Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

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Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Matthew East
Hi all,

Recently, many users have been calling for a program which starts up at
first login and introduces users to the basics about using and
configuring Ubuntu. I'm convinced that the onboard documentation will do
this job sufficiently well for dapper, the Desktop Guide in particular
has had lots of work and will be accessible enough for users to see
quickly where to find the right answers. In my personal opinion Dapper
is the first release where I can say that the onboard documentation will
do a good job.

However, one of the big problems for us as the documentation team is
that the onboard help is not used nearly enough, this leads to people
spending more time looking for help, and hitting the forums/irc/mailing
lists with questions which are answered in the documentation.

I'd like to suggest an easy way to resolve this problem: restore the
help icon on the gnome-panel. This will make the onboard documentation
easily accessible for new users. I would earnestly urge you to
reconsider the decision that was taken to remove this icon! Users need
to know the documentation is there, and those that don't can remove the
icon with two clicks.

thanks, Matt
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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Josué Alcalde González
El lun, 13-02-2006 a las 13:12 +0000, Matthew East escribió:
>
> I'd like to suggest an easy way to resolve this problem: restore the
> help icon on the gnome-panel. This will make the onboard documentation
> easily accessible for new users. I would earnestly urge you to
> reconsider the decision that was taken to remove this icon! Users need
> to know the documentation is there, and those that don't can remove
> the
> icon with two clicks.
>
Last time I installed a SuSE, there was some launchers for help in the
desktop.
There could be a tutorial or help with a launcher in the desktop.
Easy to delete for "tutorial, no thanks" users, and easy to find for
"please, help me" users.


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Chris Jones-10
In reply to this post by Matthew East
Hi

On 1:12:46 pm 13/02/2006 Matthew East <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'd like to suggest an easy way to resolve this problem: restore the
> help icon on the gnome-panel. This will make the onboard documentation

With absolutely no offense intended to the original artist, the icon didn't
exactly look like it contained all the knowledge people needed, I presume
because a lifesaver rendered that small isn't especially obvious as "help".
Short of a red cross logo I'm not sure what would either.

I would think a desktop icon would be more useful because it will have a
translated string underneath it saying "Help". I know this may violate the
latest mantras about desktops being reserved for empty space, but the first
time a user logs in they won't have any windows open and it immediately
builds a mental link between that shape and Help if nothing else.

Cheers,
---
Chris Jones
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  www.tenshu.net


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Swatje
Hi,
Maybe we could use a notification bubble to diplay some info for first
time users, with a "don't show this again" option.
And also the message where you can find the help? (System>help)
I don't like to have 2 times the same icons on my desktop. (On the panel
and in the system menu) Just like the new logout button applet...
Grtz,

François Cauwe

On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 13:34 +0000, Chris Jones wrote:

> Hi
>
> On 1:12:46 pm 13/02/2006 Matthew East <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I'd like to suggest an easy way to resolve this problem: restore the
> > help icon on the gnome-panel. This will make the onboard documentation
>
> With absolutely no offense intended to the original artist, the icon didn't
> exactly look like it contained all the knowledge people needed, I presume
> because a lifesaver rendered that small isn't especially obvious as "help".
> Short of a red cross logo I'm not sure what would either.
>
> I would think a desktop icon would be more useful because it will have a
> translated string underneath it saying "Help". I know this may violate the
> latest mantras about desktops being reserved for empty space, but the first
> time a user logs in they won't have any windows open and it immediately
> builds a mental link between that shape and Help if nothing else.
>
> Cheers,
> ---
> Chris Jones
>   [hidden email]
>   www.tenshu.net
>
>


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Chris Jones-10
Hi

On 2:32:46 pm 13/02/2006 Francois Cauwe <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Maybe we could use a notification bubble to diplay some info for first

You'd have to show it every time then as they might possibly miss it the
first time or dismiss it without reading. Something on the desktop will be
visible every time they log in.

