>       portion of that full RAM that should be used for Gimp images.

Here's what is written:

 "GIMP uses a limited amount of memory to store image data, the 
  so-called "Tile Cache". You should adjust its size to fit into 
  memory. Consider the amount of memory used by other running 

Well, not the best description propably. Please send a patch for a better 

>    b) The setting of the swap file in .gimp-x.y/tmp is a problem on
>       NFS-mounted accounts (universities, for instance). Why not /tmp by
>       default?

Since /tmp is not always a good choice, it might even not exist?! For that
reason we say:

 "All image and undo data which doesn't fit into the Tile Cache will be 
  written to a swap file. This file should be located on a local filesystem
  with enough free space (several hundred MB). On a UNIX system, you
  may want to use the system-wide temp-dir ("/tmp" or "/var/tmp").

Don't you think this is enough to help the user make a good decision?

> Now for the main UI. We should have a way to remind people to use the RIGHT
> BUTTON on the image. I bet many people think Gimp is some kind of small
> MS Paint-like program because they have never been able to reach the filters.
> Yes, I know this is the second tip, but...

Overall I don't like the idea of treating the user like an idiot. There are
probably a lot idiots out there and some of them will try Gimp one day but I 
feel sick and tired of putting too much development time into a user 
interface for idiots. I'd prefer to spend time hacking on a user interface
for experts instead. If you or others want to go through the hassle of 
spotting problems in the UI please do so, and please (with sugar on it) 
change the code and send patches.

Salut, Sven

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