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Checkfriends bug, Cmd-N, confirmation

1) If you have checkfriends turned on, and you lose network connectivity, iJournal wigs out. It beeps incessantly and pops up semi-infinite number of error dialogs. This is because the error handling in checkFriends: is broken; if sending the request to the server fails, myValue is nil at the end of the routine, and the timer for the next checkFriends: call gets set to nil seconds rather than 60 or something reasonable. I wrote a short patch to fix it so it won't wig out, but really, a silent background function like checkfriends shouldn't pop up a dialog if it fails. At most a status-line update is appropriate. So a slightly more involved patch should be written, IMHO.

2) In most Mac applications, Cmd-N opens a new something. In iJournal, it's natural for the user to hit Cmd-N to open a new post. And if it's what the user expects, then it ought to work. Cmd-N is currently unused and could easily be made an alternate binding for "Open Window".

3) The confirmation sheet is poorly worded. It says "the post was added to your LiveJournal". But if you're posting to a community, it wasn't added to your journal - it was posted to the community journal. I did a double-take when I first saw this, thinking maybe I'd forgotten to set which journal I was posting to. When the user is posting to a community, "The post was added to the foobar community journal." would be better wording.

4) However, IMHO the sheet should be removed altogether. It's intrusive and accomplishes nothing beyond forcing the user to click OK before doing something else. Simply unghosting the buttons and putting "Post successful" in the status line would be adequate user feedback, and it would make the UI cleaner and more usable.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 25th, 2002 01:19 pm (UTC)
There is a fix for (1) already checked into cvs. I'm not sure what cryo's plan is for a new release.

(4) I think there is a preference setting for this to turn the sheet off.
Mar. 25th, 2002 01:46 pm (UTC)
For 4, the option is called "Quiet Mode" in the preferences.
Mar. 25th, 2002 02:03 pm (UTC)
I'm running the CVS code. It exhibits the behavior described in (1). If there's a fix, it's not currently in CVS.

As for (4), the preference does not do what I described; it does not offer confirmation of any kind, even in the status bar where it would be unobtrusive. It is also not the default. If there's a good argument for using a modal dialog instead of a status line notification, that's one thing, but if there's no reason for it, then the application should do the right thing rather than punting to the user. I don't see a reason for it.
Mar. 25th, 2002 01:56 pm (UTC)
Like the users above said, (4) is actually taken care of in a preference... but I think this should help the real developers of iJournal realize that the preferences' options aren't that well explained--and even if there were documentation about them, users shouldn't be forced to read documentation just to understand what some of the checkboxes in the preferences of an online journal submission client actually mean to them.
Mar. 25th, 2002 04:26 pm (UTC)
So what you're saying is that more verbose pop-up help messages are needed?

Interface builder is realy easy to use...

I think you just volunteered :)
Mar. 25th, 2002 05:05 pm (UTC)
It is, and I've wanted to help for quite a while. But.. I can somehow use it to play with iJournal's interface?! How? Do I have to use CVS?
Mar. 29th, 2002 09:25 am (UTC)
well, i work on ui's at a major company... so what i can say is that i totally concur with alan. small elements go a long way in a ui. and at least--turn quiet mode by default. --joed
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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