Cheers,
---
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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Lee Revell
In reply to this post by Matthew East
On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 13:12 +0000, Matthew East wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Recently, many users have been calling for a program which starts up at
> first login and introduces users to the basics about using and
> configuring Ubuntu. I'm convinced that the onboard documentation will do
> this job sufficiently well for dapper, the Desktop Guide in particular
> has had lots of work and will be accessible enough for users to see
> quickly where to find the right answers. In my personal opinion Dapper
> is the first release where I can say that the onboard documentation will
> do a good job.
>
> However, one of the big problems for us as the documentation team is
> that the onboard help is not used nearly enough, this leads to people
> spending more time looking for help, and hitting the forums/irc/mailing
> lists with questions which are answered in the documentation.
>
> I'd like to suggest an easy way to resolve this problem: restore the
> help icon on the gnome-panel. This will make the onboard documentation
> easily accessible for new users. I would earnestly urge you to
> reconsider the decision that was taken to remove this icon! Users need
> to know the documentation is there, and those that don't can remove the
> icon with two clicks.

The help browser is way way too slow to be usable IMHO.  I click
System->Help and it takes about 8 seconds for the window to even appear
and another 8 seconds for anything to appear in it.

Lee


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Lee Revell
On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:49 +0100, Petr Tomeš wrote:

> On 2/13/06, Lee Revell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > The help browser is way way too slow to be usable IMHO.  I click
> > System->Help and it takes about 8 seconds for the window to even appear
> > and another 8 seconds for anything to appear in it.
>
> Hi,
> I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
> furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
>
> Petr Tomeš
> Ubuntu CZ - http://www.ubuntu.cz/

It seems like the rest of Gnome has had some serious performance work
lately but this just got left out, probably because developers don't use
it.

Oh I forgot to mention on Dapper, the Help doesn't work at all - it just
crashes as soon as it's done loading.

Lee


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Don Scorgie
On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 14:56 -0500, Lee Revell wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:49 +0100, Petr Tomeš wrote:
> > On 2/13/06, Lee Revell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > The help browser is way way too slow to be usable IMHO.  I click
> > > System->Help and it takes about 8 seconds for the window to even appear
> > > and another 8 seconds for anything to appear in it.
> >
> > Hi,
> > I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
> > furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
> >
> > Petr Tomeš
> > Ubuntu CZ - http://www.ubuntu.cz/
>
> It seems like the rest of Gnome has had some serious performance work
> lately but this just got left out, probably because developers don't use
> it.

Actually, Yelp has recieved much love in this cycle (just look at the
changelogs from 2.12 onward if you don't believe me ;) ).  Some of it
was performance work.  Check out loading of docbook manuals.  Startup is
still slow, but thats got a lot to do with libgnome / bonobo /
scrollkeeper / mozilla overhead (which we have on the target list for
2.16.  Or at least I do ;) ).

>
> Oh I forgot to mention on Dapper, the Help doesn't work at all - it just
> crashes as soon as it's done loading.
>

Ye, that should be fixed as of todays update.  It was an attempt to make
Yelp accessible again, but something seems broken in atk or bonobo [1]
and so the workaround was removed.

[1]
https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+source/gnome-session/+bug/30248

Don

> Lee
>
>


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Jordan Mantha
In reply to this post by Lee Revell
Lee Revell wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:49 +0100, Petr Tomeš wrote:
>> On 2/13/06, Lee Revell <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> The help browser is way way too slow to be usable IMHO.  I click
>>> System->Help and it takes about 8 seconds for the window to even appear
>>> and another 8 seconds for anything to appear in it.
>> Hi,
>> I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
>> furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
>>
>> Petr Tomeš
>> Ubuntu CZ - http://www.ubuntu.cz/
>
> It seems like the rest of Gnome has had some serious performance work
> lately but this just got left out, probably because developers don't use
> it.
>
> Oh I forgot to mention on Dapper, the Help doesn't work at all - it just
> crashes as soon as it's done loading.
>
> Lee
>
>

In Dapper yelp has gotten dramatic speed increases since about 2.13.4
and is very usable. It also works fine for me with no crashing. Dapper
should have some really nice documentation installed so it would be a
shame for users to miss it.

Jordan

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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Lee Revell
In reply to this post by Don Scorgie
On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:37 +0000, Don Scorgie wrote:
> Actually, Yelp has recieved much love in this cycle (just look at the
> changelogs from 2.12 onward if you don't believe me ;) ).  Some of it
> was performance work.  Check out loading of docbook manuals.  Startup
> is
> still slow, but thats got a lot to do with libgnome / bonobo /
> scrollkeeper / mozilla overhead (which we have on the target list for
> 2.16.  Or at least I do ;) ).

It seems like all this should have been in cache, as I was browsing the
web with Firefox and had several other Gnome apps open at the time.

Lee


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Corey Burger
In reply to this post by Lee Revell
On 2/13/06, Lee Revell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:49 +0100, Petr Tomeš wrote:
> > On 2/13/06, Lee Revell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > The help browser is way way too slow to be usable IMHO.  I click
> > > System->Help and it takes about 8 seconds for the window to even appear
> > > and another 8 seconds for anything to appear in it.
> >
> > Hi,
> > I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
> > furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
> >
> > Petr Tomeš
> > Ubuntu CZ - http://www.ubuntu.cz/
>
> It seems like the rest of Gnome has had some serious performance work
> lately but this just got left out, probably because developers don't use
> it.
>
> Oh I forgot to mention on Dapper, the Help doesn't work at all - it just
> crashes as soon as it's done loading.
>
> Lee
Lets refocus this. There are two issues at hand here:

1. Should we restore the help icon the panel. This has nothing to do
with how fast Yelp is. A relevant point was raised that the icon did
not really convey the meaning of help. A quick google search leads me
to believe that the main image associated with help seems to be the
question mark. Any takers on finding/making/modifying an icon to do
with?
(hence why I added the ubuntu-art cc)

The second issue is that of actually having the icon on the panel. The
rationale in my mind for having an icon is easy access to help. I
think this is still a good rationale.

1. Yelp is slow. Those that complained earlier in this thread should
try Dapper. There have been some significant improvements in the gnome
2.13 cycle. Regardless of the speed, I don't think it really matters
in this debate, as we don't have anything else to replace it with and
thus are stuck with no help icon on the panel.

Corey

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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Yuriy Kozlov
In reply to this post by Matthew East
I think putting the help icon back in the panel by default is going in the right direction, but please, not the "click here to get help, click here not to show this again" bubble notification.  These bubble notifications are THE most annoying "feature" of windows xp sp2.  I hope Ubuntu minimizes the use of popup notifications.

P.S. As a KDE user, I'll add this "panel icons are too small to understand" problem to my mental list of things I hate about gnome ;)

Hi,
Maybe we could use a notification bubble to diplay some info for first
time users, with a "don't show this again" option.
And also the message where you can find the help? (System>help)
I don't like to have 2 times the same icons on my desktop. (On the panel
and in the system menu) Just like the new logout button applet...


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Lee Revell
On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:46 +0000, Yuriy wrote:
> I think putting the help icon back in the panel by default is going in
> the right direction, but please, not the "click here to get help,
> click here not to show this again" bubble notification.  These bubble
> notifications are THE most annoying "feature" of windows xp sp2.  I
> hope Ubuntu minimizes the use of popup notifications.
>
> P.S. As a KDE user, I'll add this "panel icons are too
> small to understand" problem to my mental list of things I hate about gnome ;)

I actually don't mind them - it's useful for newbies, and the rest of us
only have to turn it off once to never see it again.

Lee



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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

HC Brugmans
Lee Revell wrote:

> On Mon, 2006-02-13 at 20:46 +0000, Yuriy wrote:
>> I think putting the help icon back in the panel by default is going in
>> the right direction, but please, not the "click here to get help,
>> click here not to show this again" bubble notification.  These bubble
>> notifications are THE most annoying "feature" of windows xp sp2.  I
>> hope Ubuntu minimizes the use of popup notifications.
>>
>> P.S. As a KDE user, I'll add this "panel icons are too
>> small to understand" problem to my mental list of things I hate about gnome ;)
>
> I actually don't mind them - it's useful for newbies, and the rest of us
> only have to turn it off once to never see it again.
>
> Lee
>

On the gnome-development list there was a story earlier about an
organisation who ditched Windows for Linux with as one of the main
reasons the amount of distraction those popups offered.

There should be HIG guidelines for their usage shortly.

-Hidde


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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Matthew Paul Thomas
In reply to this post by Lee Revell
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Feb 14, 2006, at 8:49 AM, Petr Tomeš wrote:
> ...
> I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
> furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
> ...

Heh. But seriously, it would be hard to find a less obvious name for
the menu with Help items in it than "System".

I suggest adding a separate "Help" menu, to contain the Help and About
items. Then it would be very obvious where the help was, and you
wouldn't need to come up with a new icon for it.

- --
Matthew Paul Thomas
http://mpt.net.nz/
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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Dana Olson
On 2/14/06, Matthew Paul Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On Feb 14, 2006, at 8:49 AM, Petr Tomeš wrote:
> > ...
> > I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
> > furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
> > ...
>
> Heh. But seriously, it would be hard to find a less obvious name for
> the menu with Help items in it than "System".
>
> I suggest adding a separate "Help" menu, to contain the Help and About
> items. Then it would be very obvious where the help was, and you
> wouldn't need to come up with a new icon for it.
>
> - --
> Matthew Paul Thomas
> http://mpt.net.nz/

I think that would be okay, but only if I have the option to remove
just that help menu.
I find that the three items there already take up way too much of my
panel space. I'd like to be able to shorten the names, or replace them
with only icons for each three things..

Dana

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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Petr Tomeš
On 2/14/06, Dana Olson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 2/14/06, Matthew Paul Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I suggest adding a separate "Help" menu, to contain the Help and About
> > items. Then it would be very obvious where the help was, and you
> > wouldn't need to come up with a new icon for it.
>
> I think that would be okay, but only if I have the option to remove
> just that help menu.
> I find that the three items there already take up way too much of my
> panel space. I'd like to be able to shorten the names, or replace them
> with only icons for each three things..
>
In that case I would prefer rather icon on panel to seperate Help menu
(no serious operating system including major linux distributions and
KDE/GNOME environment has 4 items-menu on panel by default). Removing
icon for those who needn't it is more natural, easier and much less
time-consuming than thinking about removing menu item.

Petr Tomeš,
Ubuntu CZ - http://www.ubuntu.cz/

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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Sebastien Bacher
In reply to this post by Matthew East
Le lundi 13 février 2006 à 13:12 +0000, Matthew East a écrit :

> I'd like to suggest an easy way to resolve this problem: restore the
> help icon on the gnome-panel. This will make the onboard documentation
> easily accessible for new users. I would earnestly urge you to
> reconsider the decision that was taken to remove this icon! Users need
> to know the documentation is there, and those that don't can remove the
> icon with two clicks.

Hi,

(First the decision to drop the icon has been made for the
dapper-desktop-plan specification)

As discussed on IRC I don't think the panel icon is optimal:
- panel launchers are supposed to be for applications you want to use
regularly  (browser, mailer), which is not really the case of that one.
It would use useful when you start but stay in the way then
- it's just a small icon on a panel

I'm not for abusing notify bubble, but maybe we could have one on the
first startup to indicate that the applications menu is where to go to
run some programs and that the system menu is the place to go to get the
help stuff?

An another option would be a first startup note or something like that


Cheers,

Sebastien Bacher







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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Sivan Green
In reply to this post by Matthew Paul Thomas
On 20:59, Tue 14 Feb 06, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On Feb 14, 2006, at 8:49 AM, Petr Tome? wrote:
> >...
> >I have similar experience about slowness of help browser and
> >furthermore I think nobody has problem go to System menu for Help.
> >...
>
> Heh. But seriously, it would be hard to find a less obvious name for
> the menu with Help items in it than "System".
>
> I suggest adding a separate "Help" menu, to contain the Help and About
> items. Then it would be very obvious where the help was, and you
> wouldn't need to come up with a new icon for it.

Agreed. I also think this is a correct approach. Making it
as  explicit as we can rather then implicit.

Sivan

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Re: Restoring the Help Icon in gnome-panel

Manu Cornet-3
In reply to this post by Sebastien Bacher


Hi !

> I'm not for abusing notify bubble, but maybe we could have one on the
> first startup to indicate that the applications menu is where to go to
> run some programs and that the system menu is the place to go to get the
> help stuff?
>
> An another option would be a first startup note or something like that

I had suggested this a while ago :

http://www.manucornet.net/ubuntu/JPEG/Startup_notification_transp.png

(we could add something about help).

I had made a patch, too :)

Cheers,
Manu


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